John Lewis announced its own-brand LED TVs in May and hey have been selling like hot cakes ever since. That's why it's taken until the John Lewis Christmas in July showcase event in London recently to actually see one with our own eyes and while there's little we could do to test it in any real sense, we were impressed with its design aesthetics and brightness of picture.
The JL9000 series sets, of which we saw the middle-sized model, the 55-incher, are manufactured by LG but tagged with the John Lewis brand. They don't skimp on specifications, such as 3D compatibility and Wi-Fi connectivity, and are, apart from LG's own recently-released Smart TVs - such as the LB700V - the only TVs to come with the new webOS smart operating system.
That in itself, as we discovered in our review of the LG L700V, almost worth the cover price alone. It is intuitive and interesting to use and makes for a refreshing change to the normal app-heavy smart TV platforms adopted by every other maker. Sadly, we didn't get to see it in operation this time around - the JL9000 was essentially being used as a prop to convey the spirit of Christmas in the most summery of months - but are assured that it's a very similar experience.
We couldn't see the base stand of the set either as it was obscured by Christmas ephemera, but we do know that it houses a 50W 2.2 channel soundbar, so is ideal for those who don't want to add a separate sound system to the mix.
The 1080p Full HD pictures were admirable when showing stills of her majesty the Queen, devised to give the ambience of a Christmas afternoon and her annual speech. They are crisp, sharp and plenty vibrant enough.
However, this is not a full review, more an initial impression. And on this showing we can see why John Lewis decided to release its own line-up of TVs to sell alongside rivals from Samsung and LG.
We did get to hold onto the Magic Remote though which, apart from the colour scheme - it being mainly silver - is very like the one for the LG LB700V which we've tried out thoroughly.
We hope to get a JL9000 into the Pocket-lint test labs for a proper review in the coming weeks or so. IT certainly holds a lot of promise.