It’s not far off a full 12 months since LG essentially won the 2012 CES in Las Vegas with its mouthwatering double whammy of a 55in OLED TV and an 84in 4k - sorry, ‘ultra HD’ - TV. Both products looked set to establish LG as the new pace-setter in the TV world.
But then, um, nothing really happened with them. Recently LG had to admit that the OLED set wasn’t going to be launched in 2012 after all. And with Christmas looming large, it was starting to look like the 84in Ultra HD model wasn’t going to make the 2012 deadline either.
Then, all of a sudden, bang: the LG 84LM960V arrived in our test room, looming over all the other ‘puny’ TVs in there like some Arthur C Clarke-inspired monolith.
To say the LG 84LM960V’s 84in screen is impactful would be like calling Jupiter ‘pretty big’. Its screen acreage is equivalent to four 42in TVs, and although LG has actually done rather well at minimising the amount of bezel around the screen, it’s an intimidatingly huge addition to even the most gargantuan of rooms. For some idea of just how big it really is, check out the photo below showing a 55in Loewe TV sat in front of the 84LM960V.
Big is beautiful
We're definitely not complaining about the LG 84LM960V's aesthetic impact, though. On the contrary, if we’re going to be spending £22,500 on the 84LM960V, we damn well want it to make an impact. In fact, we want it to be the only thing in the room anyone looks at!
With this in mind, it’s nice to see that LG has at least tried to prettify its TV monster by adorning it in a fetching metallic silver finish, and mounting it on a surprisingly stylish - if slightly over-shiny - ‘outline’ stand. Despite its prettiness the main TV body appears phenomenally robust (as it probably needs to be!); so much so we might be tempted to call it the Titanic of the TV world had the Titanic not, you know, sunk and stuff.
The 84LM960V is a genuine TV rather than just a massive screen, so inside it you’ll find a Freeview HD tuner. It’s also got all the usual video connections, including four HDMIs, three USBs for playing back multimedia files from USB storage devices, and integrated LAN and Wi-Fi connectivity for adding the TV to your home network.
This latter functionality can be used for either streaming content from a connected PC or Mac via a much-improved PLEX media interface, or you can go online with LG’s Smart TV platform. This too is much improved from last year, now rivalling Samsung’s online service in terms of the amount of content on there, and also featuring a very attractive, mostly well-constructed onscreen menu system.
There’s a bit too much ‘junk’ cluttering up LG’s online service, but all of the video big-hitters are on there now - along with a few niche but still occasionally interesting smaller video platforms - and that’s all that matters, really.
As with the Sony 84X9005 84in ultra HD model (which actually features an LG panel at its heart), the sheer scale of the 84LM960V’s pictures makes its onscreen menus look a touch rough and ready, even though they looked very nice on LG’s smaller, normal HD resolution TVs. They’re still much easier to navigate than Sony’s menus, thankfully, and the 'point and click' operation option offered by the included second Magic Remote (picture below) is a boon. But we can’t wait to see some ultra HD menus on the next generation of 4k products.
The key specs of the LG 84LM960V’s screen, meanwhile, stack up like this. First and most important, there’s its native pixel count of 3840x2160. That’s four times as many pixels as a normal full HD TV. Also important is the set’s use of edge LED lighting, backed up by a local dimming system, and an 800Hz motion reproduction system created by combining a 200Hz native panel with a scanning backlight and motion interpolation.
Then there’s the set’s passive 3D playback. This is supported by the inclusion of seven free pairs of passive 3D glasses, and is especially interesting because the Ultra HD resolution effectively means you can enjoy 3D Blu-rays at their full resolution, without the slight resolution compromise you normally get with passive technology.