To maintain a standard across our review units, we calibrated the LG LM9600 with Datacolor's Spyder3TV Home Theater Color Calibration kit prior to our visual tests. This is to ensure we assess the HDTV based on optimal display settings and not on visual estimation alone. Using the TV's Standard preset, we've also disabled all the necessary enhancement features.
Here are the recommended picture settings after calibration - Brightness: 51, Contrast: 88, Color: 57 and Tint: G4. We also lowered the TV's backlight levels to 60 instead of the default 70, given that the panel was unnaturally bright in our darkened lab environment. After calibration, black and white luminance values were rated at 0.112 cd/m2 and 245.039 cd/m2 respectively. Compared to Sony's Bravia HX925, another full-array contender with local dimming, LG's LM9600 emerged with a noticeably darker black luminance after calibration against the HX925's reading of 0.310 cd/m2. For those of you who'd like to calibrate the TV further, LG's advanced 10-point calibration scale is available via the Expert 1 and Expert 2 selections as with last year's ISF-certified LG models.
DisplayMate is an application which generates a sequence of test patterns to determine the capabilities of imaging devices, like color, uniformity, and gray-scale accuracies for example. For our tests, we've hooked up the LG LM9600 to our display test-bed via a HDMI connection. Similar to our calibration setup, we have also disabled all visual enhancements on the TV to reduce the variables involved. Here are some of our findings.
|Screen Uniformity||Evident backlight bleeds at the four corners of the display. This might compromise shadow details and black-level retention with darker scenes at the affected areas.|
|Dark Gray Scale||Fairly balanced gray-scale tones. Laudable black levels but note that we had to increase the TV's brightness levels to 60 (calibrated at 51) to pick out the darker gray blocks.|
|Color Scales||The different colors and scales were confidently reproduced by LG's LM9600. The only caveat is that the aforementioned backlight bleeds might force contrast and color shifts issues at the corners.|
|256-Intensity Level Color Ramp||Slight compression on the darker zones, but otherwise the TV displayed smooth gradients and relatively bold colors. Horizontal viewing angles are excellent on this model, which the TV's 3D attribute might benefit from.|
IDT's HQV Tests (on Blu-ray) are designed to assess image quality and handling of digital displays through a variety of video signal processing tasks which includes decoding, de-interlacing, motion correction, noise reduction, and film cadence detection. We've programmed the Blu-ray player to playback in 1080i to test the TV's de-interlacing capabilities. Here are the results we noted on some of the more crucial HQV tests:-
|Digital Noise Filtering||Vastly improved noise algorithms with minimal loss in image details. However, the "high" setting must be selected before noise levels were convincingly filtered.|
|Diagonal Filter Test||Excellent video reconstruction techniques when reconstructing moving interlaced images. No signs of feathering or "jaggies". This bodes well for both SD and HD interlaced programming on the whole.|
|Film Resolution Loss Test||Flawless inverse-cadence processing. Strobing on the test pattern was eliminated with Real Cinema enabled. For film processing, the TV applies its own proprietary pulldown to match the TV's native rates when Real Cinema is applied.|