The 55LX9900’s ambitious nature re-emerges, though, with its 3D playback. Happily, unlike the Sony 40HX803, the 55LX9900 comes with everything you need to enjoy its 3D functionality already included, with the 3D transmitter built into the TV, and two pairs of active 3D glasses given away free within the TV box.
Also suiting the 55LX9900’s ambitious streak is its claimed 400Hz processing. As is often the case, there’s a little ‘number juggling’ going on here, for the screen doesn’t refresh 400 times a second, but rather 200 times with a scanning backlight just about enabling the 400Hz claim. Though it should be said that Samsung operates more or less the same system while sticking to 200Hz on its spec sheet.
The 55LX9900 additionally scores points for its level of set-up flexibility, which includes enough picture fine-tuning options to earn the set an endorsement from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF). The set’s colour management features are particularly welcome, and pretty easy to use if you’re brave enough to have a go. Though the ISF route is definitely worth considering if you want to be sure you’re getting the best quality out of your hefty televisual investment.
It would be easy for a TV as feature-packed and flexible as the 55LX9900 to be nightmarishly complicated to use. But in fact its standard onscreen menus are superbly presented, with good use of large icons and an entirely logical structure.
Even better, the 55LX9900 includes a completely different and startlingly well put together type of control option dubbed the Magic Remote that lets you choose menu options simply by pointing the business end of the remote at the relevant part of the screen.
There are times when the 55LX9900 feels like a genuine TV pioneer – and thankfully those times continue with many aspects of its picture quality. Certainly it’s a pioneer in the sense that its 2D pictures are the best LG has ever produced, and a real rival for the very best LCD TVs from other brands.
The good news begins with a really impressive black level response that helps the 55LX9900 produce dark scenes believably and cinematically. Comfortably more so than with any of LG’s CCFL or edge LED TVs – or the CCFL and edge LED TVs of other manufacturers come to that. Just make sure you leave the TV’s local dimming option set to ‘on’, for otherwise black levels do drop off surprisingly sharply.
What makes the 55LX9900’s black level prowess all the more striking is the fact that the rich black tones are capable of appearing within the same frame as really full-on colours and bright, pure whites. It’s this sort of dynamism and genuine contrast (LG quotes a contrast ratio of 10,000,000:1!) that continues to make direct LED a premium force to be reckoned with.
Talking more about the 55LX9900’s colour palette, it really is spectacular, with a vast (though not to the point where anything becomes unnatural) range of tones; a superb amount of finesse to avoid ugly stripes or patches of poorly blended colours; and finally enough brightness driving colours out to ensure that they look almost luminously intense.
The 55LX9000 grabs your attention with its excellent sharpness, too. This is, of course, especially apparent with HD material, which looks superbly crisp and full of lovely HD detail – all made especially apparent by the 55LX9900’s huge 55in screen size. But standard definition pictures withstand the journey up to the Full HD 55in screen surprisingly well too, retaining likeable sharpness without appearing forced or suffering with much in the way of noise.