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Customer Review

117 of 126 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good "smart" HDTV, July 21, 2012
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This review is from: LG 42LS5700 42-Inch 1080p 120Hz LED-LCD HDTV with Smart TV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
This was not only my first HDTV purchase ever, but my first TV purchase, period. I'd managed to live with hand-me-down and garage-sale TVs up til now, but I decided I wanted something nice for a change. I don't subscribe to cable or satellite television, so I wanted something that had some built-in "smart" capabilities. I also wanted something that wasn't going to break the bank. I really dislike 3D content, so I decidedly did NOT want a 3D TV. Finding a nice TV that has smart features and *isn't* 3D is getting harder and harder. For the most part, this TV has fit the bill, and I've been happy with my purchase.

I thought about putting together a list of pros and cons, but that didn't really seem to work too well with this particular review, so I've listed some general notes below:

-- PICTURE QUALITY
In a word, excellent. Granted, I don't have a whole lot to compare it to, but it's one of the best I've seen. Blacks are good, as are whites. Images are nice and crisp when viewing HD content.

-- TURNING OFF TRUMOTION
The one thing that gave me a real headache with this TV was figuring out how to turn off the TruMotion setting. I know some people are really jazzed about the 120 Hz view and the lack of motion blur, but to me, it made everything look like I was watching a soap opera. (Don't know what I'm talking about? Google "soap opera effect.")

So I turned it off. That was easy enough: Settings -->' Picture '--> Picture Option '--> TruMotion '--> OFF. There, fixed! Or so I thought. It fixed it for the TV input. But then I started watching something on Netflix (via the app on the TV), and the dreaded soap-opera effect was back!

It took me several days of online searching and talking to friends before I figured out that you have to REPEAT THIS process for EVERY SINGLE INPUT. (e.g. Input '--> HDMI 1 -->' Settings '--> Picture '--> Picture Settings '--> TruMotion '--> OFF.) And for the built-in apps, like Netflix, you have to start a video, then go the QMENU -->' Set Video -->' Picture Option '--> TruMotion -->' OFF.

Once you've set it for each input and app, though, it does stay defaulted to that. So at least you only have to do it once, not every time you start a new video. I found no online documentation ANYWHERE that specified this, though, so I thought it was definitely worth mentioning in this review. Hopefully it will help someone else.

-- SOUND QUALITY
Not as great, though not as bad as some flat-panels I've heard. You can turn it up as loud as you want, but after about the half-way point on the volume scale, there's not much difference. It's the same way with my parents' LG HDTV, which is a few years old. I solved this problem by hooking up an external home stereo system (Sony BRAVIA DAV-DZ170 Home Theater System) and bypassing the TV's built-in audio altogether.

-- "SMART" FEATURES
The "smart" features were one of the selling points for me. When it comes down to it, though, I only really use 2 of them - Netflix and Hulu Plus. Some of the reviews (and comments on reviews) suggested that this unit might have an Amazon Instant Video app. It does not. Let me repeat: THIS TV DOES NOT HAVE AN AMAZON INSTANT VIDEO APP. And from what I can tell from various sources online, it never will. No idea why, since there are other LG HDTVs that do. This one just isn't one of them. One user suggested that it just required a firmware update. My firmware is up to date, and there is still no Amazon app. Sorry, people. It just doesn't exist.

EDITED 11/25/2013: I updated the firmware recently, and I can confirm that this TV DOES now have an Amazon Instant Video app. Finally!!

The "premium" apps this TV comes with (or at least, the ones mine came with) are:
-- Vudu
-- Hulu Plus
-- MOG
-- AccuWeather.com
-- MLB.TV
-- Netflix
-- CinemaNow
-- YouTube
-- NHL
-- vTuner
-- Associated Press
-- Facebook
-- Picasa
-- Google Maps
-- Twitter
-- Viewster
-- Amazon Instant Video (as of Nov 2013)

The LG app store is a joke. Forget finding anything you would ever want, much less be willing to pay for, in that store.

The online browser is also a joke. If you have to view a website on your TV (e.g. a network television website or Amazon Instant, etc. to view a video), your best bet is to hook up a computer via HDMI. Don't bother trying to do it with the built-in browser. It may work, but it won't work well, and it will be a painful experience. Trust me, I tried.

