So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
LG 55LM9600 LED TV
First Australian review: LG's top LED TV for 2012
- Excellent detail and contrast
- Great speakers for a TV
- Slim bezel and attractive design
- Minor backlight bloom in dark scenes
- Local dimming doesn’t always work
- Bulky stand
LG’s top TV uses a local dimming LED backlight and can create excellent pictures with the right settings. Dark scenes don’t always look perfect though. We love the design and the speakers are great.
Price$ 4,599.00 (AUD)
LG has just released its 2012 line-up of LED and plasma TVs, and the LM9600 is the pick of the bunch. It’s a 55in or 47in LED TV with a full array of LEDs arranged as a backlight, allowing local dimming that turns off in dark screen areas and stays bright in others.
LG LM9600: Design and connectivity
LG’s new premium LED TV has an extremely thin bezel on the top and sides of the display. It’s a brushed aluminium strip that curves smoothly backwards, and it’s less than 5mm thick.
The bezel is slightly thicker at the base, with a black plastic strip that includes the LG logo. This strip hides a set of 10W stereo speakers, although a subwoofer is also built into the body of the TV.
The stand of the LM9600 uses a thick chrome foot which is attractive but bulky — it extends out significantly from the TV’s front and rear, upsetting the otherwise sleek aesthetics.
The TV itself is thin — not as thin as older edge-lit models, but still thin enough (at 38mm) to look excellent on a slim wall-mount. It’s mostly consistent across the entire back of the panel, too, so there’s only a little hidden thickness in the middle of the display (a trick that’s more common than you’d think).
The rear of the LG LM9600 handles all the connections, with ports distributed across the base of the rear and the more easily accessible side panel. All four HDMI ports and three USB 2.0 ports are on the TV’s side, and Ethernet, VGA, break-out composite and component video, antenna, and optical digital audio outputs are downward-facing. We tried using a USB 3.0 hard drive with the LM9600 but couldn’t get it working — a USB 3.0 flash drive worked though, as did a USB 2.0 cable for the aforementioned hard drive and a regular USB 2.0 flash drive.
LG LM9600: Smart TV
LG has revamped the grid-style layout of last year’s Smart TVs, with the new layout arranged into categories — ‘premium’ video on demand, a new and exclusive 3D channel, kids’ programming, and so on — with an easy-access taskbar running along the bottom of the screen. LG bundles a regular remote control and Magic Motion Remote with the LM9600, with the Magic Motion Remote letting viewers control an on-screen mouse cursor by moving the remote.
Another point about the remote — it has an integrated microphone, letting users dictate commands to the TV's search, Web browser and other apps through voice recognition. There's also limited gesture control and a scroll wheel for easier Web page viewing or channel surfing.
The 3D video demos and video on demand got most of our attention — ABC iView’s catch-up content is still the main reason we’d buy a smart TV. Red Bull TV is also a good time-waster. We found the video quality of iView and Red Bull TV to be generally good — there’s no adaptive bit-rate streaming yet for iView, but the LM9600 did a good job of upscaling the Web video for its 55in display.
Another Smart feature is LG's Smart Share, which includes Intel's Wi-Fi Direct technology. 'Wi-Di' lets viewers wirelessly transmit video from a compatible PC (many recent laptops have Wi-Di) directly to the TV. We weren't able to test the Smart Share feature but it sounds good in theory. The LG LM9600 has Smart Share Plus, which lets you use some Android or iOS devices as a secondary TV screen over Wi-Fi.
LG LM9600: Video quality
The LG LM9600 has impressive video quality, but it has some imperfections. They aren’t generally noticeable during normal viewing, but discerning viewers might find them distracting or annoying.
The LM9600 is, as you’d expect, a 1920x1080pixel Full HD screen. It is able to display excellent levels of detail when showing a high quality Blu-ray movie. We watched The Dark Knight, Avatar and In Time on a Sony BDP-S580 Blu-ray player to test the LG LM9600.
Next page: more LG LM9600 video quality
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