Why keep it simple, when we can make things complicated instead? In Korean manufacturer LG Electronics’ naming system, the most expensive and – they claim – best TVs don’t have the highest numbers in their names. In the current catalog, therefore, it’s the LH 5000, and not the LH 7000, that leads the way. But the LH 7000 series is hot on its heels, and sits in the manufacturer’s upper mid-range. Read here what these TVs from LG Electronics can do, and what the competition offers in the same size and price class.
This TV has a liquid crystal display (LCD) with a diagonal of 47 inches (1.19 meters). Since this display technology relies on a separate source of illumination, the TV uses cold-cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL) as a backlight in order to produce a visible image. Sensibly for a TV in this size class, the screen uses the full HDTV resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (“Full HD”). You’ll be able to recognize clearly and to enjoy the greater sharpness of Blu-ray pictures, for example, even at typical viewing distances. You can find details on the ideal viewing distance in our “TV Buying Guide”.
Using 100-hertz “TruMotion” technology, the LG aims to display the edges of moving objects more clearly and precisely. Blu-ray movies should appear at the original, movie frame-rate thanks to “24p Real Cinema”, and the “Intelligent Sensor II” attempts to adjust the picture settings automatically, to suit the ambient illumination.
LG’s 7000 series provides a USB input, and if you attach a corresponding memory stick, the TV will play back a variety of multimedia files. The LG accepts videos in DivX versions 3.11 to 6 (also in HD), XviD, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 (H.264, AVC), and will also play back JPEG photos and MP3 music files.
And that’s not all: Using Bluetooth, the TV can also access photos and music wirelessly from mobile phones. This LG cannot, however, connect to computer networks: It lacks the network technology necessary for accessing multimedia files from either a PC network or the Internet.
LG Electronics provides confusing information about the TV’s tuner: If you consult the U.K. website, the company only mentions tuners for analog TV and DVB-T (Freeview). The latter is also accepted in high-definition, where broadcasts exist. If, however, you download the data sheet for the LH 7000 TVs from the same website, you’ll also see mention of a digital cable tuner. So what’ll it be?
Well, Televisions.com inquired with LG Electronics. The reality is: The LH 7000-series TVs have a digital, HDTV-capable, cable tuner. Since, however, this doesn’t support the forthcoming CI Plus encryption standard, the manufacturer excludes it from its advertizing. There’s more: Customers that want to use the tuner should set the TV’s location to Sweden or Finland during installation – the on-screen menu’s language setting is independent of the TV’s location. This all assumes that your cable operator allows you to connect third-party equipment.
At the time of writing, such use contravenes the Terms & Conditions of the U.K.’s main cable operator, Virgin Media. Satellite-TV viewers needn’t worry about this: They’ll need a set-top box in any case.
The 7000-series TV presents a two-pronged approach in its connectivity: With four HDMI inputs, it’s well equipped for modern, AV-device collections. Conventional video equipment, too, will find itself welcomed by the TV’s two Scart sockets. Sadly, however, only one of the Scart sockets supports RGB, and neither supports S-Video – it’s therefore not possible to display the optimum quality of S-VHS recorders, which LG once also sold. A cinch socket on the rear of the unit caters for composite-video signals from standard camcorders, but the TV sadly lacks a Mini-DIN connection for S-Video camcorder signals. To accommodate the TV’s design, LG positioned the headphone socket on the rear of the unit – it’s impractical, but the 2008 models simply lacked the connection altogether.
This brings us to one extravagant feature: The TV can transmit sound wirelessly to Bluetooth headsets. Those users that already have such a headset for their mobile phone might want to give this a try – but it seems unlikely that many people will go out and buy a headset purely for watching TV. The serial connection might be of interest for home-theater experts or commercial users: This allows you to control the TV remotely via a cable.
Once again, the LG website and data sheets disagree on what sockets the TV offers. The information at Televisions.com is based on telephone inquiries with LG’s product management.
Alternative models: A brief comparison
Panasonic TX-P 46 S 10 B
Panasonic offers this plasma TV for around 80 GBP less than the LG. In this size class, the Japanese manufacturer traditionally builds 46-inch screens, so the customer will have to accept 2.54 centimeters less screen-diagonal than they’d get with the LG.
