Big is Always Good? No. Great.
Everything seems to be getting bigger in size. Phones started from big to small and back to big again. The fact is that the inner components of phones are getting smaller, that allows the important component, the screen, to get bigger for the better.
The beauty of seeing things bigger and clearer on a screen is such an important experience that most consumers crave for. Here I have the opportunity to experience something extremely big in present day. And adding to this, is a challenge of having it somewhere small. The LG Ultra HD 79″ TV in a small 3NG HDB home.
On 2 Dec 2014, 5pm – appreciate that the installation team gave me a reminder call the day before . He also asked if I wanted an arm or fix bracket to be mounted on the wall, or to be placed on my TV console. So I took this opportunity and ask what are the differences between those two brackets. From researching online, an articulating arm bracket allows more adjusting angles for the TV. It allows me to move the TV out from the wall, tiling left or right, and down or up. Basically all angles possible for different viewing locations. Placing on my TV console is not ideal as the width is longer than console. So I kept my choice as the arm bracket.
The BIG Boy Is Here
The LG team (Alvin, Ramish & Piru) reached at approximately 11am. They had a look at my living room, and also suggested that the the arm bracket is more suitable. I guess its because of our small living room, an arm bracket allows me to adjust the TV towards my seating position, rather than adjusting my furniture (smaller spaces doesn’t allow variety of furniture configurations)
As I do not have a carpentry featured wall, I can only opt for mounting on my solid wall. So Alvin took a check on the thickness of the wall, ensuring that its sufficient for drilling without passing through it. Will a featured wall have problems holding it? He said that normally it wouldn’t be a problem, provided that the materials and workmanship of the featured wall is of good quality.
Once the installation is done, he did a quick run through with me while setting up the initial phase. The set up was very simple as they had this ‘Bean Bird‘ character to guide you through it. But well… Alvin took the remote control to himself and it was done in less than a minute. I chose to have an ethernet (wired cable) connectivity instead of wifi to avoid any discrepancy in internet speed. At 12:45pm – with no reason for them to stay longer, I bid them farewell, looking forward to experiment with my new ‘BIG boy’. haha!
Giving Him My Best Shot
I got myself seated on the sofa, and even though the TV was not powered on, the structure itself is already breathtaking. Of course, there were negative thoughts that came to my mind, such as: “Is this TV too big for my small 3rm flat?”, “Am I going to get headaches viewing at this close range?”. I simply don’t think it will, by taking a larger scale example, the cinemas. I doubt anyone would like to have the first 5 rows of seats in the cinema, but if I were seated there (which I actually did, viewing Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers at row 4 or 5), I still enjoy the movie as much. The movie is great, and the dynamism of both visual and sound system makes seating at a closer range forgotten.
There are tons of features and functions packed into this TV, but I shall only cover those that strikes me emotionally.
Visually, there is nothing not to praise about. 4K Resolution – this is not HD, it is Ultra HD. I tried this on one of my favourite channels, the National Geographic HD, and I’m totally captivated by the intricate details seen on the animals, much better than going to the zoo! (and without the animal smell. ^^) The IPS 4K Panel is all about itscolour richness in consistency from viewing at any angle. The image output is smooth and flawless, and that’s what you get from 8.3 million pixels. The TV comes with 4 pieces of 3D glasses which can be use to view non-3D enhanced movies. Just by pressing the 3D enabled button on the remote, and you can enjoy 3D experience at home. The glasses are very comfortable to wear, but when it comes to total 3D experience, I would say that the cinema is definitely a better experience.
Smart TV has been around since 1994, but only in the recent years has its functions expanded exponentially. Now we have apps such as, Skype, Twitter, Browser, Facebook, Spotify and many more. The LG Launcher can be easily navigated with its simplified remote control. Now instead of watching anime streaming on my MacBookPro, my wife and I enjoy watching on the huge screen! As for my son, he now loves watching his Pocoyo and Pororo on YouTube TV. In terms of connection, its splendid so far as most of the applications are working seamlessly on Smart TV. Although the LG store doesn’t have a range of apps that I wished for, but it has the essentials. Lastly, the dock allows customisation – I am able to place my most frequent app in the frontal selections, and delete those unwanted ones.
Sound quality is the feature that I am most impressed of. For the previous TV that I had, sound quality was alright, but when it comes to voices, it is terrible. Very often I hear more of the background sounds (music/sound effects), than the commentary. So if I were to press for a higher volume, the commentary gets louder but same goes for the music/sound effects. Which turn out that the music/sound effect is way too loud when the ‘action’ kicks in parts of the movie. This is not happening to this new LG TV. There is a clarity in commentary, coupled with an ultra surround sound effects. The sound effects and commentary are equally clear at the same single volume mark. I am totally appreciative of this, especially when I’m watching my Manchester United matches! =D As for the movies, I tested on watching Hunger Games through my Macbook Pro (HDMI). As again, its simply amazing. My friends watched from a 45 degree angle and it is equally enjoyable. The premium sound system is designed by harman/kardon, and this explains the high quality of sound output. I did a quick research and realised that harman/kardon collaborates with Apple and is a provider of car audio for Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, just to mention a few.
Can you see Van Persie & Rooney?
Counter strike on 79 inch!
One other small positive feature is the remote control, it is small yet handy. Navigating can be done by 2 methods; by using the scrolling wheel with directional pad; or just by using it like a ‘wand’, moving the control around moves the cursor on the screen. It feels very well fitted on your hand, without any awkwardness in reaching out on all the buttons. Best of all, I don’t even need to aim the control at the TV when I press the buttons. 😀
And lastly as situation allows, I did a Skype video call to my brother who is in Shanghai. My family of 9 can all be fitted into the screen using that small camera integrated above the TV. As for the sound, sadly we did not have a microphone, so we took turns to speak with him. This huge TV allows us to experience a family bonding never before.
What To Improve?
There is always something to improve in products. So the only complain I have is not the TV product itself, but its the LG TV Remote app. There is an issue connecting my iPhone to the TV. I’m not sure if its due to my pathetic 10mpbs bandwidth internet, or perhaps due to the newest iOS 8.1.2 software on my iPhone 6Plus. Its a small issue for me, but I have already feedback this to the LG team, hopefully they can resolve it.
No Hat Is Too Big
Do I feel that this LG 79″ TV is too overwhelming? Initially, yes, but that is due to the fact that my previous TV is just at about 35″. It takes about 1 week for myself to get used to such a huge screen, but once I’m set, there is no turning back. An Ultra HD 79″ screen with premium imaging and sound quality, makes this TV a great entertainment product for homes of all sizes.
P.S. I strongly recommend homeowners to have their TVs mounted on the wall, be it featured wall or solid wall. It not only allows more space for other ornaments placement, it totally blends onto the wall. I had a couple of buddies dropping by my home during the weekend, and they took about 5 minutes to realise this TV.