Most of us have a pretty vast DVD collection, and while we’re gradually updating it to the better quality of Full HD, there are still loads of DVDs sold daily for things that either won’t really gain anything at the higher resolution or help people save a buck or two.
TV shows are a great example of this, with Blu-rays from TV shows costing as much as $20 or $30 more than their DVD counterparts, and in many of these, the higher definition video may not bring anything.
With that in mind, we brought with Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element” and the first season of BBC’s “The Office” to see what this older format looks like on the big 4K screen.
The results aren’t amazing, with lots of jagged diagonal lines, obvious over-sharpening, and some blur. None of this is all that surprising, especially given the amount of upscaling going on here, with 4K being over ten times the resolution DVD has to work with.
In “The Fifth Element,” 3D effects looked more like models, and noise and softness were both obvious. ‘
The original British series “The Office” was obviously not designed for either the resolution or scale on offer, but it gave us an indication as to what TV would look like, and while it wasn’t amazing, it was certainly watchable.
Interestingly, the Super Resolution interpolation technology doesn’t seem to make a difference with DVDs, and whether we switched it on or off, it still looked the same.
Sitting at least a metre back, you’re still not getting the best experience ever, but it’s certainly watchable, even if it’s not anywhere near the best representation of what an 84-inch 4K TV is capable of.
Web browsing, YouTube and online video
Ever since their introduction in 2011, Smart TVs have been the next big thing, next to that whole 3D thing, of course, and here on the 84 inch UDTV from LG, you can surf the web with a massive screen.
Like the flagship LG TVs we saw this year, the hub and web browser are still here, allowing you to type in the name of your site using an on-screen keyboard, or search Google using the voice control on the magic remote, which works a treat provided you speak clearly.
Surfing the web is obviously very big here, and it’s quite easy to read various websites sitting around a metre back.
With still information on screen, we took this opportunity to get up close and personal with the screen, capturing some of the eight million pixels with our digital microscope, showing just how much clarity there was on this set.
Over on the side of YouTube and online video, quite a bit of this content even manages to look just as good a DVD playback, possibly even better.
Of course, it depends on the source you’re watching from, but some of the high definition YouTube videos we watched, as well as content streamed from LG’s hub looked excellent.
None of it was quite the super amazing ultra high def material you may expect for a 4K TV, but it looked good nonetheless, and proved that online content could look great on such a big screen.
4K and the future
We’ve said it before, but there’s virtually no readily available 4K content yet, outside the three small movies that cost an arm and a leg to buy.
You can order one, if you like, with “TimeScapes” in 4K for either $100 on a USB stick or $300 on a hard drive. That’s not cheap, especially for a movie you’ve never seen that just shows off what your TV can do.
But regular movies – Hollywood blockbusters and the like – are not available for your 4K TV. Not yet, anyway.
One of the problems here is there’s no delivery mechanism, with Blu-ray not really ready to support the massive 200-300GB movie sizes, and internet connections and download caps not quite at the point where streaming 4K is logical.
Maybe when the National Broadband Network arrives, but only then.
Until someone finds a way to deliver more movies in Ultra Definition video, you won’t find much in a resolution designed for the 84 inch TV, so you’ll want to stick to your 1080p Full HD Blu-ray discs and video games.
While two hours is hardly enough time to form a review, we can say that the 84 inch TV from LG is pretty impressive, and if you’re after the biggest screen you can find and a technology that shows a massive window in the future, you can’t really go beyond this.
We can’t say that this will be necessarily be the best screen for your current collection, and you may get better results with a readily available 74 or 80 inch Full HD TV, but if you have to be at the forefront of tech, than the $16,000 price and early adopter fee shouldn’t scare you off too much.