LG 47lw550t

The 47LW550T is packed with all the features we expect from a premium TV plus a few nice extras.

The headline act is the Cinema 3D technology. By using a screen filter to sort out left and right eye images, instead of active shutters in the 3D glasses, LG has been able to throw in seven pairs of lightweight, battery-free goggles. That automatically gives the 47LW550T appeal to Sky 3D subscribers wanting to throw a 3D football party, although why they come in a variety of garish colours is a mystery. The set also includes a 2D-3D conversion engine.

Something that may get more everyday use than the Cinema 3D feature is the 47LW550TT's 'smart' capability. Like all high-end TVs launched this year, this LG is smarter than Albert Einstein in a Savile Row suit. Its multimedia talents break down into three areas: Smart Share media streaming from a home network, unrestricted web browsing and App access. Net connection is done via the Ethernet jack or optional wireless dongle.

The selection of pre-installed apps in LG's Smart TV portal is pretty decent, including Acetrax and Viewster movies-on-demand, vTuner net radio, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, Google Maps and the ubiquitous BBC iPlayer. Some of these you may already have courtesy of your Blu-ray player or TV service, but it's better to be safe than sorry. More obscure/niche/pointless apps can be downloaded from and placed on your personalised dashboard. Check out www.lgtvapp.com to see what's on offer.

The web browser promises unfettered surfing – something that Panasonic has omitted from its own Viera Connect smart TVs. Because our review sample arrived before the TVs hit shop shelves (first week of April) it hadn't been activated.

We had more joy with the Smart Share function, which seems quite robust. Connected to both a NAS drive and a PC on our tech network, we were soon streaming MP3s, JPEGs, and H.264 video files to the 47LW550T's screen with ease.

A feature that will never get a lot of fanfare in the advertising blurb is the 47LW550T's extensive picture calibration possibilities. That's a shame, as what's on offer here is unrivalled in the flatscreen TV market.

Beyond the usual Vivid, Standard, Cinema and Game picture presets are two ISF Expert options. Selecting one of these opens up the Expert Control sub menu, where you'll find all manner of consumer-baffling tweaks, including a full colour management system. This is where an ISF-certified technician will be able to calibrate the 47LW550T to within an inch of its life, saving their work for you to call into action at the touch of a button.

What's great about the 47LW550T is that owners get to play at being an ISF nerd, too. LG's Picture Wizard, found in the setup menu, is a step-by-step process that encourages you to adjust various levels until one image in the screen matches LG's own recommendation.

It's similar to the system found on Philips 46PFL9705, but more advanced, including White Level, Tint and Horizontal/Vertical Sharpness stages. The results are saved to the ISF Expert 1 preset. We found our selections greatly improved on the picture quality offered by the Standard mode preset.

Connectivity is par for the flatscreen course. There are four HDMI v1.4 inputs (side-mounted, with one offering Audio Return Channel support), two USB ports, Ethernet, composite, PC input and digital audio output. Because of the size of the connections recess, a special adaptor is provided for component and RGB Scart.

Other features of note include the ability to use the 47LW550T with LG's optional Magic Motion remote control, 100Hz TruMotion smoothing technology, DivX HD certification and a built-in Freeview HD tuner.