The impressive 55LM960V may sit at the very top of LG's current TV line-up, but the 47-inch 47LM860V runs it close in terms of features. The main difference between the two is that the high-end model uses direct LED backlighting while this one makes do with edge LED backlighting.
Other than that, there's little to separate the two, so if you can't stretch to the £2,500 asking price of the 55LM960V, will the 47LM860V, which costs £1,500, prove just as fun to watch?
User interface and EPG
In 2011, LG had one of the better menu systems of the big TV manufacturers. This year, it's rejigged it by moving some menus around and adding extra graphical flair.
Pretty much everything now centres around the new home screen. This has panels across the top giving you access to the app stores, 3D video portal and your own video files you've shared to the TV. A banner across the bottom of the screen provides shortcuts to stuff like the settings menu, the AV input selection screen and the programming guide.
Some of the navigation is slightly screwy, especially as there's a lot of duplication in the menus. There are more than three ways to access media streaming, for example. But once you've got to grips with its slightly kooky logic, it's fairly speedy to use.
I also like the way LG has included a handy picture wizard in the settings menu that helps you get the best images from the TV. It's extremely easy to follow and actually produces good results, unlike the picture wizards on Philips' TVs.
However, the EPG isn't quite as good as it could be. It's got a clean layout and is quite quick to navigate, but it annoyingly lacks a video thumbnail window, so it completely blocks out all video and audio when you call it up.
Design and connections
The 47LM860V uses LG's new Cinema Screen design, which is absolutely stunning. The key element is the almost complete elimination of the bezel. On this model, when the screen is turned off, it looks like it doesn't have a bezel at all. There's only a thin millimetre-wide seam of black metal running around the outer edge framing the display.
On the 47LM960V, which uses direct LED backlighting, the screen does indeed run all the way up to this metallic strip. On this model, which uses edge lighting, there's a small 5mm gap between the screen and the start of the metal trim. Despite this, it still looks absolutely stunning and is truly jaw dropping the first time you set eyes on it.
I don't think the two-pronged stand used on this model is quite as attractive as the ribbon stand found on the LM670T TVs. It's still quite classy, especially as you can't see the rear support struts when it's viewed from the front. Combined with the extremely thin bezel, this gives the TV a light and airy look.and
When it comes to hooking up your own AV gear to the LM860V, you'll find there's no shortage of connection options. There are four HDMI ports on a panel on the left-hand side of the TV. Just above these sit the three USB ports, as well as the CAM slot that you can use if you want to add pay services such as top-up TV, alongside Freeview.
The downward-facing panel on the rear houses all the other ports. Including the RF input for the onboard Freeview HD tuner, optical digital output, VGA port and mini connectors for the Scart and component break-out cables. There's also an Ethernet socket on this panel, but as the TV comes with integrated Wi-Fi, you won't necessarily have to make use of this.
As with LG's other high-end sets, this one comes with two remotes. The first is the standard zapper, which hasn't really changed much from the one that LG was shipping with last year's tellies. The main difference is that there are now Settings, Home and My Apps buttons just above the remote's D-pad to take you directly to these new screens in the TV's menus. Sadly, unlike some of last year's remotes, this one doesn't have a backlight button.
The second remote is a. When you pick it up, a cursor appears on the screen that you control by waving it around in the air. It feels strange to use, but it's actually quite effective, especially when it comes to picking options in menus and entering text for the apps on the virtual keyboard. Rather than trying to shuffle around as you would with the cursor keys on the standard remote, you can just point and click to instantly select what you want.
Video playback and apps
LG has split up the apps on this TV into two distinct categories -- premium apps and more run-of-the-mill offerings. In the premium apps menu, you'll find the likes of BBC iPlayer (although the final version wasn't available on my review unit), along with apps for Lovefilm, Acetrax and BoxOffice 365 premium movie rental services. There's naturally a YouTube app as well as ones for Facebook and Twitter. You can use Skype if you add the optional camera, but that'll set you back a hefty £100.
Non-essential apps are found in the LG App World menu. This is mostly filled with simple games and basic apps to access news and information services. There are a couple of worthwhile options in there, including one that lets you access youraccount from the TV, but a lot of it is rubbish.
LG has added a full web browser though. Navigating this using the motion controller isn't actually too bad, but the browser is a tad sluggish, especially compared to browsers on tablets like the iPad. Adobe Flash video on websites isn't supported either.
LG includes its 3D World video streaming service on the TV and this is accessible via the main menu. There are some bizarre videos in there and a lot of the content is of a pretty low quality. But as most people won't have access to 3D content when they initially buy the telly, it's probably a sensible move on LGs part to at least provide some free videos for them to test out the set's 3D feature.