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CNET First Look
LG 47LE5500Some buyers might appreciate its design and features, but the picture quality of the LG LE5500 lags behind other local dimming LED-based LCDs.
>>Hi, I'm David Katzmaier here from CNET and I'm with the LG 47LE5500. This is a 47-inch LCD based TV from LG. There's also a 55 and a 42-inch member of the series. This review will apply to all the screen sizes. This is LG's first TV with local dimming from an edge-lit configuration. That makes the TV really thin. We'll look at the performance impact in a little bit but as you can see from the side this is 1.1 inches deep, one of the thinnest TVs available today. It's also efficient with those LED backlights. The styling on this TV takes advantage of that minimalist appeal. It's kind of all glossy black. There's this stand here with a swivel on it. There's a slight reddish purplish tinge to the edge around the extreme border of the TV but other than that, it's a fairly normal looking LCD. The feature set on this TV falls sort of in the middle of LG's lineup. It's a 120 hertz model not the 240 hertz found on the step up versions but it does have the Netcast suite of interactive apps including Netflix streaming, there's Vudu, there's also YouTube, Picasa and a few other application available via Yahoo Widgets. The TV also has an optional dongle for Wi-Fi. We have it included in the back here so you can see the Wi-Fi works pretty well. There's also a cool little weather based app on the front. You can actually see what the weather is like in the area as soon as you on Netcast. You see it's a pretty nice day in Las Vegas as usual. Connectivity on this TV is fairly solid with three HDMI two-component video, a PC input and this Ethernet port on the back panel. The side panel also has an HDMI port and these two smaller inputs are actually breakout cable ports for component video and normal AV connections. The TV is so thin it kind of needs a breakout cable to get those to connect. Picture adjustments on this TV are very extensive. It does lack the THX mode found in some higher end models but it does have a sim mode to compensate. There's also two expert modes with a host of adjustments including a 10-point IRE system. There's also gamma adjustment, a full-color management system and a lot of other ways to tweak the picture. New for 2010 LG also included sliders to control dejudder and anti-blur although they really didn't work all that well on our testing. Speaking of testing this TV's performance was sort of mediocre compared to a lot of the other LED-based LCDs this year. Its local dimming is not very precise. It relies on these kind of large zones along the screen so when one is eliminating the other it isn't it kind of has some spillover. You can see that in the areas like credits where there are bright areas along the screen and darker areas. The TV also has relatively light black levels in general so you don't have that nice deep punch when you're looking at darker material or in a darkened room. On the plus side its color accuracy was pretty darn good in bright areas but on the minus in darker areas you actually saw some blue creep into the picture and had the standard issues with off angle and uniformity that we see in a lot of LCDs. So, in general it's really not the best video quality TV we've seen this year although the style and features are pretty compelling. That's a quick look at the LG 47LE5500 and I'm David Katzmaier.