Tag Archive: Smart TV


After a week-long leave, it feels good to be back doing what you enjoy; which in my case is writing J The week that has gone by was filled with celebration, revelry, emotional connect and exuberance. I returned to Mumbai for a few days and met all the relatives who have been so eager to confirm my existence so that they can bore me to death with their stereotypical opinions and advice.

The first part of the whole thing was quite enjoyable if I am being truthful. When you consider that I spend majority of my time in the Capital due to my professional commitments, my social circle gets limited to office colleagues and it has to have a degree of insanity attached to it. As much as you enjoy this freedom of being independent, home sickness eventually kicks in. There were quite a few new souls I came to know about on this visit of mine. Like the new maid in our household as well as our not so noisy neighbors who have recently moved in. And the whole Diwali to Bhai Dooj was spent in constant shuttling to relative’s houses and social get-togethers.

The other part of the trip was intriguing and to an extent disappointing if seen contextually. The festive season has become a set criterion for adding something new to the household with new vehicles, gold and TV’s topping the list. Now I know as much about cars as a horse would know about an iPad so I’ll leave it at that. And I do not have too much inclination towards jewelry so let’s cut that off from the list as well. But since technology is something close to my heart, TV is where all my opinions came out and quite a few of them were a bit taken aback with my in-depth inputs. I am just going to recap a few instances which I found funny and infuriating at the same time.

Instance 1: My Mamaji (uncle) comes to our house to wish Diwali and bought two wonderful presents. Since my mom had already made everyone aware of my LG LM6700 Cinema 3D TV, he was a little curious of why I would go for LG when I could have gone for a Sony or Samsung. I explained in details the advantages the TV had and that it provided the best of all features which I guess insinuated him as he went on to rumble about how TV purchasing shouldn’t be such an inquisitive process and blatantly advocated in favor of a Sony LCD TV. I kept mum on the outside but my insides were on fire with laughter at all this naivety.

Instance 2: Our own household needed an upgrade as the 29” Samsung CRT has literally been surviving by the skin of its teeth and it was high time for an upgrade. But as it always is with parents, my Dad called up one of his acquaintances for advice. The lanky individual turned up at our place and instead of giving buying advice, he jumped on the opportunity to earn a few extra bucks. He assured my father that no point in spending big on a flat TV as he can get a 32” LCD from either Videocon or Futec (yes there is a company by that name) for next to peanuts. I had to work a lot on clearing all the brainwash and explain him about the existing display technologies. For now, he has decided to conduct some thorough surveys of the latest Smart 3D TV’s and assured me of making the final decision when I visit next so that went well.

 

Instance 3: We went to one of my mum’s friend’s place to wish Diwali and that tied up with them since they had also gone to buy a new TV. Fortunately in this case, her husband was a bit tech-savvy and did understand about the 3D functionality and Smart TV features. He had not made a decision yet but had his heart set on the Samsung 46” ES6800 Smart TV. Never the one to intentionally influence anyone’s buying decision, I showed him the pics of my own LG Smart 3D TV which left him in a bit of a fix. The good thing was that he had some awareness with what TV’s have to offer today which came as a welcome surprise for me.

Now make of it what you will, but the majority of the consumers base is still not enchanted by what a modern age TV has to offer. Instead, it’s the price which is the most influential factor in the purchase. At one end, you can’t blame them for being restrictive but it also highlights the sad fact that TV makers need to have a more cohesive campaign if the market for 3D TV’s and Smart TV’s has to grow in the immediate future.

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I am not the one who believes in doing things the old school way. Any and every little issue, whether it be a little scraping in the wall to any issue in an electrical appliance of mine, I prefer to give it a shot myself rather than straight away calling a mason or technician. Most of the times, it works but sometimes the end result is dreadful. Just ask the landlady about my Diwali lights debacle and you will have a fit of rage on exhibit!

