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LG LA8600 Smart 3-D TV: Minimalist design a fit for any living

Published on Apr 10, 2014 8:36 PM
 
-- PHOTO: LG

With the right TV, a living room's overall decor can get a huge boost, and LG's flagship 3-D smart TV has that effect.

The slim and minimalist design of the LA8600 looks very natural and fits right at home with a simple decor. Available in a 55-inch or 60-inch version, the TV uses an edge-to-edge design for the front panel. This reduces the overall width to approximately 1.2m and hogs less space on a TV console.

Small rollers are lined along the bottom of the stand, allowing the panel to swivel 20 to 30 degrees for more comfortable viewing.

This is also useful when I need to access the ports at the back of the panel. The oft-used USB and HDMI ports are at the side, making it easy to plug in my USB flash drives or a USB cable connected to an external hard disk.

Apart from the standard remote control that gives you full access to the display's functions, a second remote, called Magic Remote, is bundled with the TV. The standard clicker looks complicated with multiple buttons, but the Magic Remote holds basic buttons such as channel, volume and short cuts to toggle its 3-D function and a quick menu button that reveals an on-screen menu.

The Magic Remote controls the on-screen cursor, which is trickier to handle than the physical scroller which lets me navigate across the menu quickly. Performing gestures with it, such as writing a number, lets you switch channels.

The Magic Remote includes a microphone for voice control. The smart remote knew I wanted to search for content related to chicken rice on the TV's internal storage or through online channels such as YouTube. But when I uttered "Gangnam Style"and I was shown gardening content, I knew we were not on the same page.

The remote, unfortunately, does not support voice commands to play or pause a movie, switch channels or adjust the volume.

Some notable features on this LG TV include a built-in recorder, which has a scheduling option to record your favourite TV shows on its 4GB of internal storage. It is possible to watch other channels or a Blu-ray title while simultaneously recording a different show.

If you are running low on internal storage, either erase older shows or record them on an external hard disk connected to the TV's USB port. However, the hard disk will reformat and lock to the TV for copyright reasons, making it unusable with another device or computer.

Tap your Android smartphone to the TV's Near Field Communication tag, and it will connect the smartphone to the TV and launch the LG TV Remote app. The app works as a remote control for the TV and streams content from the TV to the smartphone.

The display is powered by a dual-core processor that handles basic functions such as channel switching, picture-in-picture viewing, loading apps, displaying webpages or viewing YouTube videos. Loading speeds for the main menu and apps can take between five and 10seconds.

The high-definition display is a viewing delight for both 2-D and 3-D content. At 1,080p resolution, movie trailers for Star Trek Into Darkness and Iron Man looked crisp and clean. A 720p cinematic trailer for StarCraft II was also as sharp, with minimal graininess across the screen.

Colours were well-balanced and frames were smooth. At times, the 240Hz refresh rate looked so smooth that it felt unreal when I was looking at fast-paced scenes.

Visuals came through clearly across a wide viewing angle, delivering consistent colours when I moved in an arc from the right to the left of the screen.

At its default setting, the 3-D depth and width were prominent for 3-D movies, showing a distinct contrast between objects. The passive and flicker-free technology used here have also spared me the usual giddiness from 3-D movies such as pop star Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite concert.

Its 2.1 sound system is strong across the bass and treble levels. Activating its 3-D sound zooming creates a wider sound stage that is close to a cinematic experience.

  • The LG LA8600's minimalist design is a natural fit for any living room. Its smart features are not revolutionary, but the visual and audio performance are a treat for the eyes and ears.

teinhee@sph.com.sg


TECH SPECS

Price: $4,899 (55inches), $6,699 (60inches)

Display: 55-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, edge-lit LED with local dimming

Refresh rate: TruMotion 240Hz

Audio: 2.1 speaker system, 12W + 12W

Ports: HDMI x 4, USB x 3, component x 1, composite x 1, ethernet x 1, optical x 1

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Mobile High Definition Link, Near Field Communication

3-D: Passive, 2-D to 3-D conversion and Dual Play support

RATING

Features: 3/5

Design: 4/5

Performance: 4/5

Value for money: 3/5

Overall: 4/5