LG 42LB6300 Review
42 inch 1080p 120Hz LED TV
by Jack Burden, Reviewer
- IPS panel brings many benefits to the overall picture quality
- Side angle viewing improved over previous year's LED TVs
- Highly adjustable picture settings make it possible to aquire the best calibration
- Light-flow through and dark shadow detail are strong thanks to the backlighting
- WebOS driven smart TV features really streamline LG's Smart TV platform
- Magic remote is as good as always (this time with an Input button!)
- Low input lag for gamers
- The lack of a subwoofer makes a big different in built-in sound quality
- Motion blur is very noticeable when in the gaming picture setting
- Most of the smart TV free apps and games aren't worth much attention
- Additional purchase required to access finger gesture and Skype features
- No micro dimming here
Picture Quality Rating: 89/100
The 55LB6300 has plenty of picture quality features, though many were dropped that are on the LB7200 above this one. Still, the LB6300 is a solid buy for value TV shoppers. The IPS panel is one of the most important picture quality features due to all the benefits it brings. We've seen these in Panasonic LED TVs before, and the improvements are excellent. Side viewing anlges are improved as well as light flowthough and an overall more brilliant image. Color reproduction benefits as well. Colors come out looking bright and natural. This is a big improvement over last year's similar LA6200. It also sports a 120Hz refresh rate that helps with motion blur and judder typically seen on LED TVs. Sports programming and fast on-screen action end up looking much smoother on a native 120Hz screen.
This shot shows the great amounts of detail seen in both the bright and dark areas of the screen
Side Angle Viewing
The IPS panel makes big improvments to the side angle viewing quality. We started to see contrast drop off at around the 45 degree off-center mark. Last year's LG's saw the same amount of degradation at around 25 degrees. Colors stay vibrant as you move off-center as well thanks to the IPS panel. Color is typically affected by off center viewing much more than we see on this TV.
Features Rating: 85/100
Smart TV Features - Powered by WebOS
LG has really switched things up this year when it comes to their Smart TV platform. Needed improvement in Smart TV functionality has arrived with the new 2014 LG TVs. The new WebOS operating system for Smart TV function is very fast in load time and selection. The design and layout is simple and much more straight forward than in the past.
Simple is the name of the game here. Instead of a home screen with tons of buttons, you get a nice colored strip across the bottom of the screen populated with your favorite apps and the LG store. What you are currently viewing stays on the screen. Click the left arrow on the screen to see your open apps and the right arrow to show all the app downloaded to your TV. We were impressed with the speed of switching between apps. It was insatant. Last year a big complaint of ours was the poor streaming ability of LG's Smart TV platform. That's not the case this year thanks to the complete overhaul of the entire platform. This means the buffering times for streaming content are greatly reduced. Overall, the move to a WebOS based system was a good move on LG's part.
Finger Gesture is a new feature using the optional TV camera. It is limited in use and operation to juts a few functions. A small arched menu appears on the screen when you access it with your finger. You can control volume, On/Off function, or input selection but that's it. It just really allows volume adjustment without the remote for all practical purposes. LG hopes to add more functionality to it later. It works reasonably well, but again, you probably wont use it much.
This is the updated look for the Magic Remote accessory. It's got all of the necessary buttons (even an Input button) and a mic button for engaging the voice controls
Magic Remote Control Initial Set up very easy. Shake the remote to get the cursor working, the arrow pops up immediately if you have a hot signal going into the TV. We have always liked the point and click operation of the Magic remote and still do. It speeds section and browsing. This year the new magic remote control has even better voice recognition technology. It works very well to find the programming you are looking for by speaking into the mic on the remote control. A list of potential fits and the various channels appear down the right hand side on-screen. And it finally has an input selection button. This has been a fault that we have noted for the past few years.
Sound quality from the LB6300 is not as good as the LGs with woofers built in. Clear Voice II and Virtual Surround Plus options here add interesting choices, but our choice is the Cinema setting with Clear Voice II setting enabled with the level set at 3. The Standard setting is our second favorite with Clear voice II enabled. It is better than the other manufacturers we've tested as well by a long shot. The speaker in the bottom back of the TV adds most of the overall depth to the TV but we believe it is well worth it to have good sound from the TV. These minimalist TV designs are often used in spaces without home theater systems.
Appearance and Design - Wonderful
The LG 42LB6300 has a nearly frame-less design with brushed dark silver sides and thin half inch of black across the bottom. The bezels are not as thin as the LB7200, but they still look great. Something we are seeing a lot of this year are the 'v' shaped two legged stands. They look nice and don't demand much attention, but the width can be a concern. Some TV stands don't have the width, making a wall mount necessary. Keep that in mind. The depth of the panel is about 2.2 inches at the deepest part to accommodate the speakers in the cabinet. The overall design is attractive yet low key with the nearly frameless picture being the highlight.
Value Rating: 92/100
The 42LB6300 sells for around $649. The IPS panel, new WebOS powered smart TV platform, and solid sound quality come together to make quite the attractive pacakge. Downsides like weak free apps, game mode motion blur, and less than powerful sound quality aren't going to make this a no-go. Just make sure you have other options for sound if this is going to be part of the home theater. Competition comes from Samsung and Sony LED TVs.
Overall Rating: 88/100
|Jack Burden has been reviewing and writing reviews in the consumer electronics category for 7 years with CEAG. He considers grayscale gradation, film patterned retarders, and focus field drives to be fun topics. Read more about Jack|