It took a few years for Full HD to kick off, and the same might well be true of 4K Ultra HD. That being said, we’re at least two years in, and this year, LG looks to make a big deal out of UHD, with big screens, big features, and a big look at how they deal with colour and light.
This week, LG has pulled the covers off what it believes will set it apart from other manufacturers, with just under 30 TVs making their way to stores this year, many of which are ready for the 4K revolution.
“We believe our range represents the ultimate in performance,” said Grant Vandenberg, LG Australia’s Marketing Manager, who showed some big new screens this week, many of which arrived with features that weren’t just about increasing size, but also colour quality.
But size is a big issue, and it’s one that people are noticing. According to LG, 64 percent of sales in the TV world are of 55 inch screens, making this the new norm for people buying televisions, up form the 47 and 42 inch screens from prior years, with 65 inch screens sitting at closer to 25 percent.
To deal with this, a good 20 of the 29 TVs being launched sit at 55 inches or higher, providing large screens for people keen on upgrading to something bigger and better, while still letting those who like them smaller find something in their range.
You’ll find curved and flat TVs in this set, with the curved UG870T and 880T providing a slight curve to the viewing experience, while others like the UF770T, UF850T, UF950T, and UB980 providing flat tellies with large screens.
Beyond the size, there’s the resolution, and while Full HD has reigned supreme for the past few years, Ultra HD is the next step, with more detail and clarity, and content the only thing missing.
The arrival of Netflix might help out with that, and it’s something LG’s range of televisions will support though you will need a very, very fast 25Mbps connection to make it work, and until we all have a properly fast fibre connection in our homes, we might just have to settle with making videos using our 4K capable smartphones.
Without native Ultra HD content, it’s a story of upscaling, and this is one area where LG hopes to have an edge over its competitors, launching a new “6 step” upscaling system throughout its 4K range that brings lower resolution video closer to 4K than before. While LG didn’t say how this works, our assumption is this resizes the information several times — let’s assume 6 — processing the image to be clearer than say if it up sampled the image once or twice, blowing up the pixels in the process.
To make this happen, there is, of course, some high-end processing on the inside, with dual- and quad-core processors depending on the TV in question.
Also available on several of the TV series is a technology called “Ultra Luminance” which appears to make movies and TV shows that might be a little too dark to watch a little clearer in the end. The technology is one that will analyse bright and dark sections of the picture, and try to find a middle ground, balancing out the image so that the picture is clearer and easier to view.
We’re not quite sure what this means for movies that are intentionally dark, and have to wonder how it will affect classics such as “Blade Runner”, but we suspect if you’d need to, you could turn this off, as it would be useful some of the time.