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

Launch SRP: S$6999

Design & Features

Floating Form

LG has cooked up a number of marketing terms for their latest LM9600 display, such as 'ultra-slim escutcheon' and 'floating form' to describe their Cinema Screen design. Fancy as they are, there is an element of truth to the TV's impressive form factor. The Ribbon stand (found on series LM9600 to LM6700 as seen in the photos below) does help create the impression that the TV is elevated, or 'floating' of sorts. Comparatively, we find the Ribbon stand to be more stable than Samsung's U-shaped alternative, such as the one found on the new ES8000. LG's Ribbon stand swivels as well, thanks to its special joint. Note that this feature isn't present in Samsung's U-shaped base either. The other complimenting aspect is unlike conventional TVs with relatively thick borders, LG's LM9600's metallic bezel appears more like a slim outline around the 55-inch panel, thus giving the LM9600 a "window-esque" feel especially with the display turned on. Upon closer inspection, however, there appears to be a misalignment of the bezel at the bottom right corner (see picture). We'll check with LG soon to determine if this is a manufacturing flaw or simply part of its design. As for the screen itself, the TV's glass face is extremely glossy making it impractical for use under bright ambient lighting conditions.

Viewed from the top, LG's LM9600 does not appear to be attached to its Ribbon stand, thus giving the impression that the TV's panel is "floating in midair". Kudos to LG as well for designing a stand that's not only aesthetically pleasing but one that's sturdy and stable too.

A closer look at LG's Ribbon Stand. It's reassuring to know that such a simple contraption is able to hold the 21kg panel without resulting in excessive wobbles when the panel is accidentally tipped.

The secret behind the LM9600's swiveling feature lies with this rather ingenious joint tucked behind the panel. It swivels approximately 20 degrees both ways.

If TV makers could abandon bezels altogether, we reckon they would. Anyway, we can't be sure if this is a design flaw or if the ultra-slim bezel wasn't meant to be aligned at the bottom right corner. Either way, we'll check with LG to confirm our findings.

Things are equally interesting on the back of the TV too. Instead of awkward rear-facing inlets, LG has positioned the ports sideways or downwards to make it more convenient to wall-mount the LM9600. The side panel carries four HDMI slots (ARC is enabled on HDMI 1) and three USB terminals, while the lower tier holds most of the analog ports and Ethernet socket. To preserve the TV's slimness, a breakout cable is required for the composite and component jacks. The bundled Magic remote is another anticipated component of the LM9600. LG's secondary remote now touts a scroll-wheel situated within the D-pad itself. This is to facilitate the scrolling of app pages and web pages. The point-and-click wand also harbors a dedicated 3D and My Apps button. The latter enables you to fire up the My Apps 'docking bar' on the TV's user interface. Although it's more ergonomic than last year's design, LG's Magic remote has unfortunately been stripped of its voice features for the local release. According to LG, getting their voice controls to work flawlessly with Singaporeans' diverse languages and accents can be a tricky endeavor. And it's a risk LG isn't prepared to take. The same model sold in some of the overseas markets will have voice activated controls enabled.

The side panel holds four HDMI inlets with ARC (Audio Return Channel) incorporated on the first port. Three USB ports are included higher up. The third slot, named as USB Apps, enables you to store additional apps on an external drive if you exceed the cloud storage space of 1GB on LG's Apps Store.

The rest of the inputs and outputs are stashed here. As you can tell from the diagram, the composite and component inlets will require a special breakout cable. Such designs are popular with modern Smart TVs in order to retain their  slim profiles.

We find it odd that LG decided to use hardware buttons for their flagship LM9600 instead of touch controls. Then again, it won't be easy trying to incorporate touch-buttons on the skinny bezel.

LG isn't prepared to ditch the standard remote, so you'll still receive the standard stick on top of the new Magic remote. The latter now features a scroll-wheel as well as dedicated buttons for 3D management and downloaded applications on My Apps.


Welcome To The New Home Dashboard 2.0

Before you get to enjoy the Cinema 3D TV, you'll be prompted to set certain things in place first, such as the TV's language selection, calibration for the Magic remote, network settings, and so forth. That said, let's take a quick peek at the new Home Dashboard. Visibly, LG has performed a complete overhaul of its Smart TV interface. And what we have now is a more polished interface which makes the previous version look somewhat dated. On the upper row, there's a row of tiles consisting of categories like Premium, 3D World, Smart World, and Smart Share Plus. To navigate from page to page, simply point the Magic remote to the extreme ends, and click on the arrow "button". The LM9600 also features an EPG (Electronic Program Guide) icon found on the My Apps docking bar below. However, we can't put this feature to the test since we are unable to receive any digital broadcast channels at our test lab.  

A Smart TV requires more than an initial auto tune-up for its channels. In the LM9600's case, you'll need to confirm various settings like its Magic remote and networking options before you get to use the TV. You can also disable the 3D Auto-start feature if need be.

Home Dashboard 2.0 features a sleeker and more stylized high-resolution interface. The various "tiles" can also be customized depending on which user profile is used. Installed applications are listed on the My Apps bar below.

Featured apps on the LG App Store can be found on the Smart World tile, while Smart Share Plus enables you to grab screen content from your mobile device. The opposite is also possible (streaming TV's content to smartphone or tablet) via Wi-Fi Direct or WiDi. Unlike DLNA, these two standards offer direct wireless connectivity without requiring the devices to be connected to the same home network. Moving on, a quick check confirms that LG's App Store carries both paid and free apps. However, loading times for the web store were a little too sluggish for our liking. The same applies to the 3D World portal, which carries a combination of educational and infotainment 3D clips. Content is still lacking in our opinion. On the other hand, the new web browser is a tad more responsive, and it also features a PiP (picture-in-picture) function as well. Picture presets for the LM9600 include the following - Intelligent Sensor, Vivid, Standard, Cinema, Game, Expert 1, and Expert 2. To tune the TV's advanced settings, we'd advice you to select either the Expert 1 or 2 presets which feature ISFccc calibration attributes like color gamut and luminance settings.

Smart Share Plus is an easy way to share content between the TV and mobile devices. This works both ways, in that you may stream content from the TV to a smartphone or tablet or vice versa. Imagine catching a football match while you're at the loo. Awesome.

LG has made visible improvements to their web browser. Apart from its speedier loading times, we also found a iIP feature as well as an option to disable Flash-support. Much like Google's Chrome browser, just hit the "star" to bookmark a page.

This model panders both to AV enthusiasts as well as novices. Advanced users will relish the highly customizable Expert modes while those who are less familiar with a TV's picture settings might want to fall back on the Cinema preset.

3D Performance
HD Performance
SD Performance
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