LG's marketing department has dreamt up a host of names for the technology in this new TV, including Nano Full LED, TruMotion 400 Hz or Micro Pixel Control. If you get beyond the hype, you'll find some incredibly powerful hardware. And we were so excited that we almost forgot to mention that this TV also offers 3D compatibility!
Build Quality and DesignLG's latest TV is entirely finished in brushed aluminium, with a few chocolate brown details. The frame is exceptionally thin, measuring just 8.8 mm and with a border of just 12.5 mm around the display, which, as it's matte, doesn't suffer from reflections. The results are incredible!
To get the screen that slim, LG has had to move all of the electronics into the stand. To connect an external video source like a DVD player or games console, you'll need to plug it into the relevant input on the stand. You then connect the stand up to the TV using a ribbon cable. Two different lengths are provided: one is around 40 cm, which is the perfect length if the TV is on the stand itself, while the other measures around 1.5 m and is designed for wall-mounting the TV.
You control the whole thing using a simple, easy to understand menu with animated icons, although it could be a little more responsive. You get two remotes as well: one is pretty standard and has back-lit buttons, while the second, with just seven controls, works like a Wiimote.
You can plug in an external storage device like a memory stick or a hard drive to the USB port. The media player included is compatible with devices formatted using both NTFS and FAT32 and can read files larger than 4 GB. During our test, the majority of HD videos worked without a problem. On the other hand, M2TS, MTS and subtitle files (whether part of the container or not) still aren't supported.
Image Quality: 2DFor once, the picture is great with the default settings, despite a light blue tinge. It's better still in Cinema mode, even with the dynamic contrast turned on. In fact, the results are quite simply perfect, with accurate colour reproduction and contrast ratios so high that they caused our test equipment to crash. Even the last OLED TV didn't achieve anything like this!
This TV represents a real new dawn for IPS technology. In the past, we've praised it for offering wide viewing angles and even results across the whole surface of the screen, but it has traditionally struggled to produce deep blacks, leaving a washed-out result instead. But combining an IPS display with 2160 LEDs for backlighting completely solves this last problem, and leaves us recommending you leave the dynamic backlighting on for the first time ever.
The fact that our test equipment couldn't measure the depth of the black shown on screen means that it is somewhere between a perfect 0 and 0.0049 cd/m², working out as a contrast ratio of between infinity and 73000:1. Either way, it's much better than what we've seen so far. Until now, the record was held by the Panasonic VT20 at 15000:1.
With movies, upscaling of SD content introduces a little blurriness, but that's common across almost every TV we test, and, as ever, it's best to leave that job to a games console or DVD player. Native HD content, on the other hand, is quite simply perfect. Our only advice is that you adjust the Trumotion 400 Hz filters by setting Judder to 0 and Blur to 8. Go any higher and the 'camcorder effect' becomes too noticeable.
Ghosting and input lag
The LG LEX8's IPS display has a response time of 13.5 ms. That's a little longer than the average we've measured on other TVs (12 ms), and seems particularly high compared to plasma TVs which sometimes reach 8.5 ms. Gamers will be glad to learn that it only suffers from an input lag of two frames, which isn't enough to cause any problems.
Image Quality: 3DThe impression that you're watching a scene with real depth and that objects are leaping out of the screen are both excellent, but those high response times have a negative impact on the quality of the LEX8's 3D performance. Any display with a response time of above 10 ms suffers from crosstalk. This produces very slight, but noticeable, interference between the frames destined for each eye as the previous frame is not cleared quickly enough. The Samsung C7000, C8000 and C9000 have the same problem, but Sony's 3D TVs suffer less because they use faster ASV technology.
You can see what the viewer sees through the glasses here (LG above, Sony below):
We're glad to see that two pairs of 3D glasses are included with the LEX8, and you can recharge them via a USB port. They're comfortable to wear because they're particularly light at 43 g. They are a little narrow, though, and can be tricky to wear on top of ordinary glasses.
Audio QualityThe speakers can't rival the excellent results produced onscreen, but they're more than acceptable for watching the news. The treble and mid-range come through clearly, but there's virtually no bass. That's why we suggest you rely on a sound bar or Home Cinema kit if you want to get stuck into your favourite film.
Energy ConsumptionWith whites at 200 cd/m², the LEX8 only required 104 W for this 47'' version. That's not a lot, but it can vary according to what you're watching because of the dynamic contrast. The results on standby are just as excellent at 0.2 W.
- Excellent image quality with dyanmic backlighting
- Incredible contrast (turn on the dynamic backlighting!) on a matte display
- Objects really jump out of the screen in 3D
- Low energy consumption and wider viewing angles than normal
- Includes two remotes (one backlit, the other like a Wiimote) plus two pairs of 3D glasses
- Add your own speakers to get better sound
- Crosstalk is more visible in 3D mode than on Panasonic's plasmas
- 3D glasses can be a little tight
- Media player doesn't support M2TS, MTS or subtitles
LG has confirmed that this exceptional TV is just a taste of what its TVs will offer next year. If that's the case, then both the manufacturer and IPS technology are set to make a big comeback!