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LG shows Nano local-dimming LED TV at IFA

Today at IFA, LG announced the European availability of its best LED-based LCD TV, which uses Nano local-dimming technology.

The European LG LW980S is shipping soon, and the U.S. version should be announced by mid-September. LG

Today at the IFA trade show in Berlin, LG announced the European availability of the LW980S, its highest-end 2011 LCD TV.

We expect a similar announcement of a U.S. version soon, perhaps at the CEDIA trade show in Indianapolis next week.

The LW980S' standout feature is the same kind of LED local dimming backlight scheme we liked so much in the 2010 LX9500 and LE8500 models.

While those sets were superb, we complained about the unusual uniformity issues we saw, which manifested as bands of uneven lighting that were visible in some material. LG told us that the 2011 TVs, which go by the Nano moniker, address this issue specifically. For that reason we expect them to be among the better LCD performers of 2011, challenging models like the Sony XBR-HX929.

LG had announced high-end local dimmers for the U.S. market at CES in January under the LW7700 and LW9500 series names, but subsequently said it would scuttle those sets--which used active 3D technology--in favor of a series (or more than one) using passive 3D to be released mid-September 2011.

In our review of the LW5600 series we found its 3D picture quality inferior to the active variety used by most competitors.

The European LW980S Nano TV has an ultraslim bezel and 400Hz refresh rate, so we assume its U.S. equivalent will be similar to the LW9500 announced previously. We're also guessing it will be very expensive.