Product Reviews
Take Action

Fight for Fair Finance

Tell the administration and Congress to stand up for the consumer watchdog that protects you from financial fraud and abuse.
Take Action
Why Do We Have Campaigns?
We're fighting to ensure you and your family can get a fair deal in the marketplace, especially on the choices that matter most: health care, privacy, automobiles, food, finances and more. Join our campaigns and together, we'll hold corporations and lawmakers accountable.

LG's new LA9700 55- and 65-inch LA9700 Ultra HD TVs, priced at $6,000 and $8,000, have hide-away sound bars

Consumer Reports News: July 12, 2013 10:18 AM

Find Ratings

Following on the heels of Samsung's announcement yesterday of its first smaller--and less expensive--Ultra HD TVs, LG is launching its own 55- and 65-inch sets in the LA9700 series, which will carry price tags of $6,000 and $8,000, respectively.

Like Samsung (the UN85S9 model) and Sony (the XBR 84X900), LG will continue to offer its larger Ultra HD set, the 84-inch 84LMLM9600 model priced at just under $20,000.

The TVs--which have an elegant, streamlined look, with an ultra-narrow bezel and an attractive silver stand--have a few unique features, including LG's Nano full-array LED backlight technology, which spreads LED particles across a thin film behind the screen, allowing for local dimming of 144 separate zones, the company says. In past reviews of full-array backlights with local dimming, we've seen improvements in black levels and contrast, though we haven't yet tested these specific sets.

Also unique is a retractable 4.1-channel motorized sound bar speaker system that slides out of view when the TV isn't being used. The system, which can be programmed to remain out of view even when the TV is playing, includes a behind-the-screen subwoofer for lower bass frequencies.

The sets will also be among the first to include a built-in HEVC (also known as H.265) decoder. HEVC is a new video codec that uses an extremely efficient compression scheme, so it can send higher-quality content--such as Ultra HD movies and TV shows--without requiring more bandwidth. In the future, we expect to see many content providers, as well as broadcasters and Internet video services, move to the HEVC format to deliver Ultra HD content. We also expect Blu-ray to adopt the HEVC standard in Ultra HD Blu-ray players sometime next year.

Find the right model for your needs and budget in our TV buying guide and Ratings.

Like other Ultra HD "4K" sets, the LA9700 models have a 3840x2160 screen resolution with four times the number of pixels as standard 1080p TVs. The TVs use the company's four-step Tru-Ultra HD upscaling to upconvert regular high-definition (1080p, 1080i and 720p) and standard-definition content to the set's higher native resolution. LG uses an IPS LCD panel, which we've found produces a wider-than-average viewing angle for an LCD TV.

Not surprisingly, the TVs are loaded with features, including LG's smart TV platform with access to a lot of online content, plus its passive Cinema 3D technology.

What started as a trickle of Ultra HD introductions is slowly turning into a steady stream. In addition to Samsung's upcoming 55- and 65-inch Ultra HD TVs--which carry prices of $5,500 and $7,500, respectively--we've covered new smaller XBR X900A models from Sony, plus Seiki's 50-inch $1,400 Ultra HD set. We're also expecting Ultra HD sets from Sharp and Toshiba, as well as Haier, Hisense, Westinghouse, and Vizio. So keep checking back for update info on these sets, as well as complete testing of several of these models in our TV Ratings (available to subscribers).

James K. Willcox

Find Ratings

Televisions Ratings

View and compare all Televisions ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

LG News


Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more