When the whole 4K craze began, big companies like LG and Samsung announced some really big displays that are primarily aimed at the businesses, enterprises and individuals willing to spend more money on superior picture quality. While these categories of TVs still exist today, there are a myriad of far more affordable, smaller displays. Some of the TVs like the LG 49UB8200 even fall under $2,000. However, there are already some great 1080p displays including LG’s own 50LB5900 which is about the half the price of the 49UB8200. Deciding whether the LG 49UB8200 is for you requires an understanding of the 4K resolution benefits and the TV’s other high-end features.
The LG 49UB8200 looks noticeably smaller than your average 55-inch TV but it is designed like a much bigger display. It is supported by legs on the side rather than a typical stand eliminating the possibility of standing it upright on a small table. It does look nicer though and the thin bezels really add up to the elegancy of the display. If you have a VESA 400×400 mount, you may also remove the stands and mount the TV to the wall. The most important ports remain accessible even if you have it wall-mounted as the 3 USB ports are located on the side as well as a single HDMI port. There are 2 more HDMI ports on the rear along with a LAN jack, RS-232 mini jack, optical digital audio out, RF in and composite and component inputs.
The 49UB8200 is all about bringing affordability to the 4K standard so as a result, LG had to cut a lot of features to meet that low price. For starters, you won’t get to play with LG’s webOS platform which is featured in the higher-end LG displays. This could be a good thing for people that simply want to enjoy watching TV and movies although 4K is still in its infancy and you won’t find a lot of content that support it. Fortunately, you still get access to Netflix which houses some 4K content. Other VOD (video-on-demand) services can be accessed independently from the LG 49UB8200 too including Hulu Plus and YouTube. If you decide to purchase the optional Camera AN-VC500 accessory, you can log into your Skype account using the Skype app and make video conversations as well.
With no Wi-Fi onboard, you have to connect the 49UB8200 to the router via Ethernet cable. This is encouraged even if you are not interested with the VOD services because the LG 49UB8200 can also connect to the Internet to obtain recommended programs for you to watch based on your selection of favorite content. If your friends have a recent LG TV model, they can make suggestions as well. Connecting to the router also plugs your TV into your home network where tablets and laptops can share content or stream video wirelessly to the TV. Laptops that are equipped with WiDi can even mirror the screen to the TV wirelessly.
The features may be lacking on the LG 49UB8200 and you won’t even be able to enjoy 3D content but the IPS 4K panel is nothing short of excellent. To really appreciate the visuals, you have to watch native 4K content up close since larger displays tend to make 4K more noticeable even from afar. The TV is even prepared for future 4K content because of the presence of the HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) Decoder. But even if your eyes can’t tell the difference, the viewing angles are great simply because of its IPS nature. Pictures look incredibly detailed and the colors are vibrant. Plus, you can tinker with a lot of settings in case you need to make quality adjustments. LG even went as far as giving the 49UB8200 a rating so you can see where this TV stands in the quality scale. LG calls this rating UCI or Ultra Clarity Index. With a value of 1080, you will find that the image quality surpasses all older LG 1080p displays while providing decent motion clarity too. Just note that higher-end models have a higher UCI value.
One of the reasons why you may not be able to tell the difference between 1080p and 4K is because of the intelligent way the LG 49UB8200 upscales 1080p and SD content. The Tru-4K Engine provides the processing for all of that and it is present in higher-end TVs too. It uses a multi-step data analysis algorithm that improves the detail of all kinds of video sources including video games.
3840×2160 is the standard resolution for today’s 4K displays and is quite high given it is 4 times the resolution of 1080p TVs. As a result, the TV has over 8 million pixels to process and it is easy to conclude that the 49UB8200 will consume more electricity as a result. Fortunately, the LG 49UB8200 is Energy Star qualified so you can expect about 30% in power savings. If you have an old 720p TV or plasma display, the 49UB8200 will feel like a huge upgrade even in power efficiency.
If you are looking for the latest 50-inch TV without the bloat, the LG 49UB8200 can very well be up your alley. It is priced at $1,599. The majority of what you’re paying for is that brilliant IPS panel and the sophisticated internals that produce breathtaking imagery, whether you are watching 4K TV or old Blu-ray and DVD movies. What you won’t be getting is LG’s highly innovative webOS operating system which is worth considering if you want to install all sorts of apps and play with this nice Bluetooth remote too. These TVs are priced a lot higher and might not be worthwhile if you already have an HTPC to connect to the TV or a HDMI dongle. Overall, the 49UB8200 is reasonably priced and serves as a great first step to the 4K world. You won’t have to worry about the support when 4K content goes mainstream.
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