LG LS4600 series review: LG LED TV fails to deliver

Picture quality
The LS4600 was a relatively poor performer. The one-two punch of terrible black levels and intrusive backlight clouding means that for anything other than oversaturated computer animation, the TV just doesn't have the picture pep to justify the price. Color was a mixed bag, accurate yet undersaturated, and while video processing was a very good, it couldn't make up for this set's other issues.

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.

Comparison models (details)
Toshiba 40E220U 40-inch LCD
LG 42CS560 42-inch LCD
TCL L40FHDP60 40-inch LCD
Samsung LN46D630 46-inch LCD
Samsung LN46E550F 46-inch LCD
Panasonic TC-P65VT50 (reference) 65-inch plasma

Black level: If all you plan to watch are news broadcasts and sports, then the LG could be OK, but the demands of modern theatrical releases in a dark room might prove too much. You don't see too many nighttime scenes in sitcoms, but they are a mainstay of movies and even TV dramas, and that's where the LS4600 comes unstuck.

The LS4600 showed the lightest black levels of the seven TVs in my test. In a darkened room the blacks looked brown, and the rebel Romulan ship from "Star Trek" was indecipherable -- spoiled by big backlight clouds and light blacks.

Despite unconvincing black levels, shadow detail was very good. This may seem illogical given the reduced dynamic range of the set, but the LG had better shadow detail than both the Toshiba E220 and Samsung E550. That's small consolation though, since both TVs kicked its butt in terms of cinematic punch due to the deeper black levels.

Color accuracy: The LG LS4600 had very similar color reproduction to the Philips PFL5907, which meant that colors were relatively true to life. However, compared with vibrant performers like the Samsung E550 and Toshiba E220, the LG lacked saturation, and skin tone in particular appeared a little yellow. When this restrained color palette was combined with the low black levels of the TV, the effect was fairly underwhelming.

Video processing: While not enough to save the TV given its other faults, the LG at least has very good picture processing. It was able to relay Blu-ray movies at the correct cadence with no stuttering with 1080p/24 sources in our "I Am Legend" test. In addition the 1080i film test of a sports stand was again replayed without any judder and no moire between the tightly packed chairs.

On the other hand the TV delivered only 300 to 400 lines of motion resolution, which is uncharacteristic for a 120Hz television. I don't consider that a big deal, however, since I didn't notice any obvious blurring in program material.

Uniformity: LG's LS4600 and CS560 were the worst of the group, both exhibiting poor uniformity. The LS4600, despite being the more expensive of the two, was arguably worse, with visible backlight blotchiness across the whole screen, which could obscure details in a dark picture.

When you are standing off-axis, the TV's colors and already-poor black levels completely washed out leaving a very gray-looking image. At least the TV has a swivel stand so you can minimize these issues from some seating postions.

Bright lighting: The LG has quite a glossy screen, and under lights it proved to be very reflective. While in some cases this can mean that you get an illusion of higher contrast, the blacks were still blotchy and blue-looking in the case of this TV.

GEEK BOX: Test Result Score
Black luminance (0%) 0.0696 Poor
Avg. gamma 2.2188 Good
Near-black x/y (5%) 0.2798/0.2847 Poor
Dark gray x/y (20%) 0.3121/0.3294 Good
Bright gray x/y (70%) 0.3126/0.3291 Good
Before avg. color temp. 10348.0945 Poor
After avg. color temp. 6548.9993 Good
Red lum. error (de94_L) 2.479 Average
Green lum. error (de94_L) 2.5584 Average
Blue lum. error (de94_L) 1.2554 Good
Cyan hue x/y 0.2336/0.3215 Average
Magenta hue x/y 0.314/0.152 Good
Yellow hue x/y 0.4214/0.518 Average
1080p/24 Cadence (IAL) Pass Good
1080i Deinterlacing (film) Pass Good
Motion resolution (max) 350 Poor
Motion resolution (dejudder off) N/A Poor

LG 47LS4600 calibration report

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Where to Buy See All

LG 47LS4600

Part Number: 47LS4600/US
Low Price: $768.18 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Enhanced Refresh Rate 120 Hz
  • LED Backlight Type edge-lit
  • Display Format 1080p (FullHD)
  • Energy Star Qualified EPA Energy Star
  • Diagonal Size 47 in
  • Type LED-LCD
About The Author

Ty Pendlebury reviews televisions in CNET's New York office. He originally hails from CNET Australia. Ty's interests include gaming, indie music, hi-fi, streaming media, movies, literature, and cycling.