There is not much done in the 2D video section and we did not expect a great deal of difference in the already flawless picture quality of the Cinema3D TVs from LG. The frameless design does provide you with an experience similar to that of a projector only that you can see the boundaries. Nonetheless, the experience is much better than watching your movies on a TV with a 1” thick frame. As we sampled highly demanding Blu-rays such as ‘Thor’, ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Captain America’, the LG TV presented us with possibly the best video playback that you can get on any flat panel television currently available. Since all the above-mentioned Blu-rays are action-heavy, they bear all the pre-requisites (color saturation, black levels, sharpness and motion) to test a flat panel for its optimum performance. And the 55LM8600 was all game with its crisp sharpness, deep black levels, utmost colour saturation and swift handing of motion. And you also have the ISF presets that make life easy by calibrating the TV on-the-fly according to the ISF standards.
We did find a slight trace of light leakage off the LED lined up on the edge of the TV. This was particularly seen in very dark scenes like the climax of ‘The Dark Knight’ affecting the detail in the black levels. This can be resolved to an extent by using a tweak for the black levels and choosing between two points—low (gets the black levels really deep) and high (reduces a contrast by a couple of notches by putting up a slight white cast on the screen). The next task was to check for the 3D picture quality, and unlike last year, this time we had almost two dozen 3D Blu-ray discs lying in the studio. And once again FPR 3D technology proved its worth as the most suitable and convenient 3D technology available in the market. Be it games, animation or even motion pictures, the playback for 3D was simply the best that we have seen. The TV not only tackles regular issues of 3D picture playback like low brightness, dizziness or headache caused by the glasses (more prevalent in active shutter glasses) or even viewing angle, but manages to put up highly effective 3D performance.
The frameless design also played a big role here in order to reduce the effect of constrained vision by providing a more immersive and engaging experience. The only drawback was that of the vertical viewing angle (also seen in earlier versions of the FPR 3D TVs from LG). So if you wish to mount the 55LM8600 on the wall, take care that you don’t mount the TV in such a way that the vertical viewing angle comes to more than 50 to 60 degrees. If it is more than this range, you won’t be able to enjoy the 3D experience to the fullest as it affects picture sharpness and you easily see two different images forming the 3D images. The 2D to 3D conversion is convincing but we did notice slight discrepancies in scenes with fast-motion sequences. In ‘Thor’, every time the Bifrost started to revolve around itself or even in ‘Green Lantern’ when Hal Jordon (played by Ryan Reynolds) made his super fast trips to some other planets, the TV seemed to lose its hold on the 3D rendition as it lost the sync for a couple of seconds. But this took place only for a few seconds as once the picture comes back to normal pace, the TV was once again in all its 3D glory.
What's up good lookin'?
The Dual Play is an interesting feature and LG has incorporated some innovative reverse engineering. Picking up on how 3D technology works, they have devised a way where two different gamers can simultaneously look at two different images on the same screen. As it turns out, you need special Dual Play glasses for this. And the best part is that for the 55LM8600, a pair of Dual Play glasses is included in the package along with four normal FPR 3D glasses. For some other models, you can avail the glasses at an extra cost. But considering the low cost of FPR 3D glasses, we think that this investment is absolutely worth it for the kind of results that it gives. Speaking about the SmartShare feature, a peculiar problem with such features is the setup procedure that gets painstaking and tedious, but in the 55LM8600, LG has provided a simple step-by-step guide to the users on how to hook up their phones and PCs with the TV.
It does not take more than a couple of minutes to complete the entire procedure and your TV becomes an entertainment hub. Once connected, you can also use the TV as a second screen without any wire using the SmartShare feature. The only care that you have to take is to have both the devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Now that’s a little more than smart!
The smartest of the lot?
Verdict and Price in India
New technologies are always accompanied by complexities and tedious set-up procedures. But LG has managed to eradicate many of the complexities from its new television series while loading them with features that can keep you busy for the next couple of years. We find no risk in saying that 55LM8600 is absolutely future-proof for at least the next five years. Its exquisite picture playback for both 2D and 3D is commendable. Innovative features like Dual Play and SmartShare are great add-ons that don’t just sound good but perform even better. This is exactly the reason why we don’t think its price tag of Rs. 2,65,000 is a steep one. It is 55” of sheer visual pleasure and we request you to indulge!
Here's a quick look at how Dual Play works?
While viewing a 3D film with FPR 3D glasses, users are already receiving two different images that are simultaneously being displayed on a television or movie screen. Each of these two images are polarised using a special filter, and this filter orients each image’s light waves in a specific direction. All this takes place on the screen itself. As for the glasses, the two lenses allow light waves to enter only if they’re oriented in the same direction as each lens’ polarised filter. For example, waves in plane X for the left eyeball and waves in plane Y for the right eyeball. When the brain processes the two different images coming in at the same time, the viewers perceive depth that isn’t actually there, and that’s 3D for us.
Dual Play for the competitive gamers
LG’s Dual Play technology uses this same feature but with a twist. In the Dual Play glasses they have popped out the lenses on two polarised glasses and exchanged them to create matched pairs. One Dual Play glass contains the same lenses for both the eyeballs. So when a gamer wears them, he loses the ability to create a three-dimensional image, as it would have otherwise done. Instead both the eyeballs will now receive light waves that have been oriented in a single direction. In other words, a person gets picture A and cannot see picture B, while the vice versa takes place with their competitor in the game.
Updated 24 May, 2013, 12:46 pm IST
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