And I have stayed honest to the philosophy when it comes to buying new products. Take for example my new LG LM6700 Cinema 3D TV which has been bought an exact 7 months 22 days and 11 hours ago J The whole TV purchase process was one hell of a rollercoaster ride for me. My slim CRT panel had undergone bypass surgeries I don’t know how many times and the need for change (or to be more specific an upgrade) was apparent. As much as I didn’t want to part with my old generation idiot box, the upgrade had loomed on the horizon and this demise just made it inevitable. The crying shame is that the CRT wasn’t in a condition to be kept anymore and one fine day we parted ways L

Now began the surveying process for the new TV. I had been so crushed with all that had happened during the past few days that my heart wasn’t yet set straight on sorting out this new dilemma of mine. I breezed through quite a few brand showrooms and multi-retailer stores without much of a purpose as I wasn’t yet clear on what I wanted. But with the kind of moolah I was going to spend on a new TV, I needed to get my head around the whole deal. And that is when the real work began as I first understood the three available display technologies namely LCD, LED and Plasma at the time. Since the TV needed to be kept in a brightly lit room, the Plasma was ruled out immediately. And with the dimensions the room had; anything less than 50” would look farcical. And since LCD models in these screen sizes are deceptive as quite a few which claim to be full HD turn out to be HD Ready and as a newbie, that was a risk I wasn’t willing to take so I singled out on going for an LED TV.

I might have been unaware of how TV’s have progressed, but the frequent showroom demos and visits bought me up to speed with it all. TV’s now were not only capable of providing stunning picture quality but also double up as a PC with their Smart TV functionality. Add to the fact the phenomenon of 3D visuals had already caught up with brands with most in the range of newest models were in fact Smart 3D TV. This changed the whole outlook I had and I resurveyed the models I had singled out for their 3D capabilities and Smart TV functions. It was a direct tussle between Sony 46” HX850, Samsung 46” ES6800R and LG 47” LM6700. Now here is when things got tricky as the 3D technology in LG’s TV was different to that of Samsung and Sony’s. That is when I hit a roadblock again to understand all about the Active and Passive 3D technologies. After a check on that, it was clear that passive 3D is the preferred and more comfortable option when viewing 3D for longer time periods so LG had an extra brownie point on that front.

But 3D was not going to be the deciding factor as picture quality and Smart TV functions held equal weightage for me. That also turned out to be engaging as the HX850 turned out a tad bit better on the PQ front but was nowhere near Samsung and LG in terms of its Smart TV dashboard. Plus, the Touchpad Remote and Magic Motion Remote from Samsung and LG respectively were an added plus.

With every important aspect of a new age TV clear to a layman like myself, the only thing left was a thorough comparison and then making a choice. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved some of features in both Sony and Samsung, but LG for me was the consistent performer across all the important parameters which made my choice a wee bit easier. Close to 8 months on, my LM6700 adores the main wall of my living room and I am glad that this purchase was made after proper research and not haphazard selection because that would have been annoying when there is a plethora of informational resources to learn and understand from before shelling the bucks on a TV these days!

Smartphones, tablets and HDTV’s have come a long way in innovative terms. Going one by one, the first feature that anyone would look for in a Smartphone or Tablet is the design, OS version, Camera as well as the touch interface. Similarly for TV’s, one generally goes looking for designs, its Picture Quality as well as other grizzly features. Now there’s no denying that these aspects are truly important, but what every layman misses out on is the understanding of the actual “Smart” features of these devices.

One of the most important USP’s of any Smart Gadget is its connectivity features. While not required all the time, these features really bridge the gap for wireless data transfer. We do remember the good old days of Infrared and Bluetooth for sharing photos and music. That has been replaced by the new age NFC (Near Field Communication) which allows quicker media sharing through a simple tapping of two Smartphones. Even Wi Fi has become commonplace these days, with multiple laptops in a place accessing internet through a single secured wireless router. I remember this kid who used to sit for hours outside my apartment’s stairs every evening engrossed is his Android phone. This peculiar habit caught my attention and on inquiring I got to know that the sneaky fella was using my Wi Fi connection for free downloads..

But the number of connectivity features that have come into use in the space of a few years is the real talking point of this post. Any Smart TV owner having multiple electronic devices at home would be aware of DLNA i.e. Digital Living Network Alliance. This technology is a very convenient interface for sharing data between the various devices you have at home. For example, you can view video clips and pictures as well as listen to music on your phone on the big screen. Or even use your TV to access the movies on your lappy’s hard drive for HD viewing. It also allows you to save and record data you have on your Smartphone directly to your laptop wirelessly like a home cloud network. And the best part is that since DLNA is a universally certified and accepted medium, it can work between DLNA-enabled devices of different brands. Obviously you will need a hi-speed Wi Fi router to enjoy this service but would you really mind spending a little bit extra for so much convenience?

