As kind of a geek-midlife-crisis gift I decided to buy myself a DJI Mavic Mini II for the holidays to reboot my creative exploits and get out of the house a little more. After some shaky backyard tryouts I decided to give the little flying bugger a decent maiden flight. I hiked out into the morning dawn to the nearby forest called “Het Wijngaerdbos”. Situated on the sloping hills at the edge of the town the forest got its name from the vineyards (Wijngaarden) that it housed back in the 18th century. As most places near where I live, it has a rich and mysterious history. Enjoy as I spin up the props and take you on a 2 minute tour.
Lets face it, Reviewing stuff is cool. From time to time we get stuff in the mail that we can tweet or blog our opinions about. This lets us play with some pretty cool stuff, and sometimes we even get to review stuff that you can’t just ship. So when LG asked us to review their 55 inch 4K Oled TV, we thought we were going to need a bigger mailbox. It turns out WE got to go and review IT for a night in a fancy penthouse suite in Brussels. The life of a blogger is hard.
After we had settled into the little penthouse and managed to tear away our eyes from the wonderful view, it was time to check out the tv. The lightly curved 4K 55 inch monster is quite elegant for its size. No overdone “HERE I AM” pimped out casing, no blinking lights.. Just a 55 inch slightly curved monolith … and its “full of stars” !
Black is Black.
Once you turn it on you see what OLED is all about. For those of you who don’t know. Regular LED tv’s have “lightbars” at the edges of the screen, “lighting up” the pixels as it where. This means that pixels that are set to “black” still “bleed” some of this light through resulting in dark grey tones instead of actual black. Depending on the quality of your LED tv this might vary.
With Oled every pixel generates its own lightsource. So when the pixel is told to go BLACK it just switches off … resulting in true black. This is of course a lot of technobabble, so what is the result ? The end result is that the colors are amazing and that black is really black. During our first demo, a scene from “House of Cards”, where Claire is standing with her back to the edge of the frame wearing a black dress, there was no way to distinguish the black dress with the black edge of the tv. Impressive !
So how about this 4K stuff ?
Double the resolution of an HD Tv and you get 4K. That’s a resolution of 4096 by 2160 pixels. Result ? Watch yourself some 4K Netflix and you get to see a whole new level of detail. During the pilot episode of “The Blacklist” we saw small motes of dust floating through the scene. Each individual hair that was somehow out of place on the head of the lead character was visible. 4K will be a makeup artists nightmare ! The level of detail is so uncanny that at some point we noticed a booger (yes a booger) up the left nostril of one of the characters. We seriously shit you not: Much resolution, So 4K wow !
One thing that was familiar on the LG was the Smart OS that runs it. One could not tell by the looks but the “smart” part is actually HP’s WEB OS. Yeah, that’s the OS that never made it to the tablet space and died in a dark corner at Wallmart. But its offspring is alive and kicking. You can control it with the remote, using the buttons OR using it as a pointer. The interface is fine and responds pretty snappy. We liked it.
The only thing we were not that impressed with was the sound. Although the Tv features Harman Kardon speakers, the sound was a little ‘flat’. But I guess when you have the budget to buy one of these beauties, getting a 600 euro sound bar is peanuts.
So in the end ?
The LG 4k TV is a little bit like driving a Tesla for a day. Its awesome, its fantastic, its the best of the best and .. its also the price of 3 kidneys. At 3999 euro’s for the 55″ model and 5999 for the 65″ model, things might be a little bit outside our price range. We worry a little about the amount of 4k content that is available right now. Sure there is some on Netflix (Costs you a little extra though) but does it satisfy the purchase today ?
Our review of the LG 55EG960V Ultra HD 4K TV (as it is officially called) showed us a peek in whats to come in the near future of TV entertainment. Bight colors, solid blacks, awesome resolutions and hopefully a more affordable price range. And lets not forget new drinking games where you have to take a shot every time you see a booger up the nose of one of the lead characters !
When Samsung offered us the chance to review the UD970 we didn’t have to think about it for long. Getting ones hands on a 4k monitor to gawk at was something we wanted to try out since the very moment Samsung presented the model at IFA in Berlin this year.
The UD970 comes in a box .. a BIG box .. a box that is usually reserved for big things like snow plows, space shuttles and big tv’s. Granted , it would have been a bad idea to ship the 31.5 inch display in a paper bag .. So the big box was a good idea. The difference between the UD970 and a Snow plow is the fact that the former has a much higher resolution. Where classic TV screens of this size have to find their limit at a resolution of 1920 by 1080 (Full HD) the UD970 goes almost up to infinity .. But not beyond. A 4k resolution of 3840 by 2016 means that ‘theoretically’ the screen real estate of a 31 inch 4K display is about the same as a 62 inch TV screen .. on a theoretical full HD resolution. And it still fits on your desk (but it might not fit in your budget)
We thought that we would be confronted with a behemoth of a box where you need to puzzle apart 24 pieces of styrofoam , but the UD970 is nicely packaged and taking it out we noticed the very simple and elegant design . A stable base, slim neck and thin bezel mark the fact that this monitor not only shines in resolution, but also in design. When inspecting the ports we noticed that this monitor can also ROTATE ! Spontaneous hallucinations of ‘Triple screen portrait monitor setups’ flooded our mind .. But there would be limitations in our budget .. and the number of pixels both a graphics card and the human mind can handle … Without melting down in a puddle of high resolution 4k blubber.
“Hooking it up”
Speaking of puddles .. getting this baby to work was a little bit of a challenge. We hooked it up to the latest and greatest 15 inch Macbook pro (with its high end graphics card) to see just how OK , 4K was … We had some trouble. Hooking it up to the Tunderbold display port with an HDMI adapter ( the UD970 has HDMI, Display port and classic DVI ports) we were disappointed that the maximum resolution we got was a mere 1600 by 900 (according to our Mac). This made the screen look bad. Fuzzy images and obese fonts .. not something we liked. Things got better after we hooked the display straight to our HMDI port .. The result was like staring into oblivion .. ‘Double-HD’ on this 31 inch display is massive .. So massive its hard to comprehend .. there is SO MUCH ROOM on your screen. Opening up ANY document to full-screen will be a thing of the past. The amount of screen real estate will have you working with tiled windows all the time since you can place so many of them. You will need to “crane your neck” from time to time since you need to cover the full 31 inches of screen right in front of your nose.
“Not your average holiday catalogue”
The colours and crispness of the screen is very very good for a Samsung display. Where the Oled displays of their smartphones and tablets have over saturated colours and brightness (That make an obituary look like a summer holiday magazine) Samsung has “toned down” the “WHOOOW” factor to resemble something that is more toned towards reality. The matt display, high resolution, thin bezel and slick design give this screen the potential to match or even outclass Apple’s expensive cinema display line.
“Dinero mucho baby ? “
We haven’t received and official price yet but at the rumored 2000 dollars pricerange this screen is going to be outside the budget range of the average user. The high resolution does require a hefty graphics card (Even our Mac had some trouble) but what you get in return is pretty slick. We shipped the display back to Samsung with mixed feelings .. After getting used to it , i’m pretty sure I would miss the display if I had to miss it .. But I would also miss the car I had to sell in order to get the money to BUY the UD970 in the first place. This display is something for the high end users (or the ones without girlfriends who live in their parents basement). That way they can watch their own My Little Pony marathon on a massive display .. with crisp colors, sharp text, lots of ports and a slim base.
Now excuse us as we drudge back to our 14 inch CRT display with a maximum resolution of 640×480 and watch the world in 8-bit.
Link : The UD970