LG 52LBX LCD TV Conclusion
At a list price of $3600, the 52LBX's hidden and only partially functional 1:1 mode pretty much renders it non-competitive with similarly priced models from Sony, Toshiba, and Samsung, all of which have this important feature fully implemented and easily available. For example, the Toshiba 52XF550U (currently under review) lists for $300 less than the 52LBX, and it offers a host of other goodies missing from the LG. Ditto for the Samsung LN-T5265F, which sells for $600 less than the 52LBX.
Making matters even tougher for LG (and everyone else) is the commanding presence of the superb Sony KDL-52XBR4, which has raised the bar for LCD TVs very high indeed. The Sony is one of the best LCD TVs I've ever reviewed, bar none. Compared to the LG 52LBX, there's simply no contest. The XBR4 delivers a sharper picture with a much more natural color palette, not to mention brighter whites. (Practically speaking, the Sony's blacks are not quite as deep as the LG's, but its non-defeatable dynamic black function does take the black level far below just about any other LCD TV under test-bench conditions.) It even has a better remote and a more sophisticated cabinet design.
Yes, the Sony lists for $400 more than the LG, but in this case, you get what you pay for—and then some. And now that the Sony is regularly advertised (at least here in L.A.) for $3000, well, I certainly can't recommend that anyone who is serious about video performance in an LCD TV buy anything else right now.
Last but not least, LG itself recently released the new LG60 line. These sets include 1:1 mode in the user menu, and from their specs, they seem much more likely to give the Sony XBR4 a run for the money. The 52-inch 52LG60 lists for $3800, and we look forward to reviewing one. Unless you can purchase an LBX-series TV at a huge discount, and you don't care about its shortcomings, I'm afraid I must suggest you look elsewhere.
Excellent off-axis performance
Good 480i picture quality
Good black level and shadow detail
1:1 mode is hidden, applies only to the HDMI inputs, and doesn't work well with 1080i sources
Poor user interface and remote