And popular brands like LG and Samsung have taken the feature seriously with the availability of SmartShare and AllShare applications present in their Smart TV’s respectively. This allows seamless data transfer and sharing between the various devices of their brand through Wi Fi routers. I mean I have been using the Wi Di feature in my LG Smart TV for viewing my photos on the big screen for as long as I can remember. Even the MHL (Mobile High Definition) port (although not wireless) in Smart TV’s is a boon for experiencing widescreen mobile gaming.

I have personally seen the glowing advantages of the connectivity options at my disposal and even though not a very important feature in everyone’s mind, it is bound to become indispensable in the years to come.

Yes, unfortunate but true. I enjoyed a stupendous Saturday with the showcase of the OLED 3D TV by LG. This newest in line OLED TV has already has the distinction of being the best product at CES Las Vegas 2012. But Sunday came a bit early for me as this was the final time I went to Messe Berlin. 24 hours later, I am sitting in my office desk wondering “Waqt di fer-palat te vekho, kal Germany te aaj Nai Dilli L”, but if I am being absolutely honest, I enjoyed returning back home after a hectic but fabulous few days in Berlin.

I have already told you guys about the OLED TV as well as the 4K TV’s and my last day was just about introspection of whether I might have missed something I shouldn’t. Most of my time was spent looking at the various Smartphones namely Optimus L9, HTC Desire, the three variants of Experia series and Samsung Note II. But I have been left disappointed about the fact that in spite of making the Optimus G official just days before the IFA Berlin 2012, LG has not displayed it in Messe Berlin. Maybe its part of their strategic marketing to avoid duplication after the recent Apple-Samsung verdict but the fan inside me is still reeling from it. Largely because the technical specs on the device make it one of the most awaited LTE Smartphone in recent times.

But it was not all gloom as I got a glimpse of the LG 3D Video Wall during the wee hours of my visit. Based on the same Cinema 3D technology with IPS panels, the Film Patterned Retarder based screens provide flicker-free passive 3D and the In Plane switching panels allow a wide viewing angle and consistent white distribution to accommodate a large audience. WM70MD 55” LED displays were arranged in a cinema screen design and with the narrowest bezel in the world (5.3 mm), these displays seamlessly reinvent the concept of 3D viewing. Indeed, “And after all, you’re my Wonderwall..” echoed in my entangled brain. Maybe this clip on Youtube will give you a better idea of it.

So to sum it up, the “Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin” was like a goodies bag full of surprises. The unveiling of the LG OLED 3D Smart TV, the mini LG TM 2792 Cinema 3D TV and also the first ascendance of 4K TV’s like the LG UD 3D 84” TV as well as their Sony and Samsung counterparts were the definite highlights of the fair. Even the disappointment of the no show of Optimus G was compensated by the 3D Video Wall. Now all I eagerly await is the tentative release dates of this fabulous 55” OLED TV in India. Till then, I will stick to enjoying true quality and high definition 3D on my LM6700 J

Hello folks, Nisha is back again. My pursuit of technology and 3D TV’s is at its peak at the moment and it has got a lot to do on what will transpire this weekend.

Just two days left to the IFA Tradeshow 2012 in Berlin, Germany and this post is a just a pre-cursor to what I feel I can expect there. The major draw is definitely the all-Korean grudge match between LG and Samsung when they go head to head by unveiling their latest range of 3D TV’s. On one hand, we have Samsung’s 75” Smart 3D LED TV with a bezel as thick as a third of an inch and Dual-core powered 240 Hz panel. Its opponent is the massive LG 84” UD 3D TV with Ultra Definition 3D technology and is the world’s first 4K 3D TV.

I would love to experience both these monsters first hand when I reach Berlin in a couple of days and deary me I can’t wait! Samsung’s Smart TV promises to be an enticing option with its 35 million: 1 dynamic ratio and standard Voice and Touch Recognition. The 240 Hz frame is also a big step up in its active 3D format to bring down the issues of crosstalk and allows the unit to have a better refresh rate to avoid image and color distortion. In comparison, LG’s humongous offering is the first of its kind in the 4K TV market which as per the company will provide “The most immersive viewing experience possible”. Its superlative 8 million pixels per frame is four times the standard resolution of the current full HDTV’s along with Resolution Upscaler to view high quality content through portable media.

The most striking difference between the two however, will be the active and passive 3D technology on which Samsung and LG’s TV’s are based respectively. After my love affair with LG LM6700 Smart TV, I personally feel that LG has the edge. And more so with the Smart TV Dashboard promising up to 1400 apps and 3D world features for abundance of 3D content. The finish on both the sets is top notch but await my final verdict after return!

