LG is a respected maker of LCD, LED, and Plasma TVs. The South Korean electronics conglomerate is perhaps best known for its mobile phones as well as home appliances, its TV lineup is nothing to scoff at. They're some of the most aesthetically striking sets out there -- even some bottom-end sets feature thin panels and small bezels. The performance and picture quality are nothing to scoff at either, and the highest-end sets are in league with heavy hitters from the top manufacturers. LG isn't the first brand that we recommend, but their sets are usually solid buys.
LG just released their first "Cinema 3D" set in South Korea. The manufacturer hopes that it will boost interest in the 3D format, which is still struggling to find an audience worldwide. The Cinema 3D sets use passive, polarized displays for their 3D effect, more like the tech used at movies theaters than the active-shutter tech used in previous 3D TV sets. Polarized glasses are significantly cheaper and lighter than active shutter glasses, and the picture is much brighter and smoother. LG's Cinema 3D TVs are due to arrive stateside in March.
LG LED TVs
- The LZ9700 and LW9500 are LG's top-of-the-line sets for 2011. These are all 3D-capable (active-type), local-dimming, full LED sets with 480Hz refresh rates, LG's SmartTV connected platform, the Razor Frame panel, and WiFi-capability -- the whole shebang, in other words. The LW9500 series features NanoLED technology and comes in 55- and 60-inch configurations. The LZ9700 is a 72-incher, though it lacks the NanoLED display.
- The LW7700 series is a slight step down from the big-guns, and the differences are mostly aesthetic. The brushed-metal frame and bezel are both a bit thicker than the Razor Frame designs on the higher-end series, and the refresh rate drops to a reasonable 240Hz. Otherwise, these sets still pack all the 3D, NanoLED, SmartTV, and WiFi goodness. The LW7700 series comes in 55- and 47-inch configurations.
- While the LW6500 series steps back to LED edge-lighting, it adds an especially exciting feature: Cinema 3D. Most folks are lukewarm on the idea, but if 3D is in the cards for you, the passive, polarized version is the way to go. The polarized glasses cost a fraction of what active-shutter pairs do, the picture is brighter, and the effect is as close to flicker-free as you'll get. Available in 65, 55, and 47-inch configurations.
- The LW5600 series is very similar to the LW6500 -- Cinema 3D, LED edge-lighting, Smart TV, WiFi, and so on -- but it drops the refresh rate down to 120Hz. These will be available in 55 and 47-inch screen sizes. Also check out the LV5500 models, available with all the same features in the same sizes, but without Cinema 3D.
- The LV3700 and LV3500 series are mid-range sets, still sporting LED edge-lighting, but dropping back to a modest 60Hz refresh rate. The LV3700 sports Smart TV connectivity and comes in 55, 47, and 42-inch versions, while the non-connected LV3500 comes in 42 and 32-inch sizes.
- Holding up the bottom end of LG's LED lineup is the LV2500 series. Available in 32, 26, and 22-inch configurations, these are pretty bare bones -- no internet, 60Hz refresh rate -- but they're still LED TVs.
- The LK530 and LK520 conventional LCD series are perfectly capable mid-range TVs, with 1080p resolution and 120Hz refresh rates -- as much as you really need. The LK530 models have LG's Smart TV connectivity and WiFi readiness; the LK520 sets are not connected. Both come in 55, 47, and 42-inch configurations.
- The LK450 series is about as no-nonsense as conventional LCD TVs come these days. 1080p, 60Hz, no-connectivity. It's a full HD TV, nothing more, nothing less. If you want extras, buy peripherals. Available in budget-friendly 42, 37, and 32-inch models.
- The LK330 is a 32-inch, 720p set. This is the kind of entry-level set for budget-sensitive shoppers or folks looking for a secondary set for the bedroom or kitchen.