July 19, 2012
| by Grant Clauser
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.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.