Other bits and bobs of interest in the TV’s menus are LG’s XD Engine image processing for improving colour toning/saturation, contrast, sharpness and motion handling; MPEG noise reduction for smoothing away the blockiness that can afflict low quality digital broadcasts; and finally a dynamic contrast system that can reduce the backlight output when dark scenes are detected, to boost black level response. Thanks to this latter feature LG claims a healthy contrast ratio of 5000:1 for the 47LY95.
Unfortunately, though, our experience of actually watching the 47LY95 suggests that this contrast ratio is really rather optimistic. For the bottom line is that black levels really ain’t too hot.
Trying to play Xbox 360 stunner Bioshock on the screen, for instance, found us becoming as tired out by squinting through the grey pall that hangs over parts of the picture that should be black as we were by the raw atmosphere and tension of the gameplay.
Similarly with a dark film, such as Superman Returns on HD DVD, the picture often loses considerable depth and realism, despite the efforts of the dynamic contrast system. This sort of contrast problem was once pretty much universal in the LCD TV world, but these days we expect – and often see – black level efforts rather better than that of the 47LY95.
Having started down the negative road, we might as well also take a pot shot at the LG’s handling of 1080p/24fps material. We’re not sure what refresh rate the TV converts such feeds to before showing them, but we certainly can say that whatever it is, it doesn’t work very well, leaving our pure Blu-ray feeds looking distractingly juddery. In other words, you’re better off getting your HD deck to output 1080p/50 or 60Hz instead, thereby negating the whole point of having 1080p/24 compatibility in the first place.
Now we’re sticking it to the LG in really quite harsh fashion, we might as well finally chuck in the fact that the 47LY95’s colours are rather flawed too. For while they’re very impressively rich and bright – arguably more rich and bright than any colours seen on a flat TV before, in fact – their tone occasionally loses the plot a bit. And so while riotously bright, colourful fodder like Monsters Inc on DVD looks wonderfully solid and engagingly bright, it’s common during darker scenes in non-animated films to find skin tones looking a bit ill, and reds and greens looking a little ‘computer generated’ rather than entirely natural.
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