Top positive review
70 people found this helpful
Very, Very Good - now includes Amazon Instant App (see updates)
on June 2, 2013
After looking at many, many televisions in the 55" and 60" LED LCD Class, we finally settled on the 2013 55LA8600 from LG.
Through reviews from Cnet and Amazon, we had a fairly short list. On this: Samsung 2012 ES8000, Samsung 2013 F8000, LG 2012 LM8600, LG 2013 LA8600, and the Sony 2012 HX850. LCD was a requirement, rather than plasma, as this television sits in a room with a high amount of light. The 4K televisions looked great in-store, but the price is too high for us to justify at this time. If you've got the budget, I'd certainly recommend looking at them as well. 240hz refresh was also required as we watch a great deal of F1, Indy, and Nascar racing and wanted to ensure that there was limited blur.
Home Theater Setup:
We have this set mounted on a cabinet (with future intent to mount on the wall), hooked to a 2012 Yamaha Aventage 720 receiver. Speakers are Polk Floor RTi-A5 and an older Csi A6 center channel with Polk powered sub. We are on Comcast Cable and Internet. I have HDMI run through the receiver and hard-wired ethernet running directly from the router. The set is also on a CyberPower battery backup. I also have the Tivo, Roku, and Apple Tv set up through the receiver. TV is on a cabinet just above eye level, and primary viewing area is about 11' back.
Picture Quality: Samsung F8000 vs LG8600
In-store, we compared this television side-by-side with the Samsung F8000. Both sets were beautiful. When placed at the factory default "standard" video setting, the Samsung was visibly brighter than the LG. However, the LG seemed to be "warmer" and had a better picture / color quality. This was especially evident to us when looking at grass in a golf show. The LG of course can be brightened to mimic the Samsung, but at first glance, the Samsung was brighter. Both sets have crisp, clear images and I have not doubt that either is an excellent choice.
Setup was simple out of the box. Remove the TV, Assemble with stand (4 bolts), hook up the HDMI, Ethernet, and Cable, and place on stand. My husband and I teamed up on this - the TV is around 50 lbs, so you'll definitely want two people to get things set up. Stand is nice-looking, and accents the television well.
Initial startup was extremely simple. Turn on, select language, select input, and you're in business (more or less). There are more steps to get the Smart TV features going, but you don't have to start with this. The set is beautiful with a black frame, and nearly edge-to-edge screen. Glare isn't bad (much better than our older 42" Panasonic Plasma), but you can't completely eliminate it. Default settings are good; we disabled the ECO mode choice, and set picture to "Game Mode" after viewing the initial picture. At first glance, I don't see much evidence of edge lighting or ghosting, but haven't had a great length of time to review yet.
Sound: I can't review the sound as we have this hooked to a receiver and home theater setup.
The TV ships with LG's "Magic Remote" which is very cool! It's got the gyroscope in it, so can be used like a mouse on the menus. We set this up to also control the Tivo, so while it's not quite as good as the Tivo remote, you can get by. The TV will also accept verbal commands and gestures, although we haven't used these much yet. Let's say that they seem to compare to the Samsung's capability.
Interface & Smart TV Features
No difficulties here and pretty straight forward. Changing the TV sound and picture settings is quite simple. The Smart TV menu is intuitive and gives a great selection of options - big ones are Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and Pandora. I'm hoping we can add Amazon Instant as well. Ideally, this should replace our set-top Roku (fingers crossed). The interface is snazzy and the web browser is good. I still prefer the TV or Ipad, but in a pinch this will do.
Pop-up camera is included with Skype, It works well, does a great job accounting for room brightness, and can be hidden when not needed. This is great in keeping with the simplicity of the set.
We really like this set. Size-wise, this is perfect for our room - 55" was the way for us to go. However, if you're on the fence between 55" & 60", look at price as well - as of June 2013, there is minimal difference in price between the two - this may help with a decision. Picture quality is fantastic, and the interface is very fast. The Smart TV features are what puts this set over the top; being able to use the integrated apps for video watching is a huge bonus, and should replace some of our other boxes. This is a very good TV and initially we can't find too many issues. A slight pixellation up close in action, slight reflection (with any LCD) keep this from a 5-star review (although this will happen with all televisions). Very satisfied with this purchase, and a great looking TV.
Update: June 27, 2013:
Still really like this TV; if there were an Amazon Instant App, it would be 5-star. After about a month, here are few more observations:
1) As of June 27, there is still no Amazon Instant App available. This needs to happen soon! LG - Please Add this Soon; the app is available for the 2012 models, why not the 2013 models?
2)TV speakers are very good for a TV. Very acceptable (though nowhere near the surround sound setup.
3) Menus are very intuitive
4) Skype app works very well
5) Web browser is surprisingly good.
6) Picture in Picture is terrific - this is great when using the Smart Interface or showing a guide
7) Only error we've found - when trying to use the mic on the remote - for some reason it keeps telling us that we need to enter smart setup (which we've done numerous times).
With the exception of the Amazon Instant App - this TV meets all needs. Still Very Impressed!
Update: September 7, 2013
Finally! LG has now provided a terrific Amazon Instant app for this TV. It is very user-friendly. With this addition, I'm revising my review from 4 to 5 stars. Very satisfied with this television.