Can this 47in model justify the price hike over its many competitors?
The LG 47LB730V, at around £700, isn't the most affordable 47in TV on the market, so it has a point to prove. It sets about this task with gusto thanks to a seriously pretty design that mixes an ultra-slim frame with a posh-looking silvery outer trim. The aluminium stand hasn’t exactly been beaten with the ugly stick, either.
Connections are solid, with highlights of three HDMIs, an RS232 for system integration/control, three USBs and Ethernet/Wi-Fi network options. A fourth HDMI might have been nice, but the TV still feels über-busy in content terms thanks to its sublime WebOS-driven Smart interface. This revolutionises the Smart TV world thanks to its beautiful presentation, logical organisation and friendly menu system; unprecedented multi-tasking achieved by treating everything – including each HDMI – as its own ‘app’; and superb ‘point and click’ Magic Motion remote control. In ease of use terms it’s definitely the Smart interface to beat.
The 47LB730V is well stocked with picture features. It claims an 800Hz-like motion handling system (though the panel’s native refresh rate is only 100Hz), and there are plenty of image adjustments, including white balance, gamma and colour management.
The single most important feature, though, is the local dimming engine for outputting different light levels from different clusters of its edge LED lights. Setting the local dimming up correctly is fundamental to how good the 47LB730V’s pictures look. Leave it off completely and dark scenes appear grey and washed out. Yet set it too high and you’ll see numerous squares and rectangles of light around bright objects when they’re against dark backgrounds. I'd suggest you stick with the local dimming’s ‘1’ setting, and avoid the others.
Even using this setting, though, the LG's black level consistency and depth is outgunned by its rivals – especially when you’re watching dark widescreen scenes with black bars above and below. Which many film fans routinely do, of course.
In other ways the 47LB730V is strong. Colours look exuberant with richly saturated films like Kill Bill, delivering real pop to objects, like the truck The Bride steals after escaping hospital, and her famous yellow jump suit. Yet it can also make tones look nicely balanced and believable without having to sacrifice too much vibrancy.
There’s plenty of sharpness with HD too, and while a little of this impressive clarity is lost when there’s a lot of motion, such as during Tom Cruise’s many failed attempts to survive the battlefield in Edge of Tomorrow, LG’s motion processing does suppress judder well without causing too many processing glitches – so long as you avoid the upper echelons of the motion processing system.
Using an IPS-type LCD panel means the 47LB730V supports a wide viewing angle, although this advantage isn’t as pronounced as it used to be thanks to improvements in rival VA panels.
The 47LB730V carries 3D playback, using LG’s Passive system. And it works superbly, delivering huge-scale 3D images with zero crosstalk ghosting, rich colours and good motion handling. There’s a little jaggedness around some curved/rounded objects and less detail than you get with good Active 3D TVs, but 3D pictures are never less than a fun and, crucially, relaxing watch.
Despite the slim frame, the 47LB730V sounds good. Its speakers cope with the brilliant treble detail and bass excesses of Edge Of Tomorrow, while the mid-range remains open enough to keep dialogue clear and credible.
A good, but not great, Full HD flatscreen.
Price: £700 Approx
Highs: Great design; excellent Smart interface; good sound; good 3D
Lows: Average native contrast; some backlight inconsistencies; it’s quite expensive; no 4OD/ITV Player
3D: Yes. Passive
4K: No. 1,920 x 1,080
Tuner: Yes. Freeview
Connections: 3 x HDMI; 3 x USB; RF input; RGB Scart; composite video; component video; PCMCIA; RS232; Wi-Fi; Ethernet; optical digital audio output; headphone jack
Sound: 2 x 12W
Brightness (Claimed): N/A
Contrast ratio (Claimed): N/A
Dimensions (off stand): 1,061(w) x 623(h) x 55.1(d)mm
Weight (off stand): 12.8kg
Features: WebOS operating system; 'Bean Bird'-assisted installation; Now TV support; multimedia playback via USB or DLNA; 800Hz motion emulation; Triple XD Engine; local dimming adjustment
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