The Good Accurate color; matte screen performs well in bright rooms; plenty of streaming and interactive features; extensive picture controls; sleek styling with 1.1-inch-deep panel; energy efficient.
The Bad Imprecise local dimming causes stray illumination and blooming; reproduces light black levels; darker areas tinged blue; adjustable dejudder doesn't work well; benefits of 120Hz difficult to discern.
The Bottom Line Some buyers might appreciate its design and features, but the picture quality of the LG LE5500 lags behind other local dimming LED-based LCDs.
In the last few years the most compelling LCD challengers to the picture-quality reign of plasma were equipped with multizone LED backlights that could dim or brighten in different areas of the screen independently. Broadly known as "local dimming" technology, in the best cases it delivered superb black level performance and manageable tradeoffs in the form of stray illumination or "blooming." In worse cases, such as the LG LE5500 series, that stray illumination is not managed well.
Unfortunately, we suspect that many buyers lured by the LG's claims of dimming won't understand the differences--among them the fact that this TV uses LED that illuminate the screen from the edge, rather than from behind. The LE5500 does offer plenty of perks, including accurate color, decent bright-room performance, a stylishly thin frame and numerous Internet features, but seekers of LED-based LCDs who place a premium on image quality should look elsewhere.
Series information: We performed a hands-on evaluation of the 47-inch LG 47LE5500, but this review also applies to the other screen sizes in the series. All sizes have identical specs and according to the manufacturer should provide very similar picture quality.
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