Last Updated: November 2, 2013
2010 LG LED TVs - Product Evaluation
Part 1: Introduction
Impressive line of LED TVs at an attractive price, but...
Is picture performance worthy of a leader in the field?
The new LG LED TVs are among the most impressive irrespective of brand. 3D, innovative slim LED backlighting with local dimming, enhanced Internet access, and THX certification are just but a few of the features on offer.
It is a line that confirms LG as one of the leaders, one synonymous with extensive features, innovation, and affordability. And one with which LG hopes to capture the biggest market share of the expected 20% increase in global LED TV sales for 2010.
But what is actually on offer? Are these LG LED HDTVs worth of a picture performance one expects from one of the leaders in the field? Just go through this detailed LG TV review to find out more.
Samsung UN60F8000 60-Inch 1080p 240Hz 3D Ultra Slim Smart LED HDTV
This high-end feature rich LED HDTV comes with Samsung's Micro dimming Ultimate LED backlight technology - among the best in its class for black level performance. It is also the TV with the best feature set.
For 2010, LG has come up with a most extensive line of LED HDTVs. It spreads over seven series; and with more than twenty LG LED TV models on offer, there is surely a TV for everyone, from budget-class, to some of the most technologically advanced feature-rich LED HDTV sets within LG's new Infinia line. According to LG, Infinia aims to deliver 'freedom through infinite possibilities' in home entertainment.
At the entry level, one finds the LE5300 and LE5400 series. Despite being budget-class HDTVs, these LED TVs come with 120Hz technology; and the LE5400 series adds LG's NetCast Internet-based entertainment to the 120Hz technology despite the inexpensive price.
It is no surprise therefore that sets such as the 42-inch 42LE5400 1080p 120 Hz LED LCD HDTVs are turning out to be among the most popular LED TV options within the budget-class HDTV category. Selling at under $1,000 online, This LG HDTV represents a most interesting 120Hz LED TV option with Internet-based entertainment.
Equally popular is the LE5500 LG LED TV. This represents LG step-up series. In terms of features, this is the LE5400 equivalent but with the new LG LED Plus backlight technology. The latter is equivalent to the new 'Precision Dimming' edge-lit LED backlight technology used by Samsung on its Series C6800 and C8000 LED TVs. This is a new concept in LED backlight technology. It aims to deliver improved black level performance over that possible with cheaper standard edge-lit systems by introducing a very basic form of local dimming with edge-lit LED backlights.
With the present reduced online pricing, jumping onto the LE5500 series costs anything between $100 and $200 more than equivalent screen size LE5400 HDTVs. A case in point is the 47-inch 47LE5500; this LG LED TV is selling at under $1,300.
Further up the LG LED TV line for 2010, one finds the LX 6500 series. This represents LG introduction to 3D and 240Hz refresh rate technology. But otherwise, LX6500 LED TVs enjoy the same feature set as found on the less expensive LE5500 LG LED TVs.
As we have expressed elsewhere on the site, 240Hz with 3D is in effect equivalent to 120Hz since each eye will only see half the number of frames. But it remains a fact that if you are using this TV to watch 2D content, then you have a 240Hz refresh rate if that is important to you - even though the benefits of 240Hz refresh rate are difficult to discern with normal program content.
As expected, 3D TV sets do not come cheap; jumping onto LG's entry 3D TVs represents an additional $600 increase in MSRP over similar size equivalents from the LE5500 series; and to this, you have to add the extra $100 expense for the LG AG-S100 3D Active Shutter Glasses. These 3D glasses are available as optional at an extra expense, but...
To help encourage sales of LG 3D TVs, LG has just announced that it will be offering two free pairs of 3D active shutter glasses to buyers of either an LX9500 or LX6500-series HDTV with the LG BX580 Network 3D Blu-ray Player. Called the 1-2-3D bundle, it also includes a $100 instant rebate and a mail-in coupon for a free IMAX 3D movie, Under the Sea.
Next in line: Infinia LG LED TVs
LG's entry-level and step-up series referred to so far represent interesting, affordable feature-rich LED TV options. Yet, it is with the Infinia line of premium LG LED TVs that things start to get really exciting.
Infinia comprises three series, the LE7300, the LE8500, and the LX9500. The Infinia line combines a more aesthetically pleasing slim single-sheet of glass design with an equally thin bezel, enhanced connectivity, and enhanced content options.
But features are series dependent. In the case of the LE7300 LG LED TVs, apart from the enhanced design brought about by the new LG Infinia line, LE7300 HDTVs are basically equivalent to the LE5400 120Hz LG LED TVs - with one major strange difference though. The LE7300 Infinia series miss on LG's NetCast Internet based TV content. We say strange because even the cheaper LE5400 series HDTVs come with NetCast. In other words, unlike the rest of the LG series within the Infinia line, Infinia does not bring about any picture performance improvement to the LE7300 LG LED TVs, or extra conveniences.
