To maintain a standard across our review units, we calibrated the LG LV3730 with Datacolor's Spyder3TV Home Theater Color Calibration kit prior to our visual tests. This is to ensure we assess the HDTV based on optimal display settings, and not on visual estimation alone. Using the TV's Standard preset, we've also disabled all the necessary boosters such as color and dynamic lighting enhancement features.
After calibration, optimized values were as recorded as:- Brightness at 53, Contrast at 98, Color at 51 and Tint at 0. Since our Spyder kit does not allow us to calibrate the TV's backlights, we've set the LV3730's backlight to 50, or its neutral value. Black and white luminance yielded 0.520 and 143.003 cd/m2 respectively. In contrast to other edge-lit models, the LV3730's luminance range was distinctly smaller compared to rival displays, such as Panasonic's D25S (black: 0.382 cd/m2, white: 302.876 cd/m2). Comparatively, LG has a calibrated contrast ratio of 275:1, versus Panasonic's 790:1.
DisplayMate is an application which generates a sequence of test patterns to determine the capabilities of imaging devices, like color and gray-scale accuracies for example. For our tests, we've hooked up the LG LV3730 to our display test-bed PC using an HDMI connection. To be fair across the board, we have also disabled all visual enhancements on the TV in order to reduce the variables involved. Here are some findings based on the relevant and critical test patterns:-
Localized blotching was evident along the edges and corners of the IPS panel. They were most apparent with darker shades, such as deeper red and blue test backgrounds. Light bleeding is not uncommon with edge-mounted LEDs, but these characteristics were a little too obvious on the LV3730, and they might depreciate picture quality with video images of a similar backdrop. Dark themed movies like horror and science fiction could be most vulnerable.
Dark Gray Scale
Gray tones were generally even, except for a minority of blocks bearing an inaccurate tinge. Black levels, on the other hand, were rather diluted with average shadow detailing (contrasts between black and deeper grays). With these findings, it might be harder to pick out darker details on the LV3730, and especially so in brighter ambient environments. More on this in the movie playback section on the following page.
Average color gradations. Typical of panels with edge-mounted LED backlights, areas closer to the darker extremes are still susceptible to minor banding. A sign the TV might have trouble reproducing colors with deeper shades. And despite its IPS claim, the panel was still prone to contrast and color shifts when viewed at 50 degrees or more from the center axis.
256-Intensity Level Color Ramp
Further tweaks to the TV's color management system settings may be required given its slightly murky whites - based on the Medium color temperature preset. Apart from that, there are no major compression issues on the 4-color ramp, save for a minor banding result towards the darker spectrum as perceived on the Color Scales test.
IDT's HQV Tests are designed to assess image quality of digital displays through a variety of video signal processing tasks which includes decoding, de-interlacing, motion correction, noise reduction and film cadence detection. We've programmed the Blu-ray player to playback in 1080i in order to stress the TV's video processor. This compels the TV's processor to convert interlaced signals into progressive to accommodate the HDTV's panel. Here are the results we noted on a few of the more crucial tests:-
Digital Noise Filtering
The LV3730's noise reduction filter offers four selectable values - Off, Low, Medium or High. Unfortunately, even the highest setting wasn't completely effective in removing spurious noise. This impairment may be more apparent with noisier SD broadcast sources.
Diagonal Filter Test
Despite its shoddy noise filters, LG's display exhibited laudable de-interlacing and reconstruction techniques. Apart from a minor shimmer on the edges, the rotating bar was mostly free of "jaggies" or feathering artifacts.
Film Resolution Loss Test
Despite its native 50Hz refresh rate, the LV3730 delivered an excellent work rate in its reverse cadence efforts when decoding a 1080i60 clip originally recorded at 1080p24. The LV3730's only flaw is its lack of cadence detection. That's to say its "Real Cinema" feature needs to be enabled for proper 24p processing, as confirmed on the SMTPE pattern.