LG 42LV5500 LED LCD HDTV Review$1,099.00
Blacks & Whites
- Black Level
- Peak Brightness
- Tunnel Contrast
- White Falloff
- Greyscale Gamma
The LG 42LV5500 did not perform exceedingly well in our black level test, nor do most LG televisions we've reviewed the least few years. Their strength has not been their contrast ratio, but rather their color performance. As you can see in the chart below, all three TVs we pulled in for comparison did significantly better. More on how we test black level.
The LG 42LV5500 has an extremely bright screen. It outshone all the TVs we have in our little comparison pool here and will easily compete with the ambient light from a sunny room. More on how we test peak brightness.
The contrast ratio of the LG 42LV5500 is a respectable 1140:1, thanks to the extremely bright whites. The poor black levels hurt this score considerably, though.
Note that the LG 42LV5500 has an LED backlighting that allows for local dimming. In essence, the LEDs are arranged in zones and the brightness of each zone can be controlled according to the content on the screen. Ideally, this means that the mouth of a black cave will remain deep black, while the surrounding snowy hills of the Arctic will be as bright as the screen can produce.
Unfortunately, there do not appear to be enough zones on the LG 42LV5500 to create the proper effect. On a dark screen, the smallest bit of white content (text, for instance) sends the backlight in that zone skyrocketing. It's distracting and there's no way to disable it. More on how we test contrast.
The tunnel contrast test measures whether the large amounts of black on the screen have a different luminance than small amounts of black on the screen. The LG 42LV5500 had no problems in this regard. More on how we test tunnel contrast.
The LG 42LV5500 has no problem displaying a perfectly even peak brightness, no matter how much or how little white content is on the screen. More on how we test white falloff.
On an all-white screen, you'll see just the slightest yellowing in the corners and edges of the screen. On an all-black screen, we noticed a some flashlighting in the corners. Our biggest problem was the uneven nature of the local dimming, which we discuss above in the Contrast Ratio section. More on how we test white falloff.
The greyscale gamma test measures how well a TV transitions from black to white within the greyscale. Overall, the LG 42LV5500's performance is good. Look at the chart below. First we're examining the smoothness of the line. It's a great, smooth line that indicates the TV will produce smooth transitions with no banding. Then we're looking at the slope of the line. An ideal slope is somewhere between 2.1 and 2.2. The LG 42LV5500 produced a slope of 2.58, which is a bit steep. Expect that the TV will miss some of the finer gradations (though you might not even notice they're missing because the line is so smooth). More on how we test greyscale gamma.