LG, it seems, is no longer happy to be thought of as the ‘cheap and cheerful’ TV option. For as well as costing a wallet-frightening £2,800 and delivering a huge 55in screen, the brand’s new 55LX9900 is a set stuffed to bursting point with naked AV ambition.
The extent of the 55LX9900’s ambitions is perfectly exemplified by its design. For starters, it’s the proud owner of what we’re pretty sure is the slenderest bezel yet seen on a large TV. It extends a mere 2cm beyond three edges of the LCD screen – and looks even thinner than that, thanks to the fact that an outer portion of the bezel is actual transparent.
The slender theme extends to the TV’s rear too, which sticks out only a fraction over 30mm. And if all this remarkable lack of bodywork around a 55in screen hasn’t already won your heart, there’s also the TV’s ‘one-layer’ fascia to consider, not to mention the elegant table top stand with its glassy, self-consciously chunky neck and glinting finish.
Arguably the single most remarkable thing about the 55LX9900’s design, though, is the fact that its amazing slimness doesn’t depend on edge LED backlighting technology. In fact, the 55LX9900 employs direct LED backlighting, where the LED lights are positioned behind the screen rather than along its edges. Such TVs are usually thicker than most, but LG has got round this with a proprietary new direct LED design.
The hope has to be, then, that the 55LX9900 will deliver the top picture quality of direct LED technology from an edge LED-like body. Truly a match made in heaven.
The 55LX9900’s connectivity is prodigious. The usual four HDMIs get the ball rolling, one of which can be accessed from the TV’s side. This side HDMI is joined by a pair of multimedia savvy USB ports, while the rear sports a D-Sub PC jack; an RS232 for system integration; an Ethernet port for Freeview HD, DLNA and Internet services; and a port intriguingly labelled ‘wireless’.
To this latter port you can connect LG’s optional wireless AV system, enabling wireless transfer of video – including 1080p HD – and audio from your sources to the TV. We weren’t supplied one of these systems to test, so can’t confirm its quality, and couldn’t get a price for it from LG either. But if you’re interested, it’s really a pity it isn’t included within the TV’s already substantial cost.
Nor is that the end of the extra costs you might be looking at. For disappointingly the 55LX9900 doesn’t carry built-in Wi-Fi support. To take the set online you’ll have to hardwire it to your router or else buy an optional Wi-Fi USB dongle.
Unfortunately, the 55LX9900’s online capabilities don’t currently warrant the trouble and cost of getting the Wi-Fi dongle. For during our tests the only services available were YouTube, AccuWeather, and the Picasa photo site – and neither the YouTube nor Picasa services worked properly.