Next in line within the Infinia group is the LE8500 series of LG LED TVs. This is the LG series that aims to deliver the best picture thanks to what LG defines as Full LED Slim backlight. This is basically another different name TV makers managed to come up with for 2010 in their attempt to hopefully confuse consumers with new terminology.
In essence, LG Full LED Slim backlight is a way for LG to refer to a full array LED backlight with local dimming. The only difference is that LG is using a new type of LED array/diffuser plate setup - termed Integrated Optical Plate or IOP - behind the LCD panel to diffuse the light from the array of LEDs behind the display panel while maintaining a thinner HDTV profile. In fact, the thinness of LG's LE8500 and the LX9500 - the only two LG LED TV series using Full LED Slim technology - is more in line with edge-lit LED backlights than with full array LED backlights using local dimming technology.
LE8500 LG LED TVs have been rated among the best HDTVs - with a performance that in certain areas exceeds that of the top-performing Samsung UNB8500 series. In fact, if it were not for a few issues with some stray illumination and backlight uniformity, the LE8500 series of LG LED TVs would have definitely been crowned as the new king of LCD HDTVs. It is thus no surprise to us that despite the expected expensive price, the 55-inch LG LE8500 is among the best selling premium HDTVs and one of the best selling LG LED TVs for 2010.
The LE8500 comes with a lot of enticing features apart from its full LED array with local dimming backlight. This is also one of the very few HDTVs for 2010 that carries the THX display certification - meaning that once you select the THX picture mode, you can expect an out-of-the-box picture with correct gamma, luminance, and color temperature. Interesting is that for 2010, LG is providing a second THX mode, termed THX Bright Room mode for viewing under bright lighting.
LG's LE8500 HDTVs are surely among the most desired HDTVs by videophiles and home theater enthusiasts looking for the best picture. But for some, the extensive feature set and superior picture performance of the LE8500 is definitely not enough; you see, the LE8500 series lacks the latest hot spec in TV entertainment - 3D. The latter has been reserved by LG for its LX9500 flagship series.
The LX9500 LG LED TV series is the LE8500 series but with 3D TV support. And like the LE8500, it carries the THX display certification for 2D. But expect to spend close to $2,000 (at the present online prices) more than equivalent size LE8500 HDTVs to jump on LG's flagship 3D series.
Mind you, the LX9500 comes with a few extras over and above that of the LE8500, and this apart from a thinner 0.92-inch cabinet. This represents more than just a technological achievement for a TV using a full array LED backlight with local dimming.
But there is more! As part of the LX9500 package, you get the much touted 'magic motion' remote control which sort of emulates the Wii experience to control the TV. In fact, this series comes with two remotes, a standard TV remote and the Wii-like remote - also referred to by LG as the 'Magic Wand' remote control.
The LX9500 LG LED TV is also one of the few LED HDTVs that come with 480Hz refresh rate technology, and with it, a 1 msec pixel response time. Impressive but... apart from the fact that at 3D, this equates to 240Hz, the benefits of 480Hz refresh rate especially with 2D content are simply impossible to discern with normal program content.
Editor's Note: This LG LED TV review is being divided into four parts - including this intro; this is necessary because of the extensive range of models covered in this year LG LED LCD TV lineup.
Each of the remaining three parts of this write-up takes a detailed look at specific areas of LG's LED TV line for 2010 - from an analyzes of the features on offer, to LG's entry-level and step-up series, as well as Infinia line of LG LED TVs.
Ideally, you should therefore follow through each part in the order being presented here since each continues to build on the previous section.
2010 LG LED TV Product Evaluation
What's covered in this LG LED HDTV review article
The following links will take you straight to the respective section of this LG LED TV review article.
2010 LG LED TV Review Article Index:
Introducing the extensive line of different LED TV models on offer from LG for 2010.
Key Features for 2010 LG LED TVs
Discussing the latest key features on LG LED TVs - from LG's Full LED Slim and 3D, to the new Infinia line - while analyzing performance implications.
LG LE5300, LE5400, LE5500, and LX6500 LED TVs
We review LG entry-level series LE5300 and LE5400, and step-up Series LE5500 and LX6500 to see what's on offer at the lower price bracket.
LG Infinia line - LE7300, LE8500, and Series LX9500 LG 3D LED HDTVs
We continue with our analysis by discussing premium and flagship LG LED TVs, namely the LE7300, LE8500, and flagship line LX9500 series. We then conclude this article by reviewing the LE8500 LG LED TV to see if LG's new Full LED Slim backlight is truly capable of superior picture performance.
Should you prefer, you can join in our discussion on the latest LG LED TVs by submitting your opinion to be included on our site.