The fact that passive 3D technology doesn’t require you to wear glasses with shuttering mechanisms is also beneficial, for three reasons. First, it allows the 47LW650T’s 3D images to be much brighter – more than twice as bright, in fact – than those from similarly sized active 3D TVs.
Second, it means you tend to get less fatigued by a long-term passive viewing experience. Finally, if you’re watching in a bright room, you don’t have to put up with the lights in your room appearing to flicker from the effects of the shuttering glasses.
The 47LW650T rams home another huge passive advantage too: the cheapness of passive 3D glasses versus active ones. For as with all of LG’s ‘Cinema 3D’ TVs, the 47LW650T ships with seven pairs of glasses included for free, making 3D instantly watchable for your whole family and a few friends besides. Getting your hands on seven pairs of active shutter glasses could cost you over £500.
In short, while the passive 3D option is particularly enticing on slightly smaller screens where its downsides are less noticeable, even on the relatively large 47LW650T it still looks like a terrific 3D option overall.
Turning to other aspects of the 47LW650T’s picture performance, there’s some good news and some very bad news, alas.
Regarding the good news, HD pictures look superbly sharp for the most part, with lots of detail and clarity achieved without exaggerating potential source noise. Colours are exuberantly punchy and rich too; indeed, initially they’re a bit too strong for comfort. But the tools are there in the set up menus to get things calmed down to a much more natural level while still looking very dynamic.
The screen’s core black level response is pretty good too for an edge LED model, and the set’s natural response time seems fast enough to avoid serious blurring or heavy resolution loss, even without using LG’s TruMotion circuitry. There’s a bit of judder during 3D, but nothing truly serious. The TruMotion system can eliminate the judder, obviously, but we have to say that we found its results a little more glitchy than we’d have liked, especially with 3D.
Hopping over to the bad news, the biggest problem by far we have with the 47LW650T’s pictures is the way they fall prey to backlight inconsistencies. For unless you turn the backlight down to practically zero, dark scenes are routinely damaged by some of the most blatant backlight consistency flaws we’ve seen.
There are patches of strong extra brightness spreading in for a good few inches from each of the our test sample’s corners, especially the bottom ones, and really the image only looks consistently dark over around a third of its entire screen acreage. The problem is so obvious that it can all-but-ruin dark scenes at times, and there doesn’t appear to be any solution to it.
In attempting to work round this issue, we had a play with the Local Dimming system accessed via the TV’s menus. But if anything this made things worse rather than better, as you could clearly see rigid, straight-edged ‘blocks’ of extra luminance around bright objects when they appear against dark backgrounds.
A smaller concern finds the 47LW650T being a rather average upscaler of standard definition (leaving images looking a touch noisy and soft). And finally in the negative column, hardcore gamers will be disappointed to learn that we measured an average input lag of around 60ms, rising at times to 90ms – a figure that’s demonstrably capable of negatively affecting your gaming performance.
Wrapping up with the 47LW650T’s sound, it’s merely average. With fairly simple, one-dimensional audio of the sort sported by a typical TV programme, it’s good enough to allow vocals to sound believable and rounded. But under any sort of pressure from a typical movie soundtrack, bass noticeably vanishes, and the dynamic range stays disappointingly static and ‘small’.
The 47LW650T is another frustrating model from LG’s oddly up and down 2011 range. For while it makes a very convincing case once more for LG’s passive 3D technology, and is capable of looking outstanding with the right sort of 2D material, severe backlight uniformity issues during dark scenes and some inconsistent and occasionally very high input lag make it tough to recommend to serious movie fans and gamers respectively.
Score in detail
3D Quality 8
2D Quality 6
Sound Quality 6