An early scene has Jennifer Garner’s character driving her car across a bridge on a sunny day, and the LG puts out a bright, vivid and crisp picture, no doubt aided by the LED dynamic backlighting.
This movie’s color palette is all over the map, vivid in some scenes, muted and pale in others. The LG does a pretty good job of delivering realistic flesh tones in the more naturally lit scenes.
As you would expect from a local dimming LED backlit LCD set, the LG delivers great deep blacks. The Blu-ray release is in the movie’s original “scope” widescreen aspect ratio, and the letterbox black bars are just that – totally black.
Here’s where LCD often comes up short, but in numerous nighttime scenes shot inside a car, the darkly lit interior is easily discernable.
The LG looks pretty good on-axis, but once you move off-axis (either vertically or horizontally), there’s noticeable contrast fade and washout on scenes with middle and low average picture level (a scene’s overall brightness). Darkly lit scenes exhibit significant contrast fade when viewed off-axis, exacerbated by the local dimming function, which produces an equally objectionable halo effect.
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On brightly lit scenes, the LG does a good job of delivering white details (LCD sets often “clip” bright whites, which causes a loss of detail). One of the show’s test subjects wears a frilly white blouse, and is shown in front of a bright white wall that features a textured paint effect, and the LG delineates both very well.
Selecting the THX picture mode tones down the LG’s overly vivid default color depiction, which renders unnatural, almost cartoonish flesh tones. With the THX mode, skin tones are much more realistic and natural-looking.
That same test subject wears a jet black dress over her white blouse, which the LG presents as suitably deep black.
A close-up shot of an aroma therapist’s collection of bottles of various scents housed in a cabinet has the top shelf mostly in the shadows, and the bottles on the back of the top shelf are easily discerned.
Once again, the off-axis image is noticeably washed out during moderately lit scenes, compared to front-and-center viewing.
From a feature standpoint, LG’s 55LH90 is pretty much packed, and the local dimming LED backlighting most certainly aids in delivering deep, rich inky blacks. About all that’s missing is LAN connectivity and the ability to connect to one of the streaming video services, but some LG Blu-ray players now offer that functionality (via Roxio’s CinemaNow, Netflix and YouTube). The combination of both THX Video and ISF certification along with LG’s Picture Wizard tuning function assures an overall great picture.
But, the set does suffer from some off-axis contrast fade along with noticeable halo effects associated with the local dimming function with moderate and dimly lit scenes. Choose this set if you are able to sit front-and-center (horizontally as well as vertically) or, if it is to be wall mounted, choose a mount that offers both horizontal and vertical tilt capabilities to get the set properly oriented toward the principal viewing area.
LG 55LH90 LCD HDTV