At CES 2012, LG told us that the company's new models can produce black levels up to 40 percent deeper than 2011 models. Comparing the 2011 50PZ950 to the 2012 50PM9700 that claim appears to be sound, with an noticeable improvement in depth of black (0.0136 compared with 0.0219 for those counting).
There is one major thing holding back the LG PM9700, however, and I wish it didn't have to be this way: there is no way to turn off the TruMotion effect in most picture modes, including THX and Expert. As a result, you'll see the excessive smoothing (aka Soap Opera Effect) and jellylike haloing artifacts characteristic of dejudder. The only mode I found that lacked smoothing was Game, which I used throughout my calibration and testing.
In Game mode, the picture was fairly punchy with reasonable color and a decent amount of depth. The only other major strikes against the TV's picture quality are the noticeably lighter black levels compared against competing TVs like the Panasonic ST50 and UT50 and the Samsung PNE6500. The LG does handle bright reflections better than any of those, however, although a trade-off to its matte screen was a slight softness to detail when viewed in the dark.
July 25, 2012 2:29 PM PDT
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET
| Caption by: Ty Pendlebury
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