"Disappointing"3.0 starson by djo_34
Pros: Excellent Video.
Cons: Lacking too many necessities and obvious features.
Summary: AESTHETICS 10/10: If the LG 55LX9500 television were to be rated on its aesthetics alone, it would surely receive a 10 out of 10. It is nearly frameless and wafer thin. An absolute gorgeous centerpiece for any room in your house.
CONSTRUCTION 9/10: The TV is a solid unit with a full metal back. Just be careful when touching or cleaning, the stand offers little support for this mammoth unit and the TV will wobble quite a bit.
Unfortunately for LG, when you have 10/10 score the only way to go is down. And once you get into the unit's features, that's exactly where the rating being to head.
I also own a Sony KDL52-XBR7 and KDL52-XBR9. I find the XBR7 to have a superior picture and features, so I'll compare the LG to the XBR7.
VIDEO 10/10: The range of video settings for the LX9500 is amazing. Regardless of your preferences, you can surely find it on this television. Color, sharpness, and black and white levels that far exceed the XBR7 or XBR9. Even heavily compressed standard definition channels can be made to appear crisp and clean on the LG.
AUDIO 7/10: I didn't have high expectations for the audio. It's hard to pack a lot of audio power into a TV that is only an inch and a half thick. The rooms in the house aren't that big and my hearing is sensitive, so I don't find the need for crazy surround sound systems. Besides, I don't like speakers and wires all over the place. The Sony XBR7 and XBR9 offer digitally simulated surround sound and voice boosting. With a speaker bar below the panel the Sony's sound is far superior to the LX9500. The LG has voice boost, but cannot be used with the "Infinite Sound" option. Of course, I can't quite distinguish what the "Infinite Sound" option does. On or off, the sound is about the same. If gets plenty loud so volume isn't an issue. The Sony units have a great feature that the LG is missing entirely? input volume offset. This enables you to add or subtract some volume from various devices plugged into the TV, like a PlayStation or Blu-Ray player.
FEATURES 5/10: I have two LG BD-390 Blu-Ray players. I purchased them because they support MKV containers and nearly every stream type you can throw at them including DTS, AAC, AC3, H.264, X264, etc. This enables streaming over 1000 HD movies to any TV in the house. The wireless support on the Blu-Ray players is useless for even 720p HD movies, so forget about 1080 media. I had no illusions that the LX9500's wireless support would be better. But I didn't care because I'm fully wired with a gigabit network throughout the house. The TV finds my server, although much slower than the Blu-Ray players for some reason. The interface isn't bad, although you can only view about 15 items per page. The Blu-Ray players enable multiple views of which one will display about 60 items (movies, pictures, files) on screen at once. The playing is flawless as long as you don't have DTS audio in any MKV file. That's right, even though the LG Blu-Ray players have DTS decoding support, this top-of-the-line TV doesn't. This is truly disappointing and a definite 2-point deduction for me.
So, maybe you don't care so much about streaming media. So let's look at some more basic features.
Most TV controllers can be programmed to control other devices of almost any other brand. The LX9500 has Simplink which enables the controller to operate other devices plugged into the TV via HDMI. I prress the button and select my LG Blu-Ray player and sure enough it turns on and switches the input to HDMI 1 which is the port in which the player is plugged in. Of course, if you just want to turn the Blu-Ray player on without switching the input, you have to use the other controller.
With the Sony XBR7 and XBR9 (or any Sony controller) you can program the DVD button to operate the Blu-Ray player. Holding the arrow buttons down will navigate quickly by repeating like a keyboard. Through Simplink, you need to press the arrow, release, press again, release. And only about 1 or every 3 button presses register. So navigating around the DLNA content is nearly impossible.
All LG controllers have a RED, BLUE, GREEN, and YELLOW button which have different functions based on the screen you are on. The LX9500 controllers have these buttons as well just as the LG Blu-Ray player controllers do. When on the Blu-Ray player DLNA "My Content" menus, you can use these buttons to quickly navigate through you folders of content. For some reason, the LX9500 controller color buttons will not operate the LG Blu-Ray player. However, the Sony controllers also have these colored buttons and they are completely compatible with LG BD-390 Blu-Ray players. Well done LG. Way to test.
So, instead of one controller, I'm now forced to go back to 1995 and have two controllers because my ridiculously expensive LG TV controller won't operate my LG Blu-Ray player properly.
EPG: According to some documentation, the unit has an EPG. But apparently, like all LG products, depending on your location you may or may not get some features. Documentation is inconsistent and is subject to change at any time. If you are reading a review from Australia or the UK, the unit has an EPG. But not in the USA. Every Sony XBR has a built in EPG with program filtering and search. There is an INFO button on the LX9500, but it brings up a menu that shows PROGRAM INFO : NONE AVAILABLE. So, what exactly is the point of the INFO button and menus if there is no program info to display? This is almost as good as my LG refrigerator with a "Light" button that is not illuminated so you can't find it in the dark. So you have to turn the kitchen light on. Once on, you don't need the refrigerator light!!! Do they hire 8-year-old children to engineer this stuff???
The TV doesn't support Picture-In-Picture or Picture-And-Picture like the XBR7.
I almost forgot the clock. The TV asks me how to set the clock. I set it to automatic. The unit is wired to the Internet through a gigabit LAN and DSL WAN. But for some reason, it doesn't retrieve the time, so you have to set it manually. I'm not sure why, because the only time you actually see the clock is when you power on for about 2 seconds. There is no way to view the current time. Click INFO, or any other button on the controller, and nowhere does it display the time. You're kidding, right LG. Dear LG, my advice is to go hire one Sony or Apple interface designer. Whatever the cost, it is worth it. You guys are useless. From refrigerators to dishwashers to TVs, you're interface design is horrendous. Your inability to apply simple logic or account for the obvious is beyond comprehension.
OVERALL 6/10: I watch very little television. When I do watch, I want to know what's on. This is difficult without an EPG. The fact that you can buy a flagship LED TV without an EPG is scary. Most of the time, I stream HD MKV movies from my server via DLNA. I used to do this via my LG BD-390 Blu-Ray player. I was hoping that with the built-in DLNA features of the LX9500, I wouldn't need the Blu-Ray player anymore. But of course, much to my disappointment, the LX9500 doesn't decode DTS. So, it looks like I still need my LG Blu-Ray player. But now I need to use two controllers because the LX9500 controller's Simplink technology takes longer to navigate and select a movie than to watch it.
I was extremely excited about my new TV. Now I can't wait to find a replacement T-Con board for my XBR7. Because the LX9500 is, flat out, mediocre compared to the Sony XBR7, a unit developed 2 years earlier. It's too bad Sony products only last 18-20 months.