Monday, June 24, 2013

Dad's Review - LG 42LA6130 Cinema 3D TV

Our entertainment room is under construction and hopefully it will be completed in less than 2 weeks. Being a Dad, this room falls under my responsibility hence from paint color to lighting, my decision outweighs those of the wife, if I may say so, lol.

While scanning for an appropriate flat screen for our entertainment room in our favorite SM Appliance Center, our attention was caught by Samsung smart TV with motion sensor. By waving your hands you can perform several functions like the O plus smartphone. However, according to the sales staff, this function is only available in larger screen which is way beyond my budget. What the smaller Smart TV mainly offers is the WIFI function; it also acts like an ordinary PC monitor minus the mouse and keyboard. I just can't imagine how difficult it would be to use the remote control as mouse and keyboard. I remember the Emirates Airlines video controller which has a built-in mouse function, it was an arduous task just to move the pointer or cursor to your desired location. Due to these reasons, we opted for an affordable 3D TV.

A Samsung sales staff offers their model with active 3D glass. It was definitely a no-no for us mainly due to bulky and heavier 3D glass which requires battery to operate. Not to mention that we need to purchase expensive active 3D glass for each member of the family.

Unboxing the LG Cinema 3D TV

Next on our list is the LG 42LA6130 (passive 3D) on display and on-sale. The LG sales staff knowing that he was facing a technical and inquisitive Dad made a different approach to make a sale. Presently, a 42 inch full HD LCD TV with LED back light and 3D function that requires a simple but comfy passive 3D glass costing 39,990 pesos is obviously not only eye-catching but attention grabber as well. Due to attractive price, the sales staff was able to convince me, my wife and youngest kid to test the demo 3D TV. As usual, he played the demo video and naturally any Dad would be impressed by the realistic 3D demo video that made the image seemed coming out from the screen; I tried to control myself from deflecting the image that looked so real and near.

I asked him to play a normal movie and apply the 3D function. He complied and inserted a USB drive with Avatar movie in MP4 format. The movie was quite crisp and clear when viewed on 2D. Upon enabling the 3D function I was amazed to note the depth introduced to the film while maintaining its digital clarity. I was caught unprepared for this kind of TV technology leaving me breathless while watching the movie for few minutes. I can't believe that I can enjoy this technology inside the comfort of my home.

4 + 4 3D glasses
The sales guy added that the discounted price would last until end of June only. The original price of this TV was around 44,000 pesos, if I remember it correctly. Definitely this guy knew his trade but as a Dad I still have some aces on my sleeve, I can bring home the TV for 12 months installment with zero percent interest. Yes, by using my BPI credit card, I just need to pay 3,332 pesos per month for one year. Aside from that, I can also avail BPI's buy now pay later promo which means that I would start paying for this TV after 60 days. Whoa! What more can a Dad asks for especially when he is running low on funds due to construction of his entertainment room. By the way, aside from the usual 4 pieces 3D glasses, the sales staff added another 4 pieces 3D glasses and wall mount frame for free. The unit comes with a 2 year warranty for labor, parts and panel. This unit is also built with a thick panel protection unlike the conventional flat screen.

Our new LG 3D TV, at the back is a 32 inch borderless TCL LED TV
Since I would be leaving for work after one week, I brought the entire family the following day to close the deal at SM North Appliance Center through the same sales staff. My kids were super excited after watching the 3D demo video at the showroom. They were disappointed with the same size smart TV due to lack of motion detector. To add, they were not that eager to surf the web using a 42' flat screen unless they would want me and their mom to see or monitor their activities while in a chatroom.

After the deal has been closed, we received a bundle of BPI raffle coupons that would entitle us to join the raffle for Nissan Navarra pick-up. I am crossing my fingers.

After 2 days of testing, I realized that this unit fared poorly when connected to analog inputs such as our Digi-box. Our cable antenna is connected to this Digi-box which has a composite audio/video outputs connected to the 3D TV. My wife complained that our local TV channels on our new LG 42 inch 3D TV were not as clear as on our 32 inch TCL borderless LED TV.

I agreed with her and I noticed that when in motion or during panning the image tends to pixelate before stabilizing. Aside from that, the resolution was not as clear with our 32 inch TCL flat screen as well. Upon checking the specs I learned that this TV has less resolution when viewing analog inputs such as composite audio/video (AV1/AV2). However, when viewing digital inputs such as MP4, DivX or HDMI input like what they have in showroom, you will definitely appreciate its huge screen due to its clear image and higher resolution.

I tried connecting the cable TV antenna direct to my LG 3D TV, the image pixelation disappeared and there was an improvement in video clarity. I can conclude that there was signal loss when Digi-box is connected between the flat screen and cable antenna. Nevertheless, for other digital format cable channels such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Channel the image is fairly acceptable.

