Good picture. Built-in Wi-Fi. Passive 3D; bundled with six pairs of 3D glasses. Energy efficient.
Motion-based remote control takes some getting used to. Passive 3D only works best if you're sitting front-and-center.
LG's good-looking 55-inch 55LM6700 3D LED HDTV is loaded with features, but you'll have to get used to its quirky remote.
LG's 55LM6700 is a 55-inch LED-backlit HDTV oozes style and is packed with features. You get passive 3D with six bundled pairs of glasses, integrated Wi-Fi with LG's myriad apps and streaming media services, an almost completely flat front panel, and a unique new motion-based remote. At $2,299.99 (list) it's not cheap, but its large screen, satisfying picture, and many features make it very appealing to anyone looking for a do-it-all big-screen HDTV.
With a single, flat pane of glass that sits flush on the front of the HDTV, the 55LM6700 is almost without a bezel. Its only exception is the very thin metal the frames the glass on three sides, which is a bit thicker at the bottom edge of the screen. Besides those details, the HDTV is smooth and flat. You'll find a group of controls on right side of the set, behind the screen's edge. Inputs live on the back of the TV facing left and down. Four HDMI and three USB ports, the latter of which are conveniently marked HDD In, USB Hub, and USB Apps, face left for easy access, and optical audio, cable, component and composite video (both 3.5mm ports that use included adapters to RCA connectors), VGA, and Ethernet ports face down. This set offers plenty of connectivity options; none of the connectors faces directly back, so it's easy to wall mount.
It's a unique and powerful interface, but there are some inconvenient quirks. The scroll button is set to change the channel on the HDTV's tuner, and when you're set to another input, it asks if you want to change to the tuner. The cursor is large and takes several seconds to disappear, so jostling whatever surface on which the remote is sitting makes a large red arrow appear on the screen for a too-long time. A dedicated Source button would have made things a little bit easier for switching between, say, cable box, Blu-ray player, and video game system, and a large selection button instead of clicking scroll wheel would have made the entire interface flow much more smoothly.
The HDTV can access a variety of online services and apps through its built-in Wi-Fi or via an Ethernet connection. The 55LM6700's home screen is full of options for services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, downloadable apps, and even videos that show off its 3D abilities. Unlike previous LG HDTVs, the "Premium" services like Netflix and Hulu Plus can be added to the quick launch bar as well as apps, which is much more useful than being limited to the myriad novelty apps available you likely won't use nearly as much as the premium services.
We test HDTVs using the DisplayMate software and a Konica-Minolta CS-200 chromameter. After basic contrast and brightness calibration, the 55LM6700 displayed a peak white level of 256.68 cd/m2 and a peak black level of 0.03 cd/m2 with all picture features like noise reduction and brightness adjustments off for a contrast ratio of 8,556:1. Out of the box, colors were spot-on, with red running just slightly cool.
Picture quality is very crisp, with accurate colors, but the 55LM6700 stumbles slightly when displaying shadow details. I watched the Predator: Ultimate Hunter Edition Blu-ray on the HDTV, and while it showed the lush greens and bloody reds, dark scenes like Dillon hiding from the predator lost some details in the shadows of the jungle canopy. Still, it's a very satisfying picture, but it can't quite reach the crisp black levels of our Editors' Choice Sharp Aquos LC-70LE735U ($4,799.99, 4 stars) or last year's LG 47LW5600.
Like LG's other 3D HDTVs, the 55LM6700 uses passive, rather than active 3D. This means you can watch 3D content using inexpensive polarized lens 3D glasses, six pairs of which are included with the HDTV, instead of expensive battery-powered active-shutter glasses. The 3D effect works well when you look at the HDTV straight on, but if you move off-axis more than 15 degrees you'll see significant crosstalk, with the picture intended for the opposite eye appearing ghostlike on the screen. While the Blu-ray release of Sharks 3D looked good head-on, it didn't quite pop as much as with active-shutter 3D HDTVs, like the Sharp LC-70LE735U, and ghosting became apparent when watching from the sides.
In our power consumption tests, the 55LM6700 used an average of 67 watts with energy-saving features turned off, and 48 watts when energy-saving features set to minimum, which kept the picture very watchable and only slightly dimmed the screen. This is very good for a 55-inch HDTV, and comparable to the 46-inch, LED-based Sony KDL-46EX620 ($809.99, 3.5 stars). Because the power consumption is so reasonable with a sufficiently bright picture, this set earns our GreenTech approval.
The LG 55LM6700 is a large, yet energy efficient, HDTV with a slick look and a unique interface. While it's not best-of-breed, the picture is very crisp, but the remote control takes some getting used to and its passive 3D only works well when viewed straight on. If you want a full-featured large screen with inexpensive 3D, built-in Wi-Fi, and lots of Web apps and streaming options, though, the 55LM6700 is worth checking out. If you can splurge on a higher-end HDTV, consider the Editors' Choice Sony Bravia XBR-55HX929 ($2,899.99, 4.5 stars), which offers better-performing active 3D (but don't come with glasses) and excellent black levels. If you can find it, consider the smaller LG Infinia 47LW5600, which also earned our Editors' Choice and offers better 3D effects and deeper black levels.