The specifications war in the television space is becoming fierce, and no manufacturer wants to be left behind when it comes to offering the latest features. LG too is not taking chances with its TV line-up.
And Chinese firm LeEco, after making a name for itself with Android smartphones, is eyeing the television market with an Ultra HD (also known as 4K) resolution big-screen television which costs significantly less than similar TVs in the market. But will just a big screen be enough?
LG Super UHD TV
Rs.2.9 lakh (55UH850T)
This year’s range, which follows last year’s Super UHD TV line-up, doesn’t see too many changes. In terms of visual aesthetics, only the table-top stand has been redesigned; it now resembles an arc. The TVs remain extremely thin and retain the metal frame.
But LG has packed the 55UH850T with Quantum Dot Display technology, HDR video capabilities, Colour Prime Plus algorithms that work in the background, and Harman Kardon speakers.
The 55-inch IPS panel has Ultra HD (3,840x2,160) resolution. The Quantum Dot Display technology uses dots instead of white LED lights that do not produce colours efficiently. These dots are incredibly small particles, usually 2-10 nanometres in diameter, that directly convert light into specific colours. So you see a cleaner white colour, and a greater number of shades.
The television reproduces rich, crisp and smooth visuals. Standard Definition (SD) content is upscaled to fit the high-resolution screen better. High Definition (HD) content such as Netflix, however, really gives this TV a chance to show off its capabilities. The only niggle with the picture quality is that the black colour doesn’t look as dark as one would expect from an IPS panel.
While HDR content is still not very common, apart from some BluRay DVDs and a few movies on Netflix, LG has ensured that the 55UH850T supports HDR 10 as well as Dolby Vision. These are two different standards that define the playback of HDR content on televisions. Between the two, Dolby Vision offers greater colour depth and brightness, but also requires the player (Blu-Ray, for example) to be compatible with it.
The strongest aspect of the 55UH850T is perhaps the Web OS 3.0 Smart TV platform. All the popular apps, including Netflix, are available.
The visuals on screen are colourful, the interface is well laid out, and while there are a lot of settings available for fine-tuning the picture and sound, you will not be overwhelmed by all the options.
If you are deciding whether or not to splurge on the LG 55UH850T, know that you will get excellent picture quality, future-ready features and surprisingly vibrant audio. Just remember to upgrade your Netflix subscription to include 4K content.
LeEco Super3 X55 UHD Smart TV
The Super3 X55 is a visual delight. The thin bezels around the screen give the illusion of an edge-to-edge screen, and the frame is made of aluminium. The curvy design of the table stand is unique.
The 55-inch IPS panel has Ultra HD (3,840x2,160) resolution. The colours look fantastic and the visuals are rich and vibrant. The viewing angles are quite good, and the brightness settings make the television suitable for both dark and brightly lit rooms. Fast-moving visuals are generally smooth, though you might notice an occasional stutter in low-quality content, such as some SD channels.
Unfortunately, the user cannot access fine-tune controls for the picture, a basic element available in even the most inexpensive televisions. For example, there’s no way to manage the clarity of fast-moving visuals or set noise reduction or advanced colour controls. These features work automatically in the background, but it does not always result in the best performance. The visuals, for example, look much softer than desired, even for HD content.
Audio is another weak link, unless you have a dedicated home-theatre system to hook up to the television. While the vocals are crisp and clear even at high volumes, lower frequencies are almost completely inaudible. Since the bass effect is missing, anything with background music feels incomplete.
The TV runs on a quad-core processor, with 2 GB RAM and 8 GB internal storage. The EUI (Extended Unique Identifier) interface runs on Android.
One of the smart features of the TV is the Web-streamed Live TV channels, powered by Yupp TV. The LeEco app store, which is integrated into the Android-based software running on the TV, needs to improve the range of apps available. The Google Play store is not available currently on this television.
Despite the shortcomings, however, there are many reasons to consider the Super3 X55. At this price, you will be hard-pressed to find a genuinely good 4K TV with a 55-inch screen. Unless you are really finicky about the lack of picture fine-tune controls, this TV can do the job. A similar TV from the likes of Samsung or LG would set you back by at least Rs.1.5 lakh, if not more.