This replaces a 9-month old 50" Panasonic Plasma which had to be retired when my 20-month old threw a lego block at it and somehow managed to both crack the screen and bugger the board.
As plasmas are being withdrawn from the market I decided to give this LED thing a crack - Over the first 24 hrs I have been super-impressed by the clarity of the picture, vibrancy of colours and even depth of blacks, which on some settings actually match my Panasonic.
I've owned Samsungs, LG's and Panasonic in the past. Panasonic seemed to have a 'premium' feel, but this TV is every bit as good, and picture-wise, even better.
I haven't experienced the 'soap opera' effect with this set either, though the first thing I did was go in and calibrate my picture settings, so that may have something to do with that. Regardless, the picture is beautifully natural and super-crisp to watch. Basically the perfect balance.
I opted for an extra 5 inches over the older tv (so the 55" model) and am glad I did - the extra 5" makes a difference and the clarity of this set means that even from a short distance away, everything is crystal clear. I loved my Panasonic plasma but there were a few things that irked me a bit... The picture was not "mind-blowingly" sharp and whites were always pretty dull (a by-product of plasma and something you just need to accept). This TV rectifies all of that with punchy whites, deep blacks and a beautifully crisp HD picture.
Overall what I love most is that, regardless of what picture type I want, I have complete control... So, I can have whites that burn my retinas if I wish, which was something I could never get on the plasma.
Setup could not be easier and the pre-set picture settings are actually very good (though I still advise taking your preferred one and fine-tuning a little for your own preferences and/or to get a more natural tone).
I was a little concerned over what the sound would be like on such a thin panel but it's actually very strong (again, plenty of automatic settings which seem to work pretty well). I've not yet tried a sound bar so I'm sure it would make the sound even better, but with two small kids in the house and most of my viewing coming after 8pm when they're asleep, I'm not at the stage of opting for a sound bar or surround system just yet.
Personally I don't think you can go wrong with LG these days; the brand is on the ascendancy in technology with TVs, Phones etc all coming out at the very highest level. I can't speak to their customer service as I've never had to use it but a lot of other brands' reputations (ahem, Hisense) put me off risking my investment with them, even though their showroom TVs looked phenomenal.
One thing the TV lacks is Smart capability. This doesn't interest some but for me was essential. Why did I buy this set then? Well, the "Smart" version was over $200 more. So I bought this along with a Roku streaming stick for $50 which gives me all the apps I want to watch (as well as some very cool ones I never knew about, like Amazon Cloud Player, Qello, to name a few). Sure, it adds another remote to the mix, so if that is going to make or break the deal for you, opt for the Smart version (which is currently $899).
I'll update if anything happens or disappoints with the TV but so far I couldn't be happier. Looks like the best TV we've owned.
*UPDATE 1 Week in - After a week of use, not much has changed - awesome TV, crystal clear image, decent sound - getting plenty of use out of it and would definitely recommend the 55" over the 50". I definitely feel the "Smart" features are essential for me these days, but the $50 Roku I added is working really, really well so don't be afraid to use that as an option - the Roku features are much better than the semi-smart functionality of my Panasonic Plasma (it only had 5 options; Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Youtube and some movie thing). Highly recommended.