TVs that are “ridiculously overpriced” still have a reason to exist. In 2014, it is primarily about the combination of the screen resolution and the technology of the display. While 4K displays are slowly matching the price of very high-end 1080p TVs, there are still TVs like the LG 65UB9800 that cost more than twice as much as non-4K 65-inch displays. Any average consumer would go for a cheaper model or at least look for other 4K displays priced under $4,000. But don’t underestimate the 65UB9800 because it has plenty of features that make this particular 4K display a great buy.
The LG 65UB9800 may not have any fancy name attached to it but it certainly has a fancy design. The stand has two supports on the sides for stability like many of the 65-inch models today but the stand takes a curved approach to add some visual flair when viewed at any angle. It looks modern and out of the ordinary which turns out to be a big deal for those looking to make a huge upgrade from their aging 1080p display. The TV’s bezel is thin but there is nothing groundbreaking about it.
Most of the important ports can be found on the side of the 65UB9800 for easy access. This includes the 4 HDMI 2.0 ports and 3 USB ports with one of them supporting the USB 3.0 standard. On the back is the usual port for RF In along with the LAN, RS-232, digital audio out and component inputs.
Like many of the other recently released LG Smart TVs, the LG 65UB9800 is powered by webOS. Being an operating system with smartphone roots, this is a pretty big deal and it makes the 65UB9800 look premium and refined compared to the other displays with Smart TV features. Perhaps the best thing about this new interface is how uncluttered elements look and how smooth it is to transition from one app to another. Pressing the home button will bring up a sleekly designed dock showing several apps that you would find in most TVs like Hulu, YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, Skype and many others. Apps have short load times and you can still bring up the dock anytime you wish giving this TV the ability to multitask. The transition effects look good, making this interface a joy to use. LG even went as far as creating this fun animated LG mascot named Bean Bird who helps you setup the TV. It turns out that having a good and intuitive Smart TV interface is crucial to convincing more people to actually give it a go.
The new LG Magic Remote, which comes with the LG 65UB9800, plays a huge role in navigating the webOS interface. It acts like a pointing device so you actually have to move the cursor to the app you want to load and while it may take getting used to, it still works better than pretty much all of the other existing Smart TV interfaces including LG’s old one found in 2013 Smart TVs. The LG Magic Remote is a bit compact and does not have a numeric keypad but it does have the essentials including the channel and volume selector, 3D button, home button, input selector and colored buttons. The remote is powered by Bluetooth but it can also work with other LG components making it a convenient solution to operating the Blu-ray player, set-top box and even the sound bar.
The Smart Share feature enables smartphones, tablets and laptops to interact with the 65UB9800 too. It works wirelessly since the LG 65UB9800 has built-in Wi-Fi and it supports wireless display mirroring if the laptop supports Intel’s WiDi technology.
The 3D capabilities of a TV no longer take center stage but having 3D support on the 65UB9800 is still welcome. LG calls this technology 4K 3D+ and it is a passive 3D technology where you can rely on lightweight 3D glasses that do not require batteries. If you decide to purchase the Dual Play AG-F400DP glasses sold separately, you can also take advantage of the Dual Play feature which allows two players to play their competitive or cooperative games at two different viewpoints. Just make sure you check if the game supports it first before investing on one.
4K resolutions look best on displays larger than 50 inches so having the technology on a 65-inch panel is great. Not only that but the colors are incredibly vivid and the colors do not show any signs of degradation when viewed at an angle. This is because the LG 65UB9800 uses an IPS panel and the Tru-4K Engine Pro enhances the picture quality more. This engine also serves as LG’s upscaling technology where 1080p, 480p and even standard TV programs look good on the 4K display. 4K content still needs some catching up but the 65UB9800 is prepared to handle it thanks to the HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) format. With such an impressive Smart TV interface, it is nice to see this decoder built-in so 4K content can play back properly once the video streaming apps get updated. Netflix already supports 4K streaming video so it is best to subscribe to that service to make the most out of the LG 65UB9800.
While not revolutionary, the LG does offer its LG TruMotion 240Hz technology which is good for scenes and programs with a lot of action. Basically, you won’t notice any blurring with the feature enabled.
4K TVs cost well over $10,000 when they were first introduced making the $5,999.99 price a refreshing deal for the 65UB9800. It is still too pricey compared to standard 1080p models that still look pretty impressive. You are paying for a future proof TV thanks to the 4K enhancements as well as a highly innovative interface. WebOS is the operating system to beat in the Smart TV world.
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