LG LCD TV delivers box-free Netflix, YouTube, Yahoo widgets

While the picture quality of the LG LH50 series won't appeal to videophiles, its Netflix streaming and oodles of other interactive features will win over plenty of folks fed up with external boxes.

The LG LH50 series is the first LCD that can stream Netflix without an external box. Sarah Tew

If the Internet is the future of television, then LG's LH50 series hails from the day after tomorrow. This flat-panel LCD is the first to offer Netflix streaming, which allows instant, free-to-subscribers access to an all-you-can watch menu of thousands of movies and TV shows without having to connect another box. Sure, Sony has already announced the service for its own compatible TVs later this fall, and we expect Netflix to make its way to Yahoo widget-equipped TVs from Samsung (and perhaps others) sometime later this year, but for now the LH50 holds exclusive claim to Netflix. Speaking of Yahoo widgets, the LH50 delivers that feature too, and better than other TVs we've tested, and also includes its own YouTube client and network streaming to boot.

On the other hand, the LH50 costs a good couple hundred more than its non-web-enabled cousin in the company's line--easily enough to buy an external Netflix device and then some. Its performance wasn't as good as some of the better LCDs we've tested, albeit still decent enough to pass most viewers' muster, especially in terms of color accuracy. For fans of Internet video who don't want one more box, however, those issues might be worth the sacrifice for the LG LH50, which for now is the most well-featured Interactive HDTV available.

Read the full review of the LG LH50 series.

About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."

 

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