LG 65LA9700 4k TV Review: 8 Million Pixels and Drop-Down Speakers
The LG 65LA9700 packs an enormous amount of entertainment power into a moderately sized package that will leave you mostly satisfied with your purchase. Featuring 4K Ultra HD visual specs that give you a 3,840-by-2,160 pixel 4k resolution which packs 8.3 million pixels into its 65 inch screen, the LG65LA9700 is quite stunning in its display. Furthermore, in keeping with a philosophy that speakers should be heard and not seen, this TV also has the unique feature of drop down, motorized speakers which you can show or hide in a moment’s notice.
There’s plenty that’s good about the LA9700 series of TVs. The one we’re reviewing here is the 65 inch model but both its 55 and 84 inch variants share pretty much the same features.
For starters, there’s the retractable speaker system as already mentioned above, while more of a novelty feature, it does create an aesthetically pleasing and useful effect when used. Going beyond that, the LA9700’s full LED backlight array ensures truly superb brilliance and color contrast.
Other goodies that come with the LA9700 include a motion remote, Smart TV capacity and several picture pre-sets (Game, Vivid, Standard, Cinema and Eco). Additionally, this beauty from LG doesn’t cost as much as many other 4K competitors of the same size, it retails for less than $3000 dollars.
At 97.5 pounds, the LA9700 is a heavy gadget, so be careful to get a very sturdy mounting bracket if you want it to hang from your wall. Also, The full LED backlight array can sometimes suffer from minor backlight blooming problems and the motion control features that work with the remote control can often be clumsy and inaccurate. Furthermore, in terms of viewing quality for most of the content you’ll be enjoying on TV and video, the LA9700’s 4K capacity doesn’t really add up to a noticeably different picture resolution from that which you’d get with a much cheaper 1080p HD TV, which costs a whole lot less.
This is an absolutely great 4K TV in terms of design, features, visual specs and sound quality but if you just want to enjoy mostly regular HD content, go for an 1080p HD platform and save a bundle.
LG 65LA9700 Specs
• Weight: 97.5 pounds
• Dimensions: 35.9” x 57.1” x 1.6 (12.8” including the stand width)”
• Screen size: 65 inches, measured diagonally
• Smart TV: Yes
• 3D Capable: Yes, Passive 3D
• 3D Glasses: 2 pairs included
• Refresh Rate: 240Hz refresh
• Screen Lighting: full LED backlight array with Full Micro Pixel Control
• Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixeles UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and an Ethernet port
• Remotes: one gesture powered “air mouse” Magic Remote
• Connectivity Ports: 3 HDM1 ports (1 MHL compatible), 1 component, 1 composite, 1 Ethernet, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.0 port, optical audio output, RS-232C port for connecting screen to external control system
• Speakers: powerful motorized retractable 4.1 channel 50W speakers, with subwoofer
As the flagship 4K TV of LG, this is obviously one beautiful piece of hardware. The LA9700 isn’t exactly a “slim” TV but its design is nonetheless graceful and stylishly elegant. The giant screen panel is framed by a sleek 0.3 inch shiny black trim that gives the TV a bezel free appearance and an aluminum finish runs along the outer edge of the TV and down over the well-designed stand. As we’ve already mentioned, the speakers are motorized and automatically extend when the TV is activated and re-conceal themselves when it’s turned off, but what needs to also be notes is the fact that they give up some truly excellent sound quality with a perfectly decent simulated surround sound system included.
Moving beyond visual features, some of the other highlights of the LA9700 include its “Magic Remote”, which gives you the ability to control your TV via hand gestures. The remote includes a scroll wheel, directional keys, volume controls, 3D control keys and Smart TV function controls.
Smart TV also comes with this model and offers you a wide menu of web applications such as streaming Netflix video, Hulu, YouTube and all the usual social media platforms. Additionally, you can use the built-in web connectivity to download numerous paid or free apps via LG’s Smart Worlds Portal or upload your personal content to the web via the LD Cloud Service.
As already mentioned, the LA9700 has LG’s own NANO full LED backlight array under its 8.3 million pixel 3,840 x 2,160 UHD screen. What LG has also added is something they call Micro Pixel Control, which means that all those behind the screen LEDs are arrayed into hundreds of blocks that can individually brighten or dim selectively for the deepest possible darkness or brightness of colors in your video or gaming content. Additionally, the manufacturer uses a 4 step process to scale up the detail and quality of picture through their Tru-ULTRA HD Engine for maximal resolution. In practical terms however, this still creates a 4K image quality that is somewhat lacking behind what competitors such as Sharp, Philips or Samsung have managed to create with their 4K TVs.
In keeping with LG tradition for its other HDTVs, the LA9700 has been equipped with a highly detailed array of adjustable picture settings. First you have your basic menu of image presets which consist of Vivid, Standard, Eco, Cinema and Game, and then you can also fine tune even further with settings for Backlight, Contrast, Sharpness, Resolution, Details, Color Gamut, Gamma and Tint. There are even controls for luminance, saturation and Gamma if you feel like doing some very deep personalized adjustments to the screen’s visual qualities.
The web connectivity that comes with the LA9700 is pretty damn comprehensive and we’ve already mentioned the boatload of apps and cloud services that you can access through your TVs interface. Additional wireless connection benefits include Miracast and WiDi for the ability to wirelessly connect all of your mobile devices and other computers to your L9700 and of course there is also standard WiFi capacity built into the set.
Other connectivity features include three HMDI inputs (which should by now be HDMI 2.0 compliant) and three USB slots, one of which is designed for USB 3.0. Of course, the TV also gives you an optical digital audio output, composite & component adaptors, and also the somewhat unique feature of an RS-232c port, which you can use to connect the LA9700 to a third party home theater management platform.
The price of the LG 65LA9700 is about on par with the prices of other name brand 65 inch 4K ultra HD TVs on the market. At just under $4000 dollars ($3,999 at most online retailers), the LA9700 has a cost that’s comparable to competitor platforms such as the Samsung UN65F9000 and Sony KD-65X9005B.
Quite honestly, this is a very solid 4k TV from the people at LG and it compares pretty favorably to its competitors in terms of specs.
However, it does have a few aspects that could have done with improvement. For one thing, the lack of an external one connection box that houses all of the connectivity ports is a detriment against what both Sony and Samsung in particular with its One Connect box offer. This deficiency makes upgrading the connection ports down the road impractical and also causes TV setup to be clumsier than what’s available with the ease of an external box.
Furthermore, Unlike most Samsung 4K TVs, the LG LA7900 series doesn’t come with an Evolution Kit package that guarantees software and hardware updates for several years down the road. This alone is a major reason to forsake the LG model in favor of what Samsung offers.
Additionally, there are some minor issues with backlight blooming and the lack of extra HDMI ports. And finally, the bottom line that applies to pretty much all high end and highly expensive 4K TVs applies here too: If you’re just looking for great HDTV entertainment options and don’t care about still scarce 4K content, then get yourself an even bigger than 65” 1080p HD TV and save several thousand dollars on your home theater budget.
• Awesome 4K/UHD picture quality
• Renders regular HD superbly
• Motion rendering is smooth at 240 Hz
• Full wireless and cable connectivity
• Sleek elegant screen design
• Retractable speakers with very good 50W audio quality
• Crammed with interactive features
• Comes with Smart TV and 3D viewing
• No real difference between 4k and 1080p/HD for normal content viewing
• 4000 is a lot to spend for enjoying still scarce 4K content
• Lacks an external connectivity box
• Hardware/software upgrade features are lacking
• Problems with backlight bloom
• 4K TVs keep getting cheaper, wait a while
• Only 3 HMDI ports