The 55-inch LCD screen on the 55LHX is surrounded by a glossy, black frame which is the familiar look provided by most LG televisions. In the lower right corner are the on-TV controls, which are illuminated with a bright, blue light. The television stand has a flat, rectangular shape, and connects to the TV via an arched swivel.
The front of the LG 55LHX
Since most of the ports and connectivity features are located on the wireless media box, the back of the 55LHX is actually quite barren. Only one HDMI port is found back here along with the power adapter.
The empty back side of the 55LHX
With a thickness of less than an inch (0.98-inches), the sides of the 55LHX don't have any ports or buttons. They are impressively thin, however, and this slim design is one of the most attractive features on the 55LHX.
The 55LHX has a depth of only 0.98-inches.
The 55LHX has a rectangular stand, rather than the rounded one featured on the LG 55LH90. Even though the TVs on display at CES were locked down and couldn't rotate, LG said the stand does allow for the television to swivel. It is coated in black (just like the frame on the front of the TV) and it has a smooth, glossy texture.
The stand on the 55LHX is sturdy, glossy, and has the capability to swivel.
From the front, the LG 55LHX has the traditional LG aesthetic and looks very similar to the 55LH90. The ultra-slim design on the sides, however, puts the LHX series in another league. The 0.98-inch depth is roughly half as thick as the 55LH90 and it's definitely something that will impress your tech-loving friends. Because of the wireless media box, the 55LHX is also entirely devoid of cables and wires (except for its power adapter). This means mounting the TV can produce a very unique look—with no ugly cables in the way to ruin the aesthetic. More information on the media box can be found in the Connectivity & Media section of our review.
Display Size & Technology
The LG 55LHX has a 55-inch LCD screen and utilizes an LED backlight for increased brightness and richer colors. The television also uses wireless technology, called Wireless HD, in order to receive signals from the wireless transmission media box.
Format & Resolution
The 55LHX supports full HD 1080p and the media box is capable sending this signal via an uncompressed wireless transmission. The maximum resolution of the television is likely 1920 x 1080 based on its 1080p format support. The aspect ratio of the television is 16:9 (wide screen).
Brightness, Blacks & Contrast Ratio
Like the LG LH90 series, the 55LHX utilizes a 'full array' LED backlight. The backlight is broken into 240 individual sections, which should allow for more detailed control over picture quality, a brighter image, and a wider color gamut. The contrast ratio according to LG is 2,000,000:1, which is extraordinarily high. Of course, manufacturers tend to use artificially low black levels when generating contrast ratios, thus producing biased results. Once we get the 55LHX into our labs for a full review we'll run our own tests, which attempt to reflect actual use and offer a more accurate depiction of the television's true contrast ratio.
Refresh Rate & Motion
The 55LHX is one of a number of LG models that features a new 240Hz refresh rate (double the rate from last year's TVs). In our limited viewing experience with the television, the motion looked excellent, although it was difficult to tell how much of an improvement the 240Hz refresh rate is actually providing over last year's models. As with brightness and contrast, we'll run extensive motion testing on the 55LHX when it comes through our labs for review.
The 55LHX also supports a 24p Real Cinema mode, which is a feature present on a number of LG models this year. This mode should give images a film-like look by simulating the 24 frames per second frame rate accustomed to cinema.
The 55LHX maintained a quality image at a 45-degree angle, which is similar to what we saw on the 55LH90. The colors were better than most LCD televisions at these angles, which is likely due to the LED backlight improving the overall image quality. The colors continued to remain strong even at angles smaller than 45-degrees, although the image didn't look nearly as bright when viewing the television from the side.
LG claims the LED backlight on the 55LHX produces a wider color gamut than would be found on an ordinary LCD television. Other than this, no special color modes are present on the television.
Audio & Video Ports
The LG 55LHX has only one HDMI port and a power input on the television itself. The rest of the ports and inputs are located on the media box, which will wirelessly transmit the signal to the television. The media box has an easy-access HDMI and USB port on its front, with the rest of the inputs located on the back.
The easy access HDMI and USB ports located on the front of the media box.
