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Customer Review

195 of 209 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good TV, Bad Support from LG, June 7, 2014
This review is from: LG Electronics 49UB8500 49-Inch 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV (2014 Model) (Electronics)
I got this TV 5 hours ago from BestBuy for slightly less than offered on Amazon. I've spent every minute since trying to adjust settings and get the Netflix App to work. Here are the highlights of my experience thus far:

LG Picture defaults are not good. This is one of the many reasons why their TVs appear to have poorer quality when displayed next to Sony and Samsung models in stores. I was well aware of this as this is not my first LG TV. This would mean you have to spend some amount of time getting things to where you like them. In my case that would be switching to Expert1 settings and lowering the saturation down (the reds are far too saturated in all default modes, which reduces local contrast in my opinion). I also like to turn down or completely off TruMotion, but I know others prefer it especially if spending a lot of time watching sports. The two other TruMotion modes they have are "smoothness preferred" and "clarity preferred" (this is one was default). TruMotion is what's responsible for the "soap opera" appearance of movies. This has improved greatly since it was originally introduced, but I think it actually causes some digital lag in certain scenes. Don't quote me on this it's my personal, and unfounded on any evidence, opinion.

HD to 4K conversion is adequate. I did not notice anything apparently wrong here, but I'm sure as I spend more time watching I would have a more to say.

The 2D to 3D conversion is actually rather good. I tested by watching tennis, hockey, soccer, and a movie. Of course, the quality is far from something that is natively shot in 3D, but at least you have the option. (A side comment - LG uses Passive 3D, which the interpolates each horizontal line presenting one for you left and one for your right eye thereby reducing the overall resolution available by 1/2. This, however, on a 4K TV means you're only stepping down to HD, 1080 rather than the 2160 available with 4K*).

3D - as available in LG's free content (native 3D). It's being streamed to the TV and yet quality was absolutely stunning. My wife and I spent 40 minutes watching a documentary on a moss garden in Korean to simply enjoy the picture. She claims that the Samsung's active 3D is better, but then I don't find this feature significant enough to justify the 25-30% price jump. Also, passive 3D means cheaper, much cheaper 3D glasses that require no batteries or charging (I'm actually pretty sure it will work with regular cinema quality 3D glasses).

The Magic Remote is actually very practical. You can image after the amount of hours I've spend adjusting sound and picture quality, as mentioned above, my hand would be tired, but it's not as bad. It's very intuitive. The scrolling and joystick options are still available if preferred, but motioning with the remote is easy and accurate. You don't find yourself hunting around the desired option as I would have imagined prior to using it. I'm not sure if that's the best way to input text, however, although the onscreen keyboard displayed is QWERTY and not like in previous LG models.

WebOS is implemented well, BUT...you must upgrade your firmware in order to run the Netflix app**. It will not run out of the box. I spent over an hour with LG support on the phone (they're utterly useless) only to have them recommend that I return the unit back to Best Buy. While talking to them I ran the upgrade (I should have probably done that prior to calling), which then allowed me to finally upgrade the Netflix app and run it. The errors I was seeing originally were "Netflix coming soon..." and "406". I had no issues with any of the other applications. YouTube, AmazonPrime, the web browser and others ran fine with the original firmware version.

This is probably the cheapest ALL BOXES CHECKED TV out there as of May '14. As such it will be a bit of a compromise. It will not have the greatest picture, it will not have the best sound, its software will need updating before you get it to work 100%. All this said, I do like this TV as it bridges the gap between the $1k smart TVs and the $2K+ UltraHD TVs. It fits the budget of more buyers and it will contribute to commoditizing 4K content.

* This is an oversimplified view of 3D, passive 3D and 4K. I'm unaware of the actual algorithms applied to the picture, but after reading a fair amount of material on the subject this is how I explain it to myself.
** My TV's original software version was 3.13.19 and WebOS 1.1.0-6119. After the first an only upgrade I've done it's running software ver. 3.13.26 and WebOS ver. 1.1.0-6126
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 9, 2014 7:48:29 PM PDT
KDJDav says:
Before reading this review I had the same frustrating experience with you regarding the Netflix app, I don't like to leave comments too often but I owe you a huge THANK YOU! I spent at least an hour or two talking to LG and Netflix to determine why I wasn't able to open the app and they were both just blaming each other. I came here to see if anyone had posted about this odd issue considering the 4k streaming was a huge deal for me, and I am so glad you did. Again, I'll wrap this up quickly, THANK YOU as a simple update resolved the issue!

