LG 60LA8600 Review
60 inch 240Hz Passive 3D Smart TV
by Jack Burden, Reviewer
The 60LA8600 is the feature rich top of the line LCD/LED TV from the 2013/2014 LG lineup. It's got local LED dimming to really enhance the picture quality. It isn't full array local dimming, so you may end up with some negative effects depending on the content. Overall the picture quality here is as expected from a TV the sits this high up in the lineup. A built-in camera is another feature this TV got over the LA7400 below it. This one does miss out on the Google TV features of the GA7900, so the LA8600 falls a little behind when it comes to the features of that one.
LED Local Dimming
Local dimming on the 60LA8600 helps to control contrast and black levels. It isn't the true local dimming seen on other TV, but micro dimming using edge lit LED technology. Because of this, there were some negative side effects in the picture. Luckily, it can be turned off and on as you please so it's easy to test whether you prefer to use it or not. We ended up turning it off most of the time due to some loss of dark shadow detail when using it. The picture characteristics of the LA8600 are excellent though with superb clarity, deep blacks and contrast, good color rendition. The only negative we noted was some jittery picture effects from over-processing, not something the average person will notice.
Passive 3D Performance
Passive 3D technology is found on the 60LA8600. The passive 3D glasses tend to be lighter and more comfortable than their active 3D counterparts. There are no batteries involved, so there is no need to worry about keeping glasses charged. Finally, manufacturers tend to include more passive 3D glasses in the box when you buy the TV. We sometimes see anywhere from 4 to 6 pairs included with some sets. These are great and all, but what about the 3D performance? The overall picture quality with 3D programming does tend to lose a lot of points. Color is the high point of 3D performance in the LA8600 hands down. It is depth, clean lines, and image brightness that aren't really as up to par as they are in an active 3D set.
The 60LA8600 uses LG's smart TV platform that we saw and enjoyed last year. Most of the offerings found on all major manufacturers' smart TV platforms are going to be found here too. Thing like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, MLB.tv, Facebook, and Twitter are now the standard. They offer an extensive array of Apps such as Puzzle Quest, Germs Palace, and the White House. The selection is complete and pretty compatible with other manufacturers. It's very attractively laid out and super easy to control with the Magic Motion Remote Control. There are a number of new interaction features as well for smartphones and tablets. Near Field Communication (NFC), Miracast, and Widi are just a few ways to bring content to the big screen from your mobile device.
Included Magic Wand Remote
The new Magic Wand Remote included with the 60LA8600 has received a number of improvement since last year. In our reviews last year, we had fun with the magic remote and decided it was a handy inclusion. It really sped up navigation in the menus and made using the web browser much more fluid. We are happy to welcome it again with new voice features. The LA8600 magic remote doesn't have the QWERTY keyboard that is present on LG's new Google TVs, but that's okay.
This is the updated look for the Magic Remote accessory. It's got all of the necessary buttons as well as a mic button on the bottom of the 5-way controller for engaging the voice controls
The new voice features include Voice Mate which searches content on live tv and internet on-demand services. The voice recognition system uses natural speech to proform the searches, so you should be able to ask for a certain show or actor without having to issue awkward and very specific commands. From what we have seen, it works much better than voice searches in the past. A recommendation system is built into this as well. This seems to be the way many smart TV platforms are going. Once you make a search the results will show you content similar to what you are looking for. This could be a nice feature for finding new TV shows and movies in landscape where there is way too much to begin to sort through yourself.
Built-in Retractable Camera
The top tier LG models in the LCD/LED line up feature built-in camera on the top of the screen. They are retractable, so they can be hidden when not in use. The TV does not feature gesture controls like some of the top tier Samsung models. It's main use will be for video conferencing, but it will also enhance the interactivity with some apps. The possibilities with a feature are far reaching and nice to have, even if not used a lot.
Cinema Screen Appearance
The Cinema Screen design present on the 60LA8600 is impressive to look at and will enhance any room it happens to be placed in. The brushed stainless steel silver bezel is as close to non-existent as it can get. LG has dubbed the redesigned branch stand the “Magic Stand.” It works with the bezel to create a borderless image that seems as if it were floating in air. The stand also allows the TV some swivel room with rollers for slight adjustments. This has the potential to be quite the useful feature depending on viewing habits and the room the TV is placed in. The profile is very thin too, typical for top end LCD/LED TVs.
|Jack Burden has been reviewing and writing reviews in the consumer electronics category for 7 years with CEAG. He considers grayscale gradation, film patterned retarders, and focus field drives to be fun topics. Read more about Jack|