Two Component Video inputs and two Composite Video inputs (each accompanied by Analog audio inputs) are located in a cluster on the back of the media box. Beneath this collection of ports are 3 HDMI inputs and one HDMI output, a PCI input for connecting a computer, a 3.5mm audio input (for PC audio), a Digital audio output, and an Antenna input that is capable of receiving either an Analog or Digital signal. The media box also has its own power input as well as an on/off switch located on the back of the box.* The back side of the media box * **Media & Other Connectivity** The main draw of the 55LHX (besides its slim design) is its wireless transmission media box, which should help reduce the amount of those sinister cables that can clutter a living room. The 55LHX itself must only be connected via one cable—it's power adapter. Everything else (DVD players, gaming systems, media players, etc.) can plug into the media box, which will then wirelessly transmit a signal over to the television. The media box uses a 60 GHz frequency to send uncompressed HD 1080p signal with no reported loss of quality and no interference. According to LG the media box is capable of transmitting a signal from up to 30 ft away. Since this wireless transmission technology is still in its early stages, it's impossible to tell as of yet if the system works perfectly and is without flaws. We'll pay close attention to this feature when we bring the 55LHX into our testing labs. The 55LHX media box has a USB port that, combined with the TV's built-in software, can be used to play digital music or view images on the television. The 55LHX does not support NetCast or internet video streaming that is found on the LG LH50 and PS80 series of televisions. **Placement** Port placement is quite good on the 55LHX—especially considering how much easier the small media box is to access than the back of a 55-inch television. Reaching the one HDMI port on the back of the TV is rather difficult and it's not easy to locate considering it's the only port back there. It would have been good move for LG to put the lone HDMI port on the front or side of the TV, rather than hiding it in the uninhabited expanse that is the back of the television. The media box has an easy-access HDMI port on its front (along with a USB input) and the rest of the ports are located in nice clusters on the back of the box. Everything on the box is also labeled in a uniform fashion. **Audio LG didn't release too many specs about the built-in audio system on the 55LHX. It does have Invisible Speakers and Clear Voice II, which are features found on LG's entire HDTV line this year. Invisible Speakers is much like it sounds—you can't tell where the speakers are located and their placement doesn't muck up the smooth design of the television. Clear Voice II is an automatic dialogue enhancer that we didn't see (or hear) in action, so it's difficult to say how well it works or if it really provides any audio improvement at all. ** **Remote** We didn't get to use the remote for the 55LHX, as they aren't released yet. We did get to take the TV for a spin using last year's remote control, which was what LG was controlling the TVs with. The remote felt good in the hand and the buttons were placed nicely, but it isn't clear how much LG is going to alter the remote for the new models. There are a few more features this year, so there will likely be some added buttons. The media box and television can be controlled using the same remote control.
Note: this is last year's remote model, not the actual remote for the 55LHX.
The on-TV controls for the 55LHX are located in the bottom right corner of the set and are illuminated by a blue light. The buttons are labeled with symbols rather than text, which could make them confusing to unfamiliar users. The buttons are a bit awkward as they don't offer any key travel as they are touch sensitive and are embedded into the frame of the television. They are well positioned, however, and the blue light that illuminates them is stylish and useful.
The 55LHX's on-TV controls
We didn't get a chance to check out the menu on the LG 55LHX, so we can't offer any insightful information about its layout or design.
The most impressive aspect of the LG 55LHX is its wireless connectivity features with its media box. It will surely attract people with lots of peripheral media devices and who are concerned about the abundance of cables that comes with them. Since the wireless features are new, it's difficult to say how well everything will actually work once the television is available to consumers—is there really no loss of quality? Is the transmission range actually 30 feet? What is the chance of a dropped signal? Even with all these questions, LG should be commended for its revolutionary concept and intriguing implementation.
The LED backlight and 240Hz refresh are quality features that put the 55LHX into upscale television territory. The 0.98-inch width of the panel is extremely thin and makes the television a splendid looking device as well as a high-level performer. The price and release date of the 55LHX are currently unavailable, but LG reports the TV will likely be open to consumers in late 2009.
Meet the tester
Managing Editor, Video@nematode9
Jeremy is the video expert of our imaging team and Reviewed.com's head of video production. Originally from Pennsylvania and upstate NY, he graduated from Bard college with a degree in film and electronic media. He has been living and working in New England since 2005.
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