The definition home entertainment today has changed into a more advanced and sophisticated epoch and it seems manufacturers are all challenged to keep up. Last week, we were invited to get up close and personal with LG’s flagship model, the 60-inch LA8600 Smart TV in an overnight stay at the Picasso Hotel. LG announced their “Smarter” lines of Smart TV this year about a month ago so we knew what to expect and now we validate whether this TV can give the ultimate entertainment experience.
The LA8600 has an edge-lit LED backlight with local dimming that enhances the colors even further. The brushed stainless steel silver bezel of the LG LA8600, considered almost “borderless”, was impressive – sleek and minimalistic.
The TV just seems to just drown into the orange wall of the hotel. Mounted on the wall, it looks like a window to a different universe that invites you to jump into it. You may also choose the Magic Swivel stand that allows you to smoothly reposition the TV that suits your viewing habits while ensuring balance to keep it in place. Either way, it’s elegant, modern and space-saving.
The LG LA8600 also sports a 2.0 MP retractable camera located at the top of the screen made for videoconferencing and staying connected with your family and friends via Skype. The TV Skype Camera with built-in microphone is usually a separate accessory/add-on so having this on your Smart TV may not be as crucial but it’s definitely nice to have.
The next big thing in most TVs in the market nowadays is the capability to maximize your viewing experience by converting your 2D view to 3D. What I loved most about LG’s Passive 3D feature is that the images do not get distorted even at the worst viewing angle. More often than not, 3D feature of LED TVs annoy me because you only get the best view when you’re at the center but move a little to the side and you will start to see that the images are splitting up, the depth is changing, and texts or subtitles are blurred.
I also like its lightweight flicker-free and blur-free 3D glasses for ultimate comfort while ensuring true cinematic 3D experience. These glasses are battery-free, meaning you don’t have to keep your glasses charged and definitely a lot cheaper than LG’s active 3D counterparts. With every purchase of the LA8600, you get 4 free glasses for the whole family.
Dual Play mode allows you and your buddy to play on the same TV full screen but with different views
Enjoy playing Xbox or PS3 with your friends on weekends? Two-player gaming experience has leveled up with the LA8600 as it features LG Dual Play. With this unique technology in their lightweight and battery-free glasses, each player can enjoy their own landscape without seeing the other player or having to split the screen. Dual Play glasses are bundled in pairs, distinct for Player 1 and 2. You usually buy this separately but you get a pair when you buy the LG LA8600.
UI is definitely my deal breaker when it comes to buying any gadget including TVs. Even if you have all the best applications and features, how to access and organize them easily is something I always consider. I was not disappointed with LG’s Smart Control feature. This allows you to browse your favorite TV programs, games, and other applications with the TV’s customizable and intuitive user experience.
The Dashboard is laid out in folders according to your recently viewed channels and applications, most popular sites, and your favorites through the customizable My Interest Card/s.
LG’s upgraded Magic Remote is an easier alternative to the conventional TV remote. Imagine how easy it is to navigate through your PC with your mouse, the Magic Remote allows you to point, click and drag anything in your dashboard.
The Magic Wheel at the center of the Magic Remote allows you switch channels and browse through your Smart TV. Interestingly, this intuitive remote also features Voice Mate that allows interactive communication with the TV for convenient search and control. Pattern gestures using the Magic Remote are also recognized by the TV for quick channel navigation.
LG has also stepped a notch up with their improved SmartShare feature that allow you to share files from your smartphones and/or tablets wirelessly via WiDi, or Miracast, or wired via Mobile HD Link (MHL), aside from the usual WiFi connection of course. The Tag On feature through the NFC (Near Field Communication) mirrors your external device to appear into the TV for mutual content sharing.
My favorite add-on to the LA8600 is the Time Machine II feature that allows you to record your favorite TV programs without an external storage, and play them back in your most convenient time via LG Cloud. You can then access the recorded contents from your Smart TV to your gadgets. Of course, you can still record it into the built-in 4GB storage or through a plugged in external drive if you want to.
Overall, the combination of the LA8600’s design, combined with its improved features and applications makes it stand out among its counterparts. At 240H refresh rate on a 1080P resolution, the LA8600 provides crisp and clear picture quality that anyone in your living room would certainly enjoy.
Enhance Cinematic 3D experience further with LG’s BH9530TW, a 9.1-Channel Home Theater System (HTS) which has 4 vertical speakers delivering high quality audio. The lightweight 3D and Dual play glasses are awesome! It could have been too short for me to really watch out for possible downsides of this model but as far as the whole package is concerned, we give it a two thumbs up. The LG 60LA8600 retails for a cool Php249,990.