One last element of the LG 84LM960V’s feature set to quickly cover concerns its seriously impressive roster of picture adjustments. The set is endorsed by the Imaging Science Foundation calibration organisation, and if you select one of the ISF presets you get access to a full colour management and white balance system, while other features of note include an impressive suite of options and flexibility to do with the set’s motion processing; an interesting system for adjusting grass and sky colour (!); and the option to turn on and adjust the level of the set’s local dimming engine.
Wherefore art thou 4k content?
While everything we’ve seen of Ultra HD so far has made us fall in love with it, ‘4k’ content remains depressingly hard to come by. Which is why LG helpfully sent a special 4k content server (pictured below) with the TV, which pipes in a few minutes worth of 4k content predominantly shot at various famous locations around the world, including Tower Bridge, Big Ben, the Eiffel tower, Acropolis, Norwegian Fjords, and what looks like the American wilds. (Please note that this server is not available to buy.)
And trust us when we say that every single frame of this native 4k content looks nothing short of jaw-dropping. The sheer pixel density delivered by the Ultra HD pixel count enables even a screen as big as this one to paint native 4k pictures with such precision and detailing that you forget that you’re looking at a collection of pixels and just get lost in the experience of gawping at what appears to be a view of the real world. Think of the ‘retina’ screen effect on the latest iPads applied to a life-sized environment and you might get some idea of just how beautiful and immersive the 84LM960V’s 4k pictures look.
No looking back
It’s also important to stress that while you might currently feel very happy with the appearance of full HD on your current TV, once you’ve seen 4k in action you become almost painfully aware of the relative lack of sharpness and richness of even the best pictorial efforts from normal HD TVs. In other words, the 84LM960V’s sensational 4k efforts aren’t just a glimpse of the future of TV, they’re a glimpse of an AV fan’s dreams come true.
We should stress, too, that the salivating and general dribbling we did over the LG 84LM960V’s Ultra HD pictures wasn’t just down to their awesome resolution. The set also enjoys startlingly punchy colours given added emphasis by the huge tonal subtlety delivered by a combination of the extra pixel density and the quality of LG’s image processing.
Contrast seems strong too in many ways; certainly there’s plenty of depth to dark parts of predominantly bright pictures, which makes those strong colours look even more dynamic. Crucially, though, the colour vibrancy doesn’t tip over into gaudiness or unnaturalness.
It’s good to see too that the 84LM960V does pretty well at avoiding the judder and blur issues associated with LCD technology. It’s not impeccable in this respect, and needs a bit of care with the motion processing settings (for the record we manually set the judder and blur reduction elements of the TruMotion system to their 3 level). But motion looks clean enough that you still feel the impact of the Ultra HD pixel count even during the most motion-packed of action scenes.
The 84LM960V doesn’t benefit from the almost uncannily clever X-Reality Pro 4k processing Sony delivers on its 84X9005, so its 4k pictures don’t look quite as detailed. But they still look magnificent, and in any case, purists probably won’t want to use the Sony’s processing with 4k anyway.
Painful though it is, we need to tear ourselves away from the 84LM960V’s stunning 4k demo footage to focus on something more (currently) real world: the upscaling processing it uses to map HD and even standard def sources onto the Ultra HD panel.
Thankfully LG seems to have worked really hard on this key part of the LG 84LM960V’s functionality, at least where HD upscaling is concerned. We were extremely impressed by how well the set did at adding greater pixel density to Blu-ray and even HD broadcast content. Images clearly look more textured and crisp, yet at the same time the processing is astute enough not to exaggerate any small amounts of noise that might be in the source.
The way the upscaling processing also adds colour detail is impressive too, and there seems to be little if any sense of colour tones taking a dive as can happen with less astute upscaling systems.