Buying a new large TV is a little bit tricky nowadays. In one corner, you’ll see all of the attractively-priced 55-inch and 65-inch TVs boasting 1080p panels, an attractive design and possibly an interesting set of features. With all the frequent Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D releases, it looks like the 1080p and 720p HD formats will stay on the mainstream several years in the future. But TV manufacturers like LG are not standing still; they want consumers to be ready for the next big breakthrough in home entertainment which happens to be 4 times the resolution of Full HD. LG’s very first 4K TV was mighty expensive but currently, there are more than a dozen of models to choose from ranging from $1,200 to $20,000. The LG 65UB9500 takes the middle ground with its $4,299 suggested price.
The 65UB9500 may be outfitted with upper-midrange specs, it still shares the same design as several of the pricier models. It takes a fairly simple approach by having pretty thin bezels and a thicker bottom bezel to make way for the still small LG logo. The stand is almost as wide as the TV itself so you are going to need a table that is more than 55 inches wide to set up the massive display. There is also an option to wall mount the display but you need to buy a VESA mount separately.
There are a total of 3 USB ports (1 USB 3.0 port) and 4 HDMI 2.0 ports so you can easily add a couple of vital home theater components and a sound bar along with a few flash drives. There is an Ethernet port too but you can use the TV’s built-in Wi-Fi to connect to the wireless router as long as it is in range.
When LG acquired webOS from HP, they immediately came up with a game plan to provide the best online experience coming from a TV. They succeeded as the webOS-powered interface present in the LG 65UB9500 looks very polished and most importantly, very speedy. It is even fun to use as LG created Bean Bird, a cute little mascot that assists you in setting up your TV from the start.
The LG Magic Remote that comes with every 65UB9500 will be frequently used since it has the basic volume and channel switching buttons minus the numbers. You can toggle the 3D mode, voice search and bring up the Launcher Bar which is the main frontend of webOS. This bar appears on the bottom bringing up slightly slanting colored tiles with familiar icons. You will see that the essential apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and YouTube are present along with plenty more if you check out the also user-friendly Content Store. You also see a status bar showing some information on the top. To launch an app you use the LG Magic Remote as a pointer to control the onscreen cursor and “click” on the app. It could feel a bit unwieldy at first for some people but it is generally a faster way to use a Smart TV. On top of that, apps load very quickly and you can bring up the Launcher Bar from an active app so you can switch to another app. The multitasking capabilities of the LG 65UB9500 is fantastic. You can also bring up this neat LG Recommendations panel where you can key in some of your favorite programs so you can discover new ones. If you make use of the social features, you can also get suggestions from friends.
The LG Magic Remote relies on a Bluetooth connection making pairing simple. It also opens up the possibility for the remote to connect to other LG home theater components. The remote does have arrow buttons too making it a pretty decent universal remote.
While it is possible to display photos or playback content on flash drives, you won’t have to copy anything to flash drives if the content is already stored on a smartphone, tablet or laptop connected to the same home network. With Smart Share, the 65UB9500 provides a simple avenue of instant sharing. If your laptop is equipped with WiDi, you can also mirror the laptop’s screen without the need for an HDMI cable.
The LG 65UB9500 comes with 2 pairs of Cinema 3D Glasses so you and another individual can utilize the 3D features. These glasses feel lightweight as they do not require batteries. As with most other TVs with 3D features, you can try out the 2D to 3D function if you don’t have any native 3D content to watch.
The main purpose of getting a 4K TV is to be able to enjoy the latest content and that is exactly what the HEVC decoder present in the LG 65UB9500 is set to do. Recent 4K videos rely on High Efficiency Video Coding so you can experience high quality video while still having the compression benefits. The HEVC decoder simply ensures that these kinds of videos work. The HDMI 2.0 support also helps as there are more home theater components that rely on this standard.
Because 4K is basically 4 times the resolution of 1080p, so more than 8 million pixels are crammed in the 55-inch display. From afar, you might not notice the 4K difference unless you opt for the 65-inch model. But the good news is that the IPS 4K Panel enables wide viewing angles so multiple viewers can appreciate the 65UB9500. It also has a UCI or Ultra Clarity Index of 1500 making the LG 65UB9500 highly capable of displaying clear pictures. The 120 Hz refresh rate sounds midrange but action sequences and sports content still look better than older 1080p displays and there isn’t much blurring. Finally, the Tru-4K Engine Pro even makes 1080p and SD sources look good.
Priced at around $3,300, the 65UB9500 is a pretty good buy especially if you want the latest and greatest technology without feeling that sense of obsoleteness in the next couple of years. LG does sell cheaper 4K displays but they are smaller making the 4K benefits even less obvious. These entry-level 4K displays also lack webOS which is an experience that simply cannot be missed because of LG’s solid execution.
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