The slight lack of detail is no surprise, regardless of how
much LG tries to argue that its FPR tech delivers a full-HD 3D image. What
definitely is surprising though is that the 55LW650T’s 3D images aren’t totally
free of crosstalk. On many occasions parts of the 3D image looked slightly
shimmery and indistinct. This isn’t quite the same as the very clear double
ghosting of active 3D crosstalk perhaps, but it’s still quite distracting when
you see it.
The 55LW650T’s pictures also explode into serious double imaging crosstalk if
you have your head at an angle of more than just 10 degrees or so above or
below the screen, while viewing from down the TV’s sides both reduces the 3D
effect and makes the picture appear ‘wavy’ – presumably an artefact of the
pattern retarder on the screen’s front.
For all these numerous shortcomings though, we’d argue
that provided you can sit
in a sensible position relative to the screen, the 55LW650T’s 3D images are
engaging for a mainstream viewer. They just don’t have the precision demanded
by the enthusiast’s market.
Our biggest issue with the 55LW650T is actually more
apparent with 2D viewing than 3D viewing, and takes the form of that old
familiar edge LED bugbear of an inconsistent backlight. Without the set’s local
dimming feature active, dark scenes look very inconsistent, with big and very
obvious patches of extra brightness in each corner, even with the backlight set
Turning the local dimming engine on greatly improves this problem, but replaces
it with a different one – large and very noticeable chunks of extra brightness
around bright objects when they appear against dark backgrounds. To be fair you
might not notice any of this while watching pretty straightforward daytime TV fare.
But surely anyone buying a 55in TV is going to watch their fair share of films
on it, and chances are you’ll be bugged by one form of the backlight
inconsistencies or another at some point during any film.
In most other ways the 55LW650T’s 2D pictures are good.
Colours are rich and mostly natural with good blend subtleties, HD pictures
look sharp and detailed if very occasionally a touch noisy, and motion is solid
– though LG’s TruMotion system does throw up a few artefacts, and so should be
used sparingly. There is one final problem that will affect gamers, though. For
we measured an input lag of 101ms for the 55LW650T, even using the set’s
provided game preset. As you’d expect,
this translated into a pretty noticeable disadvantage when playing reaction-based
games, especially online.
Considering how bulky its bodywork is, the 55LW650T’s audio
is a disappointment. It’s clear and rounded enough with vocals to pass muster
with simple ‘talky’ programming, but there’s no bass to speak of and the
soundstage never manages to rise above ‘polite’ even during what should be
raucous action sequences.
While the 55LW650T doesn’t manage to convince us that passive 3D is actually
better than active 3D, its 3D images are nonetheless more relaxing to watch and
more than acceptable for the sort of casual, occasional use that’s likely to be
the basis on which many people watch 3D sources. It’s also impossible to deny the
attractiveness of the set’s price relative to active 3D sets, especially with
multiple glasses taken into account. All of which makes it even sadder that a
potentially very appealing 3D option is so badly let down by some fundamental
Score in detail
Image Quality 7
Sound Quality 6
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test each product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare things properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.