With its 65-inch diagonal, this LG UB950T model is large enough to deliver the full benefits of 4K Ultra High Definition resolution, and does so with great class.
It’s astonishing how quickly the leading edge can become commonplace. The first Ultra High Definition (4K) TVs first appeared only in sizes rivalling those of projection screens, and with prices that recalled the very early years of plasma televisions. Last year the prices fell substantially and smaller sizes appeared. Now, in 2014/5, LG is offering five separate ranges, at sizes from 49 inches to 84, including curved screens, a sub-$2000 non-3D entry-level model, and with still more variants shown at CES last month (See News).
The 65UB950T is the larger of two models in the middle range, and is presently available for an RRP of $4399. It is a 100Hz model, rather than the 200Hz of the top-of-the-line models, but it shares LG’s WebOS control system and includes support for Ultra High Definition signals up to 60Hz.
The TV is attractively styled, with a spidery but very wide stand. You will need a bench almost the whole width of the TV to properly support it. The panel is only 37mm thick and the bezel at top and sides is 10mm from picture edge to open space. There’s a slightly wider bottom edge to accommodate the Harman Kardonbranded speakers, some firing downwards, some forwards. There also appears to be a larger rear-firing driver on the back of the TV.
The panel is LCD, of course, with LED backlights that can operate in 12 independent sections. The resolution is UHD: 3840 by 2160 pixels. There are four HDMI inputs, three USB connections, Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi, component video, composite video and stereo audio. Both optical digital and analogue stereo audio outputs are provided.
The HDMI inputs are not all the same — one of them supports MHL, another handles HDCP 2.2 (the new content protection racket — sorry, ‘scheme’ — likely to be used with forthcoming 4K sources). You can use the Audio Return Channel with a suitable AV receiver or soundbar only on HDMI 2. All support 4K signals up to 60Hz, but one of them also supports full 4:4:4 chroma subsampling and 10-bit colour. That is not the HDCP 2.2 input, though. So you will need to plan your pluggage carefully!
The USB inputs support devices, as we will see, other than just memory, although they’ll do that. You can plug a hard disk into the USB 3.0 one and use it to record TV programs, or to allow live TV rewinding. The TV has two digital tuners so you can record a different program to the one that you’re watching.
For the past couple of years we’ve been pointing to (and with) LG’s Magic Remote as the most efficient and easiest of the smart remotes on offer from the various brands. Rather than using a touchpad, you simply point the LG remote, and an on-screen pointer