Review: 55-inch LG LM6700 LED 3D HDTV
The magic remote is spellbinding
LG is making some very pretty TVs these days, and the LM6700 line is a fine example. The bezel itself is less than an inch deep, and the depth of the entire TV is ony 1.3 inches (the back is a little thicker than the edges. The TV is framed by only a thin band of metal that’s wrapped around three sides of the TV (the bottom of the bezel is a bit wider). It’s bound to give interior designers some creative ideas. At 55 inches, this is the ideal screen size for most living rooms and smaller home theater setups. It’s big, but it won’t intrude on your room when wall mounted.
This is an edge-lit LED TV with local dimming and 120 Hz video processing.
While picture quality may be the first thing that comes to mind when shopping for a TV, the first thing you’ll notice about this TV is the remote. Unlike a typical remote, this one, called the Magic Remote, includes only a few buttons and is shaped like a banana. It works like a Wii controller or a gyroscope mouse used for big-screen PowerPoint presentation. When you move it, the remote activates an arrow cursor on screen. Point the courser at whatever you want on the on-screen menu and click the select button. Hard buttons for Home, Volume, Channel, 3D, Apps and Power make the most common tasks more accessible, but for most other things you’ll point the remote at what you want.
It’s an intriguing process, and I like that LG is developing new ways to interact with TVs, but it might not appeal to everyone. The remote really shines for navigating LG’s online features. Entering a Wi-Fi password or Google searches, for instance, is considerably easier with this remote than the standard hunt & peck method of a conventional remote. It was also fast and easy to cruise though the TV’s various pages of apps by just pointing and clicking. Doing tasks like adjusting the TV’s video settings was a little more tedious though because it can be hard to get the onscreen pointer to stay perfectly still while you move a number value up or down. If you happen to nudge the remote while you’re watching a program, the cursor will pop on screen for a few seconds. This might be annoying to some people. With time I think anyone would get comfortable with the remote, but house guests would probably be easily confused (not that house guests have an easy time controlling my system anyway). One thing I’d like to see LG add is an Input button on the remote so you don’t need to go into the input settings menu just to switch from HDMI 1 to HDMI 2.
Getting to any of the TV’s operations is pretty easy. Press the Home button, and a bar at the bottom of the screen appears showing things like apps, settings, 3D and more. If you don’t like the remote, you can download the free Android or iOS apps to control the TV from your smartphone.
For 2012 LG overhauled its smart TV offerings. The apps are divided into sections, and you can customize the options to an extent. The Premium selections include some of the necessary standards like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, but MOG is the only music app I found. That means no Pandora, Slacker or Spotify. If streaming music is what you crave, you’ll still need a receiver, Blu-ray player or separate box that can access one of those services.
The other smart TV areas include 3D World, which is an assortment of free 3D content, mostly documentaries or shorts. Those are interesting, and the 3D is cool, but the video quality is overall poor on those selections, so you might not want to use them to show off to your friends.
The other section, LG Smart World, is populated with games and lots of oddball apps. They’re mostly free, so you risk little trying them out.
When checking out the picture quality of the LG, most users should give the built-in picture wizard a try. Picture wizard is an interactive feature that uses images to help you properly adjust your picture, and it works well. In fact the results I obtained with the picture wizard were very close to what I got using the Digital Video Essentials Blu-ray disc.
The LG offers very strong colors and decent blacks. There is some light leakage from the LEDs around the edge of the TV. I noticed small bright spots on both lower corners during test patterns and the opening credits of some movies, but in most real-world viewing you’ll rarely see it. On some bright and white scenes I noted video noise in the background, but it was easily ignorable. Black levels were considerably better than on the last Sharp and Toshiba sets I used, but not as good as any of the Panasonic or Samsung plasmas I’ve used recently. The LG includes ISF modes for professional calibration.
LG 3D LED TVs are all of the passive type. That means the 3D frame switching is happening on the screen rather than in your glasses, so you can use inexpensive passive 3D glasses such as you’ll get in most 3D theaters. LG gives you six pairs with the TV, which is more generous than any other maker.
While the passive 3D process does have some technical limitations—it reduces the resolution each eye sees—all of the passive LG sets I’ve used do the job well. On this TV I saw a minimal amount of crosstalk on onscreen text, but none in any other picture material. Overall, the 3D image was pretty amazing. You can personalize the level of 3D to make it more or less pronounced, depending on your taste. This TV, like most other 3D TVs, includes 2D-to-3D conversion, though I can’t understand why anyone would want that feature.
Overall, while this model doesn’t have the best picture quality I’ve seen, it does an above-average job few people will have any reason to complain about. That, and the innovative remote, large online content mix and impressive industrial design make this a TV that has something for almost everyone.
You can find the complete specs here.
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