LG 47lw550t

Sound

Despite the 47LW550T's slender design, LG's engineers have managed to endow it with a decent set of speakers that deliver a better performance than some of its competitors. They do most of their work in the midrange, and lack real low-frequency impact, but the sound is generally warm and engaging, rather than thin and raspy.

At full volume (100 on the nifty, animated speaker dial) the 47LW550T goes quite loud, too, although you'll want to nudge it down a notch as distortion does begin to creep in. The optical audio output and audio return channel-savvy HDMI jack make it easy to connect the 47LW550T to a home cinema system.

The sound menu features a few tweaks that users can make. The 47LW550T offers five adjustable presets: Standard, Music, Cinema, Sport and Game, of which cinema was our personal favourite, adding the most bass. The sport mode, by contrast, seems to rob the entire soundstage of any weight, making BBC's news readers sound like croaking, reanimated corpses.

Clear Voice II is also offered; whatever LG thinks it's supposed to bring to your aural experience, it's best left permanently ignored.

Oddly, and somewhat refreshingly, we found nothing resembling a virtual surround mode. Perhaps LG has realised that it's simply not worth bothering with.

Value

The 47LW550T should be available for around £1,300, which is less than competing models such as Samsung's UE46D7000 (£1,700), Philips PFL469705 (£1,600) and Panasonic's TX-P42VT30 (£1,600). Your hard-earned money gets you a well-featured 47-inch LED with a commensurate picture and an enjoyable 3D performance. Cinema 3D isn't state of the art, but the cost-saving from the seven bundled glasses compared to Active Shutter specs means it's certainly a bit of a bargain.

Ease of use

Living with a 47LW550T shouldn't pose any problems to those with a modicum of consumer electronics know-how, but some aspects do take getting used to.

For instance, unlike some other brands, LG's home page mixes regular TV menus (input/setup) with all the set's smart functions, plus a PIP (Picture in Picture) window of what you're currently watching. It's certainly pretty and colourful, but you may prefer a more traditional layout.

Other niggles include not being able to access the Home screen when 3D material is being played (presumably because of the PIP window), a blazing white light sited in the lower right corner of the screen that has to be deactivated in the settings menu, and a health warning that pops up whenever your call on a 3D source.