Design & Features
After assembling the display unit, we realized how much the LV3730 resembles LG's previous LD5300 series. Similar to the LD5300, the LV3730 also sports a glossy black bezel and a matte screen surface. Judging from its front panel design, you might even mistake the LV3730 for a CCFL model if not for its skinny 30mm girth notable on its sides. Instead of a red strip lined below the bezel, such as the one found on the LD5300, you'll find a neat blue strip in its place which we reckon to be LG's Patterned Crystal Bottom Deco. Like most LG HDTV offerings, this particular model swivels as well. And though we aren't enthusiastic about touch-sensitive controls on tellies, this is what the LV3730 has to offer on the lower edge of its frame in place of hardware buttons.
Moving past its general design, we check out the connectivity options. It's business as usual on the analog front, comprising of two composite ports and a single component input. At the digital end, there are three HDMI slots in total, with HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) implemented on the HDMI1 connector for upstream audio feeds to the receiver. Best of all, the USB port is compatible with both Flash drives and mechanical hard disks.
Of course, the real star of the show has to be LG's stylish Magic Motion wand which you can opt to accompany the standard remote. To get the Magic wand to work, however, you'll need the RF-based Magic Motion Dongle which requires use of the TV's solitary USB slot. In other words, tough luck if you'd like to access your external USB drives concurrently. If only it was integrated within the cabinet of the TV, this issue could have been neatly avoided. We also noticed LG has removed the Menu button typically found on its standard remote. To access the TV's advanced settings, you'll have to use the "soft" Setup button found on the Smart TV's Home page.
Observably, changes have been made to the remote and TV's user interface to accommodate the Smart TV aspect. The current Menu button won't lead you to the TV's configuration menu . Rather, you'll land on the "Home Dashboard", which also acts as a holding area for the LV3730's Smart TV features. On the left is a mini screen showing the active channel or input, followed by Premium and Smart Share "cards" by its side. Fundamentally, useful applications such as Facebook, Twitter, CNBC News and Google Maps can be found on the Premium card. Video streaming, on the other hand, is limited to sites such as Viewster, YouTube and MLB TV. According to LG, additional apps can be downloaded from LG Apps store, but note that local access will only be available later this year, possibly in Q3. Here's another strange instruction found on the user manual. To register as a "paid member", you'll have to log in from your computer, and not via the TV. Anyway, if surfing the big bad web is your thing, you might want to know the LV3730's web browser managed to tackle most sites we've tried, although we did experience intermittent loading errors with Flash-based content.
Apart from LG's recent Smart TV implementations, little has changed in terms of their picture configuration. We found a collection of familiar picture presets, such as Intelligent Sensor, Vivid, Standard, Cinema, Game, and two Expert presets as endorsed by the Imaging Science Foundation. For those who lack proper calibration tools, there's also the handy Picture Wizard to get your display up to speed. Sound wise, we're glad LG has retained its vocal boosting Clear Voice II enhancement. More on this attribute when we check out our own test media. And given that the LV3730 has so-called Smart capabilities, it is appreciable LG's software updates can be enabled or disabled under the TV's Support tab. As for USB playback, we weren't surprised CODECs such as DivX and Xvid did not faze the TV as well. Video formats we've tried include 720p MKV and MPEG-4 files.