LG LM9600 55-inch Cinema 3D Smart TV - Full Assault!

Launch SRP: S$6999

3D Tests

Cinema 3D - The Second Coming


2D to 3D Test

LG moves into their second generation of Cinema 3D TVs after a relatively successful run last year. As for bundled accessories, LG is now complementing the LM9600 with four pairs of polarizing glasses (model: AG-F310) plus two pairs of Dual Play gaming glasses (model: AG-F310DP). Similar to Philips' latest bunch of 3D sets, Dual Play actually enables gamers to view two-player screens in full instead of the typical split-screen. According to what we've learned from an LG spokesman, the South Korean engineers have also gone back to the drawing board to improve on their FPR's (Film Patterned Retarder) 3D performance after receiving feedback from multiple sources about the unmistakable vertical banding issue which we've discovered as well. More on this later, but before we look at the TV's 3D performance, let's see how the display handles 2D to 3D conversion with our DVD test disc.

One of the advantages with regards to passive 3D TV technology is their awesomely light and comfortable eyewear. LG is throwing in four pairs of the AG-F310 with the LM9600 Cinema 3D TV.

Hitting the 3D button on the remote revealed that the TV supports the 2D to 3D mode as well as a the Side by Side and Top/Bottom 3D video formats. Under Picture settings, there is another 3D Mode available with the following selections - Manual, Standard, Sport, Cinema, and Extreme. However, you might want to note that only the Manual option enables you to adjust values for 3D Depth and 3D Viewpoint, while the rest are offered as presets. As for the display's 2D to 3D performance, we observed that minimal depth is perceived, even with a boosted 3D Depth of 18 (3D Depth scale ranges from 0 to 20). Also, 3D Viewpoint presumably enables you to tweak the perceived distance, and yet the images did not appear specifically nearer or further away when tried. On the up side, there were hardly any instances of crosstalk on the screen for the most part, although we did spot minor signs of ghosting close to the left and right edges of the screen. In a nutshell, LG's 2D to 3D performance on the LM9600 is largely forgettable. Hopefully, its 3D mode would do better for content created with 3D in mind.

Hitting the 3D button on the remote would bring up the 'Set 3D Video' mode onscreen. For general 2D to 3D conversion of SD or HD content, select the first option. The Side by Side and Top/Bottom configurations are more applicable to gaming consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.  

There are more 3D tweaks on the LM9600 compared to last year's models. In a nutshell, 3D Depth enables the viewer to adjust the distance between foreground objects and the background, while 3D Viewpoint supposedly allows  you to manipulate the perceived distance. Unfortunately, neither features were very convincing during our 2D to 3D conversion tests.

 

3D Blu-ray Test

First, the good news. LG has managed to recreate the same flicker-free results as they did with last year's Cinema 3D line-up. Kudos also goes out to LG's 3D processing and their Triple XD Engine for delivering excellent clarity, depth, and sharpness. In other words, watching Monsters vs Aliens in 3D was an enjoyable experience on the whole. Pitted against the active-shutter camp, LG's FPR technology still has our vote for being the most comfortable 3D display (on the eyes) in the market by far. However, a number of caveats apply. As noted on the LW6500, vertical banding issue persists when the screen is viewed at a meter or less. Another minor gripe we have is the relatively tight vertical viewing angles. For example, crosstalk or split images are apparent when we stood up to view the TV. Fortunately, not too many viewers engage a film in such a position, plus this wouldn't be an issue if one were to view the TV on a level plane. Finally, the Vivid picture preset is enabled by default in 3D mode, but that's understandable given the dimming qualities of the polarized lenses.  

Apart from depth and viewpoint controls, LG has added other adjustments like color correction in 3D mode as well. We were happy with how the TV tackled 3D BD titles such as Monsters vs Aliens, with full credit for its stellar clarity and crosstalk-free pictures. On the contrary, just ensure you aren't standing or watching this TV up close during your 3D jaunts.

 

Dual Play!

For this test, we hooked up a Sony PlayStation 3 loaded with Gran Turismo 5 to the LM9600. Player-one takes the glasses labelled "A", while player-two takes the one labelled "B". So far, so good. To get things started, we selected the Top/Bottom option under the TV's 3D Mode, and we were off in a jiffy.

LG's specialized Dual Play glasses enable users to visualize two-player games on a full screen instead of having to share a split screen. Essentially, each pair only takes in left-eye images and right-eye images respectively.

After burning some virtual rubber on the High-Speed Ring, we were quite impressed with how LG managed to pull this one off although the gaming experience was far from perfect. Each player was able to visualize his own 2D view on a full screen, and that's a big plus. However, 'leaked' images from the other player's point of view did creep into the display from time to time. We also noticed that this overlapping pattern becomes more prominent in conflicting darker and brighter scenes, like when one vehicle enters the tunnel for instance but your opponent is out in the open. It was fun, but these ghostly images can be a distraction. All things considered, we'd opt for Dual Play over a split screen on any given day, but we'll appreciate it more if LG could find a way to perfect this technology without the annoying crosstalk tendencies during gameplay.

 Here is a screenshot of Dual Play in action but minus the glasses. Essentially, both 2D screens are overlapped in 3D mode which makes it a rather 'trippy' experience for anyone who's watching the game without the Dual Play eyewear.

Now here is the same screenshot taken through one of the Dual Play's lenses. You can see that the second player's view has been filtered out, and things are perceptibly more coherent.

9.0
Design
9.5
3D Performance
8.5
HD Performance
9
SD Performance
9
Features
9.5
Value
8.5
The Good
Gorgeous Cinema Screen design
Natural colors with vivid details
Wide range of Wi-Fi standards
Excellent horizontal viewing angles
The Bad
Limited 3D vertical viewing angles
Costly