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LG Infinia 55LX9900 - Features and Initial Performance Findings

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


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.


July 20, 2010, 12:54 pm

Thanks Jon for reviewing this TV. Ever since I saw it advertised in the press I’ve been thinking “this is almost perfect”. This is pretty much everything I am looking for.

1) 55” - Noticeably an increase on the 50” I have now.

2) Stunning Design

3) Ultra Slim Bezel – so no space is wasted

There are however a couple of downsides that I need to get over too.

1) I’ve always preferred Plasma technology. Although I appreciate that LCD has got a lot better over the past few years.

2) 3D – I don’t want it and I don’t want to pay for the tech, wireless or the glasses!

So where am I on this..? Very keenly watching is where. I’m going to wait another 9 months and hope that next years range from LG takes this stunning design and technology through into more of the range. Ideally for me producing a 2D version of this TV that looks just as good and for under £2k..

The money isn’t really an issue; it’s just that like many others I hate paying over the odds for something I don’t want and 3D is the expensive elephant in the corner right now.

Thumbs up to LG for this TV and it’s design. Here’s hoping it’s the start of many more TV’s like this next year.

Rod Ayling

July 20, 2010, 5:15 pm

AJ - The TV you are hoping already exists. It's the LG 8900 series - with effectively the same picture and style of the 9900 series, without the 3d option and one or two other features. The 8900 series with the same aesthetic appeal, is receiving excellent reviews all round. So check it out. Looking forward to seeing John Archer review one of these models, preferably the 42 inch version.

I'm torn between the Samsung C8000 series, this LG I have mentioned, the Sony HX803 and forthcoming Philips 9705 model. I don't know why but the Panasonic plasma's just don't do it for me. SD is really important to me too.


July 20, 2010, 7:09 pm

Thanks Rod. I'm not as sure as you the the 8 series are as stunning in design as the 9 series though. One of the main things for me is that I want those tiny Bezels and the superb looks that they bring. Looking at the website here are the dimensions of the 2 55" models :-

9900 -- 1255.8 x 749.6 x 31.6

8900 -- 1292.6 x 802.9 x 34.5

The 8900 is also 7Kg heavier !

So I doubt that 8900 has that same stunning visual appeal that the 9900 has.

Certainly worth pointing out and looking at though. Thankyou for the tip.

One last point that justifies my ANTI-3D stance here. The 55" 55LE8900 is £1,600! That's over £1,000 cheaper than it's 3D brother. http://www.electrocentreltd...


July 20, 2010, 9:46 pm

@AJ - Something I read on the forums (like you, I am not a fan of 3D) is that the 8900 is THX certified, and came away with a great review.

@Roy Ayling - I have read that the Samsung C8000 series has backlight / black issues. I am keen to see how the Philips reviews and will also be going to the IFA in Berlin this September to check things out there.


July 20, 2010, 11:04 pm

@ AJ - You are absolutely right about the fad of 3D TV's that are being sold right now. Prohibitively expensive for the kind of tech that was around decades ago. I think in a couple years time when we get 3D TV's without the need for glasses, is a time when everyone should seriously consider this option. Hopefully by then the use of cables would be unnecessary as well.


July 21, 2010, 1:02 pm

@RipSnorter. You are correct about the THX certification on the 8900 and that's very important; I am sure that the picture quality will be excellent. However in order to replace my 3 year old (and still stunning picture) Panasonic Plasma (this is for the mian room) I need this PLUS those stunning looks of the 9900. I know it's vain, and I know I can't have it yet, but next year, hopefully... Or perhaps when they are giving this years models away in 9 months having realised that 3D was a bad idea..? Who knows.

I'm certainly very excitied about LG's new designs and the future models they will bring.

@RazorA. Unfortunately I believe 3D without the glasses is longer than 2 years away. Also I think they will carry on flogging this 3D tech that noone wants for a lot longer too.


December 30, 2010, 3:35 am

just bought this tv and i an completly disappointed. don't buy it. it has so big graininess on sd channels that u can't recognize faces... on hd channels half of the details are missing... 3d and 1080p mkv are not bad = but for tv for 2,500 not good either. I have for compare Samsung ue55c6505 and picture on it is 100x times better. i was sure my lg is broken = but currys megastore was recently open here and i could compare that tv;s side by side in store too. TOP class tv = netcast looks like beta version... u cant setup audio delay on digital output like on every other tv... i just hope i will get my money back... btw: people writing positive reviews on this tv need strong glasses or they just getting well paid by lg.

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