LG 50LB6100 Review
50 inch 1080p 120Hz LED TV
by Jack Burden, Reviewer
The LG 50LB6100 series LED TV makes a lot of sacrifices to keep the cost down. Decent picture quality and a bare bones Smart TV experience remain. As a step down from the LB6300 series, the 50LB6100 has lost the IPS panel and the fully featured WebOS smart TV package. Side angle viewing and color reproduction take the biggest hit with the loss of the IPS panel. You'll find some of the biggest streaming content providers on the Smart TV portion of things, but not all the extras and the Magic Remote like the LB6300. That's okay for those who aren't really interested in that sort of thing since it keeps the price at a reasonable level. The 50LB6100 ends up as a solid value offering at a price of around $750.
- 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
- Low input lag for gamers in the Gaming mode
- Built-in speakers push a lot of volume and the quality is good
- Premium streaming content providers are found in the Smart TV platform
- Plenty of HDMI and USB ports
- No built-in woofers sacrifices some of the low end of the sound range
- 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
- 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: 85/100
The 50LB6100 has plenty of picture quality features, though many were dropped that are on the LB6300 above this one. The LB6100 is really aimed at shoppers looking to score a deal for a decent sized LED backlit TV. The loss of the IPS panel is the biggest hit on side viewing angles and bright color reproduction, but it's not a crushing blow. Color and contrast come out strong when viewing from front and center. Colors accuracy is bright and natural after calibration. You are going to see a very similar picture to 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
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 50LB6100 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 6300 series above it features an IPS panel that we have seen to really improves side angle viewing.
Features Rating: 81/100
Smart TV Focused on VOD
If Simple is the name of the game on the WebOS smart TVs, the LB6100 is just plain easy to use. Instead of the flashy WebOS menu system, LG has provided a very streamlined Smart TV experience with a focus on things users actually want to use. Streaming video. You get access to the premium video on demand services like Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, and many more. Since LG has cut so much from the Smart TV platform, performance is going to be better than what we have seen in the past. Buffering issues surely aren't completely gone, but a lot depends on the speed of the internet getting to the TV. If you are thinking a robust Smart TV platform will just gather virtual dust, this might be the right way to go. Plus it will save you a bit of cash.
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 50LB6100 has a nearly frame-less design with brushed dark silver bezels measuring in at around half an inch. The bezels are not as thin as some of the higher tier modls, 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: 90/100
The 50LB6100 sells for around $750 which is about $150 less than the feature packed LB6300 above it. You get plenty of screen space, an attractive package, and decent picture and sound quality for less than a thousand dollars. Not too shabby. Downsides like side angle viewing, 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 UN50H6350.
Overall Rating: 85/100
- Diagonal Measurement: 49.5"
- 240 Motion Clarity Index
- Triple XD Picture Processing Engine
- 8 Picture Modes
- 20 Watt 2 Channel Speakers
- 3 HDMI and 3 USB Ports
- Dimensions without stand: (WxHxD) 44.41" x 25.98" x 2.20"
- Dimensions with stand: 44.41" x 27.87" x 10.04"
- Weight without stand: 30.4 lbs.
- Weight with stand: 31.3 lbs.
|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|