LG 55lw650t

As the flagship model from LG's new passive 3D range, the 55LW650T has a point to prove. After all, it's reckoned to have the best of LG's core panel technology underpinning its new FPR 3D technology and its screen is big enough to let its 3D talents shine.

It also comes fully loaded with multimedia tricks and treats, including LG's new, vastly improved Smart TV engine, and playback of most of the key video, audio and photo file formats from USB sticks or PC/Macs connected via the new-to-TV PLEX platform.

For the most part, the 55LW650T does a good job of selling passive 3D. Its pictures are relaxing to watch, clearer than expected (considering the relative lack of resolution versus active 3D), bright, and dynamic and including seven pairs of passive glasses is an inspired touch.

Add this to the already relatively cheap price of the 55LW650T, and the crucial value selling argument of passive 3D is definitively proved.

However, the 55LW650T doesn't deliver as sharp and detailed a 3D image as active shutter models, suffers pretty significant problems if watched from much of angle (especially above or below the screen) and can suffer a few visible artefacts caused by the filter, though these reduce if you sit far enough away from the screen.

The main problems with the 55LW650T, though, are unrelated to its persuasive 3D performance and are down instead to some impoverished audio, minor flaws handling motion and some significant black level consistency issues.

We liked

The price is far from unreasonable for a 55-inch 3D TV, particularly one that comes with seven pairs of specs.

LG's new Smart TV system is a big leap forward too, and elevates the brand instantly into the 'online TV' A list.

For around 80 per cent of your viewing time, the 55LW650T's pictures are good-to-great. Colours are dynamic and reasonably natural, black levels generally look deep if you've got the local dimming feature active, detail levels are high with HD and standard-def looks smooth, if not especially sharp. Its 3D images are comfortable to watch, bright and colourful, meanwhile.

We disliked

3D pictures lack the sharpness you get with good active 3D sets and there are visible line structure issues. Dark scenes are consistently and aggressively troubled by backlight problems, regardless of whether or not you're using local dimming.

Many of LG's non-premium apps are pointless or just plain weird (though LG is hardly alone in this respect!) and sound quality is barely average, lacking the power to do justice to the pictures.
Finally, its input lag will be a concern to gamers.

Final verdict

The 55LW650T is a sophisticated TV that delivers a strong case for passive 3D technology as an affordable alternative to active.

Indeed, if the TV was being judged on its 3D 'case' alone, it might well have bagged another star or so.

It's a pity, then, that it is let down by one of the most distractingly inconsistent backlights we've seen for some time. It's possible, though that the 55LW650T's problems are down to the screen's extravagant size, and won't crop up nearly as much on smaller models.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview