While high-def detail was clearly the LG's strong point, interior scenes in the POW camp barracks revealed its difficulty maintaining a deep level of black. In dark shots like these, deep shadows came across as more of a dark gray, and shadow detail was missing as well. For example, in a shot of Major Gibson (Joseph Fiennes) talking to his fellow soldiers in the barracks after pinching some food from work detail, the visual transition from background gloom to the shadowy folds on his fatigues was more of an abrupt jump than a smooth ramp of dark-to-light tones.
The LG's color performance was also mixed. On the one hand, colors looked natural in most movies I watched, and skin tones in particular displayed a subtle range of hues. On the other hand, colors looked somewhat pale in many programs, from a New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys football game in high-def on NBC to a nature documentary called Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure on Discovery HD. Watching a butterfly crawl out of its cocoon amid lush jungle foliage, I found myself craving richer colors from the TV. One reason for this shortfall was my need to back down the set's color control to compensate for the red push mentioned above - it made the reds less pronounced, but also affected saturation of other colors. But another factor was the picture's weak contrast after it was properly tweaked for a dim viewing environment - which can also affect color.
BOTTOM LINE The bright, crisp, and impressively uniform picture delivered by the LG 47LB1DA 47-inch LCD HDTV lends itself well to daytime viewing of high-def sports and other TV programs. When it's tuned for watching movies in a dim room, videophiles will likely yearn for punchier colors, deeper blacks, and more shadow detail. But in the final analysis, there's no denying that the 47LB1DA's $3,600 price tag and sharp 1080p picture could be attractive to less critical viewers.
Copyright © 2013 Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.