That I'm about to write a favorable opinion on the LG 55LW5600 is quite remarkable in light of my bias for plasma TVs. I've associated LCD/LED TVs with high contrast and overly-saturated imagery which was OK for sporting events, but ruins most anything else. Electronic consumer stores like BestBuy have only reinforced my views by setting their TV's to display over-the-top contrast and saturated pictures. But when it was time to upgrade my ancient Panasonic plasma, I read a lot of articles on the web that convinced me that LCD/LEDs have come a long way, and LCDs had three features I particularly wanted: matte screens for superior display in brightly lit rooms, energy efficiency, and light weight for easy mounting.
Recommend this product?
All that said, I'll briefly touch on the most salient features of the 5600.
The 5600 is capable of producing well balanced imagery. The default settings are too punchy, but LG has developed a reputation for providing a complete toolbox of picture controls, and the 5600 is no exception. Beyond the standard adjustments, you have access to two expert modes which give you adjustments such as 10 point color temperature settings. But the standard control settings provide more than enough control to produce a pleasing, natural, evenly lit picture. This plasma lover is impressed. In sunlight, it exceeds what my plasma can produce, and in dim light, it isn't too far off. Overall, a solid performer.
My quick tuning advise: disable TruMotion (dejudder), reduce contrast down to 93, reduce sharpness down 58, set Local Dimming to high, and turn off super resolution.
A word about local dimming - you get what you pay for, and at this price, it isn't a sophisticated implementation. The lg 55 inch display has 16 zones... compare that to high end solution that would have 240+ zones in the same space, and you'll see that not all local dimming implementations are the same.
Kudos for an auto-energy saving mode that works great. It dims the picture to match the ambient light brightness in the room. I keep it in that mode all the time, not just to save energy, but to get an image best tuned for the lighting conditions.
Until video games embrace 3d, I have no use for this new dimension of viewing. I did don the glasses for one movie - the 3d effect was fine - even with mild off angle viewing. I am a proponent of passive 3d which allows for very simple, lightweight, and cheap polarized glasses. A pair is available for $10 - if I had kids, I wouldn't consider more expensive/complicated systems.
What? Which is to say, weak. Ok for broadcast TV, but it can't handle dynamic sound that comes from movies. There are ports on the back to export the audio to an external amplifier. Use it.
One nice touch - the LG comes with an video/audio sync tuning menu control.
The 5600 comes with 2 remote controls and a remote control app that runs on your Android or Iphone device. One of the two remote controls is your typical button filled device. Works great. The second remote control is a minimalist unit that navigate menus using motion sensors. Basically a Nintendo Wii like experience. Not for everyone.
But the smartphone App is amazing. It give you a touch pad experience which is great for navigating the 5600's internet suite. When you have to input text, the app pulls up your smart phone's keyboard, which is ten times faster to use than the TV's built in keyboard. Best yet, on my android, I can speak the text and it shows up on the LG - it really is an excellent feature.
Since I already own a Roku, I wasn't shopping for a TV with apps. But I'm happy to say that LG's implementation of Amazon video store is so good, I've been able to move my Roku onto another TV. The internet browser in conjunction with the smartphone control app is actually decent for navigating news sites. It does have Adobe flash, but an older version that many video sites do not support. I wonder if they'll update that.
You can connect to the internet via wire or a supplied USB wireless device (supports G & N protocols).
There is a video mode for games that shuts of all the tv enhancements to minimize game lag. Seems to work fine - I haven't noticed any lag.
A Word About Size:
55 inches may seem a little excessive, but there is a point to this size, which is immersion. Wider angles of picture are more engaging than smaller - and preserve the illusion or experience of the program. If you are a movie fan, this point is very salient, and you'll find it takes the viewing experience to a new level. There are some admittedly self serving guides to how big a screen size you should buy relative to viewing distance, but there is a reason for it beyond just "bigger is better". I would suggest reading some articles on this topic on consumer review sites that you trust.
The 5600 is overall a great, well integrated package. It can be adjusted to produce a very natural looking picture that looks great in both bright and dim lit rooms. The internet app suite is surprisingly useful, and features like the remote control wand and the smartphone remote control apps reflect great product design. Highly recommended.
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Amount Paid (US$): 1350