LG details Nano LEDs with better backlights

LG fleshes out details regarding its new line of LED-based LCDs, which feature improved local-dimming backlights.

David Katzmaier
David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- TVs and streaming
David runs CNET's home entertainment division, where he leads a team that covers TVs, streaming services, streaming devices and home audio. If he doesn't know something about the gear you use to keep yourself entertained at home, it's not worth knowing.
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.
3 min read

The LG LW7700 series is the company's least-expensive with a full-array LED backlight. LG

Update March 29, 2011 LG has announced that this series of TVs, along with the LW9500 series, will not be released. Instead the company tells us that it will release another series (or maybe more than one)--featuring the full-array local dimming Nano backlight detailed below and using passive 3D technology and not active--in mid-September 2011. We expect to hear more details closer to the products' launch. In the meantime we're keeping the information below for reference since we expect the new models, whatever their model names end up being, to closely resemble the ones here.

LAS VEGAS--LG jumped the traditional CES announcement gun when it touted Nano technology last month, and today at the show the company revealed more details about its so-equipped TVs. The Nano backlight will appear in two series, the flagship LW9500 models and the LW7700 series described here.

The main difference between the two is styling-related; the 9500 features "LG's thinnest design with ultraslim bezel" per the press release, whereas the 7700 is a bit chunkier. The 9500 also has a 480Hz refresh rate as opposed to 240Hz on the 7700 (we don't expect to see much difference between the two based on this spec).

"Nano," in case you missed it the first time around, refers to improved local-dimming LED technology. According to the release: "An extremely thin film printed with a proprietary light dispersion pattern combined with a full array of LEDs disperses light more evenly across the screen, creating pictures that are brighter and more uniform than conventional edge-lit LED sets."

We liked the company's local-dimming models from 2010, namely the LX9500 and LE8500 series, although we complained about the unusual uniformity issues we saw, which manifested as bands of uneven lighting that were visible in some material. LG tells us that the newer sets address this issue specifically, so we're expecting them to be among the better LCD performers of 2011.

Both can deliver 3D images and, unlike the 2010 LX9500, LG's sole 3D-compatible LCD from 2010, the 2011 sets incorporate numerous picture controls for 3D, as well as a 2D-to-3D conversion system. LG expects both Nano sets to receive THX certification for 2D and 3D.

LG's press release also mentions a better anti-reflective screen said to minimize reflections from external light sources--a big problem on its high-end 2010 models.

Another improvement compared with LG LED TVs from last year is an augmented suite of Internet-connected options, which LG is calling Smart TV. In addition to the NetCast services found on current LG TVs, new partners include Hulu Plus, NHL GameCenter, NBA Game Live, and MLB.TV. There's also an LG App Store and a Web browser.

Both Nano models include a Wi-Fi USB dongle for free (the the 2010 version costs $70).

LG kept the Nintento Wii-mote-like Magic Wand remote featured on select 2010 models like the LX9500. We thought it was kind of gimmicky, but some viewers might like the extra control option, especially for navigating Smart TV. For 2011, LG says Smart TV can also be manipulated by a free app for iPhone and Android-based smartphones, which will icnlude QWERTY keyboard.

Pricing and availability were not announced.

LG Infinia LW7700 series features:

  • Full-array local dimming LED backlight
  • passive 3D compatible
  • THX certified for 2D and 3D (pending)
  • Magic Wand remote
  • Smart TV with NetCast and Web browser
  • Wi-Fi USB dongle included

LG Infinia LW7700 series models:

  • LG 47LW7700: 47-inch
  • LG 55LW7700: 55-inch