LG's local dimming LED among the best yet

With the excellent picture quality of the local dimming LE8500, LG challenges other LCD makers for videophile appeal.

David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials
  • Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
David Katzmaier

LG's LE8500 series goes deep with black levels.

In 2010 you can prepare to be confused by two familiar yet relatively complex TV technologies: 3D and LED backlights. Before you ask, no, 3D is not available on the LG LE8500 series reviewed here--that perk is reserved for the company's more expensive 9500 models--but an LED backlight is. More important, the LE8500 has a full-array backlight with local dimming, meaning hundreds of independent cells behind the screen can brighten or dim independently, which can really help improve picture quality. In contrast, most of other LED-backlit TVs available today have either no local dimming ability or attempt to mimic the dimming of a full array by creating zones from an edge-lit configuration. We know the former has little impact on picture quality, we haven't tested the latter (which we're calling "edge with local dimming" for now), but we can tell you after reviewing the LE8500 that full-array local dimming still works great.

Yes, this high-end TV falls short of the best sets available today in a couple of areas, and strict videophiles might notice some stray illumination. But if you go by the most important ingredients of a good picture--black levels and color accuracy--the LG LE8500 is the new ruler of the LCD roost, and sets a high bar for other 2010 TVs. If you don't give a hoot about 3D and are willing to pay more for an excellent-performing LCD, it belongs near the top of your wish list.

Read the full review of the LG LE8500 series.

LG LE8500 series (photos)

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