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Today's Show:
Its been a while since we reviewed an HDTV so for today's show we put the LG 47LG70 through its paces. This is a 120Hz 47 inch 1080p LCD TV that can easily be used as your primary TV. While it may be a bit too big for your bedroom it will fit nicely in most people's living rooms. The TV has a street price of about $1700 but you get a lot for the price:

LG 47LG70 (Street Price $1700 Buy Now)

Features:
  • LCD HDTV features an elegant & distinctive lower edge tear drop design with swivel stand
  • 1080p Full HD resolution 1920 x 1080p
  • Trumotion 120Hz panel for clear smooth images even for fast action scenes
  • 4x HDMI v 1.3 digital inputs
  • ISFccc capable for professional calibration for picture performance
  • Invisible speaker system for richer more balanced sound & a polished look
  • 40,000:1 Dynamic contrast ratio
  • 24p Real Cinema

The TV has a Piano Black finish that is a bit bulkier than others we have reviewed. It measures 30.10" h x 44.90" w x 5.00" (76.5 cm x 114 cm x 12.7 cm) and weighs almost 57 pounds (25.8 kg). The fit and finish of the TV is first rate. Setup was simple and quick using HDMI connections. This TV has four HDMI inputs so there is no need to worry about running out of HD inputs. We calibrated the TV at first with our Digital Video Essentials and then we fine tuned it by eye. We'll post the settings at the end of this write up. The TV has detailed settings that and ISF certified technician can use to really make it shine. LG even included two calibration settings. You can use it for day or night viewing or even Blu Ray or Satellite. We recommend either calibrating the TV yourself of having an ISF certified technician out to your place. You can even use our settings but like we always say. These settings are for our environment. Use them as a starting point.

Once calibrated it was time to watch the TV to see how it did. We watched Blu Ray and HD Satellite. For the record SD looked OK when upconverted via our Satellite Set Top Box. First up were Blu Ray Movies. We watched Iron Man, Band Of Brothers, and Mama Mia. All three looked very good. Mama Mia (a movie Ara was forced to buy) made me want to visit the Greek Islands again. The colors popped off the screen. Iron Man should be in every Blu Ray owners library. It is a good movie for showing off both your video and audio capability. The TV did a good job with detail but some of the dark scenes could have been a bit better. The TV did a good job with blacks but we have seen better from Samsung and SONY. We watched the movie in 24 FPS and enjoyed a smooth picture. This is one of those settings that if you don't see any judder while watching at 60 FPS you may not notice any improvement at 24 FPS and wonder what the big deal is.

Next it was on to HD Satellite. We watched movies, sports, news, and network TV. All looked very good. Sports really shined. The 120HZ refresh is designed to enhance your sports viewing. The TV even has a demo to help you see the difference. Half the screen is in 120Hz and the other half is at 60Hz. They even scroll a ticker across the screen to bring home the point. Our experience is that the 120Hz really helps the ticker! Its hard to see any other improvement. Our recommendation is to turn TruMotion to off or low. It goes back to what we said on a previous show. The faster scan rates really help content that is shot in that scan rate. Regardless of what mode you chose, we found watching sports on this TV is very enjoyable. The only real knock we had was that we could not get the skin tones to look right. We are confident that an ISF Certified Technician could help here. It was not too bad it just didn't look as natural as our other TVs.

The TV has excellent off angle viewing. The colors stayed true out beyond 160 degrees off center. The other thing we really liked was that there was no glare of the screen. Using this TV in a well lit room will not be an issue. The last thing we noticed was the TV did not do very well with over compressed HD. If you have HD and you know its over compressed you may not like what you see. While watching DirecTV the picture looked very good. NBC over the air on the other hand looked pretty bad.

Odds and Ends:
The TVs speakers output nice sound especially when consider how well they are hidden. The TV has SRS TruSurround XT and Dolby Digital decoding built in but as usual we did not find the simulated surround compelling. The menus are easy enough to navigate but it would be nice if you could activate TruMotion more easily. As it is now you have to go into the advance controls of the picture menu to get to it. The remote was laid out nicely and LG has a Q. Menu for getting at settings most users need quickly. We believe LG should have included the TruMotion setting in this menu.

Conclusion:
The LG 47LG70 is a TV that will make a great addition to anyone family room. The picture looks great even in a brightly lit room. The rich colors really pop off the screen regardless of your viewing angle. The only real complaints we have are that the blacks could be darker and that it could handle a compressed signal better. At $1700 the TV is one of the better priced 1080p TVs that have a 120Hz refresh rate.

Calibrations Settings (Use as a starting point. You results will vary):
Picture menu
  • Picture Mode: Expert 1
  • Backlight: 47
  • Contrast: 80
  • Brightness: 50
  • Sharpness: 33
  • Color: 57
  • Tint: 0

Expert control menu
  • Fresh contrast: Off
  • Noise reduction: Off
  • Gamma: Low
  • Black level: Low
  • Real Cinema: On
  • TruMotion: Off or low
  • Color Standard: N/A
  • White balance: Warm
  • Method: 10 point IRE

10 point IRE calibration
  • 10: IRE Red: 2 Green: 2 Blue: -11
  • 20: IRE Red: -6 Green: 0 Blue: -7
  • 30: IRE Red: -5 Green: 0 Blue: -6
  • 40: IRE Red: -5 Green: 0 Blue: -4
  • 50: IRE Red: -4 Green: 3 Blue: -4
  • 60: IRE Red: -6 Green: 4 Blue: -5
  • 70: IRE Red: -8 Green: 3 Blue: -9
  • 80: IRE Red: -7 Green: 9 Blue: -16
  • 90: IRE Red: -9 Green: 2 Blue: -18
  • 100 IRE Red: -8 Green: 4 Blue: -9

Color management system
  • Red color: 0
  • Red tint: 2
  • Green color: 0
  • Green tint: -14
  • Blue color: 0
  • Blue tint: 10
  • Yellow color: 10
  • Yellow tint: 1
  • Cyan color: -5
  • Cyan tint: 0
  • Magenta color: 0
  • Magenta tint: -1
  • Posted by The HT Guys, January 23, 2009 12:24 AM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.