Monday, May 26, 2014

65UB9800 vs 65LA9700 (LG UB9800 vs LA9700)

The last year's LA9700 series employs full-aray local dimming backlight, which allows for individual zones to be brightened and darkened within the same frame, thus the contrast is higher and the black level is deeper in comparison to the edge-lit UB9800. IPS panel is what they both use, so the color reproduction and the viewing angles are identical on both. Another important factor for determining the picture quality is the upscaling techniques they utilize. Since there isn't much 4K content currently available, standard or high-definition sources have to be upscaled to the native resolution of two Ultra HD series which is 3840x2160. The LA9700 features the Tru ULTRA HD Engine, while its successor has the Tru ULTRA HD Engine Pro, meaning the UB9800 is less likely to exhibit any visual errors (such as blurring) as a result of the upscaling, thanks to the upgraded super resolution algorithm.

The UB9800 also uses 4K MEMC (Motion Estimation Motion Compensation) processing and therefore gets an Ultra Clarity Index of 1560. Its predecessor relies upon the TruMotion technology, which was originally designed to remove blur and judder from fast motion programming in 1080p sets, so its incorporation in UHD TVs, such as the LA9700, might not yield the best results (depending on the type of content), or at least not as good as the 4K MEMC in the UB9800. Regardless, the most important factor is the panel's native refresh rate, and it's 240Hz on both.

Unlike the last year's series, the UB9800 supports the HDMI 2.0 standard and it can accept 4K @ 60Hz. That said, there are some bandwidth limitations:  the 4:4:4 signal is supported, albeit at 8-bits per color component and it's possible only at HDMI3 port. 10-bit (or 12-bit) YCbCr 4:2:2 (or YCbCr 4:2:0) video signal is also supported only at HDMI3. The LA9700 supports HEVC (albeit only Level 5.0), thus the bitstream is constraint to 25 Mbps, or in other words 3840x2160@32P is the highest frame rate when in 4K resolution, meaning 4K streaming services won't work. On the other hand, the UB9800 has a HEVC decoder that supports up to 60p in 4K, providing you with the ability to steam TV shows and movies in 4K.

The LA9700 has a 4.2 channel sliding speaker system that has total audio power output of 50W. In case of the UB9800 series, the audio performance is model dependent: the 65-Inch has 70W output power and the speaker configuration is 4.2; the 79-Inch has 5.2 speakers rated at 90 Watts. The 84- and the 98-Inch models have 120 Watts of audio power and the speakers are configured in 5.2 channel.

This year's series include the WebOS Smart TV platform, which is a lot more intuitive in comparison to the LA9700 Home Dashboard 3.0 system. The new Launcher is particularly noteworthy, since it allows for switching between broadcast TV, Smart TV applications and media stored on external devices without having to return to the Home screen. For over-the-air broadcasts, there is Live Menu, which can be invoked while watching TV, thus you can access the search, recommendation and channel options. In case of an external equipment being plugged into the TV, the WebOS brings up a pop-up menu consisting of all the relevant options for you to choose from.

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