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LG Infinia LV5500 review: LG Infinia LV5500

Like many LG TVs the LV5500 comes with a wealth of setup options including the picture tweaker's favourite, the 10-point calibration menu. For the less technically minded, the TV also includes a Picture Wizard that will give a much better picture than Vivid and Standard mode do, though not as good as you'd get from an inexpensive calibration DVD.

The included picture setup routine is easy, but doesn't lead to a very accurate picture.

HDMI inputs 4 Component video inputs 1
Composite video input(s) 2 VGA-style PC input(s) 1
USB port 2 Ethernet (LAN) port Yes

The selection of connections leaves nothing to be desired, although the second component/composite jack requires a breakout cable.

The included Wi-Fi dongle occupies one of the USB slots.

The LG LV5500's picture quality was decent for the price, mainly due to color accuracy and video processing, but its black levels were lighter than those of the competition. Models like the LG LW5600 and Samsung UND6400 both offer much better picture quality as well as the option of 3D.

The LG's Cinema mode was best out of the box although still too bluish. Setup is one of LG's main strengths, and using the TV's advanced settings we were able to get extremely accurate color and gamma.

It's worth mentioning here that we received two LG LV5500 TVs but the first was faulty with a broken backlight and a woefully inaccurate 10-point system. The second TV worked fine.

Comparison models (details)
Samsung UN46D6400 46-inch edge-lit LED
LG Infinia 47LW5600 47-inch edge-lit local dimming LED
Sony Bravia KDL-46EX720 46-inch edge-lit LED
Panasonic TC-P50ST30 50-inch plasma
Pioneer PRO-111FD (reference) 50-inch plasma

Black level: The LV5500 showed the lightest shade of black among the models in our lineup, coming up a hair short of the Sony and looking quite a bit more washed-out than the others. Dark scenes, such as the 'solitary' sequence in "Batman Begins" appeared less realistic and punchy as a result. We also noticed that bright areas appeared a dimmer than on the Samsung and the Sony (an issue we also noticed on the LW5600), robbing more contrast from the scene.

The LV5500 exhibited the same tendency as its bigger brother LW5600 to crush shadow detail: the dark exteriors of the rebel Romulan ship in the "Star Trek" reboot looked crisp and dynamic on the competing Samsung, but washed-out on the LGs.

Despite LG's claim that the TV doesn't do local dimming we noticed signs of blooming, where stray light from bright areas illuminated darker ones. It wasn't visible in most scenes however; we only really noticed it in areas like white-on-black credits and the icons of our PS3 in the letterbox vars, for example.

Color accuracy: After calibration the TV was among the most accurate in our lineup, delivering spot-on color with natural-looking skin tones. On the flipside the LW5600 and especially the Samsung looked a good deal richer and more saturated thanks to their deeper black levels.

Video processing: The TV employs a 24p mode called Real Cinema, and we found it worked quite well, preserving the correct cadence of film in tracking shots. In addition, we found that employing the TruMotion setting's User mode--maxing out antiblur while simultaneously turning off antijudder--gave us the TV's full motion resolution without the extra smoothing or haloing artifacts associated with dejudder. That's one improvement over the LW5600, which introduced smoothing in the same User settings.

Uniformity: In addition to the minor blooming, we noticed that the left side of our LV5500's screen showed stray illumination that spilled out into darker areas. It wasn't bad enough to spoil our viewing, but it was more noticeable than any of the uniformity issues on the Samsung or especially the LW5600--albeit not as annoying as the bright spots on the Sony.

Off-axis viewing is not especially good, and it's even worse than on the Samsung UND6400, which we criticized for poor off-axis performance at the time of our review.

Bright lighting: The LG has a matte screen and we didn't experience any problems with reflections in a well-lit environment.

Power consumption: The LV5500 is a miserly consumer, using fewer watts per square inch than just about any TV we've tested this year.

Result Score
Black luminance (0%) 0.004 Good
Avg. gamma 2.2465 Good
Near-black x/y (5%) 0.3132/0.3378 Good
Dark gray x/y (20%) 0.3142/0.3324 Good
Bright gray x/y (70%) 0.3127/0.3283 Good
Before avg. color temp. 6944 Poor
After avg. color temp. 6480 Good
Red lum. error (de94_L) 0.947 Good
Green lum. error (de94_L) 1.4461 Good
Blue lum. error (de94_L) 1.0347 Good
Cyan hue x/y 0.2312/0.3353 Good
Magenta hue x/y 0.3307/0.1595 Good
Yellow hue x/y 0.4262/0.5096 Good
1080p/24 Cadence (IAL) Pass Good
1080i Deinterlacing (film) Pass Good
Motion resolution (max) 900 Good
Motion resolution (dejudder off) 400 Poor
PC input resolution (VGA) 1,920x1,080 Pass

Power consumption:

Power consumption:The 47-inch 47LV5500 we tested is a miserly consumer, using fewer watts per square inch than just about any TV we've tested this year.

LG 47LV5500 CNET review calibration results

(Read more about how we test TVs.)

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