televisions

LG 29LN450W UltraWide TV Review

29 in.

LG's new display suffers from identity crisis

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Behind the Screens

The LG 29LN450W (MSRP &649.99) has one standout trait: a native 21:9 aspect ratio, comprising 2850 x 1080 pixels. Yet from a classical standpoint, its picture quality is nothing special. Replete with some of the worst black levels we've tested all year, the LN450W ultimately failed to impress with sub-standard color fidelity and a horrible contrast ratio. On the other hand, we also tested excellent motion performance, perfect uniformity, and a very wide horizontal viewing angle for an LCD. Ultimately, this TV/monitor hybrid is great for some tasks, but quite unsuitable for others.

Contrast Ratio

Contrast ratio is an X:1 figure determined by dividing a display's peak luminance (brightest output) by its minimum luminance (darkest output). The contrast ratio result says a lot about a display's ability to immerse the viewer in content. Unfortunately, for a TV, the LN450W sports a very poor contrast ratio.

contrast-ratio.jpg

We tested an overly bright black level of 0.44 cd/m2n and an equally stunted peak brightness of 120 cd/m2 within the LN450W's Cinema mode. The resulting contrast ratio of 272:1 is actually normal for a computer monitor, but is much too narrow for most televisions. In fact, it is awful, just really un-television worthy.

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Viewing Angle

For an LCD "television," the LN450W actually has a very respectable viewing angle. We tested a total viewing angle of 115°, or ±57° from the center to either side of the screen. This means you'll be able to watch your ultra-wide screen from an ultra-wide number of angles without picture degradation.

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Color Gamut

While LG generally has a good track record with color fidelity, the 29LN450W didn't do so hot during our color tests. This television claims to fulfill "99% sRGB," which is the standard monitor gamut—again, what is this thing? Fortunately, the sRGB gamut and the international HDTV gamut are practically identical. Unfortunately for this display, its color accuracy needs a little fine-tuning. The primary colors (red, green, and blue) look more or less fine, but two of the secondary colors (cyan and yellow) are skewed to the wrong hue.

Gamut.jpg

Grayscale & RGB Balance

A display's "grayscale" refers to the combined blacks, grays, and whites created by simultaneous use of its three sub-pixels. Imbalances in the utilization of sub-pixels can result in visual errors within the grayscale, the sum of which is expressed in DeltaE. The LN450W tested with a DeltaE of 5.29, which is out of the 3 or less acceptable range.

Grayscale.jpg

Taking a close look at the LN450W's sub-pixel balance reveals that it overemphasizes the blue sub-pixel and underemphasizes the red sub-pixel during grayscale production. This means a slightly blue tint will affect most of the neutral shades the display creates, which—obviously—is not ideal.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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