Posted on Jul 5, 2014 1:33:10 PM PDT
I just purchased on the 25th of June and have had mine in hand for only 4 days but overall I am impressed with the quality of the product itself. I have to agree with you that tech support from LG is possibly the worst in the world. I had the same situation with the Netflix app and the response was that they would report it to their firmware people and send me an email when it was fixed. (Also that it was a Netflix issue) So they obviously don't keep a record of problems and resolutions since this is a month later and they didn't even ask me to check my software\firmware level. Right after the call I was prompted to update my firmware and like you the firmware fixed the issue.
One problem I have that hopefully you can help me with is my 3D. It sucks. I have all kinds of ghosting and clarity issues. I have jiggled all the 3D settings I can and although reduced I still have many issues. I haven't tried the LG Store 3D that I presume you are talking about but I have tried Netflix and my library of 3D Blue Rays. It's sad when I get a headache watching Avatar, which is still in my humble opinion the best 3D movie available. My older 47 inch LG 3D TV doesn't have this problem.
So if you are following the thread from your review and seem to have figured out how to fix this please let me know what your settings are so I can try them.

Posted on Oct 26, 2014 9:34:02 AM PDT
Crazybird says:
I'm looking at the same LG Tv to buy and have come across this website: www.hdtvtest.co.uk They test TV's and give reports of their findings (a bit like 'Which' I guess). It appears that after 12th August the Korean LG manufacturers updated some of the features that were causing problems or issues (mentioned in some reviews here). This TV testing company gave the LG 49UB850V a bad write up due to their findings claiming it was 'the worst performing TV they've rated to date'. However, they reviewed the TV after the updates were done on 12th August and rated it as 'Qualified Recommendation' stating that the improvements made to this model made a significant difference to performance, and for the price this model was a competitive buy. Re Netflix , which some here have had difficulties streaming, before 12th August Netflix was never compatible with this model however now they have signed up to be. Looking at the reviews posted here it looks like you have all bought your TV's before August 2014.
My question now is, how to I ensure I buy a recent model and not one that was manufactured before 12th August 2014?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2014 10:43:52 AM PDT
The problems with the Netflix App early on were not a problem with the hardware and were fixed in firmware. I see my earlier post on July 5th. Frankly my problems had been fixed by that time and Netflix has worked (almost perfectly) ever since. The only problem I have had since then is that the app forgets who I am about once a month after software updates and I have to enter my account information again which is awkward with the controller.
Having said that I am surprised the TV has gotten such a low rating from anyone. I am extremely happy once I was able to tweak the settings the way I wanted.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2014 11:24:36 AM PDT
Crazybird says:
As long as we get Netflix...British TV is atrocious! I'm going into some retailers this week to discuss various products, but the LG just seemed real value for money compared to many others. I won't actually be using it 24/7 but plan to mount the TV in a frame on the wall in a very large room to be used when family and friends stay over and although don't want to pay top dollar still want something that is a pleasure to view and use. Thanks for your comments, helps a lot

Posted on Nov 29, 2014 5:15:03 PM PST
J. Dubose says:
As for the color settings (Mine is a plasma) , you are correct. My LG tech person came to my home (Great tech. support) and was of Middle Eastern decent. He totally blew my mind when he told me that every ethnic race "See's differently, color wise". He said his boss which was Asian had a brand new Lap Top and when he walked by it, he looked at the colors and it was Horrible. His boss said "What do you mean, I tweaked it till the settings were perfect". At my my home he looked at me, knew I was a Caucasian American. Opened his personal book and set Expert 1 to his settings and I was blown away!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2014 1:25:36 PM PST
Crazybird says:
Thanks for that...wow! You learn something every day! Have heard something similar in the past...we ARE different in many ways ethnically. Anyway just got a Samsung 50" all singing dancin' TV two days ago...I can even talk to it and it does what I want...technology, mind blowing and there is so much to come!

Posted on Jan 2, 2015 5:18:19 PM PST
Thank you, your advice saved me from a lot of frustration.

Posted on Jan 31, 2015 5:29:56 AM PST
Tanya says:
Hello

I just purchased this tv and I decided to try an LG brand as I have only Samsung and Sony Tv user experience. I wanted to know what settings have you settled on and can you share those so that I receive the best picture quality? Thanks for your in depth review of this Television it was extremely helpful.

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 8:47:37 AM PST
Chen Xulian says:
My boyfriend got the same sharp tv and went mad over it. He's a FIFA and COD addict and has three TVs setup along with full-rotating mounts from this brand called FlexiMounts. It's pretty cool the way he can move them around. And not too overpriced either, so a pretty decent buy.
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