Panel Types
    LCD panels are still a relatively new display technology, and they have only in the past few years become mass produced enough at consumer friendly prices to take over older display types such as CRTs.  I am sure many of us remember back in the late 90s when a 15” LCD screen would set a user back $1500 easily.  These displays were primarily purchased by people who didn’t care about money, and desk space was at a premium (Wall Street traders for example).  This persisted in many ways through most of the 2000s, as I distinctly remember paying $1100 for a 23” HP LCD.

LG 47LH30 47" 1080p Widescreen TV Review - Displays 15

The extras include the remote, a soft cleaning cloth, warranty info, manual, registration card, CD-ROM containing the detailed instruction manual, and the stand insert (when mounting the panel to the wall).

    Today the cost of a large LCD panel has plummeted due to greater efficiencies in manufacturing and the much greater demand for these panels (higher factory utilization and throughput = lower per unit price).  Just two years ago a 1080p 47” TV would have set a user back $2,500 to $3,500, depending on the make and manufacturer.

    There are two primary panel types that are used for the majority of large LCD screens.  S-PVA and S-IPS; both technologies have their advantages and disadvantages.  The S-IPS panels that LG makes are 10-bit units, and their positive characteristics include a wide viewing angle without washing out colors, excellent color saturation, and natural white tones.  The downside to this type of panel deals primarily with dark color saturation and blacks.  There is a higher amount of backlight bleed-through when using CCFLs, so dark colors may not be as detailed, and there are no true blacks (at least without the use of LED backlighting which can turn off in certain areas of the panel).

    S-PVA typically are 8-bit panels which provide good color saturation, but not as good or as accurate as most S-IPS panels.  Where S-PVA panels really shine are with blacks and a lack of backlight bleed-through in dark scenes.  These panels appear to be cheaper to produce than the IPS based panels, and are still a large step above the very inexpensive TN panels in overall quality.  S-PVA also appears to have a slightly higher response time than the latest LG S-IPS/H-IPS panels.

LG 47LH30 47" 1080p Widescreen TV Review - Displays 16

The physical buttons for the functions on the TV are located on the side, and to the back of the panel.  They are not readily noticed when watching content.

The LG 47LH30 Panel Controversy

    When this TV was first introduced, it used the LC47WUE based S-IPS/H-IPS panel from LG.  This is a 10-bit panel and is considered to be a very high quality part.  LG was able to hit the value price point with this TV by sacrificing such features as 120 Hz playback, less expensive processing components, advanced remote control, etc.  The set received rave reviews for its combination of price, features, and quality.

    In the middle of last year though, it appears that LG swapped panels in this particular model.  It went from the LG S-IPS display to a Samsung S-PVA.  This was of course disappointing to those who had researched panel types and had decided on an inexpensive S-IPS based product.  The vast majority of people who would buy this set probably would not care about the differences between the types, but those who were looking for the better color depth that the 10-bit S-IPS panel could provide were of course outraged.  Considering that it was supposed to have the same panel as the higher end models which sell for 50% to 150% of the price of the 47LH30, I can understand the frustration of many of the users who received the S-PVA panel.

LG 47LH30 47" 1080p Widescreen TV Review - Displays 17

A nice selection of connections on the back, except for the lack of another component in.  Note the service connections.

    It seems that LG has again made a change back to the S-IPS panel for the last several manufacturing runs of the 47LH30.  The panel I have is based on the LC47WUE product, and I can attest that it is in fact a S-IPS based panel due to the output and characteristics of the TV.
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