REVIEW: LG 42" Television Cinema 3D LED LW450N

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

It was time to update my old fashioned home cinema with a new TV few months ago, at end summer. I was browsing through Televisions and found decent offering for a 3D LED tv that seemed okay so I bought it. Price I paid few months ago was 860e with delivery included for this LG 42" 3D LED TV, which model is LW450N. I don't have clue if there's any difference to more common LW450U model, as I think they're pretty much the same. I suppose N and U could be country or region code of some sort, N is nordic?

Anyways, I used to have one of those Sony Bravia Engine LCD (KDL-series) TV's which cost around 700-800 euros in Finland like three years ago, even with size of 27". Now it started to feel too small in my current apartment so I went for standard 42". Switching from Sony to LG raised me some questions, whether it would be Quality up par to match Sony, so how does the new LG feel?

LW450N is quite basic model of the new 3D LW series of LG. It has been stripped down on some features comparing to any LW550 and LW650 series, which are also more pricy. However those features were not something I was looking into. The main difference to more pricey models is "SmartTV", which is missing in LW450N. It basically means there is no possibility to connect into internet and web 2.0 services with this model. Doesn't really bother me though, I still've computer to view Youtube and such services.

LW450N and LW550 series both have Trumotion 100Hz technology, while only really expensive LW650 has Trumotion 200Hz, so if you wanna pay much more then you can get 200Hz, but in my opinion 100Hz looks already very nice, crisp and sharp with it's image quality.

The Tv has Cinema 3D technology developed by LG, which basically is advertised as:

  • flicker free 3D image (certified)
  • no crosstalk in image quality
  • light 3D glasses
  • wide "viewing angle"
  • 2D to 3D transformer
  • intellectual power saving
  • Clear Voice II

3D quality, although Ive'nt have that much comparison to other models, looks well executed. In 2D to 3D conversion, the difference is not that big, but it still manages to look pleasant and bit more vibrant / sharp than regular 2D. So I often keep it on, especially with Blu-Ray movies. Seems to be the case that the sharper the picture quality, the better 2D to 3D conversion looks. This means that with all the oldest DVD movies don't make that big difference, but with more sharp Blu-Ray formats do take better advantage of the new system. The glasses are a bit big, but they are light as promised and sit comfortably, thus are nice to use. You can change some options with 3D, even in the 2D to 3D conversion mode, like increase/decrease the depth and effect of the 3D. It's all pretty good even being "passive 3D".

LG 3D glasses are lightweight

Regular image quality is in my opinion very sharp and image is good. Colors are vibrant and contrast looks nice. This Tv has ability to turn certain LED's fully off to increase the darkness of the black areas and create some back-lightning around non-black objects in fully black screen, thus increasing contrast even more. There's no complaints in image quality at all.

Only thing that leaves bit to desire, being decently good also, is sound. While sound is quite good, it's not by any means perfect. The basic sound options are hidden behind "Home" Button of the remote controller, while you can only tune "Clear sound (boosting speech volume)" on "Quick Menu" settings. Why didn't LG make fully controllable sound options available for both menus is beyond me, either or cutting off another menu as whole and fitting them all within one menu. It took me a while to find basic "Bass, treble" settings, since I always though they don't exist after not being seen on Quick Menu, which has sound specific settings on it's own.. I remember my several years old Sony had those basic sound options, but it did as well as did it have also different sound modes: Dolby Surround, Viva Sound etc. which sounded hugely different with each other. I miss those settings. You can switch between sound modes made for different events: Game mode, Movie, Sports, Music, which have their own characters in terms of sound - but don't vary close as much as my ex-Sony tv's sound mode options, which seemed bit more high quality as well.. Movie mode does the sound quite "cinematic" way emulating theater, although perhaps one would get full advantage with adding bigger speakers to the tv. They do decent job, but I'd still like to have some more varying control over the sound options. Yet the overall sound and speakers are not bad by any meaning, though not perfect. "Clear Sound" works well and brings up the speech volume without messing quality in any sound area.

The television and it's panel looks quite plain yet elegant and it's very thin also thus not taking up much space. This television is I think good value for money at this price, and I believe it's price will come down quite a bit within a year. If you don't want to pay extra for internet features (Smart-TV) then I recommend saving and going for LW450N model (or LW450U which is very similar). Should you desire the features then go for LW550 series. For Trumotion 200Hz perfection go for LW650 series. Very good image quality, good 3D with decent features and decent sound, thus lacking some control over it.

One final word: I've read somewhere that these 3D tv's wouldnt do it with games. At least with LW450N that hasn't been the case. I've been playing with Xbox360 both 3D turned on and off, and there is absolutely no problems. I was a bit afraid of this but luckily it's all ok. You may notice some lag if you use it in most input modes, so when you start to play, be sure to switch your input mode to "Game" and lag is totally gone. The connection I'm using is composite cable.

The Good
Value for money
Good Image quality
Good 3D quality (Passive 3D)
Vibrant colors and good contrast
Good looking 
The Bad
Audio options could be better

Rating 88/100


  • Panel Specifications:
    • Technology - EDGE (Led Plus, 32":LED)
    • Resolution - 1920x1080
    • Trumotion - 100Hz
    • Dynamic Contrast Ratio - 7,000,000:1
    • Local Dimming - Yes
    • Response Time (GTG) - 2,6ms

  • Broadcasting System:
    • DVB-T/T2/C - Yes/No/Yes
    • Mpeg-4 - Yes

  • Video:
    • 3D - Yes (Cinema)
    • XD Engine - Yes
    • THX - No
    • 24p Real Cinema (24p 5:5 / 2:2 pull Down)-Hdmi - Yes
    • Expert Mode/ISF Ready - Yes
    • AV Mode (Picture&Sound) - Cinema/Game/Sport
    • Picture Wizard II - Yes

  • Audio:
    • Audio Output (Watts-THD 10%) - 10W + 10W
    • Speaker System - 1 Way 2 Speakers
    • Dolby Digital Decoder - Yes
    • Surround System - Infinite 3D Surround (LG solution)
    • Clear Voice II - Yes

  • Smart-TV:
    • None

My buying Price: 860euroes /w delivery included at 09/2011

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