First Look: LG 8K NanoCell SM99 75 Inch TV

Posted: 30 August 2019 8:00 am
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LG 8K TV

LG's new 8K TV can be yours -- if you've got $11,849 to spare.

At a media launch in Sydney yesterday, I had the chance to go eyes on -- if not exactly hands-on -- with LG's first 8K consumer TV. Strictly speaking, it's the LG 8K NanoCell 75SM9900PTA.AAU, but for the purposes of sanity I'm going to refer to it as the LG 8K NanoCell TV from now on.

Now, this wasn't a formal review process; I couldn't bring my own content material to test out on the LG 8K NanoCell TV, or my own devices to plug into it.

These are very much first look observations on what LG's flagship TV for 2019 is capable of -- and where I think it could use some fine tuning.

Upsides

  • 8K content is gorgeous: I can't do the quality of 8K content presentation on the LG 8K NanoCell TV any kind of justice with a still photo. Or for that matter with any kind of video I could easily shoot under the circumstances. Suffice it to say that detail was rich, while colour popped without appearing massively unnatural.
  • Plenty of smarts behind the screen: There's an issue with 8K content, of course. Because there isn't any. LG did show off some images that were less than 8K for the purposes of showing detail, and from the very limited amount I was able to observe, it's doing the right thing when it comes to pushing images up from lower quality sources. Those smarts should also extend to other LG TV features, such as integrated Google Assistant, Alexa and Apple Homekit compatibility, as well as the general ease of use of LG's WebOS-based TV interface.

LG 8K TV

Downsides

  • It only comes in big: The LG 8K NanoCell TV that you'll be able to buy here in Australia will ship in a 75 inch size. That keeps the cost a little lower than the equivalents from Samsung or Sony, but it's still not exactly small. Sure, you can go quite a bit closer to an 8K panel without seeing the pixels, but you'll still need plenty of space to fit one into your living room, especially if you're an apartment dweller.
  • Don't expect 8K content any time soon: Australia's pretty likely to be one of the last markets where 8K becomes widespread. There's really no proper content available yet, and the bandwidth needs of 8K mean that a standard NBN connection would struggle to deliver it even under optimal circumstances.
  • Not all features available at launch: LG was pretty open about this, which was nice, but it's still surprising that not every feature that you'd find on a current LG OLED or LED TV will be available on the LG 8K NanoCell TV. If you're a fan of voice assistants on TVs, you'll have to wait until October 2019 before Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit land on the LG 8K NanoCell TV.
  • Stand feels ordinary: Not an issue if you're wall mounting, but next to the gorgeous panel, LG's design for the LG 8K NanoCell TV feels a little basic. I suspect if you're dropping the asking price for the LG 8K NanoCell TV, you're probably going to want to show it off, and the stand doesn't feel in any way special.
  • You almost certainly can't afford it: 8K is the new premium play for every TV manufacturer, and that means that it's priced and marketed towards the 1%. LG's pricing is lower than those we've seen from its rivals, but still, $11,849 is a lot to spend on a telly.

The LG LG 8K NanoCell 75SM9900PTA.AAU will be available from "selected retailers" in Australia with a suggested price of $11,849. We'd suggest you haggle.

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