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Once upon a time we were told that LCD was no use for screens bigger than 26 inches. Well, here we are in late 2007 looking at a 47-inch model, the 47LY95, from Korean giant LG.
This TV includes a 'Full HD' resolution for its £1,200 cost and we have very high hopes for it too, given how much we liked its smaller 42-inch sibling when we checked that out in the summer.
Rather than starting out with aesthetic and feature issues as we usually would, we really must start this 'strengths' section of the review by bigging up the 47LY95's colours. We honestly believe that they're the richest, most vibrant and simply most in-your-face colours we've ever seen on a flat TV.
Nearly as impactful while watching high definition, meanwhile, is the screen's exemplary sharpness. The full HD pixel count, some canny image processing from LG's XD Engine system and a special aspect ratio that maps HD sources to the LG's screen, pixel for pixel, all help the TV delineate every last tiny bit of detail and texture in a good HD source.
It does no harm in this regard, either, that the 47LY95 suffers less with LCD's motion blurring problems than many big-screen rivals. Even standard definition pictures look very presentable overall, which certainly isn't something you can commonly say about a Full HD LCD TV.
The home for the picture strengths just described, meanwhile, is a very pretty one, combining a classy and robust black chassis with an unusually slender profile.
Its connections get the job done too, with twin HDMIs and a PC jack, while a strikingly long features list includes compatibility with the 1080p/24fps signals, so loved in the HD disc industry, and all manner of subtle picture tweaks.
The negative points about the 47LY95's pictures are, alas, almost as striking as its positives. And as is so often the case with LCD technology, the toughest one to live with is a lack of black level response. Dark scenes thus look misty, dull and flat for the most part rather than deep, dynamic and cinematic.
This problem has a knock on effect with the 47LY95's colours, too. For while bright scenes do indeed enjoy a blistering colour palette, when the going gets dark the LG's vibrancy drops off markedly and a few subtle tones start to look off-key. Ironically the 47LY95's very strengths with bright, colour-rich scenes actually emphasise its relative dullness with darker fare.
Our last problem with the TV's pictures concerns its handling of 1080p/24fps images, which seem to judder quite alarmingly rather than sliding smoothly by.
Our biggest concern with the 47LY95, though, isn't actually to do with its performance at all, but rather its price. Asking £1,200 for a solid but certainly not inspirational 47-inch LCD TV doesn't look so great when you consider that you can get excellent (though not Full HD, admittedly) 50-inch plasma TVs from the likes of Samsung and Panasonic while spending considerably less.
LG has made the resolution of its Full HD 47-inch panel count in grand style, with some terrifically sharp HD pictures. Its ultra-bright colours make it the sort of TV that really stands out in a shop environment. But once you get it home you'll soon see past the obvious attractions and discover that, at £1,200, all that glitters isn't necessarily gold.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire