Wi-Fi access to a PC or NetCast isn’t actually the 47LE8900’s only ‘invisible’ connection. For it also supports Bluetooth connection with suitable headphones or mobile phones. And you can even stream your HD sources – with full 1080p video – into the TV wirelessly if you cough up £250 or so for LG’s optional Wireless AV Kit. Straightforward AV jacks, meanwhile, are dominated by a healthy four HDMIs.
Setting up the 47LE8900 is a pleasure, no matter how far you want to take things. By which we mean that techophobes who only usually delve reluctantly into in-depth picture set up systems will be left smiling by the set’s outstandingly well-presented and organised onscreen menus. Especially as there’s a Picture Wizard option that guides you through simple picture calibration steps with a series of test images.
People looking for really in-depth calibration, though, are also amply catered for courtesy of a remarkably extensive suite of fine tuning options – including, most importantly, a fulsome colour calibration system, gamma adjustments, and greyscale control. Not surprisingly with so many tweaks available, the 47LE8900 is endorsed by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF). The set is also endorsed by independent quality assurance outfit THX, resulting in a very well conceived THX mode among the set’s presets.
Final 47LE8900 specs we should mention are a vast claimed contrast ratio of 9,000,000:1 and 200Hz ‘TruMotion’ video processing.
Let’s kick of the performance section of this review by saying right away why the 47LE8900’s lack of 3D actually makes our job easier. As regular readers will know, we’ve had problems with both LG’s active (alternate frame) and passive (side by side) 3D TVs, based on fairly high levels of crosstalk with the former and depth perception issues with the latter. So not having to take these problems into account with the 47LE8900 allows us to talk exclusively about its excellent 2D pictures.
As usual with TVs that employ direct LED lighting with local dimming, the 47LE8900’s contrast performance is truly stellar. Within a single image frame you can find exceptionally deep black colours, really punchy bright whites and a veritable cornucopia of dynamic, rich colours.
It’s a contrast performance, in fact, which actually delivers more visceral impact than even the best plasma TVs out there. Longer term viewing makes you aware of some slight missing detail in dark areas versus what you would expect to see on, say, a Panasonic G20, V20 or VT20 plasma TV. But we suspect many people will find this a small price to pay for the sheer punch the 47LE8900 delivers.
Direct LED sets with local dimming can produce some pretty overt haloing, where auras of light appeared around bright objects – at least when they appeared against dark backgrounds. But while you can occasionally see a slight general mistiness with scenes containing an extreme mix of bright and dark, in general the 47LE8900 contains the issue very well. The only time it becomes a real problem is if you have to watch the set from a wide angle. So try and avoid this.