LG LM6700 review:

LG LM6700

Picture quality
The LM6700 performed worse than last year's LW5600, with worse black levels, a more reflective screen, and inferior video processing. Color is its strong suit, but with its lighter black levels and gamma that's not saying much.

Its 3D performance was typical for passive 3D TV: excellent in terms of crosstalk, but with some visible artifacts.

All told it's tough to recommend the LM6700 to anybody who cares a lot about picture quality, especially for the price.

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)
LG 47LW5600 47-inch edge-lit LED-based LCD
Panasonic TC-P55ST50 55-inch plasma
Sony KDL-55HX750 55-inch edge-lit LED-based LCD
Panasonic TC-P50UT50 50-inch plasma
Sharp LC-60LE640U 60-inch edge-lit LED
Samsung PN59D7000 (reference) 59-inch plasma

Black level: Although not quite in the same pitiful league as the black levels of the Panasonic DT50, the LG LM6700 was the least impressive in our comparison. For example, in "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," black areas in dark scenes such as the letterbox bars and shadows in the park at night (5:31) were washed-out and robbed the scene of any punch and contrast, even more so than the next-worst offender, Sony's HX750. Meanwhile last year's LW5600 trounced this year's LM6700, as did the rest of the sets, including the relatively inexpensive 60-inch Sharp.

The Sony's letterbox bars were actually about as dark as the LG's, but the latter's brighter shadows hurt its picture in comparison. Getting full shadow detail is a prerequisite for a good calibration, but doing so on the LM6700 caused near-black areas to brighten significantly, for a washed-out look in spots like Oskar's shirt (3:22). The alternative, exemplified by the default Cinema setting, was to dim the picture considerably and crush details in black. Both choices made the picture look worse than on any of the other sets in the lineup.

In its favor, the LM6700 didn't show the blooming or brightness fluctuations that can be seen on some local-dimming TVs. I'd gladly accept a few of those to get better contrast and black levels, however.

Color accuracy: The LM6700's strongest suit, color, looked relatively natural compared with our reference Samsung plasma in areas like Oskar's skin tone (3:41) and primary and secondary colors like the green of his shirt and the red of the homeless person's jacket (4:25); both the Sharp and Sony looked technically less accurate (a bit bluer) in comparison. The issue wasn't accuracy so much as saturation: colors on the LM6700 lacked the vibrancy and depth of the other displays.

Video processing: Fed a 1080p/24 source with the Real Cinema mode engaged, the LM6700 behaved properly, preserving the cadence of the pan over the Intrepid in "I Am Legend," for example. 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: My LM6700 review sample showed some brighter areas along the edges of the screen, particularly the top edge and lower left side. On a completely black screen the Sony's and Sharp's imperfections (which appeared as slightly brighter blobs) were more noticeable, but in program material, particularly the letterbox bars, I found the LG's bright spots more distracting. I also noticed very slightly darker vertical bands in some scenes, such as pans over the sky, that were again more noticeable than on the other edge-lit LEDs (albeit relatively minor and invisible in most scenes). Last year's LW5600 was better than all three in this area, and as usual the plasmas were perfect.

From off-angle the LG's image washed out to a seemingly lesser extent than did the other LCDs. That's not necessarily a compliment, however, because they all started with deeper blacks. When seen from either side, the LG LM6700 still had the worst contrast of any of the compared sets aside from the Sony. It did preserve color accuracy well, however.

Bright lighting: In a bright room the LM6700's glossy screen is a liability. Compared with the matte-screen TVs in our lineup, including the Sharp, the Sony, and, yes, last year's LG, reflections were brighter and more distracting in its screen. The Samsung plasma and Panasonic ST50 also did a better job of reducing reflections. In terms of preserving black levels the LM6700's screen was about average, but the contrast was hampered by its lighter blacks even in a bright room, so it still showed weaker punch and pop under the lights than all but the Panasonic UT50.

3D: The LM6700 exhibited similar 3D picture quality to the LW5600 from last year. I still prefer the 3D image of the best active 3D displays, but LG's passive system has some distinct advantages. In fact, the LM6700 and LW5600 tied for my second-favorite 3D TVs in the lineup, outdoing all three plasmas and the Sony; they fell short of only our reference 3D TV, the Samsung UN55D8000 (which I subbed in for the 2D-only Sharp).

The strength of passive 3D is lack of crosstalk. On the plasmas, I saw obvious ghostly double images of objects in many scenes from "Hugo," such as Hugo's hand as it reached for the mouse (5:01), the tuning pegs on the guitar (7:49), and the face of the dog as it watches the inspector slide by (9:24). In each of these areas the LGs were pristine and crosstalk-free, and while the UND8000 was much better than the plasmas at reducing this issue, it was still worse than the LGs.

On the flipside, the artifacts I've grown to expect from passive 3D were also there. I noticed faint line structure along the edges of bright faces against dark backgrounds, for example on Hugo himself at 6:11, 11:06, and 13:16, and the face of Isabelle at 17:06. It was also visible along other edges, such as the sleeve of Méliès at 4:58. Moving lines were rarer than in some other films, on the other hand; the first example I saw was the bright edge of Uncle Claude's bowler (22:41) as he spoke to Hugo. I also saw an instance of jagged lines a bit later along the diagonal edge of the tombstone next to Hugo's father's (23:16).

I saw these issues seated about 8 feet from the 55-inch LG. They were less obvious or invisible on the 47-incher from the same distance, with the exception of the moving lines on Claude's hat. As usual, sitting further away or watching on a smaller screen will make the artifacts inherent in passive 3D TVs less of an issue.

Black levels were OK on the LG, although the plasmas did get darker. On the other hand color purity was not an issue; near-black areas remained relatively neutral instead of tending to blue or green, and skin tones looked good.

I appreciated the fit of LG's new aviator-style glasses; they're lightweight and comfortable even over my prescription lenses. I found them even easier to wear than Panasonic's 2012 active specs, which in turn outdo Samsung's SSG-4100Bs.

Test Result Score
Black luminance (0%) 0.0278 Poor
Avg. gamma 2.5954 Poor
Near-black x/y (5%) 0.2924/0.3158 Average
Dark gray x/y (20%) 0.3085/0.3282 Average
Bright gray x/y (70%) 0.3158/0.333 Average
Before avg. color temp. 5996 Poor
After avg. color temp. 6404 Average
Red lum. error (de94_L) 0.5887 Good
Green lum. error (de94_L) 2.0914 Average
Blue lum. error (de94_L) 3.5202 Poor
Cyan hue x/y 0.2314/0.3368 Average
Magenta hue x/y 0.3328/0.1636 Poor
Yellow hue x/y 0.4181/0.4998 Good
1080p/24 Cadence (IAL) Pass Good
1080i Deinterlacing (film) Pass Good
Motion resolution (max) 300 Poor
Motion resolution (dejudder off) 300 Poor

LG 55LM6700 CNET review calibration results

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