While not many people buying a $300 TV would expect the greatest picture quality, a TV like the Samsung EH4000 shows that you can get a good AND cheap television. In contrast, the noticeable things about the LG are its poor black levels, off-axis response and an inability to portray shadow detail, which meant that images lacked depth.
Click the image at the right to see the picture settings used in the review and to read more about how this TV's picture controls worked during calibration.
The black levels exhibited by the LG CS460 were the worst of our lineup, but it didn't have the shadow detail of even the TCL. Whether it was the city skyline of "Watchmen" (12 min, 24 sec) or the "Star Trek" pine cone of death (28 min, 18 sec), dark scenes came out looking wispy and indistinct. No matter how much I tweaked the gamma settings of the TV I couldn't get low-level blacks to display. While the normal effect of crushing black levels is to create impact and punch, the LG also lacked this with just a general sense of gray.
Before calibration, everything on the LG was an alarming electric blue. Ever seen a computer monitor which looked incredibly 'white'? That's what this TV looked like. After two sets of calibrations the television went from "ugh, my eyes" to looking almost okay. Skin tones were much improved the second time around, and in the final Harry Potter movie (Chapter 21) the sickly Voldemort looked fairly comparable to the Sharp LE640 and Samsung EH4000. Switching to the red palette of the Starfleet Academy steps in Star Trek (Chapter 4) the reds were vibrant and not too orange and the blue of the sky was consistent with the other models.
I tried several times to improve the LG's lot by recalibrating the TV, and on the final attempt I succeeded: Voldemort no longer looked like he ate flies for dinner.
One thing did stand out, though, and this was the LG's image processing. In both our 24p and 1080i deinterlacing tests the LG performed well with neither judder or moire effects. Unfortunately, this does little to ameliorate its problems with basic image quality.
Of the three small-size TVs I tested, the LG was the only one with a problem with uniformity. At the top of the screen on the right appeared a yellow balloon of light. I'd seen this artifact before on the LG G2, but that TV was far worse.
Off-angle viewing for this TV is the worst of our test group with a very gray image off-axis which obscures almost all of the picture. It's not very watchable in this way as a result.
The LG has a matte screen, and watching TV with the lights on and the shades open didn't cause any undue reflections. In fact, the black-level problems were less noticeable; a lit room would be the optimal way to view this model.
|GEEK BOX: Test||Result||Score|
|Black luminance (0%)||0.0443||Poor|
|Near-black x/y (5%)||0.2766/0.2649||Poor|
|Dark gray x/y (20%)||0.3252/0.342||Poor|
|Bright gray x/y (70%)||0.3065/0.3199||Poor|
|Before avg. color temp.||10828.8338||Poor|
|After avg. color temp.||6775.7799||Poor|
|Red lum. error (de94_L)||2.2715||Average|
|Green lum. error (de94_L)||3.8492||Poor|
|Blue lum. error (de94_L)||1.0454||Good|
|Cyan hue x/y||0.2146/0.3268||Good|
|Magenta hue x/y||0.3205/0.1536||Good|
|Yellow hue x/y||0.4209/0.5007||Good|
|1080p/24 Cadence (IAL)||Pass||Good|
|1080i De-interlacing (film)||Pass||Good|
|Motion resolution (max)||300||Poor|
|Motion resolution (dejudder off)||300||Poor|