In consolation, however, they can expect a picture that – inherently for plasma technology – looks the same from all corners of the couch. On LCD TVs – again, inherently – the picture-quality varies strongly with viewing angle. Home-theater fans also praise the deep, natural blacks that plasma TVs produce.
Thanks to 100-hertz technology, the TX-P 46 S 10 B’s picture is supposed to be flicker-free. And there’s one point that’s not to be taken for granted in plasmas of this size: The screen displays pictures in Full HD resolution.
The TV’s tuner accepts DVB-T and analog cable TV. The multimedia capabilities are also a little sparse in comparison to those of the LG. The Panasonic TX-P 46 S 10 B plays back photos and videos (AVCHD) from SD or SDHC memory cards – but that’s it.
On the other hand, the connectivity is more practical than that of the LG: With three HDMI inputs, the Panasonic will cater for most device collections. Both Scart sockets accept the highest-quality signal type, RGB, and one also accepts S-Video. The camcorder connections panel offers sockets for composite and S-Video signals, as well as a headphone output.
The Panasonic is an attractive alternative for home-theater fans that prefer to watch a large picture, with deep blacks, in a darkened room. The manufacturer specifies an average power consumption of 200 watts – this is significantly lower than Televisions.com measured for the 2008 predecessors.
Philips 47 PFL 5604 H
This model belongs to Philips’ entry-level class. But it still has a lot to offer – for example, a digital tuner for DVB-T and DVB-C. Unlike the LG, this Philips supports CI Plus, the forthcoming encryption standard intended primarily for digital cable. The TV will also receive analog cable TV.
The TV’s screen, however, only runs at 50 hertz, which might put the LG 47 LH 7000 ahead in terms of motion clarity. Users will have to decide for themselves what benefits the sharpness-enhancing “Pixel Plus HD” technology actually has to offer: This technology makes TV pictures appear sharper, but cannot conjure up details that simply aren’t there.
In terms of multimedia capabilities, the Philips is a decent match for the LG: From a USB stick, the TV can play back music files (MP3- or LPCM-format), photos (JPEG), and video clips (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC). The 5604 H does not, however, accept DivX. Its network functionality also matches that of the LG – it has none.
The three HDMI inputs are one short of the LG’s four, but the Philips is better equipped for traditional video equipment, with two Scart sockets that both accept RGB, along with a side-mounted connections panel with a headphone output and an S-Video input for camcorders.
Philips 47 PFL 7404 H
The Dutch manufacturer pitches this model in the mid-range of its catalog. The up-to-date tuner with CI Plus technology allows reception of digital-cable TV without a set-top box (where permitted by the cable operator). Analog cable TV and DVB-T are also welcome here, the latter also in HD resolution.The screen runs at 100 hertz, and the “Pixel Plus HD” technology is supposed to make images appear sharper.
From a USB stick, the TV can play back music files (MP3- or LPCM-format), photos (JPEG), and video clips (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC). Like its 5604 H sibling, the 7404 H offers no network functionality, but, then, neither does the LG.
In consolation, you get four HDMI inputs, two Scart sockets (both RGB capable), and a side-mounted connections panel that offers a headphone output and an S-Video input for camcorders.
Sharp LC-46 D 65 E
This Sharp’s list price undercuts the LG’s by 300 GBP – and it shows in the thinner feature-set. Sharp also fits 46-inch panels, giving this TV one inch (2.54 centimeters) less screen-diagonal than the LG. The screen also lacks the LG’s 100-hertz technology. In the Sharp, the tuner only accepts analog cable and DVB-T. This model also plays back photos via USB, but doesn’t stretch to music and videos.
Three HDMI inputs are one fewer than in the LG, but will probably suffice in practice. The two TVs offer the same configuration of two Scart sockets, but the Sharp offers an additional Mini-DIN socket for S-Video camcorder signals. Like the LG, the Sharp also provides a headphone output, as well as a serial connection for remote control via a cable.
Sony KDL-46 V 5500
This Sony LCD TV is available since March 2009, and has dropped in price by around 200 GBP since its release. This makes it a dangerous rival for the LG. Although the Sony’s screen uses 50-hertz technology, the 52-inch model in the same series, the Sony KDL-52 V 5500, showed no obvious blur during motion. The Televisions.com testers would, for example, be more than happy to watch football on a V 5500-series model.
