With Ultra HD becoming mainstream, one question pops up more and more often. Are there any good Full HD models out there any more? Is last year’s series 6 picture quality now in series 5 or is it gone forever? I wanted to check this so I took 2 series 5 models from LG and Samsung.
LG’s LF5800 and Samsung’s J5572. Both are Full HD models with LCD display technology and LED backlight. Tested size was 32“, but you can find them in bigger sizes as well. They both have 3 HDMIs, a couple of USBs and built-in Wi-Fi.
Main difference between the 2 is in design, with LG offering thicker metallic-like bezel and 2 pole stand. Samsung, on the other hand stays true to the rest of its lineup with simplified chamfer version of the bezel and Y-shaped stand.
Although both are made of plastic, build quality is better on LG’s model. Both TVs come with standard remote controls which have numerous buttons and are not Smart TV friendly. Samsung’s model is much longer and has bigger buttons, while LG’s is more compact.
Both of them fit well in average palm. If you want to browse the internet and use apps, there is an option to connect USB keyboard and mouse on both TVs. LG’s model even supports company’s magic motion remote which can be purchased separately.
LG LF5800 is based on NetCast Smart TV platform which is a simplified version of Home Dashboard seen on 2013 and older models. Everyhing is on one screen – apps, web browser, time machine, input list and user guide.
Respose is good and for not too demanding users, it’ll be just fine. Samsung’s J5572 is using latest version of Smart Hub powered by Tizen. I was a bit surprised to see that exactly the same interface, apps and options are available here, just as on several times more expensive series 9 TV which I’ve reviewed.
There are many apps at your service, separated in different categories in the app store. Both TVs have quite capable media players for playing audio, video and photo formats over USB or network. Samsung’s model is more advanced in this area since it can play h.
265 (HEVC) videos smoothly. Both models support Dolby Digital and DTS and can output both formats over digital optical or HDMI ARC. The biggest difference in picture quality between these 2 TVs is in different panels they use.
LG’s model is using IPS panel with low contrast and wide viewing angles while Samsung’s model is using VA panel with exactly the opposite specs – high contrast and limited viewing angles. While doing picture analysis with SpectraCal’s CalMAN software, I’ve measured ANSI contrast of approx.
1000:1 on LG’s model and 3000:1 on Samsung’s model. In other words, contrast of the picture is 3x bigger on Samsung’s model which improves movie watching experience with deeper black and purer background for all colors.
Not only that LG’s model has lower contrast, it also suffers from so-called global dimming that can not be turned off no matter what I’ve tried. Global dimming dims the picture when overall image is very dark, which affects peak brightness of bright objects in the picture.
Think of movie end credits, fireworks videos or scenes in space, for example in Cuaron’s Gravity. On the other hand, viewing angles are much better on LG’s model, with less color shifting and colors appearing washed out like on Samsung’s TV.
If you will watch the screen from different angles, first consider this or other TV with IPS panel. Both TVs use standard 60 Hz panels with help of LED backlight to improve motion resolution. After conducted testing I prefer motion on LG’s model since trails behing objects are less pronounced.
Both models showed effect of doubling of objects to certain extent, but considering the price, this is to be expected. Picture processing, interlaced signals and scaling – all are done in good manner and without any obvious errors that would decrease picture quality.
Both have game modes made for gaming, with Samsung’s model achieving lower input lag. More details about gaming is available in my separate videos. Both TVs have 2 down firing speakers with average sound quality.
For games and movies you are better of with external audio system, which can be connected to both TVs through usual connection options. As a conclusion, Samsung’s J5500 series model achieved better overall result in this comparison test, with better picture quality segment and more advanced smart TV platform.
Considering price and performance, I can highly recommend this series. Apart from lower motion resolution, all other aspects of picture quality from last year’s series 6 are now on series 5 models. It is also nice to see Tizen available on this series too, together with HEVC codec and numerous apps.
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