LG 15LW1R review

What's so special about this set? It's wireless, that's what

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Our Verdict

A must for new technology lovers and those who like to roam while they watch

For

  • Decent battery life

    Aesthetically pleasing

Against

  • There are no other inputs - must be wireless

    Picture quality struggles with demanding material

Wireless technology has taken off in a big way. Laptops, phones and cinema systems are just some of the products that have had a wireless makeover, but the idea has never caught on with TVs. But thanks to LG, it's now back in fashion.

The £550 15LW1R allows you to watch pictures from a set-top box, DVD player or even a PC without the use of cables. The source components are plugged into a wireless transmitter (top-right), that beams the signals to the portable 4:3 screen using the 802.11b (slow) or 802.11g (fast) Wi-Fi signals.

Despite its unfashionable square shape, the 15LW1R's screen is a looker. The black frame set away from the silver back section (which holds the TV's built-in speakers) works wonders.

The transmitter's curved silver and grey chassis is as stylish as the screen, and boasts a basic range of sockets, including Scart, composite video and S-video inputs. There's an analogue tuner, but a Scart means a Freeview adapter can be used. The fact that the transmitter's cables can be hidden and the TV is lacking any, helps the system's aesthetics.

The more technically proficient among you can also use the 15LW1R to access music and video files stored on a PC, but you'll need to be hooked up to a broadband wireless home network.

In action the 15LW1R operates at an impressive 25m away from the transmitter, and when the picture drops out as a result of interference, the TV tunes back in without you having to lift a finger. There's a quirk in that the picture and sound feeds are one second slower than a regular TV, but this isn't likely to be a problem in everyday viewing.

The picture quality is far from dazzling due to the noise in the picture, but it's still hugely enjoyable - particularly with undemanding TV material.

Wireless wonder

As for sound, the 15LW1R turns in a perfectly acceptable performance, with a bass-boosting mode on hand to give it a gentle nudge in the right sonic direction, plus a range of presets that tailor the sound for different types of material.

The battery life is fairly good. A full charge will give you about three hours of TV. Good enough for an afternoon in the garden.

There are few downsides to this set - the screen itself lacks any inputs, which means you have no other choice but to use it wirelessly.

On top of this the audio is transmitted in the 2.4GHz range, which is vulnerable to interference. Thankfully this only occurs intermittently and the TV quickly corrects for dropouts.

The 15LW1R isn't the last word in picture or sound quality, and the inclusion of a 4:3 screen is nothing short of criminal. But the word "wireless" is like catnip to technology lovers and yet again it's got us rolling around on the floor, purring over the sheer novelty of being able to parade around the house while watching TV.