One of the best TVs yet: LG’s 65 inch 4K UHD TV reviewed

Black levels were reasonably good, but there was just a touch of increased brightness at the corners of the screen, and small bright objects on a very dark background tended to have a subtlety glowing halo around them.

LG had popped a USB stick with four two minute 4K video clips. These made for shockingly clear and detailed viewing.

The detail was astonishing. Almost painfully so. It made me pine for real, readily available 4K content.

Having said that, the 4K resolution does allow a noticeable improvement over full HD even with regular Blu-ray content, thanks to that slight distortion-free sharpening ability.

By the way, when you’re watching live TV you can pause or record even without USB storage attached. The TV will use as much of the 5GB internal memory as is available for the purpose. I got it to record an hour of SDTV and a further 18 minutes of HDTV.

There are extensive smart functions built into the TV, most of which work over the network, or indeed the Internet. One of them is Skype, another is a proper Internet browser.

If you plan on using the built in camera extensively for Skype calls, you’ll find the TV is going to work better placed on a low bench, rather than a high one.

Sitting on the couch a couple of metres away and leaving the TV on the usual 600mm bench, my head barely made it onto the bottom of the ‘active’ area.

Another use of the camera is motion control. You can guide an on-screen control by moving your hand, but this is extremely limited. While watching broadcast TV you can control the volume, change channel, switch to a different input and switch off the TV.

That’s it, though. You can’t navigate the smart screens this way.

A bit more useful was the voice recognition function. This interprets your spoken words when searching the TV for content, or filling in text boxes in the Internet browser.

You can’t control the TV with it, unfortunately, but it was nonetheless useful. It did a pretty decent job understanding various names I said, entering them into the Bing search boxes.

Good as the Magic remote is, picking out the letters on the virtual keyboard is still a pain. Better yet: get a cheap wireless mouse/keyboard and plug the USB dongle into the TV. Then use it almost like a computer.

The unit streams media from your network or USB. For a test I put the 4K test clips that LG provided onto my media server and they streamed nicely onto the screen.

Digital photos looked glorious, really taking advantage of the high resolution. Music worked well, and sounded quite good – for a TV. In fact, it sounds quite a bit better than most TVs, but if you’re going for music delivery, use the TV’s connectivity to feed the sound to a separate audio system.

If you have an Android phone you can send pictures it contains – or music and video for that matter – directly to the TV as well.

The TV supports MHL for high quality video sharing from Android devices, plus Miracast to do the same wirelessly even in the absence of a network. And WiDi so the TV can mirror a recent notebook computer’s screen, again wirelessly.

There is a stack of Internet content directly accessible from the ‘Smart’ TV screens. The usual stuff – ABC iView, YouTube, Vimeo, SBS on Demand. Also BigPond TV (you can purchase movies to stream) and for those following the southern code, the AFL Analyser allows you to conveniently relive the highlights of present and past games.

There are also games – lots of them, many for free and some for $0.99. There’s a social sharing system that seem to be proprietary to LG, but no specific Facebook or Twitter apps. Voice searching on those names only brings up things like YouTube clips on how to use those services. But you can, if you like, use them through the Web browser.

Then there’s LG’s 3D world through which you can stream purchased 3D content, such as Disney movies and the like. $6.59 for The Nightmare Before Christmas. $7.69 for Iron Man 3.

I watched a few of the trailors. On my ADSL2+ connection they didn’t look as bad as I’d expected, but the 3D effect wasn’t very powerful and there were clear problems of excessive compression, including reduced resolution.

That isn’t LG’s fault. Internet bandwidth is the bottleneck. The stuff that LG is responsible for is wonderful.

Conclusion

The LG 65LA9700 combines LG’s high quality smart TV stuff with a first class Ultra High Definition panel, providing one of the best TV experiences yet. Recommended.

Overall
Features
Value for money
Performance
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Ultra High Definition panel; Huge picture; Good TV Smarts; Lovely thin bezel; Magic remote still the best controller for a Smart TV;
Could improve evenness of blacks and better localisation in backlight;
4.6