LG 65-inch UHD TV (65UF950T) review
Are we ready for the UHD revolution?
- UHD resolution with 6-step upscaling engine
- WebOS software feels tailored to the television form factor
- One 'do it all' magic remote
- Slim design
- UHD content is scarce and upscaling engine still is not good enough
- Premium pricing
Price$ 6,499.00 (AUD)
The years have seen televisions grow from 32-inches, to 42-, 55- and now 65-inches. The troubles faced by manufacturers today lies in making the screens large and expansive, all the while making sure the TVs take up not much space at all.
Illustrating this point is the latest television from LG, the 65UF950T. It has a 65-inch screen and each one of its parts is sleek and slender.
Related: Best TVs of 2016
The ‘less is more’ approach to design
The 65UF950T is an LED-backlit LCD television that supports the nascent ultra high definition standard. Plenty of hype surrounds UHD as its 3840x2160 resolution crams 8.29 million pixels into a panel — that is four times more than a Full HD set.
Increasing the pixel count has seen some television companies make thicker sets. The 65UF950T differs as its panel is a thin 9mm. It looks good, with bevelled edging that tucks beneath a pane of glass to give the impression what you’re watching sits on its utmost surface.
Holding the television up is a curved stand that has a low profile and a hairline finish on its metallic body. Its curved shape ends up complementing the flat screen because it too takes up little space.
A small stand with a large, thin screen doesn’t make for the sturdiest of combinations. Poke the panel and it will sway back and forward. To have a big and expensive screen waver so much is unnerving.
The back of the television breaks character with its white colouring. A uniform, metallic shade would’ve upheld the premium complexion asserted by the front of the television. White plastic brings to mind the kind of appliances sitting on a kitchen bench, and not seeing the back of the TV doesn't necessarily mean it is easy to forget.
What makes this television smart?
Matching the design on aesthetics is the software. The TV runs WebOS 2, an open standard platform found on the last generation of LG smart televisions. Fluid animations guide the setup process and most tasks can be actioned from a colourful ribbon lining the bottom of the screen. Picture and audio modes can be changed quickly from a shortcut settings menu, and more detailed options have been organised in a way that is easy to navigate.
Related: All of our TV reviews
Powering this television is a quad-core processor. It works well with the software to perform tasks quickly and it proves capable at juggling multiple tasks simultaneously.Read more: Australian smartphone reviews 2016
Multitasking is an area where WebOS excels; it’s also an area where rivals struggle. One task manager brings together different applications and sources. This makes it possible to easily switch between the YouTube app, a Blu-ray movie or the contents of a hard drive. Its ability to juggle multiple tasks seamlessly makes the 65UF950T worthy of the ‘Smart TV’ branding. Another has to do with LG’s reimagining of the remote control.
Three years ago LG introduced gesture and voice recognition to its televisions. The technology held promise, but it was early days and, like all of the televisions at the time, it lacked refinement. Buying a smart TV with voice and gesture functionality meant you had to use a secondary remote — or even a third with a Sony. The last thing people needed was another reason to flip over couch cushions.
LG tends to this qualm with the 65UF950T. It comes with one remote, the lovechild of an ordinary numerical remote and the company’s own magic remote, and it is fantastic.
It retains the simplicity and ergonomics that made the magic remote easy to use. There’s still navigational- and numerical-pads, only now with the addition of the kind of scroll wheel we use on an everyday computer mouse, along with a button for voice dictation and the smarts to work as a pointer.
The magic remote doubles as a cursor for easy Internet browsing, and its microphone is coupled with software that can accurately recognise voice instructions. Voice searches are overlaid as a transparent menu, in what is another example of the television’s proficient multitasking.
Will it work with my smartphone?
A smart television should easily communicate with the other devices around your home. LG’s television is among the most sociable in this respect as it can work with smartphones and tablets over a home Wi-Fi network or by using the Miracast standard.
Android devices connected to a home network and running the ‘LG TV SmartShare’ app will automatically appear in the television’s sophisticated file manager. From here, music, photos and videos can be wirelessly played on the TV, and it works just as well on a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge as it does on LG’s G4.
We tested the Miracast standard using the abovementioned smartphones and had no problems mirroring the display of our smartphones on the television.
People interested in displaying Internet content on this big screen could use the in built browser; however, the easiest way involves finding the page on a smartphone and then casting it to the TV using its support for Miracast.
LG has released an application for Apple smartphones, though the iOS app doesn't support media sharing. Rather, iPhone users will can use their smartphones as a remote to control the LG TV, which still exceeds the support offered by the LG TV’s closest rival, Samsung’s JS9500.
Next: Picture quality: Netflix and other video on demand services
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