LG’s 47LE8500 is among the best HDTVs I’ve tested, and it proves well the value of a full-array LED backlight with local dimming. Sure, it lacks 3D, and LG’s NetCast media-streaming portal doesn’t offer the widest mix of content. But if accurate color, profoundly deep blacks, good video processing, and an engaging user interface are among your criteria for selecting a TV, this set should rank high on your list. It does on mine.
With its ISF Expert mode selected, the LG displayed even grayscale that tracked slightly blue of the neutral gray standard. After calibration, the set measured ±77 K from 30 to 100 IRE, and the color primaries measured virtually spot-on the HDTV specification for red, green and blue. Overscan measured 3% in the 16:9 mode and 0% in the Just Scan mode. The LG fully and cleanly resolved 1080i/p and 720p HD signals via HDMI and component-video inputs. The 47LE8500 was a rock star in the lab when it came to contrast. Step patterns and ramps showed extraordinarily steady and smooth transitions, particularly at the dark end of the scale where 0 IRE really meant 0 IRE - total black, as if the TV had been turned off. Full-frame gray raster patterns showed generally good picture uniformity across the screen, though some very subtle undulations in brightness were detectable throughout the brightness range. (This was never an issue with regular program material.)
The LG exhibited a very wide viewing angle for an LCD: You can go something on the order of 70 off-axis from a distance of 8 feet before seeing any dropoff in brightness. But glare on its high-gloss screen can interfere with viewing in high ambient-light conditions, depending on the location of the light source.
The 240-Hz TruMotion function reduced blur on rapidly moving objects in test clips and smoothed out judder in slow pans, but regardless of how I set the separate judder or blur controls, it always imparted at least a slight "video look" to film-based content. The Judder 1 setting by itself, with Blur turned off, was the closest I came to smoothing the image without introducing too much of a video look.
With its Real Cinema 3:2 processing mode turned on, the LE8500 performed well on both the Silicon Optix HQV Blu-ray and DVD test discs, passing all the tests. The Noise Reduction and Digital NR functions seemed to have little effect on noisy HD test clips but did smashingly well with random video noise and mosquito noise on standard-def material. The Low settings worked well enough on both and did not noticeably degrade picture detail.- R.S.
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