Customer Review

341 of 373 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No frills, but probably the best TV in it's class for the price., September 14, 2013
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This review is from: LG Electronics 39LN5300 39-Inch 1080p 60Hz LED TV (2013 Model) (Electronics)
I purchased this TV for my 91 year old grandmother who decided it was time to spend a little money on herself (I purchased from Amazon and she reimbursed me). Before this, she was using a 27" JVC CRT that was nearing the end of its useful life since the screen kept getting progressively darker and any programming showing dark scenes was almost impossible to see (and that was with the brightness turned all the way up). At the same time, she was getting sick and tired of paying for basic cable service (about $25/mo) so I purchased a cheap RCA antenna (ANT111) to take advantage of the free OTA digital channels. She lives 5-7 miles from most of the towers and was able to pick up 39 digital channels with this antenna (she was previously only getting 10-15 channels from Time Warner).

While searching for her new TV, I had to consider space and price. I felt that a 32" TV would have been too small and since I couldn't find any suitable options in the 35-37" range I started looking at the 40" TVs. Unfortunately, these were out of her budget probably due to their "smart" options - which she will never use and their 120Hz refresh rates. Also, I needed to keep the overall width of the TV to 35".

I then turned my search to 39" models and narrowed it down to the Samsung UN39FH5000 and the LG 39LN5300. To make an extremely long story short, I have a grudge against Samsung because I've been burned so many times in the past (google "Samsung panel lottery"). It was hard for me to consider the Sammy, but I think it was the next best option to this LG (even though the Sammy was four bills and the LG was just over three).

I had the TV shipped to my home so I could evaluate it prior to setting it up for her. Set up was easy and straight forward. Three Philips head machine screws attach the bracket to the base, the TV slips over the bracket and secures with four Philips head machine screws with washers.

BUILD QUALITY (7/10): The build quality of this TV is above average if you consider its budget friendly price. I am only disappointed with the quality of the stand as it's as light as a feather and is made mostly from cheap plastic and a thin metal support strip. The stand for my Sony TV weighs 5 lbs and the one for my Panny weighs 10 lbs. Both are made from a combination of sturdy plastic and metal.

HD PICTURE QUALITY (8/10): The HD picture quality is actually better than I was expecting. I tested the TV with my HD converter box and BluRay player in 1080p. The quality closely matched my Sony TV which cost three times as much. Some of the OTA channels are 720p and they look very good too. You won't be disappointed in the picture quality.

UPCONVERTED PICTURE QUALITY (8/10): I think this category should be taken with a grain of salt since the upconverted quality is likely to differ between DVD/BD players. My Sony DVP-SR500H player does an average job (maybe a 6/10) while my Sony BDP-S590 player is above average (maybe an 8/10).

SD PICTURE QUALITY (8/10): I was pleasantly surprised with the SD picture quality of this TV. It was much clearer compared to my Sony (both this LG and my Sony don't even come close to my Panny). Jaggies were hardly noticeable at all. Just remember, 8 out of 10 here looks really good and helps the overall score, but this is just a rating on the SD picture quality. If I had to compare the SD to HD picture quality, the SD would be somewhere around a 6 or 7 if the HD quality were a 10.

MOTION BLUR & MOSQUITO NOISE (7.5/10): I watched a football game on ESPN and noticed some slight motion blur. It wasn't very bad or even distracting, but it was there. Also, I noticed some mosquito noise around the players. What really disappointed me was the motion artifact when watching cartoons. I watched an episode of Family Guy and every time the camera moved the picture shook which was annoying. This annoying level of artifact was present when I streamed the first episode of Under the Dome especially during the part where the dome came down and Barbie witnessed the cow getting sliced in half. What an awesome show btw.

SCREEN UNIFORMITY (7/10): There are a few bright strips that run the entire vertical length of the screen on the far left and right sides. These bright strips fade significantly when the backlight and brightness are turned down. They are more noticeable if viewing 45 degrees or more from center, less noticeable when viewing from center.

BANDING (8.5/10): This TV does suffer from banding issues, but it's only noticeable when white backgrounds are displayed or probably less than 5% of the time. I watched a few hours of cable programming the other night while testing this TV and only noticed it very briefly.

COLOR (7/10): Right out of the box I felt the color on this set was slightly faded or washed out. Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I prefer my colors to have a little more pop. I did try calibrating the color and that helped immensely. Out of the box rating would have been a 5.

SOUND QUALITY (7/10): Right out of the box I would have given this TV a 5 for sound. After tweaking the ClearVoice settings and using the "music" mode, I was pleasantly surprised that my grandmother could actually hear this TV. It is much clearer than her old JVC and actually filled her 12x12 room with plenty of sound (volume level between 10-15). Bass was initially set to 50, I increased it to 75 and might do so again because this thing really lacks depth. ***update*** As of lately, my grandmother has been having a hard time making out the dialogue so I purchased her a sound bar with front facing speakers. The sound bar was an immediate improvement over the TV speakers.

REMOTE (9/10): Most HDTVs that I've owned or purchased for friends and relatives come with remotes that are absolutely huge and oddly shaped. This remote is quite compact and fits very comfortably in my hand. Unfortunately, with a compact remote the buttons are closer together and this remote feels a bit crowded. I would think that even after sufficient time of getting used to this remote, the user could accidently hit some of the buttons if they weren't watching what they were doing or if they were using the remote in a dark environment. It would have been nice if the remote had backlit buttons.

OVERVIEW: As I mentioned, this TV is for my 91 year old grandmother. It is the largest TV she has ever owned, but probably not the most expensive. The look on her face when I pulled it out of the box was priceless - I don't think she ever imagined having a TV this large and this nice for the budget friendly price.

MY RATING:

Build Quality 7.0/10
HD Picture Quality 8.0/10
Upconverted Picture Quality 8.0/10
SD Picture Quality 8.0/10
Motion Blur/Mosquito Noise 7.5/10
Screen Uniformity 7.0/10
Banding 8.5/10
Color 7.0/10
Sound Quality 7.0/10
Remote 9.0/10

Total 77/100
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Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 17, 2013 6:47:11 PM PST
Irish Lace says:
Excellent, thorough, informative, very helpful review. Thanks so much!!

Posted on Jan 28, 2014 4:05:43 PM PST
Excellent, thorough, informative, very helpful review. Thanks so much!!
I just had to echo Irish Lace because she said it all.

Posted on Feb 6, 2014 11:03:28 AM PST
G R says:
Why would you test the blu ray in 1080i?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2014 12:39:22 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 6, 2014 12:39:57 PM PST
TronixSage says:
Yeah, that should have said 1080p.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2014 4:29:20 PM PDT
Robert Redd says:
writer deserves appreciation for taking time for such a thorough review with helpful info
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