LG LK450 review:

LG LK450

The LG LK450 delivered a worse picture than its Sony and Samsung entry-level competitors, a showing that can be blamed squarely on light black levels (which get worse than usual for off-angle viewers). Its exemplary color accuracy, along with video processing and bright room kudos, can't close that gap.

The LG's Cinema mode provided the best picture before any tweaking, although it was quite dim (about half of our target 40 fL luminance) with bright gamma and a bluish-green color temperature. Nearly all of these issues disappeared after calibration, thanks again to LG's superb controls--one exception being color at black and near-black, which was still quite blue. It's worth noting that in the case of the LK450 we didn't have to adjust the color management system at all; out-of-the box saturation, hue and color luminance were all basically perfect. For our image quality tests we enlisted the models below and watched "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" on Blu-ray.

Comparison models (details)
Samsung LN40D550 40-inch LCD
Sony KDL-40BX420 40-inch LCD
Vizio E3D420VX 42-inch LCD
Samsung LN46D630 46-inch LCD
Sony KDL-46EX720 46-inch LED-based LCD
Panasonic TC-P50ST30 50-inch plasma

Black level: The LK450 tied with the Vizio for worst in our lineup at producing a deep shade of black. The difference was obvious between those two and the others in our dark room, and even visible in some scenes under bright ambient light. As usual dark areas, like the letterbox bars and the black walls of the courthouse in Chapter 13, for example, showed the biggest differences; in the LG's case these areas appeared washed out and significantly less realistic than on any of the other sets.

While the LG didn't obscure details in shadows, those darker areas again looked worse than the other displays because of those bright blacks.

Color accuracy: Measurements of the LK450 proved it delivered the most accurate color in our lineup, and its advantages over the plasma, the Samsung LND550 and, to a lesser extent, both Sonys, was visible in most scenes. In the forest in Chapter 14 showed accurate green and brown leaves, along with natural-looking skin tones on Harry and Hermione. The Vizio and Samsung LND630 appeared nearly as accurate. Accuracy isn't everything, however, and the LG's poor black levels made its colors appear more washed out, desaturated, and worse overall to our eyes than most of the others'.

Like many LCDs the LG's color accuracy didn't extend to dark areas, which were tinged the typical blue. Since those areas were brighter than the others in our lineup, that blue tinge was also more apparent.

Video processing: Like the BX420 the LG actually passed our 1080p/24 test by preserving the cadence of film. In the LG's case we had to engage the Real Cinema option; leaving it set to Off causes the characteristic stutter of 2:3 pull-down. Since the LK540 can take advantage of it, we recommend its owners use the 1080p/24 setting on their Blu-ray players.

Uniformity: The screen of the LK450 didn't have any of the bright spots we saw on the Sonys, maintaining its brightness and color well across its surface. From off-angle its blacks washed out quicker than any of the others, but on the flipside we didn't see as much discoloration as we did on the Samsungs and Sonys.

Bright lighting: The LG's matte screen serves it well in bright rooms where lights, windows and bright objects cause reflections. Such objects appeared dimmer and much less distinct, and thus less distracting, then they did on the Panasonic plasma, for example, and black levels were also preserved better. The rest of the sets in the lineup also have matte screens, and in general they all performed equally well in this category.

PC: Via VGA the LK450 passed our PC test, delivering full 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution, but we did see some edge enhancement (ringing appearing around some objects) that we couldn't quite defeat, despite trying for awhile with the two sharpness controls in the Expert menu.

Power consumption: We did not test the power consumption of this size in the LG LK450 series, but we did test the 42-inch model. For more information, refer to the review of the LG 42LK450.

Test Result Score
Black luminance (0%) 0.0407 Poor
Avg. gamma 2.2258 Good
Near-black x/y (5%) 0.2832/0.2757 Poor
Dark gray x/y (20%) 0.314/0.3307 Good
Bright gray x/y (70%) 0.3125/0.3289 Good
Before avg. color temp. 6633 Average
After avg. color temp. 6518 Good
Red lum. error (de94_L) 0.0828 Good
Green lum. error (de94_L) 0.8179 Good
Blue lum. error (de94_L) 0.9201 Good
Cyan hue x/y 0.2208/0.3298 Good
Magenta hue x/y 0.3214/0.1542 Good
Yellow hue x/y 0.4204/0.5083 Good
1080p/24 Cadence (IAL) Pass Good
1080i De-interlacing (film) Pass Good
Motion resolution (max) 300 Poor
Motion resolution (dejudder off) n/a n/a
PC input resolution (VGA) 1920x1080 Good

LG 42LK450 CNET review calibration results

(Read more about how we test TVs.)

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