LG 55LM9600

LG's top-of-the-line 2012 TV, the 55LM9600, features extraordinary style, excellent picture quality and some cutting-edge new technology.


8.9
CNET Rating
7.0
User Rating

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2012 seems to be the year in which LG has completely left behind any legacy of its Lucky Goldstar days. With the 55LM9600 — and to be fair, several of its lesser models — it shows that its TVs are, at least, as good as anything available from anyone else.

System

This TV has the lot: but the first and most obvious thing that strikes the eye is its styling. At the top and the sides, the distance between the edge of the visible picture and the edge of the body is just 6 millimetres. The narrow piece of curved aluminium is barely wide enough to be termed a bezel. So narrow is this, that I figure it explains why this TV is a touch thicker than LG's lower models: 38.4mm compared to their 33.1mm. In terms of looks, that's a trade-off well worth making.

A metal-look stand completes the picture, seemingly dissociated by its shape. Unlike some such stands, the TV can swivel.

Of course, this 55-inch (140cm) full high-definition model provides 3D. It uses the "passive" Film Pattern Retarder system for this. The upside of this system is that the glasses are light and cheap — they weigh just 13 grams a pair, and you get four pairs with the TV — and the crosstalk rejection is excellent.

The downside is — regardless of what you might hear from certain quarters — they have lower resolution in 3D mode than active TVs. We'll see later what that means in practice.

The TV packs LG's full range of networking capabilities and in addition to a conventional IR remote, you get an upgraded version of its RF-linked "Magic Motion" remote. The upgrade adds a microphone.

Picture

There was very little to separate this TV from the AU$1200 cheaper 55LM7600 when it came to picture quality, both in 2D and 3D. Most of the default settings were very close to optimal. The exceptions were the Sharpness control, which was set to 25 (change this to 0 for a noticeable better picture) and the aspect ratio. Change this from "16:9" to "Just Scan" when you're watching Blu-ray or HDTV. Instead of scaling the picture, this just maps each incoming pixel, from the digital source to the matching display pixel.

It's also worthwhile in normal viewing to switch on the "Eco" mode (this is off by default). This varies the Edge LED light level according to room light ambience. If you have your room lights down, the picture will be darker, and consequently screen blacks will be deeper. LG specifies this as a six star TV on its energy rating label. We made it as seven stars.

As for 3D, the Werner Bloos static test pattern showed that there was no visible black from one eye leaking into a white field, viewed by the other eye. The other way around, the leakage was around 15 per cent, which seemed plenty to produce subjective freedom from crosstalk, entirely. No crosstalk gives a basis for brilliant 3D.

But, you must sit further away from the screen than you need to with an active 3D display because of the reduced resolution. It is prone to display jaggies, if you sit too close. LG recommends 2.8 metres for this TV (compared to active brands recommending 2.0 metres for the same sized TV). Even at this range, we found that, on occasion, elements of the picture had strange artefacts due to the reduced resolution. We'd suggest over three metres.

Goodies

There is quite a bit of commonality across the various premium brands of TVs when it comes to online additional content and network capabilities, and this TV covers basically everything that the other brands do as well — not counting some of their brand-sponsored content, but adding some of its own LG-specific stuff. Principally, you get a bunch of 3D online clips and short documentaries to show off your TV. Beware, on my 6Mbps Internet connection, even the lower resolution ones of these were choppy.

The iOS (and Android — not tested) "LG Magic" remote control app is the same as that used for the lesser models, but with this TV added one particularly cool feature: whatever was showing on the TV screen could be reflected, via your network, to display in a window provided by the remote. Not super high-quality and with a close to three second delay, it was nonetheless fun to have this option.

Once again, the Magic Motion remote was a pleasure. It made rapid access to the hundreds of albums and artists of network music easy to access. You can even grab a position marker on a bar, and drag yourself quickly through hundreds of folder names. As we've said previously, this is the way of the future for controlling TVs.

What might also be the way of the future is voice recognition. You press a button on the Magic Motion remote, talk into it and Dragon software converts it to text. This operated surprisingly fast, presumably due to the dual-core processor the TV employs.

But its usefulness is, really, still very much in the future. So far, you can use this only to enter search terms into the web search engine and into the TV's content search engine. This seems to be a lot of technology for limited application.

Overall

Even if you never use the voice recognition software, or any of the TV's extra goodies, the LG 55LM9600 is a large TV with a great picture, amazingly good styling and the complete catalogue of network extras.

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PeterF5 posted a comment   

3D is insane. Depth control enhances 3D. Sound-zooming with the family creates a better atmosphere. Glasses are comfortable and viewing angle is actually bigger than I thought.

 

smarttrams posted a comment   
Australia

Finally I made my decision and ordered a 55 inch LM9500 in thegoodguys, now I am hoping it will arrive soon so I can watch channel 95!

weinndine
10
Rating
 

"I want this TV so bad.."

weinndine posted a review   
Australia

I love its design, not many manufacturers have a stand that I like and LG made a stand that actually compliments the TV itself. The local dimming on this TV is supposed to make the black level deeper and plus it's a full-array LED backlit TV so idk, this might actually top other plasmas in terms of black level.

JennaM Facebook
10
Rating
 

JennaM posted a review   

this has to be one of the best models LG has to offer this year. Youtube and other apps work perfectly fine. The magic remote is great and the voice recognition system is better. I recommend it to everyone

MarkW4 Facebook
6
Rating
 

"Looks great to me"

MarkW4 posted a review   
Australia

Looks liek this might be the new TVee for me

jmds
2
Rating
 

"Very disappointed to be sold a lemon"

jmds posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Good image clarity

The Bad:No upgradable Flash player

SBS On Demand do not work on LG model 47LW6500 and most other so called smart LG TV as it has only an obsolete inbuilt flash Player 8 and most content on the internet and SBS On Demand uses Flash player 10 or 11. YouTube also does not work as advertised because of the same problem old flash player inbuilt.We were told by LG that it cannot be upgraded to Flash player 10 or 11 .So we were sold a bitter lemon.

 

casper82 posted a reply   
Australia

the TV you are referring to is a 47LW6500 but this is clearly a review of the LG 55LM9600 therefore your rating and review are pointless.

Why dont you find the review of that TV and post there.

 

thomas.baker posted a reply   
Australia

It's the same story with every brand and every TV sold last year. The good news is that it supports HTML5 which every flash website will convert to within 2 years. Why don't you do more research before buying a TV? It's explained on every forum.
Everybody knows, first generation of every product will be overshadowed by the second generation. They need to work all the kinks out.




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User Reviews / Comments  LG 55LM9600

  • PeterF5

    PeterF5

    "3D is insane. Depth control enhances 3D. Sound-zooming with the family creates a better atmosphere. Glasses are comfortable and viewing angle is actually bigger than I thought."

  • smarttrams

    smarttrams

    "Finally I made my decision and ordered a 55 inch LM9500 in thegoodguys, now I am hoping it will arrive soon so I can watch channel 95!"

  • weinndine

    weinndine

    Rating10

    "I love its design, not many manufacturers have a stand that I like and LG made a stand that actually compliments the TV itself. The local dimming on this TV is supposed to make the black level deep..."

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