LG Infinia LV5500 review: LG Infinia LV5500

The Good The relatively inexpensive LG LV5500 series evinced accurate colors and solid video processing. Its Smart TV Internet portal is well-designed with a solid selection of streaming services, and LG includes a Wi-Fi dongle. The secondary motion-sensitive remote provides a cool, easy-to-use control option.

The Bad The LG LV5500 series isn't able to dig as deep into the blacks as some competitors and evinced some blooming and loss of shadow detail. Screen uniformity and off-angle viewing were below par. Its external styling is underwhelming. The LW5500's Smart TV lacks Pandora, and its browser and search is next to useless.

The Bottom Line The LG 47LV5500 is a decent performer at its price level and features a great Smart TV package, but paying a little more for a different model would reap big rewards.

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6.6 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6

We tend to give prominence to the "hero" models here at CNET, but there is an expectation that some of the technology found in high-end TVs will appear in some form in middle and lower-end sets as well. The LG LV5500 is a midrange TV that doesn't quite hit its marks. It's just slightly less expensive than the LG LW5600, which we really liked, but falls well short of its picture quality. The LV5500 is one of the least expensive LED-based LCD TVs on the market, and still manages to pack in an excellent Internet suite and a cool motion-control remote, but it's simply decent and not spectacular.

Series information: We performed a hands-on evaluation of the LG 47LV5500, 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.


The LG has a strange metallic-edged bezel that looks out of place.

Models in series (details)
LG 42LV5500 42 inches
LG 47LV5500 (reviewed) 47 inches
LG 55LV5500 55 inches
Design highlights
Panel depth 1 inch Bezel width 1.5 inches
Single-plane face No Swivel stand Yes

After making a splash with its striking Scarlet TVs in 2008, LG has arguably struggled to maintain a consistent level of design ever since. The company can deliver a television like the reasonably stylish LW5600 and LW9800, but it made some strange decisions with the LV5500 series.

At a quick glance the LG LV5500 series looks like any other TV with a piano-black coating and rectangular design. But don't look too closely. Both LG and Samsung currently favor transparent edges, but on the samples we received the plastic looks cheap, and fit and finish are a little underwhelming. The unusual "brushed metal" effect along the edge of the black bezel underneath looks like cheap nail glitter up close and simply looks discolored from the couch.

The LV5500 series features a solid swivel stand.

Remote control and menus
Remote size (LxW) 2.5x9 inches QWERTY keyboardNo
Illuminated keys Yes IR device control No
Menu item explanations No Onscreen manual No
Other: Includes secondary motion-based RF remote control

A look inside the box reveals two remotes: a "standard" remote and the Magic Motion clicker included with step-up models. The standard remote is similar to most other LG remotes with a centralized directional pad and backlit keys. However, a lack of definition between the buttons on the directional pad makes it easy to press the wrong button, dumping you out of menus.

We liked the Magic Motion remote better, which works like a Nintendo Wii controller to enable you to select menu items and utilize many Smart TV functions. LG's redesigned home menu is also well-thought-out and places proper emphasis on the most-used functions. Check out the LW5600 review for more details on the remote and menu system.


Key TV features
Display technology LCD LED backlight Edge-lit
3D technology N/A 3D glasses included N/A
Screen finish Matte Internet connection Wireless dongle included
Refresh rate(s) 120Hz Dejudder (smooth) processing Yes
DLNA-compliant Photo/Music/Video USB Photo/Music/Video
Other: Includes secondary motion-based RF remote control

This part is confusing, so forgive us in advance. Previously LG's web site claimed that the LV5500 series has the LED Plus technology, the company's name for edge lit with local dimming. We called the company to confirm and they told us that that was a mistake and that the LV5500 doesn't have local dimming (they subsequently removed said reference from the site). Nonetheless we did see some blooming in our tests, indicating that the TV does some kind of local dimming, but regardless, it doesn't seem to help the picture quality (see below).

Aside from the backlight, two notable inclusions are the bundled Wi-Fi adapter and--for the people who like their picture smoother than a silk toboggan luge--dejudder and onboard 120Hz processing. At least the smoothing can be configured and turned off.

Streaming and apps
Netflix Yes YouTube Yes
Amazon Instant Yes Hulu Plus Yes
Vudu Yes Pandora No
Web browser Yes Skype Yes
Facebook Yes Twitter Yes
Other: Additional Premium services include CinemaNow, MLB.tv, Napster, vTuner, AccuWeather, AP News, Google Maps, Picasa

The LG LV5500 series is an LG Smart TV, and in conjunction with the Magic Motion remote this is definitely the television's best feature. While the downloadable apps and games aren't that exciting, the content offerings are quite significant, with heavy-hitters Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and Netflix all included--Pandora is the only missing link. The TV also features a (sluggish) Internet browser and DLNA compatibility for streaming your stored digital media.

With most streaming services covered except for Pandora, the LG LV5500 series offers a broad suite of entertainment options.

Picture settings
Adjustable picture modes 6 Fine dejudder control Yes
Color temperature presets 3 Fine color temperature control 10 points
Gamma presets 3 Color management system Yes
Other: No local-dimming control

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