2015 is definitely the year that 4K UHD TVs have taken off. There are more models coming out all the time with more variety in terms of features and price range. Initially all 4K TVs were higher-end TVs that only a select few could afford. Not so any more! LG has just launched a new line of 4K ultra high definition sets—their UF7650 series and it is exclusive to Best Buy. They are their entry-level 4K TVs, which aren’t as fully loaded as their higher-end units. However, they have the two most important features in a TV—they are BIG and they have a fantastic picture.
If you are looking for a new TV this year seriously consider 4K, especially in bigger sizes. The additional clarity of having over 8 million pixels compared to just over 2 million pixels seriously improves the picture quality. You don’t really need 4K on smaller TVs, and for a guide on where it makes sense to get 4K look at my previous post on resolution. The nice thing about the UF7650 series is they are only big TVs and they have kept the cost lower by focusing only on the features that really matter for most of us.
The LG UF7650 series comes in 3 sizes: 60”, 65”, and 70.” I was able to test out the smallest of the 3, but the 60” set is not what I would call small by any means. The 60” screen size makes for an impressive display in most living or family rooms. The TV itself is very thin and comes with a minimalistic plastic case and plastic stand. It has a slightly metallic bezel that is very thin but it feels like a plastic bezel that is made to look metallic. Two advantages of the plastic case and stand is it makes the TV lighter and it helps keep the cost down. It is very functional and looks decent so don’t be dissuaded by not having a higher-end case or frame.
With such a big TV I would highly recommend mounting it on the wall instead of using the stand. It is safer for both the TV and the family, it is aesthetically more attractive, and it will easier to get it to the optimum height. For some interesting stats on the perils of NOT wall mounting TVs look at my earlier post. The LG UF7650 is also well suited for wall mounting since it is flat, not curved, and has most of the connectivity ports available on the side of the TV.
Having a sufficient number of connections is not an issue with the LG UF7650. It has built-in WiFi in addition to a wired Ethernet port, and 3 HDMI and 2 USB connections facing the side of the TV. It also has all the normal connections that you come to expect: component in, composite, optical out and cable connection, as well as RS22 mini jack. One of the USB connections is a USB 3.0, and the other is a USB 2.0. So if you have a lot of devices to connect to the TV, no problem.
I have set up a number of LG TVs and they have all been extremely easy using their setup wizard using a cartoon “Beanbird,” aptly named as it is a bird with a body in the shape of a bean. The setup wizard leads you through each step in a fashion that is totally foolproof. It starts by asking for your location so it can set up the language and time zone properly. Then it asks if you want to use WiFi or a LAN connection. For WiFi, which I used, it finds all the local networks, which I then chose and added my password. It then asks whether you are using cable, regular TV, or an antenna and then you identify which input you have used for that. Finally it provides a couple of legal agreements that you are asked to agree to. The entire process took about 5 minutes. Simple!
The outstanding feature of this TV, in addition to its big size, is the picture quality. As soon as I turned it on I was impressed with the clarity and the natural colour of this enormous set. I switched between a few different shows on Netflix because I wanted to see some 4K content and non-4K content, plus see what an animated film looks like.
I started with a recent episode of Homeland, and was blown away by how clear the faces were in the picture. The clarity of their complexions was so good that I could clearly see every mole, every wrinkle, every scar, and every drop of sweat. Although not very flattering for the movie stars, it does make for a much more realistic scene especially when dealing with intense scenes with shootouts, interrogations, and fight scenes. I was sitting about 4 feet away from the TV and the blood looked very real and there was one scene where someone was in the shower and you could see every water droplet bounce off his body.
I switched over to House of Cards because I wanted to see some 4K content. The episode opened in a cornfield and every tassel on the corn plants were so clear that it felt I could reach out and touch them. However, when I switched from HD content to 4K content and back to HD content, I had a hard time noticing any difference in picture quality. This set has a 4K upscaler so it takes any content and enhances the resolution to emulate 4K content. It does such a good job that it is not easy to tell the difference between HD and true 4K content.
The reason that the picture quality is so good because of all the picture enhancing technologies that LG has included. In addition to it having ultra high resolution and a high quality upscaler, it is an IPS panel, which provides excellent viewing angles and a clearer richer colour. It also has Ultra Luminance, which extends the range of brightness and delivers a higher contrast ratio. All together, the picture was so good that I could sit 4 feet away from a 60” screen and I still loved how realistic and clear the picture was.
The set comes with LG’s WebOS 2.0 smart platform. WebOS 2.0 is one of my favorite smart TV platforms because of how good the navigation is. They have a launcher bar that allows you to instantly find your entertainment options so finding what you want to view is extremely easy. Even other device inputs are readily available on the launcher bar.
To make it even easier, the LG UF7650 series comes with LG’s magic remote in addition to the traditional remote. It is similar to using a mouse on the screen where you can point and click your selections. It also comes with a trackwheel that makes scrolling up and down while navigating any screen that much easier. The magic remote is one of the best ways to use a smart TV.
The LG UF7650 is an entry-level 4K set, so it isn’t loaded with every feature you expect in higher-end sets. However, it does come with some very useful additional features like SmartShare, which can instantly access and navigate content from your smart devices on to the screen of the TV. So share photos, videos, or music that you have on your Smartphone or tablet. In addition, the LG 60UF7650 has an HEVC decoder, which is the de-facto standard compression format for streaming 4K content.
Although LG’s UF7650 series of 4K UHD TVs is an entry level 4K set without a lot of extra features it comes with the most important features you would want in a 4K set: a fantastic picture in a very large screen, and a very user-friendly smart platform. For a large screen UHD set, the UF7650 series are very reasonably priced compared to a lot of higher-end rivals, yet it has a high-end picture. Not a bad combination!
Check out the UF7560 UHD TVs that you can only get at Best Buy!