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LG 55LM7600

*Est. $1,600
Reviewed
August 2012
by ConsumerSearch
LG 55LM7600

Pros
  • Good color
  • Eye-catching design
  • Lots of features
Cons
  • Black levels are disappointing
  • Screen uniformity is less than perfect
  • Innovative Magic Motion remote can be quirky

Great features and an outstanding design make the LG LM7600 an intriguing LED TV. Weak blacks and uneven screen uniformity spoil the picture, but not enough to keep what you see on the screen from being pretty good anyway. Some question value, but street pricing has brought the TV to the point where it belongs on your short list if you are looking for a good mid-level big-screen set with all the trimmings.

The LG LM7600 is available in two screen sizes, the 47-inch 47LM7600 (*Est. $1,000) and the 55-inch 55LM7600 (*Est. $1,600).

Performance

What you see on the screen is a mixed bag. Getting the bad news out of the way first, black levels aren't terrible -- and in fact, they are better than average -- but they do fall short of what equivalent sets from makers like Sony and Samsung can produce. Some uniformity issues in the form of light-bleeds at the edges and corners are seen -- as is typical in most edge-lit LED sets such as the LM7600. How much, experts say, will likely vary from specific set to specific set, and it's mostly a worry in dark scenes viewed in dark viewing rooms.

Color performance is not technically perfect out of the box, but might still look good to the average viewer. Experts add that with calibration you can dial color in to be as close to ideal as matters. The TruMotion 240 Hz refresh rate helps keep blur to a minimum (but like all LCD sets, doesn't really get rid of all that much). Quoting that spec as 240 Hz, however, requires some marketing and technical sleight-of-hand, as the panel itself only has a native 120 Hz refresh rate (see below). The set isn't a bad performer under moderate lighting, but it does have a glossy screen treatment.

Features

It's loaded, though some features do come with a caveat. Compared with the company's flagship LM9600 range, LG didn't scrimp on much features-wise when it comes to the step-down LM7600 series. The big difference lies in the backlight used by the LM9600 -- a full-array LED affair with local dimming -- and in its higher refresh rate: 240 Hz, TruMotion-ed up to 480 Hz (like many makers, LG has taken to quoting an apparent refresh rate that comes from the screen's actual refresh rate and how that interacts with the set's backlight). Given the disappointing reviews that the LM9600 has garnered, however, we are not sure there's any reason not to keep the cost difference between the sets in your pocket and go with the LG LM7600 instead.

Now onto the real goodies: Internet features are part of the package, of course. We've seen some grousing that LG's Smart TV platform falls short compared to some others when it comes to content, and we'd suppose that's fair. However, just about every major content type and every major provider save for Amazon Instant and Pandora are still accounted for. There's also a smartphone-style app store, but it draws little in the way of positive commentary. The LM7600 is DLNA-compliant, so you can stream your own content stored on a PC on the same network. Wi-Fi is built in.

But while the set's Internet content draws a shrug or a yawn, what's more interesting is how you get to all of that. LG includes its Magic Motion remote control; that's a minimalist affair with just a few basic buttons, but you can wave it about Wii-style to point and click your way through the menus-inside-of-menus that are such a part of the user interface in many modern TVs. Experts say that the remote works very well, though not without the occasional quirk. They add that most users will learn to love it, though perhaps not without a brief getting-to-know-you phase. That's fortunate, because it's the only remote LG packs with the LM7600. One step-up feature has been removed from the remote compared to the LM9600: voice control. Most say that voice control is more of a novelty on the LM9600 than something you'd regularly use, so again, it's not a major loss.

The 3D feature uses passive technology. That has pluses and minuses. The big negative is that resolution is reduced compared to active technology, and you might want to sit a little farther back from the screen so that you don't see the scan lines reminiscent of standard-definition TVs of yesteryear. On the other hand, passive 3D is less prone to ghosting artifacts than active 3D, and the glasses are lightweight and cheap -- so cheap that LG tosses six pairs into the box. Videophiles tend to prefer active 3D, but everyone else likes the simple but effective approach of passive TV, as offered in the LG LM7600. LG offers a streaming service that provides a small library of 3D content.

Design

In a word -- or two -- drop-dead gorgeous. That's the consensus when it comes to LG's LM7600. The bottom of the set sports a silver 1-inch bezel, while the rest of the screen is framed by a sliver of metal that's barely seen from the front. The set is also extremely thin, making the TV look simply like a dark pane of glass when it is off. The metal-colored stand -- alas, it is plastic -- makes the TV look like it's floating in air and provides a decent range of swivel. Connectivity is above average.

Value

At its current pricing, the LM7600 hits a sweet spot. At its MSRP, we saw some complaints that the set was a little expensive relative to its picture quality, though others see it as a good value even then. Now that street pricing has brought the price down, it's not a bad proposition at all, as long as you keep the TV's negatives as well as its positives in mind.

Bottom line

The LM7600 is not a set for videophiles or other perfectionists. However, it does offer a fair balance of performance and features for its price. That's led to some pretty positive reviews from experts, and very good user feedback at sites like Amazon.com and BestBuy.com. If you are in the market for a mid-tier set with good bang for your buck, it's certainly worth a look.

Our Sources

1. FlatpanelsHD.com

Excellent Though based in Europe, FlatpanelsHD.com includes coverage of U.S. models in reports that are technically competent, comprehensive and useful to both videophiles and more casual buyers. Black levels fall short of the best LED TVs, but picture quality is said to otherwise excel. Some criticism is leveled at the Smart TV platform, but the set's design is beautiful and the 3D performance is "hassle-free and pleasant." The set earns a Highly Recommended award.

Review: LG LM7600 / LM760T, Rasmus Larsen, April 2, 2012

2. Sound & Vision Magazine

Excellent This long and detailed report on the 55-inch LG 55LM6700 has something for everyone, from dyed-in-the-wool TV geeks to TV buyers wanting a relatively jargon-free assessment of a set's positives and negatives and whether or not it is worth considering. "On the whole, I like LG's 55LM7600 a lot," writes Geoffrey Morrison. However, he qualifies his assessment by saying that picture quality is only "decent," and adding that "I expected more for $2,100."

Review: Test Report: LG 55LM7600 3D LCD HDTV, Geoffrey Morrison, June 5, 2012

3. ConsumerReports.org

Excellent While videophiles won't find the details they seek here, ConsumerReports.org does a good job of evaluating the 47-inch LG 47LM7600 for the rest of us. Discussion is briefer than that of most other expert reviewers, though greatly expanded from what was typically offered in years past. Regardless, you'll need to be a subscriber to read this article and to see how this LG set fared on its own and relative to its competition.

Review: LG 47LM7600, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

4. LCDTV Buying Guide.com

Very Good Reviews here are competent and hands-on, but not quite as smoothly executed or detailed as those at sources we rate higher. An accompanying video review helps, but only a little. Positive, negative and neutral considerations are listed for the 55-inch LG 55LM7600. The set seems well liked, but the overall score posted with the review differs by nearly a half point from what's posted on the site's review comparison table, lending some confusion to matters.

Review: LG 55LM7600 Review, Robert Wiley, Not Dated

5. BestBuy.com

Good BestBuy.com has far fewer reviews of the 55-in LG 55LM7600 than Amazon.com (just over 30), but an even higher level of satisfaction. All but two owners at the time of this update said that they would recommend the TV to a friend. User ratings of the 47-inch 47LM7600 are also available here, but it receives fewer reviews and a slightly lower (but still pretty good) rating.

Review: LG - 55" Class - LED - 1080p - 240Hz - Smart - 3D - HDTV, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of Aug. 2012

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