Although its overall picture quality falls short of the best 240Hz LCDs, the LG LH55 series offers plenty of picture tweaks and accurate color.
LG LH55 series overview
At CES this year, LG made a big deal out of its 240Hz technology, claiming it bested similar blur-busting tech from other LCD makers. The LH55 series represents the company's least expensive HDTV equipped with a 240Hz refresh rate, and when it comes to that feature, as usual, we weren't particularly impressed. The results were similar to those seen on other 240Hz displays--reduced blur that was difficult for us to really discern, although test patterns prove it's there--but we were a bit annoyed that you have to engage the smoothing effect of dejudder if you want to reduce blur. In its favor the LH55 brings a boatload of other picture quality adjustments to bear, most of them leading to excellent color accuracy, but its overall picture is hampered by lighter black levels, among other minor problems. If you can handle those issues, are sensitive to blur and enjoy picture tweaks the LH55 is one of the more tempting LCDs out there.
The LG LH55 looks slick enough but lacks any overt, eye-catching styling cues. Its most remarkable external feature is the thin, transparent strip along the left and right edges of the frame. That frame rounds slightly along the top edge and is thicker below than above, and its gloss-black coloration is interrupted only by the LG logo. A bump on the bottom left edge houses the blue-lit power indicator. The stand swivels and matches the panel with its glossy black.
LG's remote is relatively disappointing. We found the cluster of similar buttons around the cursor control difficult to differentiate without constantly having to look down at them. A little illumination would have gone a long way. There's a prominent button labeled "Energy Saving" key that directly accesses said control and a little energy saving graphic to provide enviro-geeks a warm fuzzy. The remote can't control other brands of gear directly with infrared commands.
LG's implementation of dejudder, called TruMotion 240Hz, is similar to past 120Hz and 240Hz displays, which force you to engage the smoothing effect of dejudder if you want to enjoy the benefits of reduced blurring. 2009 models from Samsung and Toshiba, on the other hand, allow you to separate the two functions, an option we really prefer to have. The LH55 series offers two strengths of dejudder, Low and High, and also offers a separate "Real Cinema" function designed to work with 1080p/24 sources.
Like other LG displays, the picture controls on the LH55 series surpass most of the competition. Its Expert modes, which bear the logo and the input of the Imaging Science Foundation, offer a passel of additional controls.
The LH55 series can deliver excellent color accuracy, a positive trait balanced by less impressive black-level performance. Its 240Hz processing reduces blur better than 120Hz displays but not as well as some other 240Hz models, for what it's worth, and off-angle performance was another issue.