The run of enormous, 4K-enabled panels continues as LG's 84-inch ultra-definition 3D TV landed in Australia this week, and we went eyes on with the first unit in Australia. It's certainly a curious beast.
The LG 84-inch is significantly cheaper than its main rival, the Sony 84-inch Bravia. The LG panel costs about $12,000 less than the Sony and it still sports a 200hz-capable panel, 3D tech and the ability to install apps.
It already has us sold on paper, but what is it like eyes-on?
It's a beautifully clean design with the only defining feature popping out in the form of the bright red LG logo. The controls are stowed around the back, right-hand side of the panel and everything is propped up by the standard-issue silver stand.
The upscale of standard definition content into higher definition is particularly impressive. When a TV upscales, it has to guess where it's putting the extra content, and it can get messy when you've got a TV that's about as clever as a brick. The LG panel, though, is impressive. We tested 360p content from ABC iView, and the TV displayed it in a way that wouldn't have you throwing things at your panel.
Rather than just having one button for 2D-to-3D conversion, the LG allows you to set the scale distance for how you want the 3D displayed. It's great for people who don't see 3D very well because you can scale it down so that you get the slightest amount of depth or scale it right up to potentially nauseating levels. Some content — especially games — looked exceptionally good with a bit of 3D depth enabled. Modern Warfare 3 went down a treat in 3D. The audio scales, too, based on your 3D draw distance which is a nice touch.
Just on the audio, the LG sports a built-in 2.2 speaker system with a built-in subwoofer which, disappointingly, is lacking that special something. The sound isn't as full as you'd expect from a $16,000 panel. If you're spending that much on a TV, though, one assumes you'll be willing to shell out for a better speaker system, too.
The remote is a mix of buttons and motion-control. Think a Nintendo Wii nunchuck shaped like a fancy electric toothbrush and you're there. The remote is great and the ability to point your way around the screen with a flick of the wrist means it negates the need for a keyboard and mouse. With a 3840 x 2160 pixel panel, you won't be short of screen space for that virtual keyboard. The only issue I found in my brief hands-on with the remote was that when it wakes itself up from sleep, it can forget where the centre of the screen is, meaning you need to adjust where you're pointing accordingly.
84-inch TV also includes LG's smart hub, which lets you install apps, jump into various content portals like iView and access the browser, games and TV settings. Just on the browser: it constantly crashes because it runs out of memory. Also, the smart hub has an obnoxious advertising pane in the bottom left hand corner. Surely if you've paid $16,000 for a TV, you more than qualify to go ad-free, LG?
As far as image quality is concerned, you won't be disappointed. 4K content is — as always — stunning to look at, and the LG panel is impressively specced and very competitively priced at $15,999.