The sense of clarity about the 55LX9900’s pictures owes a considerable debt, too, to the set’s motion processing. For with TruMotion engaged at its Low level, we struggled to spot any significant blurring or lack of resolution during even fast action sequences. And nor, impressively, did we spot many processing side effects; just the very occasional little shimmer around the edges of large objects moving horizontally across the screen.
The artefacts increase uncomfortably if you push the processing above the Low mark, though. So don’t do it!
The picture stuff we’ve been talking about so far has largely been to do with the 55LX9900’s 2D images. But happily much of the good news carries over into the 3D realm, too. Colours certainly still look rich despite the inevitable dimming/muting effect of LG’s (decently comfortable) 3D glasses, and while brightness certainly diminishes, it doesn’t do so as much as on, say, Panasonic’s 3D plasma TVs.
The 55LX9900’s excellent motion processing earns its corn with 3D too, ensuring that objects don’t lose focus as they zoom from far to near and vice versa.
Unfortunately, though, we couldn’t find anything in the 55LX9900’s arsenal of video processing tools to tackle the dreaded phenomenon of crosstalk (double ghosting around certain lines or usually distant objects) that currently appears to be a universal problem with 3D on LCD TVs. Crosstalk is as obvious on the 55LX9900 as it is on Samsung’s 3D TVs, and whenever you see it it’s both distracting and tiring, as your eyes try to focus the ghosting images back together.
Our only other significant concern with the 55LX9900’s picture quality generally concerns the haloing effect you can sometimes see where bright objects are appearing against nearly black backgrounds. A result of the fact that the LED lights behind the 55LX9900’s screen are considerably less in number than the amount of pixels in the picture, the haloing issue is thankfully hardly worth bothering you about if you’re able to watch your TV from right opposite. But the haloing’s obviousness increases exponentially once you start watching from an angle of around 35 degrees or more.
Sonically the 55LX9900 is par for the thin TV course. Which is, of course, no great recommendation! The familiar lack of bass response is the biggest concern, leaving action scenes sounding thin and compressed. On the upside, though, the set does at least not fall into the trap of over-stressing trebles, so that the soundstage doesn’t sound lopsided as well as thin. And the set delivers a passably potent mid-range and fair volume levels without the speakers distorting.
The 55LX9900 is a dazzlingly bold and innovative TV from LG that shows emphatically just how ambitious the Korean brand is feeling right now – recession or no recession.
The only thing stopping us short of giving it a whole-hearted recommendation, in fact, is its 3D crosstalk noise. For we suspect that anyone thinking of spending the best part of three grand on a TV with 3D features will probably want to use those 3D features at least a little.
If you really don’t give a stuff about 3D though, and just want a stunningly designed, exotically featured big-screen TV that’s also terrific with 2D, then the 55LX9900 has got to be worth considering.