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LG 47LW5600 Review
47" Edge-lit LED LCD 3D HDTV, $1899

Out of the Box

The styling for the 47LW5600 is fairly traditional with a glossy black bezel surrounding the LCD display (1 1/4" wide on the top and sides and 2" on the bottom). The one flair is a thin, clear, beveled edging.

LG 47LW5600

The screen has an effective anti-glare quality. Even when the TV is turned off, I can only notice a very slight dull reflection. When the TV is on, glare is not an issue.

You can rotate the TV on its stand 20 degrees front or back, which allows for more flexibility in locating the set.

On the bottom right corner of the bezel, LG has placed the operational controls that are activated when you brush your hand over them.

Since this TV employs a passive 3D system, it does not need a 3D eye wear transmitter that syncs to active shutter 3D glasses. The LG passive glasses system makes viewing 3D content much simpler.

On the left side of the back, the connections are oriented in three directions.

LG 47LW5600

The first group is stacked vertically and faces towards the left edge. It contains two USB inputs and four HDMI ins. (HDMI 1 can be used to feed a digital audio system that is compatible with Audio Return Channel [ARC] technology.)

In the middle of the panel, facing out towards the back are one Component Video In (with matching stereo Audio Ins), one Composite Video In (with matching stereo Audio Ins), an RS232 port, and a Wireless Control port that supports the LG Wireless Media Box (sold separately).

On the bottom, aligned horizontally and facing down are one LAN port, one RGB (PC) In (with matching stereo mini-jack Audio In), and Optical Digital Audio Out, and a Headphone mini-jack Out.

Also, if you look closely, you will see a couple of small connectors that accept adapter cables that bundle all the inputs for a second Component and Composite signal. (The cables are supplied in the box.)

LG 47LW5600

Since the LW5600 does not have built-in Wi-Fi, LG also includes a Wi-Fi adapter that plugs into a USB port and supports 11a, b, g, or n protocol.

The antenna connector links to integrated ATSC/QAM tuners in the TV. Since the tuner system is Clear QAM compatible, you can attach your cable TV signal directly into the antenna adapter and tune in unscrambled cable stations.

With the ATSC tuner and the proper antenna, you also will be able to tune in digital signals broadcast over-the-air.

LG 47LW5600

For those app happy customers, LG labels its Internet and home network connectivity features as Smart TV.

Its Premium menu supplies you with a strong lineup of streaming favorites like Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, CinemaNow, Hulu Plus and YouTube.

Sports fans can tap into MLB.TV or NBA Game Time.

On the social networking front, links to Facebook and Twitter are included.

For music, Napster is furnished. And if you want to share photos with family and friends, Picasa is on the menu.

For even more choices, there's the LG Apps store with categories like Game, Entertainment, and News/Info.

LG 47LW5600

To expand the reach of this TV even further, LG has made the 47LW5600 DLNA Certified. When attached to your home network, the TV can access videos, photos and music stored on your DLNA Certified computer or other compliant devices and play the content directly on to your big screen.

To facilitate the DNLA process, LG includes a copy of Nero MediaHome, which you need to load on your PC.

Also, to use the Media Link feature, LG supplies an Internet link where you can download the PlexMediaServer, which you also install on your PC.

I consider myself fairly adept at basic networking programs, but to achieve full use from Nero and Plex, I would need to set aside more time than I was willing to commit.

Or in other words, for the tech novices, I would suggest that you step away from installing these programs. Turn and run in the other direction.

If you are stout of heart and sound of mind, have at it. You can definitely discover some goodies with Plex Online.

The slideshow menu is basic with only Slow, Medium and Fast times and no transitions at all. Though you can add background music.

The real gem is the 2D to 3D option. Push the button and the LW5600 takes your still image and creates an offset double image. When you don your 3D glasses, the dimensional effect can be dramatic.

LG 47LW5600

To achieve the 3D image, the TV has to make educated guesses about what is foreground and what is background. It doesn't always make the right choices, but it's worth a try.

As for the remote control, the big square numbered buttons are easy to punch. In the dark, you can tap the Light button to backlight the top half of the remote.

LG 47LW5600

But for full featured TVs like the 47LW5600, you really need another input device to navigate through all the options. Some manufacturers are offering a remote with a slide out keyboard. LG is taking a different tack with their motion-controlled Magic Remote.

Yes, it does work like a wand. You point it at the screen and a cross-hair cursor appears. Move it to your selection and click the button. Presto! I find the device especially useful when surfing the on-screen web browser.

Power Consumption

The EPA is now publishing a list of ENERGY STAR qualified TVs. (You can find it here.) The LG 47LW5600 is on the list.

Energy Star Logo

The EPA states that this LG's On Mode Power is a paltry 63W and Standby Power Consumption is .1W. Based on the formula that the TV is on five hours a day and in Standby for the other 19, the Estimated Annual Energy Use is 115.67 kWh/year.

You need to check your electric bill to see how much you are paying for a kWh. The rate that I have been using in previous reviews is 10.4 cents. Doing the multiplication, at that rate, the yearly energy cost is $12.03.

I have been writing about this next item for almost a year and now the time has come. "New Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requirements call for removable, detailed yellow-and-black labels that disclose the product's estimated annual energy cost to be attached to all TVs manufactured after May 10th.

"The FTC's 'EnergyGuide' rules, which also cover TVs sold on the Internet beginning July 11th, call for the primary disclosure on the label to be the product's estimated annual energy cost, with comparative information on similarly sized TVs."

I actually saw one of those labels on a TV last week. I assume they will be commonplace by the holiday shopping season.


Earlier, I strongly suggested that digging deep into the networking features of the LW5600 is a task for the patient and knowing.

I am delighted to report that if all you want to do is watch TV, the setup is easy, breezy. In fact, LG's Picture Wizard setup guide is the most straightforward, useful calibration device that I have met. And its results should satisfy all but the most obsessive.

Simply, the Picture Wizard presents a series of images and according to their samples, you adjust Brightness, Contrast, Tint, Color, Sharpness, Dynamic Contrast, Color Temperature, and Backlight.

LG 47LW5600

And when you are through, as a Gold Star, a message comes up and tells you that your adjustments have been saved to Expert 1.

The real prize is that after a few short minutes with the Picture Wizard, your TV should look darn good.

It's not an ISF configuration, but close enough. And if want to pay for a real expert or you consider yourself an avid tweaker, this TV offers the tools for a full fledged calibration.

Of course, to take full advantage of all the available Internet content that this TV offers, you will need to attach it to your home network.

I simply plugged in an Ethernet cable from my router and the process was automatic.

I know that working with Wi-Fi can be more idiosyncratic, but the manual guides you through the steps and you should be connected in a matter of minutes.

LG 47LW5600

But then plan to spend an evening setting up accounts with streaming providers like Netflix or Amazon Video on Demand. If you are a movie fan, you will soon discover the joys of streaming directly to your TV.

You will also realize the value of obtaining the highest bandwidth from your Internet provider that you can afford, ideally over 10Mbps.

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