The Sony’s tuner surpasses that of the LG: It supports DVB-T, as well as both analog and digital cable TV – as does the LG. Unlike the LG, however, the Sony supports CI Plus, and will therefore continue to be able to display digital cable channels in the future – assuming you have the appropriate access card. For satellite-TV, you’ll need to provide the Sony – and the LG – with an external receiver.
The Sony’s multimedia and network features are also superior to those of the LG: If you connect the Sony to a router with an Internet connection, the “AppliCast” function can access various Internet news tickers (“RSS Feeds”), which then display in small windows on the TV’s screen. This doesn’t have to be just text; if the feeds contain images, the TV displays these too.
Speaking of images: The Sony plays back photos, music, and videos, either from a USB stick or across a PC network. Unlike the LG, however, this Sony cannot display the various versions of DivX. To allow the Sony to play back multimedia files from a PC network, one of the connected PCs must be running suitable, DLNA-server software.
In terms of connectivity, Sony is clearly ahead: Its four HDMI inputs match for the number present on the LG, and the two Scart sockets are both RGB-capable, although neither supports S-Video. The side of the TV provides a cinch, composite input and a Mini-DIN, S-Video input, as well as a headphone output.
Toshiba 46 XV 635 D B
Toshiba’s 46 XV 635 D B gives you one inch less screen, but the tuner compares well with that of the LG: The Toshiba also accepts digital cable TV (as well as DVB-T and analog cable), and also lacks support for CI Plus. The 100-Hz technology and “Resolution +” detail enhancer are supposed to improve picture quality.
Toshiba is the first manufacturer to offer European customers “Dolby Volume” technology in its flat-panel TVs. This system attempts to eliminate irritating volume changes between movies and ad breaks, as well as the volume differences between individual TV channels. The Audyssey equalizer, revered by home-theater fans, is supposed to help this flat-panel produce top sound.
This Toshiba’s connections panel is superior to that of the LG: It has two Scart sockets (one RGB capable, the other S-Video), four HDMI inputs, and a side-mounted connections panel. The side panel hosts cinch and Mini-DIN sockets for composite or S-Video signals from a camcorder, as well as a headphone output.
The Toshiba can do multimedia, too – but lacks some of the LG’s versatility: JPEG photos, MP3 music files, and DixV videos will play back via USB or from an SD (or SDHC) memory card.
About our product previews
Experienced experts produce these product preview pages using manufacturers’ specifications, along with test data we’ve produced for other models and subjective assessments of the product’s market chances.
We comprehensively research the information we use, but data of this kind quickly becomes out of date as a result of day-to-day variations in the market and the appearance of new products. The information in our own tests is more reliable, especially statements relating to quality or comparisons with other TVs.
Since we cannot test every single device, however, and because we’re interested in your opinion, we’re grateful to receive any user ratings or user opinions for this TV – especially if you own the model yourself, but also if this preview provided enough information for you to form your own judgment.
Dimensions & Weight Details
- Dimensions & Weight Details Panel with stand – 112.34 cm x 37.26 cm x 82.32 cm x 26.40 kg
- Input Video Formats 480 i/p, 576 i/p, 720p, 1080 i/p
Connector Type1 x CI slot
1 x RF In
1 x AV In
1 x Full Scart(TV out)
1 x Half Scart(MNT/DTV Out)
1 x Component in (Y,Pb,Pr) Audio(480i/480p/576i/576p/720p/1080i/1080p)- 1080p : 60p/50p
1 x Digital Audio Out (Optical)
4 x HDMI/HDCP Ver. 1.3 Deep Color 4 (480p/576p/720p/1080i/1080p)- 1 Port PC Mode
1 x RGB In (D-sub 15pin) – PC
1 x PC Audio Input
1 x RS-232C (Control / SVC)(For Service & Control)
1 x USB (JPEG/MP3/Divx)
1 x Headphone out
- Image Contrast Ratio – 100000:1
- Resolution – 1920×1080
- Brightness – 500 cd/m2
- Diagonal Size – 47″ – widescreen
- Power Consumption Operational – 300 Watt
- Power Consumption Stand by / Sleep – 0.1 Watt
- Depth 4.08 cm
- Height 76.53 cm
- Weight 22.80 kg
- Width1 47.82 cm
- Digital Television Certification HD-Ready 1080p
Digital TV Tuner
- Digital TV Tuneranalog