To be fair to the 47LM960V, aside from failing to live up to expectations with its black level response, it’s a very polished performer. Its local dimming system does at least work to the extent that it allows very bright parts of the image to look punchy and dynamic in a way that arguably only Philips’ high-end direct LED TVs can rival.
It’s also a relief to note that LG has hugely improved the ‘haloing’ and ‘banding’ problems caused by the local dimming functionality on last year’s Nano sets. In fact, we hardly spotted any rogue light spillage at all around bright objects for the vast majority of our viewing time.
Colours, meanwhile, are rich, cover a huge gamut, and are also reproduced with impressive subtlety and blend finesse. Again, we’re not sure the 47LM960V quite rivals the efforts of the Sony 46HX853 where colour subtlety is concerned, but it’s certainly outstanding by any most standards.
The 47LM960V handles motion very well too. Its more advanced picture processing means there’s less resolution loss with motion than you get with LG’s otherwise very accomplished LM660T and LM670T sets, and the processing also delivers its judder and blur-removal benefits while generating less unwanted side effects – certainly so long as you stick with one of its Clear modes rather than going for anything more heavy duty.
The clarity of the 47LM960V’s motion handling plays a part, too, in how stunningly crisp and detail its HD pictures look, aided and abetted by the quality of the set’s general image processing and, we suspect, by the ability of the local dimming system to ‘push’ bright parts of the picture extra hard.
So far we’ve been talking about 2D pictures, but if anything the 47LM960V is even more enjoyable with 3D. The set inevitably uses LG’s passive system rather than the rival active one – a fact which results in five pairs of free 3D glasses, and 3D pictures which are brighter, more colour-rich, less flickery and much more relaxing to watch than their active counterparts.
They also suffer less with crosstalk ghosting noise than those of the majority of active 3D sets, so long, at least, as you don’t have to watch from a vertical viewing angle of more than around 13 degrees. The marginal dimming effect of the passive 3D glasses even means that you feel slightly less aware of the 47LM960V’s black level limitations than you do while watching 2D.
The 47LM960V isn’t immune to passive 3D’s weaknesses, namely the appearance of some line structure and jaggedness over small bright objects or around bright curved edges, and a marginally less textured and dense look to passive 3D images than active ones. But for many people passive’s advantages will likely prove irresistible.
Interestingly, the 47LM960V doesn’t just ship with five pairs of normal 3D glasses. You also get two pairs of ‘dual play’ glasses, which allow each wearer to see just ‘half’ of a 3D image so that it’s possible for two players to enjoy simultaneous full screen gaming on the same TV so long as a game supports the feature.