The LG 55LM9600 — LG's current top of the line model in Australia — may be a bit pricey for many purchasers. This TV is much, much cheaper, yet, at first glance, seems to offer little that is different.
That's partly an illusion.
It gets a remarkably thin bezel of 10mm, rather than 3mm. It gets a 'Magic Motion' remote control (in addition to a standard one), but doesn't use voice recognition. It is a little thinner than the more expensive model (at 33.1mm), but also a touch heavier.
As is the norm, the full HD LCD panel uses zone-controlled Edge LEDs to selectively illuminate different portions of the screen, allowing bright patches in a generally black field. For 3D, the TV uses the passive system pioneered by LG. Consequently, you get lots of 3D glasses with it — they are quite cheap, after all. There are four sets of regular 3D glasses and two 'Dual Play' sets. A 'Dual Play' display mode in the TV shows only one half to the wearer of the glasses (either left or right, top or bottom), while the other wearer sees only the other half. In two player split screen games, used with this mode, each player gets to see only their own part of the action stretch across the entire screen. Albeit, we should add, with a distorted aspect ratio since it is twice as tall or wide, as it ought to be. If this takes off, expect some games in the future to have a display format option, allowing them to appear with the correct aspect ratio.
In addition to some legacy analogue inputs, you get four HDMI inputs, Ethernet, built in Wi-Fi and three USB sockets. One of these supports the addition of a generic USB hard drive, to which it can record TV, and so be used to rewind or pause live TV.
With the default settings, the picture was a touch edgy, with picture noise emphasised and the boundaries of objects on the screen looking kind of flaky. The problem, as is commonly the case, was the Sharpness control. This was set at 25. Turning it down to zero resulted in a smooth, clean image of both SD and HD content. The default colour, brightness and contrast settings were reasonable, so with this simple adjustment, the picture was very close to optimal.
The black levels were respectable, but if checked in a dark room there was a little mottling on full black scenes, as the backlight broke through a touch, unevenly. This could be improved by switching on the 'Eco' mode, which makes the TV's backlighting level react to ambient light.