LG 55lw650t

Sound

Sound is a definite area of disappointment with the 55LW650T. Its speakers are presumably too thin to deliver either much bass or much volume, and so aren't capable of the sort of audio experience and soundstage size that such a vast screen really deserves.

They are adequate for everyday viewing, as they can handle vocals clearly and accurately and aren't bad with treble detail, but video games and action movies sound thin and narrow.

Value

If you're after perfectly watchable, bigscreen 3D images on the cheap, then LG's 55LW650T is a highly tempting proposition. Especially if you've got a couple of kids or more, or a large social group you see regularly, and so need to have a plentiful supply of glasses.

The potentially casual nature of 3D viewing – as in it being something you will only watch occasionally rather than all the time – arguably plays into passive 3D's hands when it comes to value, too, since mainstream consumers may think they'll just go for the cheapest 3D option available, which may well be a passive one.

However, if your main interest is in getting the last word in either 3D or 2D quality, you're best advised to sacrifice five inches and get Panasonic's recently reviewed TX-P50GT30B.

Ease of use

With such a lot going on inside the 55LW650T, it would be easy for the set to be a nightmare to use, but it's a testament to the visual flair and organisational prowess of LG's onscreen menus, as well as an improved remote control design, that the set is very easy to operate.

The use of graphics and icons is outstanding and the menus do a good job of adapting themselves to suit different technical knowledge levels, placing more complicated stuff in sub-menus or further down main menus.

The standard remote has plenty of buttons providing direct access to the TV's most important features and the layout is generally thoughtful.

LG also does an optional alternative remote control for its Smart TVs: the so-called Magic Remote. This device works as a Wii-mote style 'pointer', enabling you to point at the option on the screen that you want to access. Some will find this a much more intuitive approach than the less 'connected' normal remote control approach and it really comes into its own now LG has got so many Smart TV features. If you don't fancy coughing up for the Magic Remote, though, you can also download a free Android/iOS app for your phone that does broadly the same thing.

There are areas for concern with the 55LW650T's usability, though. First, the inclusion of the TV's set-up and picture adjustment menus on the same page as all the app and multimedia controls is a bit confusing. Retaining separate menus might have been more sensible.

Second, the PLEX Media Server system is far from the easiest in the world to get to grips with. Getting both PC and Mac computers to communicate properly with the TV was a time-consuming and frustrating business, thanks to a general lack of information and a far-from-intuitive operating system.