LG Smart TV 55LW5600 55" Full 3D 1080p HD LED Plus Internet TV Reviews
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LG Smart TV 55LW5600 55" Full 3D 1080p HD LED Plus Internet TV

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Great LED HDTV Smart TV after turning off Trumotion

Jan 16, 2012
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

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Pros:Passive 3D, best value at price point, Smart TV, Very thin, Saves electricity.

Cons:TruMotion is on by default and it makes background look fake.  Speakers are weak.

The Bottom Line: This is a very good value for a 2D HDTV.  3D makes it a best value out there.

I did quite a bit of comparing TVs before purchasing this one.  At first I questioned my purchase because the details of the background made everything look fake - like you were on a set where everything is staged.  At first I questioned if I really cared for HDTV, but after researching further the problem is caused by the TruMotion setting of the TV.  If you buy this TV, be sure to go into the Home menu, Setup, Picture, and scroll down to the TruMotion setting and turn it off.  TruMotion is best only for sports.

The TV is really thin due to it being an edge lit LED screen.  It is 1.2" thick.  The TV is just under 51" wide and 31" high.  When on the stand, it is probably about 4" taller, but I haven't measured it on the base.  There is no wall mounting bracket in the box, so you will need to purchase it separately if you want to mount it that way.  The set weighs about 70 pounds.

The TV has plenty of connections on the back so it will likely fit into any setup you possibly have.  

The reason I bought this TV is that I wanted an HDTV to replace my projector that was 3D capable.  My brother purchased a Samsung that used the active shutter glasses about 6 months ago.  In his setup, the active shutter glasses are very susceptible to interference from surrounding electronics which cause the glasses to get out of sync and they stutter.  In fact he has to cover his dishnetwork remote with a pillow because of some weirdness it causes.  Because of that and the extra expense of the shutter glass setup, I only considered passive 3D sets in my search for my TV.  I expect shutter glasses will fall in price, but they cost upwards to $100 each right now.  With passive 3D, you can actually use the same glasses from the movie theaters so its pretty easy to get extra glasses cheaply. 

If you are undecided between a passive 3D set and an active one - here are the differences.  An active set displays an image for your left eye, then one for your right eye, then left, then right, etc.  The image flips faster than what we can see with the naked eye.  The active glasses have a lens that can completely black out and go clear in sequence with the image that is displayed.  The left lens is only clear when the left image is displayed on the TV set and the right lens is only clear when the right image is displayed on the TV set.  Because of the speed of displaying and syncing required, an HDTV with the power to process the 3D image that quickly is required - hence a 3D TV instead of a standard HDTV.  Because each lens is blacked out half the time, the image will appear darker when viewing a 3D film.  The glasses also must be powered so they have rechargeable batteries making the glasses heavier.  So why would you want active anyway?  Mainly because the 3D image is generally better.  Occassionally with a passive set, a straight edge may look a bit jagged or other artifacts may appear.  Also reviews state that the 3D image projects further into the room with an active set.  From the Samsung and the LG, I cannot tell that is the case.  It seems more dependent on the DVD rather than the set in my personal opinion.  Passive sets have a special film over the screen that allows the left lens of the glasses to view every other row of the image on the screen.  The right eye is only able to view the rows that the left eye cannot see.  It is done by polarizing the light and using different polarized lenses for each eye - this isn't really important for your decision.  What this means is your left eye sees half the number of lines and your right eye sees the other half.  But you still see every 'flip' of the image.  Because you see every image, the movie will appear brighter on a passive set, but you only have half the lines to view per eye as compared to an active set.  I'm assuming that is what causes the artifacts - but I don't really notice the artifacts unless I'm really trying to look for them and I think you'd need to be rather picky to care.  Personally I don't like the weight, expense, and flicker of shutter glasses, so passive was the only option I would consider.  But if very minor artifacts will bother you, you might be better off with the active sets.  But honestly if that minor detail bothers you, you should be looking at plasma sets.

I wanted a 55" screen, mainly because it was the most I could afford.  The next 5 inches in screen size doubles the price of the TV sets and I didn't see that much value.  The other decision is Plasma vs LED.  Plasma TVs have a better image mainly bacause they can create a true black - LCD and LED screens cannot produce a true black - some light bleeds through each pixel.  What that means is that dark sceens do not have the same level of detail on an LED set because it cannot create as many levels of darkness.  Plasma sets are generally cheaper as well for comparable sets.  So why would one want an LED set?  The main reason is cost of ownership and reliability.  Each year, the TV is expected to use 123 KWh of electricity at around $14.  A similar plasma will use about double that.  Also plasma TV can have images burn into the screen - if you play video games, the background often does not change much in games so they are not recommended for that use.  LEDs have a very long lifespan - plasma TVs reliability seems to be dependent partly on how brightly you run the screen.  Plasma TVs also generate quite a bit of extra heat which makes the air conditioner run more in warmer climates - although this could be a benefit in cooler climates.  In either case, electronics that run hotter seem to last less long than electronics kept cool.  

When I was reviewing the sets, I chose LG as the best value for the size range.  There is also an LG set that is a 55lg6500 that I was looking at.  It has a higher refresh rate and has more advanced local dimming.  The refresh rate is how many frames the image displays per second or how often the image 'flips'.  Different brands are really marketing their refresh rates, but there is no reliable data supporting higher refresh rates improving viewing quality - in fact everything I have read suggests the opposite.  How can that be?  Because no video is shot at these higher refresh rates, so the TV is just flipping to the same image over and over again.  These higher refresh rates are more likely to cause artifacts than improve image quality.  Local dimming is where a part of the screen is dimmed to help create more contrast in dark sceens - to help with the detail in darkness.  I personally could not tell any difference between the 6500 and the 5600 so I stayed with the 5600.   

Where this TV shines is its color reproduction.  It very good color for any TV.  It is also very customizable.  I used an HDTV calibration disk Disney WOW to set mine up.  

The TV also comes with a WII sort of remote that they call a wand.  The want points to the options on the TV menus to control settings and its Smart TV features.  It is well integrated into the TVs menus, but it becomes less useful when you use a cable box and surround sound.   

Here are the settings on my TV right now in a darkened room:   
Aspect ratio: Just Scan Energy Saving: Off 
Backlight: 33 Contrast: 88 Brightness: 56 H Sharpness: 50 V Sharpness: 50 Color: 50 Tint: 0 TruMotion: Off LED Local Dimming: High
--Expert control menu Dynamic contrast: Off Noise reduction: Off
MPEG Noise Reduction: Off Super Resolution: Off
Black level: Low Real Cinema: On Color Gamut: Standard
Edge Enhancer: Off xvYCC: Auto  Expert Pattern: Off 
Color Filter: Off Color Temperature: Warm Gamma: 2.2
 Pattern: Outer
-- Method: 2-points Red Contrast: 0 Green Contrast: 6 Blue Contrast: -43 Red Brightness: -1 Green Brightness: 1 Blue Brightness: 2
Color management system Red Color: 1 Red Tint: -10 Green Color: 6 Green Tint: 4 Blue Color: 7 Blue Tint: 0 Yellow Color: 3 Yellow Tint: 3 Cyan Color: 8 Cyan Tint: 0 Magenta Color: 4 Magenta Tint: -1

Recommend this product? Yes

Amount Paid (US$): 1100

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