As noted in our recent review of the the passive 3D Finlux 42F7010 TV, suggestions that passive 3D is automatically immune to crosstalk’s double ghosting problem are just plain wrong. However, the LG 55LM660T really does keep crosstalk levels very low indeed – so long, at least, as you make sure you a) turn off all of the TV’s noise reduction processing, and b) don’t watch from a vertical viewing angle of more than 13 degrees. For both of these scenarios result in crosstalk rising from almost non-existent to excessive.
Take these simple precautions, though, and the bottom line is that 3D on the 55LM660T looks immersive, colourful, crisp, and bright – and as such is something you’ll likely be drawn back to watching again and again.
2D picture quality
Of course, though, even the most ardent of 3D fans will only end up watching 3D for a relatively small amount of their total viewing time. So, it’s great to discover that the LG 55LM660T is also a fine 2D performer.
Contrast is pretty extreme, for instance, as deep black levels manage to share the same frame as rich colours and punchy whites. What’s more, unlike last year’s 55in LG models, this mostly impressive contrast performance is achieved without the image suffering too heavily from backlight inconsistencies. There are small slivers of extra brightness down the extreme edges of the screen, but these can be controlled pretty well via some careful calibration of the set’s backlight and contrast settings.
HD 2D pictures, meanwhile, look exceptionally sharp and detailed too for much of the time, while colours combine high vibrancy levels with the sort of tonal subtlety that shows right away that the picture processing engine in the 55LM660T is a pretty superior effort.
That such punchy, rich and satisfying pictures are coming from an edge LED TV with such a tiny bezel merely underscores the sheer drama and enjoyment of the 55LM660T 2D experience.
The 55LM660T is not a perfect picture performer, though. For starters, once the screen has been calibrated to deliver the best black level response and least backlight inconsistency, dark parts of the picture look slightly hollow, as the screen struggles to cling on to all the low-light detailing and dark colour information that helps dark scenes look as deep as bright ones.
It’s noticeable during both HD and especially standard definition viewing, too, that moving objects judder a touch and therefore lose a little resolution as they pass across the screen. Camera pans are also affected. But while this is something we’ll be hoping LG’s higher-level new TVs will fix, it’s no worse on the 55LM660T than we would expect of any mid-range TV.
There is one area, though, where the LG 55LM660T does perform worse than most rivals: input lag. We’ve found the past few generations of LG TVs to suffer unusually long delays between source images arriving to the TVs’ inputs and then appearing on screen. And the 55LM660T continues this theme, taking in the region of 100ms to show pictures – even if you use the provided ‘game’ preset. This compares poorly with the 30-40ms experienced with most TVs, and has the potential to reduce the performance of console or PC gamers.
Wrapping up our analysis of the 55LM660T’s performance with its audio, we find a solid enough effort – maybe a slightly better than solid effort by the standards of other ultra-thin TVs. The set struggles to sound open and detailed when the going gets tough, instead sounding rather thin and overloaded. But things seldom actually sound harsh, and there’s slightly more bass information around than might have been expected given how little room the onboard speakers have to work with.
The LG 55LM660T represents a great and ambitious start to LG’s 2012 TV range. As well as being stunningly attractive, and delivering features galore and some great interface innovations, it takes passive 3D to the next level while simultaneously delivering one of the best 2D pictures we’ve yet seen – from not just an LG TV, but any mid-range TV period.
Score in detail
3D Quality 9
2D Quality 9
Sound Quality 7