In 2020, Australians are loving their big TVs and while we’ve not had our sport on the big screen, we have had entertainment like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and more. LG’s latest lineup of displays features a combination of NanoCell and OLED TVs and the theme is definitely bigger and better.
The average TV sold in Australia is now approaching 65″ in size. As prices come down, larger TVs make for a great movie or TV watching experience. LG didn’t stop at 65″, there’s also a 75″ and even an 86″ version of this display. Don’t forget about gaming as many of these TVs are now the destination for console gaming and thanks to some really impressive engineering, that experience is better than ever before.
With cinemas unavailable to us, the best experience is right in your living room and that’s made better thanks to a seriously long list of features on the 2020 models. Over the past week I’ve had the chance to spend time with the affordable and amazing 2020 verison of the LG NanoCell TV with 4K resolution at that magic 65″ size. Now it’s time to break it down and see if it’s worthy of your hard earned money and belongs on your wall.
Curves in all the right places
In terms of design, LG gets the serious bits right, the bezels are small and black and this would look great hanging on your wall. Given LG leave their thinnest displays for the premium OLED line, this isn’t the thinnest TV I’ve seen, at 7.1cm deep.
By way of comparison, my 10 year old, 50″ Sony Bravia is 13cm deep, while my 2018 65″ Samsung Q7F is just 4.5cm. While this isn’t the thinnest, once its on your wall, you probably won’t ever look at it from the side.
What is important is the control, something you’ll use to interact with your TV, every single day. LG like to call it a premium remote, but personally I’m not a fan. While all the common functions are there, as well as dedicated Netflix and Amazon Prime buttons, the design feels confused.
Interacting with the TV is done using one of 4, yep, 4 different techniques.
- The first is the regular plus pad, which actually works incredibly well with holding down a direction, enabling you to quickly move through longer screens of content.
- The next is the air mouse which I can’t stand. It works, as in you can rotate the controller and have those angle adjustments control the cursor on screen, but its clumsy and not a precise or fast way of selecting content.
- The next is the scroll wheel. This allows you to scroll up or down content, just like the other two options above and seems completely redundant.
- The final is actually my favourite and often the fastest, that’s voice. The TV supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so take your pick, but it’s often the fastest way to get to the content you’re after.
The remote is also made of a hard, cheap plastic and not representative of the premium TV LG are pitching here.
Finally in terms of external design, the stand is nice, a curved arc shape that supports the weight of the display well. That said, there is no ability to rotate the screen which actually seems like a missed opportunity.
When it comes to the design of the UI, I think LG have done a great job. The WebOS UI blades work really well as a technique to maximise your access to lots of applications, in a limited space. If you continue to load up apps, the horizontal scroll works well to get to these. Downloading and adding capabilties to your TV is easy and since my time with the TV a number of apps have received updates which is a very promising sign.
The Home Dashboard is a really nice piece of UI, but it is surprising to not get a dedicated button on the remote to deliver single-press access to audio and video inputs.
How do it perform ?
In the first few seconds of using the interface of a TV, you get a great appreciation of the performance. That provides an immediate feel for how much the manufacturer has prioritised the processing performance inside. Thankfull in this TV, LG included an α7 Gen 3 AI Processor, which means it always felt fast to get around the UI, jump in and out of apps, settings and even with one of the common stumbling blocks, voice input, it did a great job.
When it comes to the performance of the display itself, this LG display does a great job of showcasing your content with the obvious content sources of 4K YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Video allowing you to see everything this display has to offer. The black levels looked great and if you upgrade from a 3-4 year old display, you’ll see a significant improvement. It is important to remember where this display sits in the overall scheme of LG displays.. obviously the more expensive OLED holds the crown for absolute display performance.
This NANO91 featured a 200Hz refresh rate, which means scenes with fast motion look great. If you decide to connect a PC to the TV and use it for gaming, you’ll get to leverage G-Sync to avoid any vertical tearing issues, typically experienced in fast-paced FPS and racing titles. This display also supports the new HGiG standard for HDR gaming which is coming with the next generation consoles. This helps the console and display understand the capabilities of each other and can better expose the lighting detail in a game, for example, when you’re racing through a dark tunnel and need to see an upcoming corner in direct sunlight.
Using a HDMI 2.1 cable, enables you to play games in 4K with HDR at 120fps and the display features Variable Refresh Rate (VRR).
The AI component of this display works in a couple of different ways to enhance your experience. The AI helps upscale HD content to 4K, while the image processing engine also analyses the content on screen and optimises the full array LED dimming to improve the quality of each frame, rather than by scene or even a whole movie.
Stand out features of this display.
This TV has one of the longest spec lists I’ve ever seen on a TV, but it’s perhaps the support for 3 different HDR formats that gives you a great appreciation of what LG is targeting here. Dolby Vision HDR10 and HLG are all supported, which means you can be assured that you’re seeing a great representation of what the directors envisaged. The details in shadows are maintained while content in the direct sunlight are not blown out.
The list of apps available are a real feature and asset of owning this TV. You can access IPTV content through:
- Apple TV
- Amazon Prime Video
This means whatever your service choice, you’ll be able to sign into your account and access your favourite TV shows and Movies.
Not everything’s perfect
I mostly love this TV, but there are a couple of things that annoy me. My main issue was the remote which I touched on in the design section. If you buy the TV and use it in isolation, you’ll probably not think twice about the remote, but my Samsung’s remote is small, with a metal finish and is efficient in design, actually feeling premium. At the price point of this TV, I’d definitely expect a higher quality remote and seriously LG, it’s time to ditch the dedicated number pad. I used the TV for a week and never found a need for the top half of the remote.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
How much and when can you get one ?
The LG 65″ NanoCell 4K TV (65NANO91TNA) is available now and features a RRP of $3,239, but look around and you can find it for as cheap as A$2,495 at retailers like The Good Guys. You can also find it at JB Hi-Fi and Bing Lee for A$2,695.
If you’d like to step up to the bigger versions of the same display, the RRP grows A$5,039 for the 75″ or an RRP of $7,439 for the mega 86″ monster. If you’re keen on the biggest edition, that can be found at JB Hi-Fi for A$6,195.
Overall this TV is a great performer, it’s full of features that mean watching movies, to playing games is a seriously enjoyable display to be in front of. The performance is impressive and while it’s not an OLED, unless you have one next it, you’ll be extremely happy with the black levels on this TV.
This has one of the biggest arrays of smart features and apps of any TV that I’ve used. From the great UI, to the support for both popular voice assistants, LG have done a great job here that not only thinks of your needs today, but your needs into the future.
While I don’t love the remote, it works and certainly does the job, but then you also have the option of voice control to quickly pull up the content or channel you want to watch.
What LG have created here is a premium TV, offered at a very reasonable price for what’s on offer here. As discussed at the start, Australian’s thirst for larger TVs is never ending and this year the standard may be 65″ but I definitely don’t think we’re stopping there. The immersion created by having more of your peripheral vision consumed by the display is a completely immersive effect and combined with a stunning 4K movie, is such a compelling experience that you can have at home, that I think will see cinemas struggle, even when you can return.
More information at LG.