LG 50LB5900 Review
50 inch 1080p 120Hz LED Backlit TV
by Jack Burden, Reviewer
The LG 50LB5900 keeps things simple with its 1080p LED backlit display, upgraded 120Hz refresh rate, and scaled back Smart TV platform. As a step down from the LB6100 there are only 2 HDMI inputs, also a few picture settings and sound settings have been left out, and the available sizes in the series are different. This one is designed for those looking for a some respectable picture technology but without Smart TV driving up the price.The 50LB5900 sells for around $525.
- Picture is highly customizable making calibration easy to achieve
- Light-flow through and dark shadow detail are strong thanks to the backlighting
- Good TV for video games thanks to the Gaming picture setting
- Built-in speakers push a lot of volume and the quality is good
- 120Hz panel with 240Hz Motion Clarity index (LG's term) for fast motion processing
- Has a generous assortment of 8 Picture Modes
- No built-in woofer sacrifices some of the low end of the sound range
- Shadowing around corners from LED backlight can be distracting
- Most of the smart TV free apps and games aren't worth much attention
- Smart TV lack of Processing Power lead to buffering slowdowns when watching streaming content
- Contrast ratio isn't as strong as the higher tiered LG LED TVs
Picture Quality Rating: 83/100
The 50LB5900 has a nice bright, vibrant display and still does a nice job of keeping the cost down. There is some darker shadowing around the corners of the panel if you use it at an extremely high contrast setting. The biggest upgrade to the picture and TV is the 120Hz refresh rate which is normally reserved for higher priced models. It really helps to reduce background blur and slow processing issues and since the LB5900 is made in larger sizes, it's a smart move. Since it is a backlit TV we see good levels of brightness and contrast. Light flow through is another strong point in the picture and helps to add depth to the image. Color and contrast are the best when viewing from front and center, more on that below. Colors accuracy is bright and natural after calibration. You are going to see a very similar picture to last year's similar LN5700.
This shot shows the great amounts of detail seen in both the bright and dark areas of the screen
Side Angle Viewing
This LED direct-lit LCD television has good off angle viewing performance for an value LED TV. Compared to many LED direct lit models the 50LB5900 still looks good at angles around 30 degrees off center where the other will start to have the contrast degrade at 20 to 25 degrees. The top tier LG TVs this year feature an IPS panel that we have seen to really improves side angle viewing. If you normally have to deal with wider viewing angles, looking there would be a good option.
Features Rating: 80/100
Sound Mode Options Choices
Our favorite choice is the Cinema setting with Clear Voice II setting enabled with the level set at 3. The Standard setting Clear voice II enabled was a close second. Overall we rate the sound quality of this TV as excellent and a high point and it will be especially useful on a TV of this size. It is better than the other manufacturers we've tested as well by a long shot. The position of the speakers at the bottom back of the TV adds most of the overall depth 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, so decent sound quality is important.
Appearance and Design
The LG 50LB5900 has a nearly frame-less design with brushed silver bezels measuring in at around half an inch. The bezels are not as thin as some of the higher tier models, but they still look great. It also have the 'v' shaped two legged stands we are seeing in many designs this year. 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 50LB5900 sells for around $525. What you get is an overall attractive looking TV, a great/bright picture for the price, and better than most sound quality. Not too shabby. Downsides like side angle viewing, and some shadowing around the corners of the screen, only 2 HDMI inputs, lack of the IPS panel, and minimal Smart TV features don't hurt the value here. Just make sure you have other options for content streaming if this is going to be part of the home theater. Competition comes from the Samsung UN48H5500 that has an extra inch of screen space for around the same price.
Overall Rating: 85/100
- 240 Motion Clarity Index
- Triple XD Picture Processing Engine
- 8 Picture Modes
- 20 Watt 2 Channel Speakers
- 2 HDMI and 2 USB Ports
- Dimensions without stand: TV without stand: 44.4" x 26.0" x 2.2"
- TV with stand: 44.4" x 27.9" x 10.0"
|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|