LG 47LG60 LCD TV Real-World Performance

Real-World Performance
As with all 120Hz LCDs, my first real-world tests were moments near the beginning of Cars on Blu-ray and Star Wars VI on DVD. When Lightning McQueen is being profiled during the Piston Cup race at the beginning of Cars, he appears for a moment in front of an array of bright blue lights, which can exhibit a distinct smudging artifact with frame interpolation. Sure enough, the LG's TruMotion function caused this artifact, which got worse on the High setting.

Star Wars VI opens with Darth Vader's shuttle approaching the Death Star, which can look shimmery in the first view from the shuttle cockpit if frame interpolation is on. Likewise, the closely spaced vertical lines on the side of the landing bay as the shuttle approaches can look shimmery as well. On the 47LG60, though, these artifacts were very minor.

Otherwise, the detail in things like spaceship exteriors and the desert terrain of Tatooine was better than many TVs can manage with standard-def material, and colors were excellent. The only downfall was the black of space, which was more of a dark gray.

Of course, I also had to look at chapter 8 of Mission: Impossible III on HD DVD at 1080i. There was some moiré in the pan across the staircase, but it wasn't as bad as some TVs I've seen. Also, the shadow detail in the catacombs was quite good.

My new favorite demo disc for black level and shadow detail is Stargate: Continuum on Blu-ray. As expected, the black of the star field behind the opening title was not so deep. I tried turning on the Fresh (dynamic) Contrast control, which did deepen the blacks and bring out the stars a bit more, but it also gave brighter scenes a very unnatural look, so I left it off for the rest of my evaluation. Shadow detail in the dark scenes aboard the Achilles at night was very good, as was the overall detail and color throughout the movie.

As expected by now, the black of space on Independence Day on Blu-ray was not impressive, and the black letterbox bars never completely left my consciousness. However, everything else about the picture was superb. Detail was razor-sharp in the New York City skyline, surface of various spacecraft, skin textures, and exploding buildings. Colors were gorgeous, and shadow detail in night scenes was excellent.

The same was true of Seven Years in Tibet on Blu-ray. There's not a lot of black in that movie, but the shadow detail in the night scenes was really good, and the colors of the crystal blue skies, red monks' robes, and skin tones were rich yet natural. The detail in the Himalayan vistas, texture of fabrics, and brick walls of Lhasa was stunning.

One of my favorite DVDs for color is Topsy-Turvy, the Gilbert and Sullivan biopic. As expected, the riotous colors of the stage sets and costumes were vivid, and the more muted tones of "real life" were completely natural. Detail was quite good for a DVD, and shadow detail in the carriage as Sullivan and his valet race to the theater at the beginning was excellent.

In general, I preferred the picture with TruMotion on, despite the occasional artifacts. It simply looked sharper and more three-dimensional. As I was watching Topsy-Turvy, Tom Norton arrived at the studio, took one look at the screen, and said, "You have frame interpolation on, don't you?" As I mentioned earlier, he doesn't like the way frame interpolation makes the picture look, and he can obviously spot it right away. If you're among those who don't like it, you can always turn it off.

The 47LG60's onboard sound system features "invisible speakers," which, in fact, I was unable to find in a cursory examination of the cabinet. Given that, I was surprised that the audio quality was a bit better than average, with relatively good dialog intelligibility, though it did sound somewhat closed in. Also, the level was quite low in general, requiring me to crank up the volume to hear anything. As usual, I recommend pairing this TV with a good outboard sound system for the best experience.

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