The other two things I eagerly await to see as the LG stall is a sneak peak of the LG Optimus G Smartphone which will have a Quad Core 1.5 GHz processor with 2GB RAM and sports a neat 13 MP Camera. In other words, the most high-end Smartphone one would be able to lay his/her hands on. The second one is the unveiling of their premium IPS monitors which has enabled the LG Cinema 3D range built with LED technology to have the most vivid visuals, wide viewing angles and color wash next to zilch.

That’s all the time I have for now as the check-in process for flight boarding has already started. (Yes, I am at the airport while I write this!) Till then, stay updated and do try and catch a glimpse of IFA 2012 if possible. Hasta luego fellas !!

Be it a layman consumer or an experienced head, the ever increasing options in brand names and technologies has made it impossible for us to make a cohesive choice when purchasing a new TV. And the biggest challenge is to comprehend the product features in accordance to the price at which it comes. The fact is that there are simply too many questions in mind that you ultimately end up getting swayed by brand popularity and end up purchasing a TV which might be technologically inferior. Let me address a few of the questions that generally pop up during this process –

1)      LCD, LED or Plasma: This question is one for the enthusiasts. Experts consider Plasma as the best performer as the color output and dark levels are much superior to LCD’s and LED’s. Even though it’s relevant in comparison to the older models, the new generation of LED’s with advanced panels (IPS and S-VA) are capable of producing brighter, more vivid pictures with equally comparable blacks. Now the concern that comes is whether display technology is a major thing to ponder over then I would say yes. LCD is the standard that has replaced a traditional CRT in Indian households (at least most of them). LED was the next step with panels being lit with LED’s rather than fluorescent tubes and majority of LED’s now are edge lit. The thing that needs to be understood is that step up to an LCD is a basic upgrade, to a Plasma is enhanced picture quality while an LED achieves a strong balance between looks and visual output.

2) Picture Quality: This is the single most important factor that needs to be tested before you narrow your options. There is no so called best TV in that regard. My advice would be first have a mental picture of the TV set up in your place and then check for screen gloss, color output and black levels, frame rate and input lag while gaming through a console.

3) HD or 3D? : Another dilemma you may encounter while looking for a TV is its 3D-capability. Naysayers will have you believe that 3D is nothing more than an expensive gimmick while neutrals may have the view of 3D being a good add-on feature. Now my opinion on 3D is that it is in fact an extra layer of cream which enhances your viewing experience. Moreover with an increased focus on ultra HD and 3D content these days, it can be said to be a future-proof investment when purchasing your TV. However, the most important part is that most 3D TV’s are in fact full HD. So would you like the extra cream with your coffee?!

 

 

4) Active vs. Passive 3D? : This is another one of those never-ending debates that refuses to cease and desist. What is the benefit and flaws of either one of them? Well in simple terms, active 3D works on analogue camera shutter mechanism and requires its battery-powered 3D glasses to do the tedious 3D generation work. Passive 3D on the other hand has a thin film attached to its screen and lets your brain configure the 3D for you. The two major issues of flicker and crosstalk (image ghosting) are absent in passive 3D systems which makes for easier viewing. Another misconception about passive 3D is that it is not full HD. Do check the views of HDTVTest to get a more clear idea on this.

5) Idiot Box or Smart TV? : Now this is one factor which is entirely dependent on personal preference. If one simply views TV as just that then a basic HDTV should suffice. But with the various connectivity options like Wi-Fi, WiDi, DLNA and Smart Share at disposal, a Smart TV is now very close to becoming a centralized display and operation hub for almost all the smaller gadgets you might possess. So whether it’s a smart network through a single interface or the current use of smart gadgets is entirely your call. A cheaper alternative (barring the connectivity options) for making your basic TV Smart would be going for a Smart TV Box.

6) Price and After Sales service: Last but not the least is the price factor. With the expansion of consumerism in India, the pattern of product purchases have become very conscious and cautious at the same time. The only feasible suggestion is to put some time and effort to understand the best deals available in your area as well as scour through forum and review sections to get a fair idea of a particular brand’s after sales service and customer grievance solution time.

For some, upgrading electronics like TV might be a piece of cake but for most of us it is a long-term investment. One needs to try and understand what he realistically expects out of his TV and then only proceed with the buying process.

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