These price sensitive models from LG give you some decent smart TV options, good preset picture mode settings so that you’re not fooling with calibrations, and a pretty good picture for the money.
LG’s triple XD engine is probably the highlight of the 550D, as it really does a nice job of smoothing processing and delivering crisp image edges. There are not many picture quality high points aside from this. But I do not believe you will be disappointed with the picture quality from this TV for the price. Colors are pretty accurate and I really like the preset picture mode options on this TV. The Cinema, Expert 1 & 2 settings are all good. Black levels are not great and can get washed out at side angles. Color saturation at side angles is weak as with all less expensive LED TVs. It starts degrading at around 12% off-center.
The direct LED backlighting on the LH550B is a little different from the edge-lit variety. First of all, it deepens the cabinet by an inch or two so the LEDs can fit behind the screen. This style of backlighting is normally very bright and produces a bright image. However, with these smaller models the quality of the LED lighting is lower and there is less definition and brilliance. So you lose one of the best traits of LED backlit TVs.
Even as a budget television, the LH550B has a few connectivity options for playing back content from other sources. The single USB port is located on the side of the TV and accepts a variety of formats. They are: DivX HD, JPEG, JPG, MPO, AC3 (Dolby Digital), EAC3, HAAC, AAC, MPEG, MP3, PCM, DTS. That leaves a lot of choice for those that have a library of digital media.
The LH550B is also a Smart TV in that it has the most basic internet options such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, VUDU, YouTube,Google Play Movies & TV). The Wifi connection works well, and initial set up takes around 30 minutes.
The appearance of the LN4500 is very understated and it’s not a bad looking TV for the price. The framing bezel is around an inch and I like the appearance of the split feet stand better than the mono-neck stand. However, the split feet stand do require a wider footprint stand to sit the TV on.
Value is where the rubber meets the road in the small inexpensive models. The 32” version is $229 compared with the new Vizio 32” D-series model’s $249. There is a trust factor with LG compared to TCL and Hisense, you feel like you’re getting more for the money at the same price.