I got this TV a few weeks ago, and have been really enjoying having it. I was not in the market for a new TV, but I am definitely really glad that I got this one. Below are some of my experiences and observations thus far. I may add some more info as I get to know this TV more in the upcoming years.
***** Setup *****
Despite it being a fairly big 47″ TV, setting this device up was a breeze. It is remarkably light, and even though you are supposed to set it up with someone else helping you out, a reasonably strong person could do it by himself. The connections and all the other setup features were also reasonably easy to figure out and configure, although this could be just my bias – over the years I’ve set up a fair number of TVs and other “screen”-based devices, so I am very familiar with all of its ins and outs. If, on the other hand, you don’t know the difference between, say an HDMI and component cables, then you might want to have someone a bit more technically savvy helping you out.
***** Picture Quality *****
Despite all the advances over the years in various features of the “smart” TVs, for me the number one consideration when buying a new TV is the picture quality. Fortunately TV manufacturers have been more than obliging in this department in recent years, and each year we are treated to some new improvement. Today most TVs made by the top brand manufacturers more than meet my minimum requirements. Even so, the visual quality of the content that can be viewed on this LG TV is just stunning. The colors are crisp and vibrant, and the contrast is very impressive as well. The TV features very wide viewing angles, and it can be enjoyed throughout even a larger living room.
This is the first TV that I’ve owned which features the 240 Hz refresh rate. Personally I am a bit ambivalent about it. Yes, it makes the picture seem much smoother, but this effect can be look petty unnatural when you see it for the first time. It almost has the feel of a homemade video. You get used to it after a while, though, and the “normal” TVs start looking choppy.
***** 3D *****
I am not a huge fan of 3D TV, but given a chance I don’t mind watching that kind of visually enhanced content. When it comes to movies, I guess I am still very much “old school.” A few action-packed and/or visually enhanced movies that came out in recent years do make the 3D worth having around. The same goes for the few sports channels – watching high-level athletic competition in 3D is definitely a great experience. However, for the most part, I still don’t see the 3D technology as a make-or-break for my TV experience.
This TV comes with four pairs of 3D goggles. This is enough for your typical nuclear family these days, but you may want to get a few extra ones if you are planning on watching some 3D content with guests. This TV uses the passive 3D technology, which in my experience is much easier on the eyes and makes for cheaper and lighter goggles.
***** Sound Quality *****
Unlike the picture quality, the sound quality of the TVs in recent years has not been showing nearly comparable improvement. The sound of this TV is more than adequate for your casual watching, but if you really want to make the most of this TV – be it for amazing sports or movies – you will certainly need to invest into a better external sound system. This is fine as far as I am concerned – I already have a pretty good sound bar that I’ve been using from before. But if you are trying to determine your total budget for a new TV, then this consideration should be another thing to keep in mind.
***** Build and Design *****
This is a very elegant and svelte looking TV. It is very light, but it feels very sturdy and well built. The lack of thick bezel makes the TV look almost like a stand-alone work of art. It also makes it seem smaller than it really is, something that I am not too bothered with.
***** Online Content *****
These days I primarily rely on Netflix for my content, so I have come to expect from a TV to provide an easy Internet access. However, in the past, aside from a few very specific TV “apps” I’ve had the hard time accessing most of the online content. With this Google TV I’ve been able to access more content than I ever did before, aside from accessing it all on my computer. Furthermore, the Google search function makes finding things to watch incredibly easy and intuitive.
***** Live Primetime Guide *****
One of the biggest frustrations that I have with TV in general is the difficulty of finding the right programing. Most TV systems still rely on a cumbersome set of menus and scrolling which gets incredibly tedious when you have to deal with hundreds, if not thousands, channels. Some Cable systems (including TiVo for instance) have a more manageable search features, but even these are far from ideal. The inability to find the right kind of programming on demand is particularly frustrating when compared with the almost magical ability to find stuff online. A Google TV seems like an ideal solution to those woes.
The LG keyboard remote is pretty good interface solution for accessing the guide. The keyboard is diminutive and you would not want to use it for any kind of extensive typing, but as an access point for text input it is more than adequate. The keyboard also has a voice-input functionality. So far I have only used it sporadically, and if my use of Siri is anything to go by, then I don’t see myself using it a lot in the future. However, for all those who prefer this kind of input it is a very convenient feature to have.
***** Conclusion *****
This is a truly very beautiful, functional, and glossy TV with a lots of “smart” features. After using it for a few weeks I am more than happy with everything that it has to offer. However, if you are “only” concerned with getting the best picture quality for your money, and all those other higher-end features don’t impress you all that much, then there are many other much cheaper TVs available right now.