LG's 'Nano' LCD TVs get better local dimming

LG has introduced two new series of TVs in advance of CES under the Nano branding, which denotes an improved local-dimming LED backlight.

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.
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LG LW9500 series TV
LG's LW9500 TV, coming in 2011 LG

In advance of the Consumer Electronics Show next month, LG has released a teaser announcement vaguely detailing a couple of its new, high-end LED-based LCD TVs, the LW9500 and LW7700 series.

The company is branding the new models under a new "Nano" moniker, which it says 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."

LW9500 series backlight
The "nano film" that makes up the backlighting element of the LW9500 series. John P. Falcone/CNET

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 of the new series have a similar thin-bezel design to the LX9500, putting maximum picture area into minimum cabinet, and have slimmed down the cabinet depth to "less than one inch" according to the company.

The main difference between the two, as far as we can tell, is the presence of 480Hz refresh rate in the LW9500 models, while the LW7700 gets 240Hz (we don't expect to see much difference between the two based on this spec). 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. They'll also offer the company's revamped Internet TV platform.

LG LW9500 series TV
An LG LW9500 prototype, in the flesh. John P. Falcone/CNET

Screen sizes range from 47 to 60 inches. Pricing and availability were not announced at press time. We expect further details at LG's CES press conference.

Editors' note (7:00 p.m. PT): This post has been updated with new photos.