Today’s TV’s aren’t just about being able to deliver HD and 3D content anymore. The field of battle has shifted dramatically to internet connectivity, with all three major players (Samsung, Sony and LG) offering internet connected models. The LG 55LM9600 is one such model, and is currently LG’s flagship internet connected TV.
Physically, the 55-inch LM9600 is impressive to look at. The panel is a full-array, local dimming LED backlight, which means that the entire LED panel (not just the edges) are illuminated by LED backlights. This means that the LM9600 has excellent black levels, as well as better overall color reproduction compared to edge-lit models. The LM9600 is 19mm thin at its thinnest point, which tapers out to an additional 5mm as you go down the unit.
As thin as the LM9600 is, you still get a full swath of connectivity options for it. There’s 4 available HDMI ports on the left side of the TV, as well as three labeled USB ports.
The last port on the bottom was made especially for hard disk drives, with the first one on top created for potential TV app upgrades when they come. All three USB ports can take media from USB thumb drives. Aside from HDMI and USB, all the other input options are present, which include composite and component ports, as well as a plug for cable or terrestrial TV.
The manual controls are located on the back as well, on the right side of the TV.
Aside from the regular remote control, the LM9600 also comes with a funky looking secondary remote control they call the magic remote. The magic remote works basically like a glorified Wii controller, and allows you to navigate through the My Apps menu easier and facilitates typing on screens that require information from you. The magic remote is also capable of taking voice commands, as well as interpreting motion gestures.
Setting up the LM9600 is pretty straight forward – connect the stand, find a suitable place to put it in, plug in and go. Like I said earlier, most of the functionality for the LM9600 can only be accessed using an internet connection, which you’ll have to set-up yourself. There are two connectivity options for the LM9600 – you can connect it via the Ethernet port on the back of the device, or via the built-in WiFi module on it.
The heart of the device is the LG Smart Menu, which gives users several things to do that add to the overall value of the device. For instance, you can log into your social network accounts like Facebook, Twitter and Picasa, and view content from several portals like LG’s 3D world, as well as exclusive access to K-Pop channels and YouTube. You can also theoretically connect to other premium content portals as well, though that particular feature hits a bit of a wall that I’ll go into depth later.
Like most of LG’s other 3D models, the LM9600 relies on passive 3D (polarized technology) rather than the active 3D shutter tech that’s present in the 3D TVs of their competitors. The main advantages of passive 3D glasses is that they’re relatively cheap (cheap enough that LG sends 6 pairs per TV), lightweight and don’t require batteries or constant charging. The fact that they also don’t make you look like a huge dork while wearing them is also another win in my book. The only disadvantage I can think of is that passive 3D reduces the resolution of the picture on the screen by about a half, an issue which some people have disputed. Personally, I couldn’t really see a resolution drop when the 3D mode was active. There’s also a 3D depth option present on the LM9600, which allows you to set how aggressive the 3D effect is.
The device LM9600 performed well during its time with us, and LG generously provided a Blu-ray player and home entertainment system to go with the TV when they sent it to us. We had a choice of several movies, both 3D and non-3D which was supplemented by our own stash of full HD flicks that we use for testing. Overall the LM9600 had excellent color reproduction and deep blacks, something that I was expecting given that the device had local dimming capabilities.
One of the main draws of the LM9600 is that you could access additional content, both 3D and non-3D, from the internet. While this is true, your choice is limited to LG’s 3D World (which basically serves up bite-sized 3D content for you to enjoy), K-Pop Zone and YouTube. Other premium channels like Hulu and Netflix isn’t supported, mostly because of region locks.
While the LM9600 allows you to access the net and connect to your social network, the apps themselves need a bit of work. I connected my Facebook account to the device during the test, and found out that the Facebook functionality of the device was pretty bare. I couldn’t see who my friends tagged in their posts (making it look like some of them were greeting themselves a happy birthday) which made the whole experience feel incomplete.
Overall the LG 55LM9600 is a good TV. It’s hobbled in some respects by its apps and lack of access from premium online services, but for the most part it’s online component adds quite a bit of value to the package. The 55LM9600 retails for Php 299,990.
Extremely thin bezel
Can connect to the internet
Has both wired and wireless connectivity options
Some streaming apps are blocked
Social network app feels incomplete and tacked on
LG’s 55LM9600 is a fine Smart TV, as long as you’re willing to overlook some of the more annoying aspects of hooking your TV up to the internet.
- Technology: NANO FULL LED
- Screen size: 55-inches
- Contrast Ratio: Dynamic MCI 1000
- Features: Internet connectivity, Four-way magic remote control
- Connections 4 x HDMI, 3 USB, RF, component, composite