Beautiful video quality from a TV with just the right curve

Beautiful video quality from a TV with just the right curve
The standing frame matches the curves of the TV and uses a clear sheet of plastic to connect the two. This design aspect and the TV's very slim profile give the illusion that the TV is floating on its stand.
PHOTO: LG

Flying first class, drinking 30- year-old whisky, eating top-grade wagyu, watching shows on an Oled TV. Ah, the finer things in life.

Oled TVs join that list because they are the cream of the crop among TVs (see our main story on Oled technology). They are also a rarity in the market - LG's are the only ones available for now.

My first impression of this 55-inch, 4K curved TV was excellent. With the Blu-ray version of Sin City, a film produced in monochromatic tones with occasional bursts of colour, the contrast really popped and the video quality was beautiful to behold.

While this TV has native 4K upscaling that improves the Blu-ray movie's resolution, even the best upscaling software would not have been able to generate the exceptional colour reproduction I saw.

So the superb image quality is largely down to the Oled technology.

I fired up a live concert on DVD and the upscaler did its part - up to a point.

I could see the upscaling artefacts, but that's to be expected with a screen as massive as this.

Where this LG TV really shines is with 4K content. Better yet, it provides a convenient way for you to get to 4K content, which is still rare at the moment.

This is because newer LG smart TVs such as this one now run the 4K-capable app of US content streaming service Netflix.

If your home has been set up to access Netflix, you will be able to enjoy such award-winning shows as House Of Cards and Breaking Bad, or movies such as Jerry Macguire, in their 4K native modes.

To do so with this TV, you have to do two things.

First, register for an account using an e-mail address, with Australia set as your location.

This will open up the Australian webOS store, where you can download the Netflix app.

Next, change the region to Singapore and register a new account with another e-mail address (you need a new address as the first e-mail address will be locked to the Australian store).

This gives you access to the local webOS store.

With other smart TV brands, you will need to carry out more steps after this point, but here, you simply need to restart the TV.

Once this is done, the Australian Netflix app will be part of your TV's local app menu.

One more thing: Remember to switch back to the Australian webOS store every now and then to check for updates.

EASY TO USE

Navigating around on this TV is easy. Last year's model came with a gesture remote that called up on-screen numeric buttons. With this TV, LG has provided a larger physical numbered remote, with gesture controls.

A roller wheel in the middle of a directional keypad helps you scroll through the menu. You can also use the on-screen cursor and move your controller to navigate.

The TV has a content playback feature that plays videos direct from an external USB drive.

Three HDMI and three USB ports (one port is USB 3.0-compliant) are on the left side of the TV.

However, the ports are recessed and hard to reach. So if you are planning to use USB sticks, you may need to physically shift the TV aside to plug them into the ports.

The smart TV's menu automatically detects which ports are active, which makes it easier to toggle between the external devices, such as an amplifier, game console or USB stick, that are linked to the TV.

I love this TV's design. It has a standing frame that matches the curves of the TV and uses a clear sheet of plastic to connect the two. This design aspect and the TV's very slim profile give the illusion that the TV is floating on its stand.

One more thing: I found this curved TV to provide a good side-viewing experience. If you are among those still not won over yet by curved TV viewing, this LG TV could change your mind.

TECH SPECS

PRICE: $6,999

PICTURE QUALITY: Infinite Contrast Ratio, 4K 3,840 x 2,160 resolution, 33 million sub-pixels, 4K HEVC decoder, 4K upscaler

AUDIO: harman/kardon 2.0 channel, 20W speaker system with Ultra Surround

OPERATING SYSTEM: webOS 2.0

CONNECTIVITY: WiDi, Miracast, MHL 2.0, HDMI x 3, USB x 3

RATING PERFORMANCE: 1 2 3 4 5

FEATURES: 1 2 3 4 5

DESIGN: 1 2 3 4 5

VALUE FOR MONEY: 1 2 3 4 5

OVERALL: 1 2 3 4 5

sherwinl@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on August 5, 2015.
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