The YouTube app is pretty weak. It works, but it's less user-friendly than even the mobile YouTube website. Good luck finding anything specific.

The Netflix and Hulu Plus apps work well enough. They're not as user-friendly to navigate through as their respective websites, but that's to be expected, and I've found that it's easy enough just to queue up things on the computer first, and then play them from the TV apps. That saves you a lot of annoying "typing" with the magic remote.

I haven't tried any of the others. I see absolutely no reason why I would want to view Google maps, Associated Press content, Twitter or Facebook on my TV. I don't watch sports, so the MLB.TV and NHL apps are of no use to me. I have no idea how well they work. I'm a pretty loyal Pandora user, so I haven't tried MOG. I just plug in my iPhone to my stereo system when I want to listen to music.

-- SMART SHARE
It works, but it's not very user-friendly, in my experience. I was able to connect my Win7 laptop to the TV without much difficulty, but it's virtually impossible to search for a particular song or album or artist via the Smart Share interface - browsing seems to be the only option, and that can be a real pain when you have a LOT of music/videos/etc. to scroll through.

Streaming music seems to work just fine, but streaming video resulted in a lot of lag, and I've got a great WiFi network set up here. Anything over about 480p just doesn't really stream well on this TV, in my experience.

It also seems to lock up the TV frequently, requiring you to turn it off and on again before you can do anything.

-- THE "MAGIC" REMOTE
Many people have complained that this thing is annoying. I don't have a problem with it. It's like a Wii remote: you wave it around, and the cursor on screen follows your movement. There aren't a lot of buttons on it, though - volume up/down, channel up/down, Home (which takes you to the main app/input selection screen), Back (which exits out of the screen you're in), a scroll wheel that serves as channel up/down when you scroll and an "enter/select" key when you press it, a Help button, and an Input button.

Since I don't have cable TV, I don't have a lot of channels to scroll through when I'm watching actual television, so the lack of a number pad doesn't bother me. But I would find it annoying to have to use a different remote or manage to figure out how to bring up the on-screen number pad if I had hundreds of channels at my disposal and wanted to go to a particular channel instead of just scrolling through them all.

The remote sometimes takes a moment to register, too. I've found that you have to wave it around for a second or two before the TV realizes you want to do something and brings up the cursor. I frequently have to recalibrate it, too, by waving it around in a figure-eight motion, to get it to actually recognize my motions.

-- SIMPLINK
Works nicely. It was pretty easy to hook up my home theater system so that it turns on and off automatically with the TV.

-- THE INPUTS
The inputs all seem fine, and they're plentiful. I don't have that many devices that needed connecting - a DVD player/home theater system and occasionally my laptop (when I want to watch something on Amazon Instant Video or something on another website). It's easy to swap between inputs.

-- THE OUTPUTS
It's a little annoying that this TV only supports digital optical audio out, with no other analog options, but I guess it's not really unexpected, given the cost of the system. It hasn't posed a problem for me, but it's something to be aware of if you have an older stereo system that doesn't support that kind of input.

-- THE PHYSICAL STRUCTURE OF THE UNIT
I was actually pretty impressed with this. I'd heard horror stories about how unstable and top-heavy HDTVs could be. I bought the 42" and have it mounted on the stand that came with it. It feels pretty sturdy to me. I have cats who seem to think the space between the back of the TV and the wall is the perfect hiding place, and while I definitely do not approve of them being back there (and make them move every time I witness it), they haven't even nudged it.

The swivel feature is also useful, since I have it positioned at one angle when I'm watching alone, but want it angled more to the left when there are more people watching, due to the position of my sofa. Swiveling the TV on the stand doesn't feel unstable at all, which I was a little worried about initially.

-- PRICE
The price on this unit is excellent. You won't find a lower price anywhere, and if you do - even if it's after you've already made your purchase (as long as it's within 14 days of delivery) - Amazon will honor it, per their "TV Low Price Guarantee" (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200556860). I purchased this unit at $749, and by the time it shipped, the Amazon price was already $20 lower. They reimbursed me the difference, which was really nice. I see now it's even cheaper. While there are some quirks with the system, this is an unbeatable price for a great TV.
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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 3, 2012 1:37:21 PM PDT
This review was my savior, couldn't figure out how to fix the trumotion on netflix... and Since that's all i've used my TV for since I got it (haven't hooked up cable yet), I just thought I was going to have to live with it.

Thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2012 3:11:54 PM PDT
Elizabeth says:
I'm so glad! It was my hope, when I left this big long review, that it would prevent someone from having to spend as much time as I did Google-searching to figure out how to turn it off (or just giving up and leaving it as-is). I lucked out that a friend with a slightly older version of the TV had figured it out before me and was able to point me in the right direction. But it sure would have been nice if there were official documentation SOMEWHERE stated how to turn it off and that you have to turn it off for every application. :)

Posted on Sep 20, 2012 5:03:25 PM PDT
jgenivive says:
Awesome review. I'm swaying between Samsung and LG and the ONLY thing that interests me is if I can stream video through the web browser (e.g., straight from comedycentral dot com). So hard to find reviews of this feature. erdufylla, if you're still out there, I'd love to hear if streaming video through the browser is worthwhile, if waiting for it to buffer helps, if you've seen any improvements, or know of people who have systems that are more successful streaming. Thanks for the detail.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2012 5:22:05 PM PDT
Elizabeth says:
I haven't tried it with Comedy Central -- the only website I tried it with was Amazon's streaming service. It worked, but barely. I think it's going to depend on what protocol each site uses (Flash vs HTML 5 vs Silverlight), and how picky you are about the interface and ability to go full-screen. The built-in browser's pretty crappy.

What I've done is hook up my laptop via HDMI when I needed to stream something online. But I haven't had to do that for much, with Netflix and Hulu built in, and my Roku for everything else. (There's a lot of Comedy Central on Hulu, isn't there? I know that's where I watch The Daily Show, anyway...)

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 4:56:41 PM PST
A. Kendrick says:
Your review was such a down to earth look at this TV that I'm considering. I also laughed out loud at how it's written (another plus).

They have yet to perfect 3-D (I want to see the day the screen does all the effect for you, not by using glasses too) and really to perfect a Smart TV (I'll give it a couple more years) but most of the reviews on this system rate the picture high. I'm narrowing it down for a purchase around Christmas - thanks again.

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 4:53:52 AM PST
Jazz1 says:
You are right about the sound and the need for an external speaker system. I purchased a Yamaha sound bar with good results. However, I can't figure out how to turn the sound off on the TV's speakers. Is there anyone out there that can give me directions?

The Truemotion feature is something I'm not sure about. I've turned it off and found the people looked less cartoonish. However, I started to get "seasick" with it in scenes that had a lot of motion. Maybe it is just my bifocals I guess.

Posted on Mar 4, 2013 3:59:44 PM PST
Nic says:
Excellent review which I'll bookmark because it's so useful...thank you so much for taking the time to include so many observations and tips.

Posted on Jul 1, 2013 11:24:10 PM PDT
JE Highley says:
The Netflix issue was driving me nuts. Thanks for this.

Posted on Jul 2, 2013 7:31:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 2, 2013 7:34:55 PM PDT
realgood says:
I have this unit and is the first "big screen" TV I ever owned after a 32" tubilar analog TOSHIBA I owned for 30 years. So I'm looking for a second big screen TV with a few more perks and upgrades. Initially I paid with taxes approx. $1500.00 18 months ago from COSTCO.And I don' want to pay that steep price again, especially from COSTCO. I may try Walmart this time. Any suggestions? I read HHGREGG, BEST BUY, Brandmart and others ads sometimes but I just cannot find a happy medium and be satisfied but I've at least narrowed it down to three brands i.e. SAMSUNG, LG and SHARP. I'll go as high as $1000.00 for a 47" to 55" or maybe if there's a good deal on another brand offering a 60" , to maybe $1200.00, anybody feel me?

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 4:05:08 AM PDT
C. Radda says:
Love the TV. Love the review. To make this even more baffling (and annoying), three weeks ago an Amazon icon showed up on the LG. I clicked, went to Amazon, signed up for Prime, and began watching. Last night I had to recycle my modem and re-register my LG. Result? icon gone. Amazon-though they didn't have to-refunded my subscription. I really do believe that a firmware update could eliminate this problem, but about all I know about firmware is how to spell it.
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