Regarding the 3D function, I have watched "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Rorouni Kenshin (Samurai X)" from my 500 GB USB HDD connected to USB input of this flat screen and I can say that the 3D function performed well though I am not sure whether files from 1 TB external USB HDD can be accessed by this TV; my 32" TCL can accessed files up to 500 GB HDD only. Anyhow, I was impressed by the depth of the image while maintaining its digital clarity. Using a passive and comfortable 3D glass was an added treat since I felt I was simply watching a 3D movie in cinema.

I tried the 3D function on cable (analog) channels too. Though the result was not that impressive, I must admit that there was a degree of depth introduced to the screen image albeit having maximum 3D depth setting. However, for cable (digital) channels, the 3D function works well though not as stunning with digital inputs.

To add, I like its classy (flat screen) stand and the "knock screen protection" since I know how fragile an LCD panel is. Dead pixels can occur if the panel has been exposed to accidental pressure or force. So for this model, I can confidently hold the panel and even tap it without fear of damaging it. Hence, it is pretty convenient to mount this borderless flat screen on the wall since I have larger grip area. More so, I won't be hysterical even if my wife cleans this flat screen the same way she cleans the washing machine, lol.

Currently, our new 3D TV is undergoing "burn-in test" in our bedroom. Once our entertainment room at the third floor has been completed, hopefully in coming days, I would transfer this and mount it on the wall. Once transferred, my kids are ready for their own test using their Playstation and other video gadgets. I have noticed also that both antenna and audio/video connections are installed horizontally at the back portion making it pretty difficult to connect the AV cables when this TV is wall-mounted unlike our 32 inch TCL flat screen where all connections were installed vertically downward. Furthermore, if the wall bracket is thin then there is a possibility that the antenna cable will be pressed against the wall.

By the way, I have no qualms regarding the audio or sound reproduction. I can honestly say that this model outperforms my TCL 32 inch LED TV in audio aspect.

More feedback will be added later as we continue using this 3D TV. One thing I noticed when using a brand new LCD TV with LED back light. The image tends to be a bit darker and blotted initially. After some time, the image improves. Just my two cents.

Finally, I would be claiming later a family pan pizza from Pizza Hut after using my BPI credit card to purchase this TV. Another credit card promo that any Dad would surely love. It would be better if the pizza comes with free beers.

02 July 2013

After cable installation for our new entertainment room, the cable TV technicians realized that the signal inside our house was degraded due to poor connectors. After the technicians have replaced the different connectors inside our house there was an improvement on the cable TV signal reception especially after I have mounted this 3D TV inside our entertainment room. Furthermore, the pixelation that occurred when the Digi-box was connected to TV was due to technical problem from the cable company and presently being corrected on their side according to them. Hence, they installed a loop-antenna on our Digi-Box so that when pixelation occurs we would simply revert the TV source from AV1 to antenna mode. In short, that was the reason for the pixelation on our new LG 3D when Digi-box is connected otherwise the image is quite clear and acceptable.

The LG 3D TV is now connected to cable antenna and the image has improved since the first time we used it. Likewise, the wall mount frame is a bit wider thus I could connect the antenna and AV cables conveniently even if the connectors are mounted horizontally.

When my youngest kid played his MP3 collections from his USB thumb drive a screen saver would automatically run after several minutes. More so, he loved to play Kingdom Hearts PlayStation game on 3D.

From my point of view, if you are using a digital source formats such as HDMI and DivX then you will definitely enjoy this flat screen. Whereas if you intend to play analog or composite source then you have to bear with the limitation of this flat screen though I could say that it is actually subjective.

Nevertheless, what more can a Dad asks for if he has a great source of digital format films from the net that can be watched on 3D while the audio is connected to a Yamaha decoder with Mordaunt Short speakers at the comfort of his home with chilled beer at hand.

25 August 2013

During our weekend family day, we spent our day at SM North EDSA. We paid a visit to SM Appliance Center near the food court to check the latest gadgets and appliances on display. We were surprised to observe that this LG model wasn't on display anymore.

05 April 2014

In preparation for the coming Holy Week I purchased a "Mad Drive" since life in the Metro stops during the Lenten Season. Not to mention that regular TV shows are suspended starting Holy Thursday until Easter Sunday. With more than 800 HD films on a single 1 TB HDD the family won't be bored during the entire Holy Week. See my post about this awesome drive: The Mad Drive

Mad Drive connected with my LG 3D flat screen.

My LG Cinema 3D works perfectly with my "Mad Drive." 3D effect is quite superb since all the pre-loaded films are in HD format. Even without 3D effect the HD films look great and play without any lag or delay.

By the way, you might be tempted to consider TCL flat screen due to its attractive price. You may check my post about our TCL dilemma: Planning to buy a TCL flat screen? Think twice!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and Dad's review maybe different from trendy kids' expectations.