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LG 47LD950 review

LG takes an old-fashioned approach to 3D - with some surprising results

Our Verdict

For

  • Excellent picture quality with Sky 3D broadcasts
  • Attractive design
  • Decent HD picture quality
  • Cheap 3D glasses

Against

  • Alternate frame Blu-ray playback is fundamentally flawed
  • Seems more expensive than it should be

LG 47ld950

It's nice to find all the 47LD950's 3D tech all built into the TV and included within its (rather hefty) £2,500 asking price, rather than requiring any optional extra kit. And it's also nice to find LG ramming home the point about the cheapness of its glasses by including four with the TV – all of which come in cute little leather-like cases that feel more expensive than the green-framed glasses themselves.

However, before we go much further we need to get into the 'catch' hinted at earlier. For there's actually a very good reason why most of the AV world is pushing the less cost-effective active shutter 3D technology: resolution.

You don't have to be Einstein to figure out that if you adopt LG's approach, of effectively having two images slightly offset from each other on the screen at the same time, then clearly you have to share the screen's available pixels out between these two images.

So inevitably the resulting pictures aren't going to contain the same pixel resolution as active shutter images, where single, full HD frames are cycled alternately for each eye so fast that your brain runs them together to produce the illusion of three dimensions.

On the upside, LG's passive approach lends itself on paper quite nicely to the 'side by side' broadcast format delivered by Sky's 3D channel.

Turning to other features of the 47LD950, it's a 'traditional' liquid crystal screen in that it uses CCFL backlighting rather than the edge or direct LED systems favoured by all the other LCD-based 3D TVs we've seen to date.

It's also distinguished by 200Hz processing – actually 100Hz plus a scanning backlight – included to boost motion resolution and fluidity. This should hopefully prove helpful in keeping motion clear in a 3D environment.

Plenty of tweaks

In common with nearly every current LG TV, the 47LD950 is prodigiously stocked with picture fine-tuning options. These include a solid degree of colour management, as well as gamma settings, various noise reduction systems, contrast and black level boosters, the ability to adjust the potency of the motion processing and a processor for enhancing the edges of objects in low contrast images.

We'd suggest you handle some of these features – especially the edge enhancing and noise reducing systems – with kid gloves, as they can make pictures look worse, rather than better, if clumsily applied, especially where HD is concerned.

But overall the 47LD950's set up flexibility is commendable, to the extent that the TV has been endorsed by the independent Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) as a set that could be calibrated by one of its engineers.

Not that the 47LD950 has forgotten that most people aren't professional TV engineers; the set also includes a helpful picture wizard tool that guides you through the picture calibration process with a few basic, but useful, test signals.

The 47LD950's feature count is mostly impressive, though there are a couple of notable disappointments. The conspicuous absence of an Ethernet port immediately alerts you to the fact that it doesn't have a built-in Freeview HD tuner.

Instead you get just standard-definition Freeview – a surprising oversight on such an otherwise forward-thinking TV. We can only imagine it has something to do with the set's relatively long evolution from the passive sets LG used for Sky's 3D events in pubs and clubs back in April 2010.

The lack of an Ethernet port also means there's no DLNA PC connectivity, nor any means of jacking into LG's new NetCast online service – all things you might reasonably have expected to find on a 47in set costing £2,500.

The screen doesn't completely ignore multimedia, though, for it provides a D-Sub PC input, and a USB port capable of playing DivX HD video as well as the usual JPEG and MP3 suspects. Joining the USB and PC port are four v1.4 HDMI inputs, as well as an RS-232 port that will help you integrate the TV into a wider home AV network.

One final 'feature' of the 47LD950 we should comment on is its design. Its CCFL backlight means it's not as slim round the back as many of the current 3D generation, and its bezel is pretty chunky too by today's standards. Though the rich, polished finish of this bezel, together with a centimetre or so of transparency at the TV's outer 'wings', ensures that it's still a very attractive bit of kit.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
3D Type3D
Brand NameLG
Screen Size119.4 cm (47")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle176°
Vertical Viewing Angle176°
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)23.40 kg
VESA Mount Standard200 x 200
Operating Power Consumption260 W
Standby Power Consumption990 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio150,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
DVIYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand789.70 mm
Width with Stand1173.40 mm
Depth with Stand337.40 mm
Number of Common Interface1
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
3D TechnologyPolarized
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate200 Hz
Height723.4 mm
Width1173.4 mm
Depth100.8 mm
Brightness500 cd/m²
Sound SystemDolby Digital
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesChild Lock, Sleep Timer
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product Model47LD950
Product Name47LD950 47" LCD TV
Manufacturer Part Number47LD950
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

Whether you have an expansive home theater or a comfy living room, LG offers state-of-the-art televisions for every room in your house. For game days and movie nights, LG's plasma, LCD and an LED TVs deliver an incredible entertainment experience in the comfort of your home. LG also offers the innovative 84 inch UHD TV with double the resolution of a standard HD TVs and the stunning OLED TV with an infinite contrast ratio. Plus, with our Smart TVs and 3D TVs, you can connect to the internet or turn virtually any programming into a 3D experience.

Package Contents
  • 47LD950 LCD TV
  • 4 x Passive Glasses
Response Time2.20 ms
SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)20.80 kg