LG 55LW-650T review

The LG 55LW650T Cinema 3D TV is a Smart LED set with a social edge

Reasons to buy
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    flicker-free 3D

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    Bustling online content portal

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    Solid HD image quality

Reasons to avoid
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    Limited contrast

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    Picture-knackering eco modes

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    Tricky Media Link setup

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The LG 55LW650T is one of the cheapest super-size Smart TVs around, thanks to its inexpensive passive Cinema 3D system but there's no cost-cutting on performance

The LG 55LW650T is a well specified internet connected TV, offering a broad variety of IPTV services via the brand's Smart TV portal, as well as cost-effective passive 3D.

The LW650T series reviewed here sits just above LG's lookalike LW550T range, which lack the LW650T's picture processing talents, and squares off against Active Shutter 3D rivals such as the Sony KDL-46EX723 and HX723, Samsung UE55D8000 and Panasonic TX-P50GT30.

LG 55LW650T : Features

The 55LW650T isn't short on party tricks. It can timeshift to an external USB drive, a feature LG calls Time Machine, and has access to copious downloadable apps and streaming video from the likes of BBC iPlayer, YouTube and Acetrax.

If you're a file hoarder, you'll also appreciate its advanced media streaming talents both via DLNA and LGs own smart server client, called Media Link. AVI, MKV, AVCHD and H.264 video files all play locally from USB as wells across a LAN.

LG 55LW650T : Design

If the screen does has a weakness, it's aesthetics. It may look neat and tidy, but it's also exceedingly generic. This is just another thin, flat, black LED telly.

LG 55LW650T : Specs

Connectivity is fine, and comparable with the competition. The TV has four HDMI inputs, offers two USBs (one intended for those lightweight PVR duties), plus component and legacy AV inputs, PC and Ethernet. There's no onboard Wi-Fi, but LG does offer a dongle if you can't run a network cable to the set.

LG 55LW650T : Performance

Image quality is very good, provided you avoid using the screen's eco settings. As unwelcome as a plate of greens at a kids party, they compromise the set's images and rob it of sparkle. Also resist the siren call of the Sharpness dial, because all it adds is ringing edge enhancement.

LG's 200Hz TruMotion processor does a good enough job of retaining motion detail, making this screen an OK choice for sports fans.

This set's passive 'Cinema 3D' system is actually a lot of fun. Seven pairs of 3D spectacles are included in the pack, which should be enough to outfit friends and family.

Unlike Active Shutter tech, Cinema 3D reduces the resolution of 3D content by half. While this makes images look courser than 2D Full HD, with more jaggy edges, however the glasses don't flicker and as long as you sit square on to the set, there's no bothersome crosstalk either.

The set's 10w audio system is entertaining enough, although adding a separate multi-channel sound system at a later date does make sense. Until then, you can avail yourself of an 'Infinite 3D sound' mode which creates a faux multichannel experience from stereo sources. The screen only really begins to seem under-powered when asked to cope with action movies.

55LW650T : Verdict

The LG 55LW650T is a difficult LED TV to resist. There's not much it lacks when it comes to features, it's attractively priced and has a design that's bland enough to fit with most décor (not necessarily a bad thing).

Picture quality can be considered very good, with the caveat that the set needs some coaxing to show just how good its visuals can be. You'll need to moderate some of the out-of-the-box settings, and its well-meaning eco modes should be switched off smartish as they do not make for great viewing.

If you're looking for a thin-screen that'll deliver immersive 3D for the kids, and has enough connected catch-up TV options to ensure you never miss the stuff you forgot to series link, it's a strong contender.

LG 55LW650T availabillity: Available now

LG 55LW650T price: £1,399

Steve May

For over 25 years, Steve has been casting his keen eyes and ears over the best that the world of TV and audio has to offer. He was the creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and contributes to huge range of technology, home and music titles along with T3, including TechRadar, Louder, Ideal Home, the i newspaper, and more.