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

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LG 55lw980t

LG clearly wants to send out a message with its 55LW980T. And that message is that if anyone still clings on to a belief that the Korean brand is only interested in the budget end of the market, they're very sorely mistaken.

Basically the LG 55LW980T reads like a bucket list of stuff a modern home entertainment enthusiast would want from a TV. Its direct LED illumination system, for a start, has long been associated with the quality end of the LCD world, even though it's deemed too expensive to use by many brands.

It's also a very attractively and gorgeously built TV, and comes packed with connections and multimedia ambitions that include a feature-packed online Smart TV platform, and playback of most types of video, photo and music files from DLNA PCs or USB flash drives.

Also on board is LG's most high-powered video engine to date, and the set is extremely easy to use, considering it's got so many features.

The best thing about the LG 55LW980T, though, is that it doesn't just talk a good talk. It actually delivers on most of its promises, with outstanding picture quality (provided you take care with its backlight and local dimming settings) and punchy sound.

The LG 55LW980T isn't cheap, but it's got so much going on and delivers so much quality that it appears to be worth every penny.

We liked

The LG 55LW980T looks every inch a flagship TV model with its svelte but well-built bodywork. It's got all the connections you'll need, too, and delivers a feast of multimedia functionality - including a much-improved Smart TV platform.

Its picture quality is terrific for the most part too, with good contrast, colours, motion reproduction and sharpness. Perhaps most importantly, it makes another fine case for LG's passive 3D technology.

We disliked

The set's native black level response is surprisingly average, but thankfully you can fix this via the local dimming system without causing haloing artefacts.

The screen is a bit reflective too, and the Smart TV services are sluggish. The passive 3D pictures lose a little resolution and can reveal signs of the filter on the screen. The screen's input lag is too high for gaming comfort, too.

Final verdict

AV enthusiasts have been on tenterhooks for months to see how LG's new flagship Nano LCD TVs would turn out. So it's a relief to be able to report that they most definitely deliver the goods, combining great design with an uncompromising feature list and, best of all, some really terrific picture and sound quality.

It's a real shame gamers might have to shun the TV on account of its input lag, but aside from this the LG 55LW980T is comfortably the best TV LG has ever made.

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.