LG 49LF6300 Review
49 INCH 1080P TruMotion 120HZ LED TV
by Jack Burden, Reviewer
At this point, it looks like the LF6300 series may be the top of the line 1080p TV for the year. It has a very compelling feature set. Most, if not all, the innovation from LG is going toward their 4K UHD lineup and their OLED TV lineup. However, the consumer wins with a model like the LF6300 (especially in the larger sizes) which has most of the same features from last year and similarly good performance. Compared to the LG LF6100 series below, this model contains the fun Magic Remote and has the Web OS 2.0 system for Smart TV.
- IPS panel brings many benefits to the overall picture quality including better side angle viewing
- 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 and includes a convenient Input button
- Low input lag for gamers when using Game Mode
- 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
- While the IPS panel helps with side angle viewing, it hurts black levels
- No micro dimming present in this TV
- Gaming input lag when not using Game mode
Picture Quality Rating: 85/100
With OLED TVs now in the market we have to lower the picture rating some on almost all LED edge lit LCD TVs, the LF6300 not withstanding. Color reproduction on the LF6300 is very accurate benefiting from a 10 point white balance controls and accurate calibration. Colors are bright without looking unnatural consistent with the LB6300 from last year. 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.
Side Viewing Angles (IPS Panel)
The IPS panel makes big improvements to the side angle, off center viewing quality. We started to see contrast drop off at around the 35 degree off-center mark and it does not degrade as much as non-IPS panel TVs. Other LED Backlit LCD models begin degrading much more quickly and have a more drastic reduction in contrast. 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.
IPS Panel Pros and Cons
While side angle viewing benefits from the IPS (in-plane switching) panel, black levels and contrast do not appear as saturated from front and center of the screen as do non-IPS panels. We saw this last year in side by side comparisons. That's the tradeoff for better side angle viewing quality, and so it depends upon your room configuration as to whether the IPS panel is better or worse for you. “Blooming” or “clouding” can occur over time. This is when lighter splotchy areas invade what should be very dark or black content. It happens on most LED backlit LCD displays to some degree. Keeping the backlight at moderate levels can help alleviate it. Lastly, I like the colors from the IPS panel a lot. It's a good screen for the money.
Features Rating: 84/100
Smart TV Features - Powered by WebOS 2.0
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 instant. 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.
This is the updated look for the Magic Remote accessory. It's got all of the necessary buttons (even an Input button)
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 selection and browsing, but can take a couple days to get used to. 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 LF6300 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 (in mid-priced TVs) 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.
Design and Appearance - Wonderful
The LG 49LF6300 has a nearly frame-less design of about a half inch with brushed dark silver bottom and top frame. The sides are black gloss, so the look is a bit disjointed from my view. I would rather it be one or the other all the way. The stand is not made of the sturdiest material but does not detract from the looks of the TV. It's nice and compact and the width will not cause a problem for TV stands. It does not do a great job of holding the TV perfectly vertical. 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 very attractive yet low key with the nearly frameless picture being the highlight.
Value Rating: 89/100
The 49LF6300 sells for around $780. The IPS panel's excellent color output, Magic Remote and new WebOS2.0 powered smart TV platform come together to make quite the attractive package. Downsides like weak free apps, and less 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.
Overall Rating: 86/100
- TV Dimensions without Stand (WxHxD) 43.5” x 25.5” x 2.2”
- Dimensions with Stand 43.5” x 27.5” x 8.7”
- Warranty: 1 year parts and labor
- HDMI Inputs: 3
- USB Inputs: 3
- Component Inputs 1
- RS232 1 Rear
- Wifi enabled
- Audio Speaker Config: 2X 10W
- Processor: Dual Core
- Trumotion 120Hz (It's unclear whether this is native 120Hz or 60Hz with backlight scanning)
- Backlight: LED Edge lighting
- Triple XD Picture Engine
|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|