I love checking out the latest technology, and recently had a chance to get a preliminary view of new line of TVs that LG is releasing in the next few weeks. Because big brands like LG already have extremely good TVs, the improvements with each new generation are pretty subtle. Here’s a sneak peak of their newest TVs yet to hit the streets. In a few weeks, closer to launch time, I will provide a more in-depth review of a couple of them.
I got to check out three different new LG TVs: two were 65” 4K Ultra High Definition Smart TVs and one was a 55” LED Smart HDTV. If you are interested in the model numbers, one of the 4K sets was a UF8500 series that will come in a 55”, 60”, and 65” model; and the other was a UF9500 series that will come in a 65” and 79” model. The new HDTV set was the LF6300 series, which comes in 43”, 49”, 55”, 60”, and 65” models.
All three of the sets come with many of the commonly prescribed features that LG has been known for. Things like their LB webOS Smart platform with WiFi connectivity and a magic remote control. They also come with LG’s Smart Share feature that provides screen mirroring capabilities. All have lots of HDMI and USB connections and come with Tru-Motion technology to ensure fast action scenes always stay nice and sharp.
I did discover some subtle improvements over their current LG offerings. An excellent enhancement is the Magic Remote now has a track wheel for scrolling in addition to the wii-like point and click features. The smart platform has been upgraded to webOS 2.0. I am already a big fan of webOS and this upgrade makes navigation even easier by allowing you to put your 8 favorite TV channels as well as apps in the launcher bar. Not only does this make finding your favorite channels a lot faster, LG has increased the processing speed of webOS and claim it is now 60% faster.
I was fortunate enough to view the UF8500 and UF9500 models as 65” 4K TVs side-by-side. At first glance the pictures looked very similar: both were extremely sharp with excellent contrast and vibrant colours. However, after a couple of minutes I could see that the depth of colour on the UF9500 was a step up from the UF8500. The reason being that the 9500 has LG’s ColourPrime Nano Spectrum, a new technology that displays a much wider array of colours, which was definitely noticeable. We watched an episode of Marco Polo on Netflix and could see a more vibrant blue in the sky, a broader spectrum of green with the plant life, and slightly more colours in the costumes.
The other improvement that LG has put into these TVs is an upgrade to the sound with a Harman Kardon sound system. Although the sound is not bad for a thin flat-panel TV, it is not a big enough upgrade that would make me leap out and buy these sets. Flat panel TVs simply can’t produce a really rich sound. My bias is that if you are going to invest in a 65” 4K set with 3D you should really augment it with at least a great sound bar, but preferably a surround system. It is the best way to achieve a more immersive experience.
Another nice feature of these 4K sets is 3D capability with 2D to 3D up-conversion as well as a Dual Play feature for gamers. The sets will also do 4K up-scaling so with any non-4K content you can still take full advantage of the 4K picture quality. Both sets are also IPS panels meaning they are more durable, have a wider viewing angle, and provide a richer picture.
The one thing I was disappointed with this HDTV model is that doesn’t have an IPS panel. I find IPS provides a better viewing experience. Although the picture looked pretty good, I am betting if you were to place it next to a 1080p IPS panel you would see a difference. Other than the subtle improvements I already mentioned above with the smart platform and magic remote, this is a pretty basic model that will likely perform well but isn’t a big change over their current lines.
Stay tuned as all three of these LG series of TVs will be available soon, and I will provide a more detailed review of the 4K models then.