This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of WiFi HiFi Magazine.
When you think about your ideal video viewing experience, what does it entail? Are you in a movie theatre with a bag of popcorn in one hand, large soda in another, and your sweetheart by your side? That's certainly appealing, but more so these days, we're relishing the choice to stay in. Who doesn't love, after all, to lounge on the couch in sweatpants with a glass of wine, homemade chips and dip, and your favourite series, sporting event, or the latest action flick, lighting up a great display?
I know I do. And with a growing number of streaming series on my must watch list (I swear, I'll get around to them all!), I jumped at the opportunity to enjoy a personalized experience with the LG Signature OLED TV W7. What better way, after all, to catch up on the second season of Master of None on Netflix, then on one of the most anticipated displays for 2017? So I ventured out to the company's head office in Vaughan, ON.
I, like many, first saw this gorgeous display at CES. But you can't truly get the feel for a TV while trying to push your way through a crowd of people, or even staring at it in a demo room or on an ultra-bright retail floor. Seeing the display in a darkened room, complete with comfortable seating and a nice spread of snacks - just as I'd be watching at home - elevated the experience to another level.
The Signature OLED TV W7 comes in a 65" size (which I experienced), as well as a massive 77-incher, for $11,000 and $30,000, respectively. The accompanying 4.2, 60-watt soundbar is Atmos-enabled, providing an immersive 360-degree audio experience you wouldn't expect from a seemingly simple soundbar sitting beneath the display. It's a great source for listening to music as well, since the soundbar can play back Hi-Res FLAC files. I listened to Alabama Shakes' Hold On playing from a USB flash drive, and you'd be hard-pressed to believe you were listening to "just" a soundbar.
The TV seamlessly mounts to magnetic brackets on the wall. For my demo purposes, it was mounted on the same transparent stand it will be presented to customers on once it officially arrives in stores. At a mere 3.85mm thin, it's almost like you're mounting a beautiful sheet of matte paper to the wall, not a TV. The thin design is accomplished by housing the electronics and connector in a base that connects to the panel via a two-foot ribbon cable (there's also a six-foot extension in the box.)
Kicking my feet up, I enjoyed watching video from a number of sources, including the demo gallery, a PlayStation 4 console, and the Amazon Prime Video and Netflix streaming services. From Master of None's first episode of the second season, which is entirely in black and white, to the vivid colours of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and the dark and menacing scenes in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - all in 4K, and using Active HDR with Dolby Vision, which supports all formats of HDR content, as well as HDR Effect to improve non-HDR content - it was a mesmerizing experience. When Batman fell to the floor at the hands of Superman, the contrast between his dark costume and glowing, angry eye made the scene all the more compelling. And seeing the sights of Italy in the second episode of Master of None (season 2) in all their architectural glory made me want to visit the country even more than ever.
While I'm not a gamer, I enjoyed trying out Horizon Zero Dawn, mastered in HDR 10, on the PlayStation 4. As the young girl explored a dark cave, the shots of sunlight beaming from above, it provided a sense of depth and realness, while the webs that littered the rocks were shown with such incredible detail, I felt a tingle down my back, worried a spider might appear at any moment.
The webOS 3.5 platform is blazingly fast, and TV lovers like myself will appreciate hotkeys on the Magic Remote for direct access to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Press and hold "0" to pull up nine presets, which you can populate with favourite channels or applications. Live Zoom and Focus Zoom will be appreciated by die-hard sports fans who want to double check every play and referee call for themselves. Virtual reality (VR) content will also be able to interface with the remote.
The LG Signature OLED TV W7 is available through eight Best Buy stores, including Brampton, ON, Heartland Centre in Mississauga, ON, Edmonton West, and Cambie St. In Vancouver, and will be sold through additional dealers prior to the back-to-school season.
Let's be real: this display is no small investment. But to have your friends and family drooling while they watch movies or binge shows on this display in your living or theatre room, not to mention provide a stylish, artistic backdrop for dinner parties, it's a pretty tempting proposition.
Now excuse me as I sit back and indulge in the next episode...