Every now and then a review product comes along that just blows your socks off right from the moment it is unboxed. The sort of product that has that instant “WOW” factor. The sort of product that you are going to dread returning and leaves your current product looking like a prehistoric fossil that should be studied by historians rather than the centrepiece of the lounge room. The LG 55EC930T, 55 Inch Curved OLED TV is that very product. This TV from LG is an almighty piece of technology with a stunning design and picture quality unlike anything I have laid eyes on and that includes 4k panels.
The very first thing that is noticeable when unboxing the Curved OLED is the stunning design. OLED’s are self-illuminating so there is no need for a bulky backlight, the result is a piece of engineering witchcraft that makes the panel on the Curved OLED about as think as three credit cards at it’s thinnest point. The stunning black design also creates one of the thinnest bezels around the panel that I have seen, this flows on to create an unrivalled viewing experience that darws you further into the image (but more on that later). I’ve seen many TV’s in my time and spend a lot of time in the TV section of stores like JB Hifi checking out the latest and greatest TV’s and I can honestly say that in terms of design, none of them can much the LG Curved OLED for that out and out WOW factor. Set this thing up in your lounge room and you’ll have a centrepiece that will command attention.
To accompany that stunning design there is no shortage of inputs on the back for all your favourite devices. ON the back you’ll find 1 HDMI port, Headphone Jack, LAN Input, RF Antenna, Component Input and Digital Audio Out. On the side there are 3 more HDMI ports and 3 USB 2.0 ports. The TV has Freeview UHF built in as well so if you have a UHF antenna you’ll be able to get Freeview without needing a set-top box. Yes, there are TV”s out there that have more inputs but when factoring in how thin this TV is, the amount of inputs available is more than satisfactory.
So we’ve got a design that is the sexiest thing I’ve seen since I met my Wife and enough Inputs to satisfy most lounge room entertainment devices. All of that would be irrelevant though if the TV didn’t feature a stunning display. Keeping up the trend here, the display is eye meltingly good. The panel is only 1080p FullHD but you aren’t going to be counting pixels because this display manages to put most 4k TV’s to shame. The OLED uses LG’s four pixel, White, RED, Green, Blue (WRGB) structure and it is a marvel to behold. Contrast and Dynamic Representation are unlike anything I have ever seen on a TV and when it comes to Black…WOW! The black looks exactly like how the screen looks when it is off. If you are watching a 16:9 movie with an aspect ratio of 2:35:1 with the lights off, you will simply not be able to distinguish the Black bars at the top and bottom of the display from the bezel. The level of definition and detail that the TV spits out, combined with the deepest blacks you’ve ever seen and vibrant colour contrast creates this optical illusion that makes it feel like your watching a 4k TV.
The feature that is going to draw the inevitable question of why? Is of course the curve. There is a lot of debate as to the relevance of a curved TV, is it a gimmick, does it add anything to the experience? There are those that will staunchly oppose curved TV’s and there are those that love the curve. The idea of the curved in a TV is to create an experience that is like being at the cinema (since cinema screens have a curve in them). Curved TV’s are best when you don’t notice them and in this instance the subtle curve really does add to the experience. The TV is 3D capable but the curve adds an element of depth that flat screen TV’s can’t quite produce. The effect of the curve in the Curved OLED will draw you into the image more and create a quasi-3D like viewing experience.
Obviously I’m a gamer and something that often slips under the radar is the importance of a good TV if you’re a console gamer. It’s not until you use a TV like this that you really discover how much a high end panel adds to the experience. Playing a game like Until Dawn on this is marvelous. The levels of black produced and the insane contrast make an environment like Blackwood Pines all the more daunting. The ability of this TV to add to the in-game atmosphere is unparalleled, even playing a game like MLB The Show 15 or Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is spectacular. It really feels like you are there at the event watching the drama unfold right before your very eyes.
On the subject of 3D, the Curved OLED is 3D capable. LG calls their 3D setup, Cinema 3D, which basically means it uses the same 3d technology that a cinema uses. There is no need for glasses that require battaeries, straight out of the box four pairs of glasses are included and they are basically the same as what you get given at the cinema. The 3D effect, combined with the curve and the stunning display creates the best in-house 3D experience available today. Watching Avatar (still the go to movie for assessing 3D) rivaled the quality that we saw at the cinema. Pandora was brought to life with that stunning detail, depth and vibrancy of colour in a way that I had not experienced at home.
Powering this Curved OLED is LG’s WebOS 1.0. The new LG 4k panels run WebOS 2.0 but 1.0 is still a nice easy to use OS for a Smart TV. The best way to navigate around is to use LG’s Magic Remote rather than the stock standard one. Both versions of remote are included but what makes the Magic Remote special is that you just wave it at the TV to move around. The buttons on the Magic Remote are minimalist, relying on the point and click method to navigate around the panel. It makes it so much easier when inputting things like letters and numbers onto the onscreen keyboard or selecting a menu item. Just point and click and the TV takes care of the rest.
Sound quality from the built in speakers are pretty decent actually but if you’re going to get the best out of this TV then you’ll want to hook it up to an equally impressive home theatre system.
With a price tag of $5,499 the LG 55 inch Curved OLED is not for the faint of heart. Depending on the retailer there are some special out there that could see you shave up to $1,000 off that price tag. The saying goes that you get what you pay for and that is definitely the case for the Curved OLED from LG. Yes there are 4k flat panel TV”s that are about half the price of this but none of them will be able to deliver an experience that matches this mighty feat of visual engineering. From the sexy design, through to the extreme clarity and definition offered by the panel, everything about this TV screams PREMIUM. It may not be 4k but you won’t even notice that it’s (only) Full HD. If you are looking for the ultimate lounge room centrepiece, something that will make you the envy of everyone you know, then this is the TV for you. The only downside is that I now have to go back to using my Samsung and give this baby back. There is truly nothing quite like experiencing the out of this world beauty that is the LG 55 Inch Curved OLED.