LG 47LY95 review

Great looking, but not enough inside

TechRadar Verdict

Hi-def colours impress, but black levels have this Full HD TV floundering


  • +

    Attractive design

    Good standard def pictures


  • -

    Poor black levels

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LG's largest Full HD LCD TV to date, the 47-inch 47LY95, is as big on design flourishes as it is on pixel count, but there are some picture issues that are impossible to ignore, even at £1,700.

That said, the 47LY95 is undeniably lovely to look at. This 47-inch LCD TV joins LG's 'chocolate mobile phone' 60PF95 plasma screen and the 20-inch HD-ready 20LS3 as a superb example of what can be done with a TV's design to make it look both classic and contemporary. Its dark frame with silver trim is extremely easy on the eye and begs to be integrated into your living room.

Not just a pretty fascia

The 47LY95's specification is also good to look at. The 47LY95 has a resolution to match its screen size, featuring a pixel count of 1920 x 1080 - perfect for high definition feeds.

It backs up its Full HD screen resolution with a 1:1 pixel mode, meaning that no noisy overscanning is applied to 1920 x 1080 picture sources. Furthermore, XD Engine processing capabilities kick in that have been designed for a screen of this high resolution.

Connections also bodes well for the 47LY95: two HDMI inputs lead the way, earning the TV its HD-ready status along with component video input. Other connectivity of merit includes PC input, twin Scarts (one RGB-enabled), and S-video.

The aforementioned HDMIs can also handle 1080p sources - including the 1080p/24 format, as well as allowing you to control other pieces of AV kit from LG conveniently from a single remote control.

The challenges of Planet Earth are a real test of an HDTV's mettle, so we set our HD DVD spinning to see how much the 47LY95 lives up to its potential. First impressions with high definition material are promising, particularly in the colour department.

Oceans and jungles alike are bestowed with some of the most vibrant colours that we've seen a Full HD LCD TV deliver. Impressive stuff. These self same high definition images aren't plagued with noise, either, especially when using the 1:1 pixel mode.

This isn't Planet Earth

Unfortunately, the 47LY95 hits a wall when it comes to black levels: they're frankly disappointing. Watching darker sequences becomes a chore when you have to peer through grey mist, undoing the good work of the vivid colours. Black levels just aren't convincing enough to make the experience of watching Planet Earth as immersive as we've seen on other Full HD TVs.

The domino effect of these lacklustre black levels is also damning: skin tones can look alien during darker scenes. Also, 24fps 1080p sources are riddled with judder - hardly a relaxing hi-def experience.

The 47LY95 does claw back some credibility with its standard definition picture performance, as images bear up to much more scrutiny than many a large screen Full HD TV out there. The set's audio performance is also more than adequate.

Unfortunately, these two positive points are an exercise in shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted: this set's shaky Full HD performance leaves us visually disappointed and with the suspicion that the 47LY95 is an exercise in style over substance.

When you take into account the calibre of some of the other models around, the shortcomings of the 47LY95 appear more acute. Back to the drawing board for LG.

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