Lots of bang for the buck!

Dec 27, 2011
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Rated a Helpful Review

Pros:Plenty of bang-for-the-buck.  Out-of-the-box 3D bigscreen "wow factor."

Cons:No Internet connectivity.  No audio lines out of the TV.

The Bottom Line: If you're a budget-conscious shopper looking for a 55-inch home theater (it includes the TV, Blu-Ray player, and 4 3D glasses)... this package should be on your short list.

Are we the last family in America to get a sweet flatscreen?  After several years of deliberating, and enduring our 32" tube (which seemed HUGE when we purchased it 10 or so years ago), we decided to take the plunge this year, in the form of a "family Christmas gift."

I've watched prices drop some 20% a year... and based on owner comments, etc., I'd narrowed the field down to 3 or 4 preferred brands.  I saw this package around the time of "Black Friday," approved it with the missus, and made the purchase.  We set it up for its debut on Christmas Eve.

The package includes:
55-inch LG 3D television
LG Blu-Ray player
4 pairs of 3D glasses

We sweetened the deal with a half-dozen Blu-Ray titles, including some 3D offerings.

So far, we are very impressed at the amount of home-theater upgrade we are enjoying for the dollars spent.  Long-term reliability isn't something I'm prepared to comment on, but LG has a pretty good reputation in that regard.

The components are not leading-edge and don't have a lot of additional bells and whistles.  I'm slightly disappointed that the TV doesn't have some "audio line out" jacks - when watching broadcast TV with the built-in tuner we're relegated to the onboard speakers.  (Which aren't bad, but obviously have limitations.)  It has plenty of inputs, however - HDMI (2 on back and one on the side).  USB - you can plug in a thumb drive or an external disk, and play movies, music, or photo slide shows.  RGB - computer.  Several conventional audio/video RCA-jack inputs.  Another thing it lacks is Internet connectivity - no wi-fi or Ethernet - you know for NetFlix, Hulu, etc.  (Although there are inexpensive work-arounds, and I'll probably invest in that in the near future.)

After a lifetime of SD, the HD experience is quite impressive.

We've enjoyed several episodes of BBC's "Planet Earth" package - spectacular!  Also, DVDs look way better than what we're used to, with the 1080 upscaling technology.  ("How the Grinch Stole Christmas" - the movie - was our Christmas Eve fare, and what we watched out-of-the-box.  Nice!)  We also tried out the 3D with "Cars 2" and "Captain America."  Very nice.  The LG 3D doesn't use active-shutter glasses, but rather the movie-theater style polarized glasses.  (Which are $5 or so per pair, rather than $50 or so.)  The result might not be as spectacular as the "active" methodology, but was very satisfying - at least as good as those $15-per-seat theater tickets provide.

We paid $1200 for the package.  Could we have gotten better components for twice that amount, or three times?  I imagine we could've.  But for the dollars spent, I think I can safely say we are all quite impressed, and look forward to our future home theater enjoyment... on a budget.

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