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By Mike Joubert 18 December 2020

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With Covid-19 still hanging around for the foreseeable future, going out to watch a movie is not as appealing as it used to be. LG’s NanoCell 55” NANO86 Series 4K TV makes the case for an upgrade to your home entertainment system instead. We take a look at our most loved features.

It’s really smart

It’s unfortunate that some manufactures' smart TVs are about as smart as a pile of bricks, forcing you to buy a smart box for any decent type of functionality. Not so with the NanoCell. Although it doesn’t offer Android, it runs on webOS Smart TV, with access to the LG Content Store for further downloads. For the most part webOS is unobtrusive with LG providing a bunch of streaming options, including Netflix, Showmax, Apple TV+, YouTube, DStv and Prime Video, which covered my basic needs. 

My Wi-Fi is quite a bit away from the TV, which is sometimes a problem for my Xiaomi Mi smart box, however the LG’s connectivity (802.11ac) was stable and connected without a problem. Setup was dead-easy, made a breeze by the LG’s remote control.

Magic Remote Control

With the remote the primary way of interacting with your television, it’s great to see LG spent some time to ensure their “Magic Remote Control” is really magic. Give this a shake while pointing it to the Nanocell and a cursor appears on screen, with the remote acting as the pointer. This makes it easy to enter passwords or to search for titles in the streaming services – no more clicking your way through an onscreen alphabet. LG also provides a voice search option on the remote (working through its ThinQ platform), where you can say, for example, “Play Modern Family on Netflix” and the TV will do so. There are also quick links to both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video present.

Casting

The Nanocell leaves you with the ability to not only cast from Android phones, but also iOS through AirPlay. This is good news for Apple fans, since the amount of TVs that support AirPlay is far less than for Android. Google Assistant is further included, with Alexa also thrown in for good measure. 

Picture Quality

As one of the primary panel manufacturers in the world, LG knows their stuff. LG claims they make use of NanoCell technology to “create purified colours by filtering out dull colours and enhancing the purity of the RGB spectrum.” Picture quality is still behind LG’s more expensive OLED options, with blooming present around well-lit objects on dark backgrounds, even with local dimming. But, what you receive for the price is really impressive, with vibrant, crisp colours that are awesome for a backlit television. 

LG provides a number of different picture modes for watching, including Vivid, Sports, HDR Effect and Expert (Dark Room). If you don’t like the ‘soap opera effect’, the Nanocell offers Filmmaker Mode, which turns this smoothing off. If you do want to turn off motion smoothing on the Nanocell manually, you can also adjust it under Picture > Picture Mode Settings > Picture Options > TruMotion (Off). Furthermore there’s Dolby Vision IQ onboard, while Dolby Atmos pushes the sound quality to a decent level through the 20W two channel speaker.

However, for elevated sound for a truer cinema experience, we would highly recommend buying the excellent LG SN11R Hi-Res Dolby Atmos Sound Bar with Meridian Technology. This is a beast of a soundbar, with 7.1.4 channels a combined output of 770W. The soundbar is Chromecast supported, which carries the benefit of simply casting music to the unit during the day for a wonderful music experience. It retails for R20k, more than the NanoCell.

Connectivity

Perhaps worth noting is that LG provides a vast number of connectivity options at the back to basically connect anything. This includes 4x HDMI 2.1 ports, eARC, 3x USB ports, Bluetooth 5.0, LAN and Simplelink to control other HDMI devices with the remote, amongst others. 

You’ll find all your connectivity options displayed under the Home Dashboard, from where you can select where you want to navigate to. Through this dashboard LG also provides a hub to other smart devices in your house, with your LG smartphone for example popping up here. Gamers will be happy to know about the 100Hz refresh rate, with LG also supporting AMD FreeSync Premium tech to help with a smoother gaming experience, as well as HDR gaming. 

Yes or no?

At R15k, the LG NanoCell 55” NANO86 Series 4K TV  offers a great all-round viewing and entertainment experience. Indeed you’ll find loads of ports and connectivity options, an unobtrusive OS in the background, decent 4K image quality (for the price) and a great remote. The NanoCell 55” is an all in one offering that does its best to make you miss your Ster-Kinekor movie nights a little bit less. 

PROS
Loads of ports and connectivity options, An unobtrusive OS, decent 4K image quality, Great remote
CONS
Picture quality still behind OLED options with blooming present around well-lit objects on dark backgrounds
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