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LG LH90 series

Deep black levels and accurate color help propel the LED-backlit LG LH90 series into the front row of the LCD picture quality class.

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David_Katzmaier.jpg

David Katzmaier

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LG LH90 series overview

With every new technology release, LCD tries to catch up to plasma in the picture quality race, but never seems to succeed. The biggest potential equalizer attached to LCD's engine is LED backlighting with local dimming, a technology first marketed widely by Samsung two years ago that's slowly spread to other brands' flagship LCD TVs since. LG's 2009 entrant is the LH90 series, and it closes the gap considerably compared with the best plasma displays. The LH90 models evinced superb black level performance and LG's characteristically accurate color--helped in large measure by the company's best-in-class user-menu adjustments. This is easily the best-performing LG TV we've tested, and despite a few flaws it's a worthy member of the flat-panel elite.
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LG LH90 series side view

Seen from the side the LG lacks the razor-thin profile of edge-lit LED-based LCDs, but it's still plenty-slim.
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LG LH90 series corner detail

Sleek, transparent blue edging provides relief from the expanse of glossy black.
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LG LH90 series stand detail

The swivel stand is accented by a silver disc surrounding the stalk.
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LG LH90 series back panel inputs

LG's back panel offers plenty of connections, starting with three HDMI, two component video and an analog PC input. There's no S-Video, however.
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LG LH90 series side panel inputs

The side offers a fourth HDMI and a second AV input, along with a USB port for digital photos, music and videos.
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LG LH90 series remote

LG's improved the remote for its higher-end TVs like the LH90, with backlit buttons and more spacing between keys. Buttons are grouped logically and while we didn't like their similar sizes and shapes from an ergonomic standpoint, we did appreciate that most functions were represented by dedicated keys (aspect ratio being the major exception). 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.
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LG LH90 series local dimming

LED local dimming, not to be confused with edge-lit LED, is the key to the LH90's deep black levels.
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LG LH90 series THX mode

The THX mode doesn't allow adjustment, and it was less-accurate overall than previous such modes we've tested.
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LG LH90 series 240Hz selector

Dejudder on the LG, controlled by the "TruMotion 240Hz" selector, cannot be separated from antiblur.
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LG LH90 series color filter

A color filter mode allows easier adjustment of the color control.
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LG LH90 series 10 point IRE control

Numerous picture adjustments can be found in the Expert modes.
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LG LH90 series Expert mode, black level

The Picture Wizard allows for a basic reference to adjust picture settings.
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LG LH90 series energy saver mode

A quartet of energy saving modes is on-hand, along with a graph to provide self-satisfaction.
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LG LH90 series picture quality

The LG LH90 series is one of the best-performing LCDs we've tested, and earned the same rating in this category as the best models from Samsung and Sony. It delivered excellent overall black-level performance and superb color, and video processing overall was very good, we'd love to see the capability to separate dejudder and antiblur effects. It does suffer from poor off-angle performance and some blooming--issues common to all LED-based LCDs we've tested, but if you sit in the sweet spot the LH90 looks great.

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