Hats off to LG for making an outstanding LCD television with style and excellent performance. Although the added Bluetooth functionality isn't the most useful of features, the fact that it's a first earns it respect from us. And since everything else works so well, we're not too critical there
LG has slightly struggled of late to emerge from the shadow of its all-conquering Korean neighbour, Samsung. That could all be about to change, however, thanks to LG's new £1,400 47-inch 47LG7000: a feature-packed TV with the performance standards to match.
Not surprisingly for a brand heavily involved in the London Fashion Week, LG knows how to make a TV look good. The 47LG7000 combines a glossy black bezel with a neat little 'go-faster' red stripe on each side panel to delightful affect. And while it's not as thin as some of its rivals, its design arguably makes a virtue out of its size.
The 47LG7000's headline-grabber, though, is undoubtedly its Bluetooth functionality. This enables you to connect wirelessly to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and headphones -- a TV technology first, as far as we're aware.
And this is just the most cutting-edge of a prodigious feature count on the LG. Also vying for your attention are a very healthy four HDMI inputs, 100Hz TruMotion processing for improving the appearance of motion, a USB input into which you can play JPEG stills and MP3 audio files, 'invisible' speakers tuned by renowned industry figure Mark Levinson and the 'Full HD' 1080p resolution that's pretty much an essential item on LCDs above 42-inches these days.
The best news of all is that the 47LG7000's high status in LG's current TV range is backed up comfortably by the brand's finest picture quality to date.
Particularly pleasing is the way its 100Hz processing helps the TV to deliver motion almost completely free of the blurring that's been such a feature of one or two other recent LG TVs. Even fast sports footage such as football or cricket tends to look crisp and clean from start to finish.
Also helping the 47LG7000 stand out from the crowd are its colours, which look blisteringly intense and vibrant even when showing something relatively bland. Yes, that means you, EastEnders.
Even better, this colour intensity does not come at the expense of natural colour tones as has been the case with some LG sets in the past. And nor is it accompanied by any serious amount of video noise that often accompanies aggressive images.
The 47LG7000 also has an uncanny knack of making HD images look, well, HD, on account of its outstanding fine detail resolution. Essentially, if there's a pixel in a high-definition picture, it will be perfectly rendered by the 47LG7000's 1080p pixel count.
Wrapping up its impressive performance is the 47LG7000's audio, which is unusually powerful and detailed for an invisible speaker system.
As we hinted above, the 47LG7000's relatively chunky design is probably not the best screen to go for if you're trying to squeeze a TV into a limited amount of space.
We also felt that while the Bluetooth functionality sounds cool on paper, its actual usefulness will be very limited to all but the most nerdy of gadget hounds. Still, the 47LG7000's sensible price of around £1,400 suggests that LG has given us the Bluetooth features pretty much for free, so it's fair to see it more as a bonus than something truly worthy of criticism.
One thing we definitely can criticise, though -- albeit only a little -- is the 47LG7000's black level response. Dark scenes definitely look slightly greyer than they do on most plasma TVs and even one or two similarly sized LCD offerings.
It's also possible to see a few processing glitches if you use the TV's TruMotion processing on too high a setting, but provided you leave it set to Low, you should be fine.
LG has finally delivered a TV that proves what it's capable of doing with LCD technology if it really puts its mind to it. The 47LG7000's picture standards are up there with the best flat TVs around -- and this core competency is backed up superbly by reams of handy features and connections, all delivered for a surprisingly reasonable price.
Edited by Marian Smith