Before buying an LCD LED keep in mind that the only difference is the backlighting, which uses light emitting diodes instead of fluorescent tubes. The screens remain the same and both use the twisting of crystals to control the amount of light shining through the panel.
The LE5500 is coloured with a rose wood finish, which may not be cutting edge for modern living rooms, but will suit traditional rooms well. The unit is very thin at only 1.2 inches deep and weighs a hefty 30 kilogram’s (around 63 pounds) without the stand. When mounted on the stand, the screen rotates around 20 degrees from the centre, sitting securely throughout the range of motion.
The panel features local dimming, where lights are brightened or dimmed independently to prevent light being emitted and improve black levels. Unsurprisingly then, the unit performed very well and black levels were potentially better than some of the plasmas on the market at the moment.
The bulbs also use less power than fluorescent tubes which will be well received for the green consumer and great news for their wallets. The model also features some additional power saving options which include the ability to turn off the screen when listening to music and an intelligent sensor that adjusts the screens brightness and colour according to ambient light levels.
For connectivity, the television features four HDMI inputs, two component inputs, USB 2.0 access and a 15-pin connector for a PC. For sound, the display provides two built in 15 watt speakers which, while a little tinny, were similar to those provided on other TV’s in its class.
The panel features TruMotion 240Hz – a super fast refresh rate that works great for sports viewing. However, this will did require some judder reduction and motion blur adjustment to work well. While this isn’t too hard a task, this could be a major drawback for the less A/V literature consumer.
Also there’s no direct control button on the remote control for the TruMotion setting, which can mean going through a long set of menus each time you switch between normal and sports viewing.
Colour rendition on the tv was impressive with deep colours from a wide colour gamut. The viewing angle was also good, with no contrast degradation up to 45 degrees either side of centre.
The tv also features wireless connectivity with a range of video sites, including Netflix, and Youtube, and is Skype integrated, allowing you to make free internet calls without the use of a PC.
The LE5500 costs around $1500 for the 42 inch display, which is mid-range against its competitors. It’s a very pretty unit with features that basic and advanced A/V consumers will appreciate; local dimming for great black levels and internet connectivity to bring the online world right into your living room. While the colour levels aren’t cutting edge, they certainly cope well against its closest competitors, the Sharp LC-52LE820U and the Samsung UN55C6500 LED TV.