LG 55LW980T review

Does LG's 55-inch flagship LCD TV live up to the hype?

LG 55LW980T
Smart TV services all work on the 55-inch LCD TV - eventually

TechRadar Verdict


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    Gorgeous design

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    Mostly brilliant 2D and 3D pictures

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    Excellent multimedia tools

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    Ships with seven pairs of 3D glasses


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    Minor resolution loss with 3D Blu-rays

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    Visible signs of the 3D filter

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    Black levels a touch troublesome

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    Rather reflective screen

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    Input lag isn't great

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So here it is at last. After a seemingly interminable wait, the new flagship model in LG's LCD TV range, the Nano 55LW980T, is finally here, bringing with it a massive feature count and, hopefully, LG's best flat TV picture quality ever.

The most exciting thing about the LG 55LW980T is its use of direct LED lighting, where the LED clusters sit behind the panel, rather than the much more common edge LED lighting system. Although more expensive, the direct LED approach enables TV manufacturers to have much greater control over local luminance levels in their TVs' pictures, which experience has shown consistently results in much better picture quality.

The LG 55LW980T has plenty of other neat tricks in its feature locker, too. It's got LG's passive 3D TV technology for a start, complete with no less than seven pairs of 3D glasses thrown in for free. Plus it's got a truly extensive suite of multimedia tools, including playback of video, music and photo files from USB devices or networked, DLNA-capable PCs.

The LG 55LW980T can access LG's rapidly expanding Smart TV online platform via LAN internet or integrated Wi-Fi, and boasts a new 'number' in the ever-escalating war of TV specs: MCI 1000. The MCI bit of this spec stands for Motion Clarity Index, revealing that the 1000 bit is essentially LG claiming that the 55LW980T delivers a 1000Hz-like effect. This is thanks to a combination of the screen's high native refresh rate, a scanning backlight, and motion interpolation processing.

While such spec sheet numbers always need to be treated with healthy suspicion, though, it's useful in this case if only because it indicates that the 55LW980T enjoys LG's most advanced suite of image quality tools to date.

Joining the 55-inch model in LG's LW980T range is the 47-inch 47LW980T.

If you can't quite run to the LW980T's premium pricing you can step down to LG's LW650T models, such as the LG 55LW650T. The TVs in this range use edge LED lighting rather than direct LED lighting, and carry an MCI 850 engine rather than an MCI 1000 engine.

If you prefer plasma technology and active 3D playback, LG's got you covered with its PZ950T range. Right now, though, there's a lot to get through with the LG 55LW980T, so let's get down to business.

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.