What is the LG 47LA790W?
Design & Connections
The LG 47LA790V is a 3D display so there's a menu for all the 3D settings which can be accessed via a dedicated button on the remote but it will also pop up when the display detects a 3D signal. This menu allows you to choose between the different 3D delivery systems including 2D to 3D conversion, side by side, top and bottom, checkerboard and frame sequential. There is also a control for adjusting the depth and viewpoint of the 3D effect when converting from 2D to 3D and a Colour Correction option.
The SMPTE 133 pattern revealed that the LA790 cleanly scaled 576i and 480i images without any loss of detail or unwanted ringing. It also scored well when it came to video deinterlacing and correctly locked on to not only the 2:3 (NTSC - USA/Japan) format and the 2:2 (PAL - European) format but also lots more obscure ones besides. With our Blu-ray player set to 1080i the display correctly deinterlaced and displayed both the video and film resolution tests. The LA790 also had no problems in showing video text overlaid on film based material and also handled 24p content without any problems.
Using the Spears and Munsil disc we checked the headroom performance of the LA790 from reference white (video level 235) up to peak white (video level 255) and although it couldn’t quite hit peak white, it nearly got there although it struggled to show white with the darker shades of grey, compromising the dynamic range a little and potentially shadow detailing. We have to say we still aren’t keen on LG’s motion interpolating (Tru-Motion) engine. We could never find a compromise between cleaner looking resolution and not introducing the video-like soap 'opera effect', so it was set to off.
The local dimming setting worked well on low, providing reasonably satisfying black levels whilst eliminating the small amount of clouding present without it being engaged and without crushing any detail near black. Screen uniformity was actually pretty good, all round, and it was only with some panel array banding where we have justifiable cause for complaint. Typically, it was with sport where we first saw it, showing up as both horizontal and vertical rectangular blocks as the camera panned across the field. It was mostly to the centre, which is unfortunate, but we’ve seen much worse examples of panel banding in other LED TVs. Forgivable but sports lovers may want to take note.
The LA790V acquitted itself reasonably well on the gaming front. We’ve seen LGs struggle with very high input latency in the past and without the Game Picture Mode enabled, this was looking like going down the same path with a controller lag in the mid 120 milliseconds. Fortunately the Game Mode brought this down considerably to around 52ms so probably fine for most single player games. Competitive gamers and those fond of twitch and 2D fighters might want to look elsewhere.
- Standby: 0W
- Out-of-the-Box – Eco Mode: 73.7W
- Calibrated – Expert Mode: 52.3W
- Calibrated – Expert 3D Mode: 97.2W
LG 47LA790W Picture Quality 2D
Whilst the native black levels aren’t really much to write home about, the local dimming works pretty well. We’ve seen LG slip up with their dimming algorithms in the past but mistakes appear to have been learned from and even sticking it in its highest setting doesn’t crush too much detail but it will result in a noticeable halo effect to bright objects on very dark backgrounds. In the end, we stuck with the Low setting as the best compromise between image preservation and a reasonably satisfying contrast performance. As we said on the Test Results page, about the only serious black mark against this sample was come fairly obvious panel array banding showing up with panning scenes involving solid blocks of colour; it did slightly mar our weekend of sporting viewing but we’ve seen much worse so we’d deem it as just about pardonable with everything else on offer considered.
LG 47LA790W Picture Quality 3D
- Top notch colour performance
- Excellent picture processing
- Improved black levels and contrast
- Magic Motion Remote is brilliant
- Packed full of Smart features
- Very user friendly
- Well connected
- Some array banding
- 20pt White Balance Controls don't work properly
LG 47LA790W TV Review
The focus of the manufacturers in 2013 for getting consumers to give their products a second glance on the showroom floor has undoubtedly been the trend for producing exotic looking base-stands. Ultra-thin bezels are old news and everybody is doing them and the LA790 is a fine example of that but we have to give credit to LG for producing a funky stand that does actually swivel; something very few other manufacturers have managed so far. Connectivity options are also where some of the others could follow LG’s lead, with the ‘requisite’ 4 HDMI ports present and correct here.
LG’s redesigned Magic Motion Remote is a total triumph. We take back everything we ever said in the past about these supplemental controllers being nothing more than gimmicks and we found ourselves dispensing with the conventional controllers services in favour of this magic wand. Not only does it feature seamless gesture and button control, it can also act as a fully-fledged universal controller for almost any device you’re likely to have hooked up to it. That’s not to mention voice recognition that really works and isn’t wasted on pointless commands that are best suited to button tapping. An entire paragraph devoted to a remote control in the summary text should tell its own story.
We’re going to cover LGs Smart platform in a dedicated review very shortly but the short version is that it’s terrific; it’s incredibly simple to use with an intuitive and customisable interface that’s packed full of video on demand services and various apps, games and diversions to keep the whole family entertained. LG have long done user interfaces well and the LA790’s is no exception with clearly set out menus that help the user along with helpful descriptions of the controls. Said controls include a very full calibration suite, although the 20 point White Balance isn’t quite functioning as it should. Still, even with the ‘basic’ 2 point White Balance sliders and a fully functioning CMS we were able to extract excellent accuracy.
LG has clearly been doing some work to improve the native contrast performance of its IPS panels and whilst they’re still not anything like that of a good plasma, or one of the better LEDs, for dynamic range, it’s a definite step in the right direction and with the local dimming engaged in its mildest form, the LA790 managed to back up its superb colour palette with a fair amount of dynamism and pop. The video processing is typically superb and even low quality sources can be made acceptable but, of course, it’s with HD content where it truly dazzles. The only real complaint we had on the image quality was that we could notice some fairly obvious panel array banding toward the centre of the screen, under panning, when blocks of ‘solid’ colour were on-screen. It’s easily observable on football or golf, for example, so sports fans might want to take note.
LG has obviously taken great care this year to produce a display that not only delivers on the bells and whistles – which the LA790 does to glorious effect – but also gets most of the fundamentals of picture quality right. It’s smart and sexy but also solid so it’s easily deserving of an AVForums Recommended Award.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
3D Picture Quality
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
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