In-depth look at the LH9500 (LH95)

25 Jun 2009 | Rasmus Larsen |

LG had invited the press to an exclusive event in Skyddsrummet, Stockholm, to reveal the LH9500 (LH95 in USA) and the PS8000 plasma-Tv series with THX. The LH9500 is very exciting with its wireless connection from an external media box and LEDs with local dimming.
We also convinced LG to send a sample of the PS8000 and LH9500 for reviews here on FlatpanelsHD.

No distraction - Pure Entertainment

We went to Stockholm eager to find out what LG had in store for us. And with representatives from the fashion to the electronics to the pornographic world, we had no clue what we could expect except from the fancy slogan,"No distraction - Pure Entertainment".

LG LH9500
LG LH9500


We found out later – after LG initiated the event with 3 dancers performing a dance that looked like a mix of ballet and capoeira. And then, finally, the LH9500 was revealed.

Flat screen version 2

LG’s LH9500 (LH95 in USA) was originally presented on the fashionable Las Vegas CES fair in January. We also mentioned the LH9500 briefly earlier this week but now we can tell you the complete story, with prices, launch dates and our experience of the TV set and the move into wireless HD transmission.

LG LH9500
LG LH9500


LG LH9500 is not the first LCD TV that replaces physical cables with a wireless connection. The 9,9 mm Sony ZX1 did the same thing but LH9500 is the first TV to incorporate local dimming LEDs and a wireless connection.
All inputs are connected to the external media box that which you can hide in the drawer or the room next to the TV, leaving an elegant almost cable-free screen on the wall.

LG LH9500
LG LH9500


LH9500 also incorporates a LED backlight but not in the same way that Samsung’s so-called LED-TVs does it. LG has placed the LEDs behind the TV instead of placing them along the Edges (Edge LED). It also allows LG to utilize the local dimming principle which means that nearly 3,500 LEDs behind the LCD panel in LH9500 are controlled locally in zones, allowing the TV to achieve a very deep reproduction of black and therefore a very high contrast ratio.

LG LH9500
LG LH9500


The TV is still slim, though. The secret is newly developed light diffusers that allow a backlit LED TV with local dimming to be almost as thin as the Edge LED models out there.

LG LH9500
LG LH9500


- "Thin despite advanced LED technology. With a special optic in front of each LED we have succeeded in producing a uniquely thin LED TV on 55 inches, which is only 2.9 cm thick (at its thickest part). Usually a direct LED technique means a bulky TV, but with the LH9500 we can satisfy our most demanding customers who will not renounce design nor technique" says Joakim Örnstig, Product Manager, LG Electronics.

LG LH9500
LG LH9500


The wireless media box transmits a Full HD (1080p) signal, and neither sound nor picture is compressed, like on the Sony ZX1 model that we have reviewed on our Danish site FlatpanelsDK. But does the wireless connection work in practice? And what about the LED backlight with local dimming? We examine this in our next section where we take a thorough look at the LH9500.

LG LH9500
LG LH9500


Price and launch
LG LH9500 is launching in 47 and 55-inch versions (the 47” will not be available in all countries). The 55-inch model is priced at 2999 Euro and arrives in late August. The 47-inch version is not going to be much cheaper, LG says.

LH95000 examined

During the LG event, they had some sporadic outages on the wireless connection between the media box and LH950. LG defended themselves by saying that they had three LH9500s running at the same frequency - and they were right to some extent. They had three LH9500 running (the only three samples existing actually). Later on – after the official presentation – LG switched of two of the TVs and the signal on the last one became stable.

LG LH9500
LG LH9500


I tried to stress-test the LH9500 by stressing the signal between the external media box and the TV with different objects and my mobile phone but without any success. The signal was stable. On the Sony ZX1 I was able to do this, however.

LG LH9500
LG LH9500


I have taken pictures from the side and rear of LH9500. A lot of TVs out there are very thin but manufacturers forget to inform us of the actual thickness, only stating the thinnest point. But; LH9500 is thin indeed.

LG LH9500
LG LH9500


I wanted to examine the LEDs with local dimming, too. Even though it was a LG event and the environmental light and the content on the screen was not ideal I was able to examine some of the effects, such as perceived black level and the “blooming effect”. I was lucky to see white text on black background, which is good to expose the blooming effect from the local dimming technology. In practice this means that because the TV only has a certain amount of LED zones some areas that are not supposed to be lit, are lit: for example the black area around the white text.

LG LH9500 has this issue as well and it was visible on white text on black background. The local dimming is not perfect because it has too few zones. Ideally you would want one LED behind every pixel but then we’re actually talking about the functional principle of OLED.
I still look forward to see the LH9500 on the test bench in a month or two, however.

The reproduction of black was good but again, it’s difficult to examine on a biased LG event with not-optimal conditions for testing.

LG LH9500
LG LH9500


Overall, the picture was beautiful, detailed and had a nice contrast, though. I look forward to seeing the LH9500 in action on our test bench and hopefully compare it Samsung’s future B9000 series with the same features.

Upcoming Reviews

I talked to LG and they promised that FlatpanelsHD will soon receive both the PS8000 and LH9500 for in-depth reviews. We were also promised to be one of the first European media to receive the LG9500. Make sure not to miss upcoming reviews and subscribe to our newsletter here.



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