Click the image at the right to see the picture settings used in the review and to read more about how this TV’s picture controls worked during calibration.
|Comparison models (details)|
|Toshiba 40E220U||40-inch LCD|
|LG 42CS560||42-inch LCD|
|TCL L40FHDP60||40-inch LCD|
|Samsung LN46D630||46-inch LCD|
|Samsung LN46E550F||46-inch LCD|
|Panasonic TC-P65VT50 (reference)||65-inch plasma|
Black level: If all you plan to watch are news broadcasts and sports, then the LG could be OK, but the demands of modern theatrical releases in a dark room might prove too much. You don't see too many nighttime scenes in sitcoms, but they are a mainstay of movies and even TV dramas, and that's where the LS4600 comes unstuck.
The LS4600 showed the lightest black levels of the seven TVs in my test. In a darkened room the blacks looked brown, and the rebel Romulan ship from "Star Trek" was indecipherable -- spoiled by big backlight clouds and light blacks.
Despite unconvincing black levels, shadow detail was very good. This may seem illogical given the reduced dynamic range of the set, but the LG had better shadow detail than both the Toshiba E220 and Samsung E550. That's small consolation though, since both TVs kicked its butt in terms of cinematic punch due to the deeper black levels.
Color accuracy: The LG LS4600 had very similar color reproduction to the Philips PFL5907, which meant that colors were relatively true to life. However, compared with vibrant performers like the Samsung E550 and Toshiba E220, the LG lacked saturation, and skin tone in particular appeared a little yellow. When this restrained color palette was combined with the low black levels of the TV, the effect was fairly underwhelming.
Video processing: While not enough to save the TV given its other faults, the LG at least has very good picture processing. It was able to relay Blu-ray movies at the correct cadence with no stuttering with 1080p/24 sources in our "I Am Legend" test. In addition the 1080i film test of a sports stand was again replayed without any judder and no moire between the tightly packed chairs.
On the other hand the TV delivered only 300 to 400 lines of motion resolution, which is uncharacteristic for a 120Hz television. I don't consider that a big deal, however, since I didn't notice any obvious blurring in program material.
Uniformity: LG's LS4600 and CS560 were the worst of the group, both exhibiting poor uniformity. The LS4600, despite being the more expensive of the two, was arguably worse, with visible backlight blotchiness across the whole screen, which could obscure details in a dark picture.
When you are standing off-axis, the TV's colors and already-poor black levels completely washed out leaving a very gray-looking image. At least the TV has a swivel stand so you can minimize these issues from some seating postions.
Bright lighting: The LG has quite a glossy screen, and under lights it proved to be very reflective. While in some cases this can mean that you get an illusion of higher contrast, the blacks were still blotchy and blue-looking in the case of this TV.
|GEEK BOX: Test||Result||Score|
|Black luminance (0%)||0.0696||Poor|
|Near-black x/y (5%)||0.2798/0.2847||Poor|
|Dark gray x/y (20%)||0.3121/0.3294||Good|
|Bright gray x/y (70%)||0.3126/0.3291||Good|
|Before avg. color temp.||10348.0945||Poor|
|After avg. color temp.||6548.9993||Good|
|Red lum. error (de94_L)||2.479||Average|
|Green lum. error (de94_L)||2.5584||Average|
|Blue lum. error (de94_L)||1.2554||Good|
|Cyan hue x/y||0.2336/0.3215||Average|
|Magenta hue x/y||0.314/0.152||Good|
|Yellow hue x/y||0.4214/0.518||Average|
|1080p/24 Cadence (IAL)||Pass||Good|
|1080i Deinterlacing (film)||Pass||Good|
|Motion resolution (max)||350||Poor|
|Motion resolution (dejudder off)||N/A||Poor|