LG 47LM860V review

LG delivers a solid if unspectacular premium TV

LG 47LM860V review
The LG 47LM860V smart LED TV looks stylish

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If you want LG's top-level edge LED TV, the LM860V series is it. And the 47-inch LG 47LM860V wears its premium credentials on its sleeve, thanks to a truly sensational design and a feature count that fully embraces today's multimedia needs.

For instance, you can play back a strong range of multimedia file formats via USB or wirelessly networked PCs and Macs, and you can go online with LG's new Smart TV service.

This service is jam packed with content now - some of it even quite useful - and the interface for accessing it all is excellent.

Also excellent for much of the time are the LG 47LM860V's pictures, thanks to their sparkling colours, punchy contrast, excellent sharpness and detailing, and good motion handling. Our only concerns are a few lighting inconsistencies during very dark scenes and the fact that the TV feels a touch expensive.

We liked

The LG 47LM860V is possibly the prettiest TV you'll ever see. Its tiny bezel enables it to fit into a much smaller space than most 47-inch TVs, too. Also very appealing are its multimedia talents, thanks to both the wide range of file formats it can support, its embracement of Macs as well as PCs, and its provision of excellent on-screen menus and a great alternative 'magic' remote control option.

Finally, its pictures frequently look outstanding, at least when showing bright, colourful footage.

We disliked

LG's local dimming system needs work, since it can cause rather over-obvious blocking of light around bright objects. Yet if you turn it off, black levels reduce sharply. LG could do with cutting away the more pointless apps it has to offer too, and the set maybe struggles to justify all of its cost.

Final verdict

Few TVs scream 'buy me' at prospective punters louder than the LG 47LM860V. Aesthetically its gorgeous, and its feature list is everything you could hope for - and then some - from a 2012 premium TV. It performs excellently too for the most part, being particularly in its element with bright, colourful footage.

We can't give the LG 47LM860V a completely unreserved recommendation, though, on account of the issues it sometimes has when showing dark scenes, and its slightly painful price.

But it's still a superior TV that makes us very excited about what LG might unveil at January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2013).

Also consider

The main rival to consider has to be Sony's 46HX853. Although an inch smaller, Sony's flagship 2012 model is a stellar picture performer, with groundbreaking contrast by edge LED standards. It's also got much better audio than the LG 47LM860V, and is £250 (about $400) or so cheaper - though it's neither as pretty to look at nor quite as rich in features.

You could also consider saving £250 by getting LG's own 47LM660T mid-range model. This isn't as strong when it comes to handling motion, but is still a good option overall.

Otherwise you could consider Samsung's UE46ES7000 if you fancy a similarly glamorous, similarly specified but active (rather than passive) 3D option, or Panasonic's 47ET5, which is essentially an LG passive 3D panel but with Panasonic's online service and picture processing applied to it.

John Archer
AV Technology Contributor

John has been writing about home entertainment technology for more than two decades - an especially impressive feat considering he still claims to only be 35 years old (yeah, right). In that time he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of TVs, projectors and speakers, and spent frankly far too long sitting by himself in a dark room.