‘Best Buy’ OLED TV of the Year
“It’s a smart UHD OLED TV, and a premium German model too, yet it’s here in Australia at a price that rivals those from mass-market brands. Hence our ‘best buy’ award.”
How can a Loewe be one of our ‘best buy’ TVs? Aren’t they German premium tellies? And this an OLED TV as well — the cream of TV technology, and therefore pricier (given only LG.Display can yet supply the panels, and recently raised its prices). So yes, the ‘best buy’ here is relative, with the bild 3.55 OLED having an RRP of $4499 for the 55-inch. But we think it’s justified, as it recognises the remarkable achievement of bringing a premium German brand all the way to Australia at a price which competes with and in some cases beats LG’s own mass-market models. And the tech is strong, with, for example, full support for High Dynamic Range not only using the base-level HDR10, but also the dynamic metadata of Dolby Vision.
There’s nothing like a thin panel to make a TV look great; here the Loewe is 4.8mm-thin at the top, thicker at the bottom so as to fit in electronics and connections. It sits on a swivel stand, although there are various other mounting options available.
Slung underneath the panel is a soundbar which delivers far better than average TV sound, though we reckon a TV this good deserves an external sound system, for which ARC is supported, and also a digital audio output, unusually on coaxial rather than optical, which will allow longer cable runs to a sound system. There are also useful extras, such as three USB sockets, one of which is USB 3.0 and supports recording and time-shifting if you plug in a hard-disk drive (not a stick). The TV can also act as a DLNA server, so that you can play back the recordings on any DLNA-compatible video device. Nice! Loewe’s carefullybuilt (and often updated) operating system comes with a wide range of apps, including Netflix and YouTube.
Tweaks to the default settings we’d recommend — firstly turn off the overscan; even UHD inputs get scaled, which is kinda weird. Then bring down the sharpness, which defaults to 3 on a scale of 0-5 — 0 is what you want. We’d also recommend changing the ‘Film quality improvement’ (motion smoothing) from its default ‘intensive’ down to ‘middle’ or ‘soft’.
Those items sorted, relax and enjoy an OLED picture which is a delight at all times, and often a downright thrill. Colours are spot on, and wonderfully rich. Dark elements are delivered beautifully, with plenty of detail, especially with an HDR source, but even lower quality sources shine through the cunning of Loewe’s processing. A great set, brought here at a pleasing price.
More info: www.indimports.com
Indi Imports’ Paul Riachi collects the award.