Over the years, LG has progressed from routinely producing some of the least inspiring hardware we've ever seen to making TVs that look stunning, have awe-inspiring features and deliver some of the best picture quality on the market. No-one's been more surprised by the transformation than us, and every time our expectations settle, the company surprises us by producing something else that blows our minds. The 47-inch, 1080p 47LE8900 LCD TV is the latest example.
At around £1,700, the 47LE8900 isn't the company's cheapest TV. It does, however, have plenty of features that justify its price. Among them is a full LED backlight.
Styling and inputs
The 47LE8900 looks impressive. The front appears to be made of a single sheet of glass, which means the telly looks cool and imposing when turned off. LG has also toned down its logos too. When switched off, you might not even be able to tell who made this TV. LG should get a round of applause for putting its customers before yet another tasteless branding exercise.
When you turn the TV on, though, an LG logo is subtly illuminated on the lower portion of the bezel. The logo isn't huge or especially bright, however, which keeps the set looking funky and understated.
You get plenty of connections, but some of them rely on the ghastly break-out cables that we've come to accept as inevitable on very thin TVs. It's not a big problem, though, and the four HDMI sockets are easily accessible, as are the two USB inputs.
Most complicated stand ever
Initially, LG shipped this TV to us without the screws needed for the stand. When LG sent them in a follow-up package, we found ourselves scratching our heads. Firstly, the stand is really heavy and, secondly, there are loads of screws to attach. Will any of this affect you? No, not unless you're planning on moving the TV frequently. But what you will need is another person to help you set the TV up and lift it into position, because it's a heavy beast.
Overall picture quality
From the very moment we turned the TV on, our footwear -- both shoes and socks -- was blown clean off. Looking at hi-def channels via the built-in Freeview HD tuner, we immediately realised that this TV is in a different league to many we've seen recently. The picture balances sharpness and picture processing in a very pleasing way.
The 47LE8900 sports a number of pre-configured picture modes. It's worth pointing out that we used the THX Cinema mode in our tests. We didn't need to undertake any real tweaking to produce a very strong, likeable image from all sources. The other modes weren't to our taste, though.
What really matters is that the TV has a very comprehensive set of picture controls that enable you to adjust every facet of the picture, and produce one of the best images we've seen from an LED-illuminated LCD screen. The picture quality beats that of Sony's recent 3Dinto a bloody pulp, and we can't help admiring that.