Hands on: LG 84LM960V review

LG's 4K TV will go on sale later in 2012, how will you send it 4K content?

It's not often that you find yourself standing with your head around six inches away from an 84-inch TV.

But then it's not every day that you find yourself faced with LG's 84LM960V.

The thing is, as well as being unfeasibly massive for an LED-lit TV, the LG 84LM960V on show at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is one of the first TVs around with a native Ultra HD (3840x2160) pixel count, taking HD to the next level of clarity and detail.

And the impact of this extra resolution - which even has the power to astound on screens as small as 20-inch - is likely to be prodigious on a screen as massive as 84-inches across.

Hence the head-to-screen situation mentioned earlier. For no matter how close you get to the 84LM960V, the extreme density of its pixel structure makes it almost impossible to discern any visible pixellation in the image.

LG 4k

Instead you get a near flawlessly smooth image which, given the screen's 84-inch size, is the closest match any TV has yet delivered to a commercial cinema screen experience.

Intriguingly, the 84LM960V's 4k resolution is joined by LG's passive 3D technology, meaning that for the first time you can combine the crosstalk- and flicker-free benefits of passive tech with a genuine full HD-to-each-eye 3D resolution.

And the results are impressive, as the 3D images are portrayed without the minor horizontal line structure issues noted on previous large (55-inch), non-4K passive 3D TVs.

The 84LM960V's CES demo also revealed images that were startlingly bright considering the TV uses edge LED lighting over Direct LED to illuminate its vast acreage of screen, and its colours were bold and believable.

4K tv

Motion looked impressively crisp and clean too, and the source images (a collection of curious martial arts footage and some classic Korean 'happy girls' nonsense) looked detailed and textured - or perhaps 'dense' would be a better word.

Good though the pictures looked, they didn't look truly 4K in the same way sometimes seen with other 4K demos. And there's a good reason for this, namely that the two 84LM960V wasn't actually showing 4K!

Using - not unreasonably - the excuse that there's currently no simple way to get a 4K video source into an HDMI-based TV, LG instead was showing full HD source material upscaled to the screen's 4k pixel count.

LG 4k

This upscaling worked fairly if not spectacularly well - at least well enough to show some of the benefits of using a 4K resolution on such a large screen, and to have us seriously looking forward to the TV launching in the latter part of 2012.

While the 84LM960V certainly gave a promising account of itself, though, it's impossible not to think that it could have caused much more of a stir had LG got some true 4K TV content playing on it. Oh well. Maybe next time...

John Archer
AV Technology Contributor

John has been writing about home entertainment technology for more than two decades - an especially impressive feat considering he still claims to only be 35 years old (yeah, right). In that time he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of TVs, projectors and speakers, and spent frankly far too long sitting by himself in a dark room.