While many TV makers have been hit hard by the recession, LG hasn't fared too badly. Sales figures prove that these penny-pinching times chime well with LG's simple but effective strategy of selling well-featured, decent-performing TVs for less money than its rivals. The £750, 47-inch, 1080p 47LH3000 LCD TV is very much a product of this policy.
Huge but attractive
It really is quite extraordinary how much telly the 47LH3000 provides for the money. The 47-inch screen is massive, but the bezel around it is surprisingly chunky too, especially along the bottom edge, which extends three or four inches below the screen.
People don't necessarily want a big old bezel wrapped around a screen as large as the 47LH3000's. But, in our opinion, the 47LH3000 carries its bulk off, thanks to its extremely glossy finish, subtly curved edges, and the way the bottom border forms a gentle arc, exaggerated by a cute, metallic silver trim. Even arch-rival Samsung would struggle to deliver so much in-your-face glamour for the same money.
The 47LH3000's connections aren't as limited as you might expect, given how far down in LG's current TV hierarchy it sits. The inclusion of three HDMI ports, a PC port and a component video input should satisfy most of the people likely to be interested in this TV.
The only minor disappointment is that the USB port tucked on the TV's rear is for service use only, and won't play digital photos, audio files or the DivX hi-def files supported by some sets higher up LG's range.
A number of unexpectedly promising discoveries await on the 47LH3000's spec sheet. It enjoys a 1080p resolution, for starters, as well as a more than respectable claimed contrast ratio of 50,000:1, and video-processing support from both LG's Twin XD Engine and the 24p Real Cinema mode for enhanced Blu-ray playback.
Pleasingly, the 47LH3000 also retains the same excellent, graphics-heavy on-screen menu system used by the brand's flagship TVs. This system is exceptionally legible, and so well organised that even your gran could find her way around it.
LG's wish to take the brainache out of using its TV even extends to the provision of a built-in Picture Wizard tool. It uses a series of built-in video test signals to help you optimise the picture's appearance.
If you'd rather figure everything out for yourself, an impressive array of fine-tuning tools is provided, including various levels of adjustment for the set's dynamic-contrast, dynamic-colour, noise-reduction, gamma, black-level and edge-enhancement circuits. In fact, the 47LH3000's picture set-up is so flexible that you can have the TV professionally calibrated by an expert from the Imaging Science Foundation if you so desire. But this TV doesn't actually need any professional help to turn out some unexpectedly good images.
We were immediately struck by how exceptionally bright and vivid the 47LH3000's pictures look. This is a common strength of LG TVs, but to see it retained on such a relatively low-price model is very satisfying.