LG 79UB9800 Review
79 inch Passive 3D Smart 4K LED TV
by Jack Burden, Reviewer
The 79UB9800 marks the 3rd generation of LG's premium 4K LED TVs. A few key upgrades from previous 4Ks from LG include 4 HDMI 2.0 inputs, IPS panels for increased brightness and better side angle viewing, and Ultra Clarity for even better motion blur reduction. The 79 inch screen size is on the large end of the TV spectrum, so it carries a premium price of $8,000 at launch. As typical of LG, the built-in audio quality is just about as good as it gets without a home theater system. HD to 4K upscaling is another high point since native 4K content is not widespread yet. The LG 79UB9800 offers all of the top of the line features in the 4K lineup for 2014.
Tru-Ultra HD Engine Pro
The Tru-Ultra HD Engine is in chage of upscaling duties on the 79UB9800. Since the selection of 4K content is still sparse (but we are getting closer), the upconversion quality of 1080p and 720p content is very important. LG hasn't created a content distribution system like Sony has, so it is even more important for this to be excellent. The UB9800 uses a 4 step process to examine and enhance broadcasts, recorded video, and home video game consoles. The result is a sharp and clear picture on a 4K screen. The included HVEC is another plus for efficient streaming for the best picture possible.
Passive 3D Performance
LG's always uses passive 3D technology, and we like what we see. The best part is the glasses tend to be lighter, more comfortable, and much cheaper for extras. There are no batteries involved and more glasses are included in the box. The picture displays a great amount of depth, rich colors, and good contrast from front and center. Brightness and side angle viewing are where the UB9800 looses some points when it comes to 3D content. The overall image seems a little dim and lacks the brilliance seen in 2D content. Side angle viewing is saved by the IPS panel. We see some loss of contrast as you move off-center, but color degradation is minimal.
Dual View is the 3D feature that allows two different images to play simultaneously on the screen. Special passive 3D glasses allow viewers to choose which image they want to see. This is great for split screen multiplayer gaming or letting the kids watch cartoons while the game is on. The AG-F400DP Glasses are required for this feature to work.
Smart TV Features - Powered by WebOS
LG has really switched things up this year when it comes to their Smart TV platform. Needed improvement in Smart TV functionality has arrived with the new 2014 LG TVs. The new WebOS operating system for Smart TV function is very fast in load time and selection. The design and layout is simple and much more straight forward than in the past.
Simple is the name of the game here. Instead of a home screen with tons of buttons, you get a nice colored strip across the bottom of the screen populated with your favorite apps and the LG store. What you are currently viewing stays on the screen. Click the left arrow on the screen to see your open apps and the right arrow to show all the app downloaded to your TV. We were impressed with the speed of switching between apps. It was insatant. Last year a big complaint of ours was the poor streaming ability of LG's Smart TV platform. That's not the case this year thanks to the complete overhaul of the entire platform. This means the buffering times of streaming 2D and 3D content are greatly reduced. Overall, the move to a WebOS based system was a good move on LG's part.
Finger Gesture is a new feature using the optinal camera. It is limited in use and operation to juts a few functions. A small arched menu appears on the screen when you access it with your finger. You can control volume, On/Off function, or input selection but that's it. It just really allows volume adjustment without the remote for all practical purposes. LG hopes to add more functionality to it later. It works reasonably well, but again, you probably won't use it much.
Included Magic Wand Remote
This is the updated look for the Magic Remote accessory. It's got all of the necessary buttons (even an Input button) and a mic button for engaging the voice controls
The new Magic Wand Remote included with the 79UB9800 has seen a number of improvement since last year. In our reviews last year, we thought the magic remote was a handy inclusion that really helped navigation in the menus and in the web browser. We are happy to welcome it again with new voice features.
Design and Appearance
The 79UB9800 adopts the wide stand design that we have seen so much of over the past year. It is a sleek and minimalistic look, but those who don't have wide TV stands cannot accomodate the width. Wall mounting is then neccessary. The Cinema Screen design provides very thin black bezels and a super slim profile. The screen looks like it is floating above the front facing speakers with the 2-tiered design.
Since the 79UB9800 features some of LG's most advanced picture quality technology and the impressive front facing speaker system, you are going to pay a premium. At $8,000 it is priced competitively with similar models from Samsung and Sony. The Samsung UN75HU8550 also offers strong picture quality and a robust Smart TV platform at $500 less, but 4 inches of screen space and the excellent speakers are lost.
Dimensions and Design
- TV without stand (WxHxD): 73.8" x 39.9" x 3.4"
- TV with stand: 73.8" x 42.3" x 13"
- TV without stand weight: 125.7 lbs
- TV with stand weight: 132.3 lbs
- 78.5" diagonal screen measurement
- Dual Core Processor
- Tru-ULTRA HD Engine Pro
- Just Scan (1:1 Pixel Matching) 0% Overscan (HDMI/Component/RF)
- 9 Picture Modes
- 90 Watt 5.2 channel front facing speaker system
- 4 HDMI 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0
|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|