Review: LG Electronics 55UF6450 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

I bought this LG 4K Ultra at what I feel was an outstanding price for a 55-inch unit.  As it is a brand new model from LG this season there were no reviews when I purchased it (Nov 23).   However, I am familiar with the overall good reputation of LG and the other size LG 4K models that were on display and turned on looked great.

LG 55UF6450 55-Inch 4K
   LG Stock Photo

Set-up was a breeze.  Four screws secure the two legs to the base of the unit.  Plug it in.  Follow some instructions to set up the basics.  You’re ready.

There are now some reviews written around the web and I did notice some negative comments about the Operating System (OS) not being up to par with some other brands.  Those are mostly true, the OS is a bit limited, and is one factor to keep this from receiving a 5 star rating.

LG 55UF6450 55-Inch 4K
   LG Stock Photo

That said, my Sony BluRay Disc Player is what I use to access my VuDU Account and my Amazon Prime Video, anyway, so it is really a non-issue for me.  Factually, as my BD player has the capability I would have preferred a “non-Smart” TV, but it does not seem to be available in 4K.

The colors are fantastic on my unit.  Beautiful blues.  Great greens.  Black blacks.  Robust reds.  Etc.  You can also tweak colors a bit via Picture Mode Settings to your personal tastes.  The sound is not bad for a TV but I never use TV sound, haven’t for years.  Currently, I have a JBL Cinema SB100 Soundbar that is connected, sitting at the base of the LG.  I am watching Jurassic World right now writing this review.  The colors and sound are exactly what I wanted.  I also like that it has 3 HDMI connections.

The OS and sound keep this LG 55-inch 4K Ultra HDTV from being a full 5-star, but, for me, this is a solid 4-plus.  Note: be sure that your HDMI cable is newer and is compatible with 4K as that can make a difference.  I use and love Blue Rigger for all my HDMI and Optical cables.

This LG 4K is a keeper.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

JBL Cinema SB100 Soundbar Speaker System Review

I wanted to upgrade from the TV speakers on my 40″ Haier LED LCD HDTV without spending a ton of cash and, after looking at many different units, decided upon the JBL Cinema SB 100 Sound Bar. As well, as this was for the master bedroom I did not feel the need for a full 5.1 system.

JBL Cinema SB100The 60 watt sound is very impressive, especially when watching Amazon Instant Video or Blu Ray (and DVD) movies. High-octane Blu Ray movies are, in a word, fantastic. There is a richness in the sound, and the bar is pretty much mid-range focused, which I find perfect for most offerings. That is not to say bass and treble are left out, as they are not by any means. The high end is quite crisp and the bass booms as required and a bit more using the JBL “bass boost.” The bass is not what you would get from a 5.1 system but, it does deliver. There is an output on the bar allowing you to add a woofer, but I don’t think I will ever do that. When cranked up there is no distortion and it gets loud.

The box arrived with the bar, an IR remote, power cable, optical audio cable, coaxial audio cable, manual, wall mount bracket, warranty card and a quick start guide. Set up was pretty easy. I attached a (not included) Blue Rigger Digital Optical Audio Cable (highly recommended) from the bar to my HDTV and set the bar at the base of the TV, which sits on top of a 36″ tall stand, and then plugged it in and turned it on (on-off switch near the cable connections). The results of my few minutes of effort were immediate and wonderful.

JBL Cinema SB100The bar allows you to control the sound coming either from the TV or the bar itself. This is a no-brainer…bar all the way. Set the TV unit volume to zero and the bar is ready to perform all the time (whether watching TV or using your Blu Ray player). There is an optimization switch on the bar allowing you to set it for being wall mounted or setting in front of the TV. The sound can be set, via the bar itself or the remote, to either normal stereo or to the Harman Display Surround. This bar puts out excellent 3D sound, filling the entire room. I generally use the normal setting for TV while, for me, the Surround is definitely the best setting for Blu Ray, DVD and Amazon Instant, as it really does almost surround you.

As a side-note, I also like the design. The bar comes with a one year electronics and five year loudspeaker limited warranty which is pretty standard in the industry nowadays. If you don’t need to go with a full 5.1 system this is definitely worth a try and easily worth the money (especially on sale). I give this sound bar a solid five star rating when comparing it to other bars I have heard, not all sound systems available. As a side note, if you want/need bluetooth JBL offers this bar as the model SB200.

Turn it on, sit back and enjoy.

Over For Now,

Main Street One

Sigma AF 170-500mm f/5-6.3 APO Aspherical Lens for Nikon Review

Preface: This will not be a technical review, such as the ones Ken Rockwell writes, but simply my experience using this great lens. Unfortunately, Ken did not write about this lens. There are some tech specs at Sigma Imaging UK.

I was fortunate and able to purchase a truly mint condition used Sigma AF 170-500mm f/5-6.3 APO Aspherical lens for use with my Nikon D80 10.2MP Digital SLR camera at, what I consider, an exceptional price. It came in the box with everything one would receive when purchasing a new piece of glass, for only $500. It has been much more than just an excellent investment. It is a joy to utilize this lens due to the fantastic focal range, ease of use, and quality of results.

As a note, I have not tried any other brand of lens in the 300mm to 500mm range, where I use this lens the most (primarily for wildlife and nature), so I cannot compare one versus the other.

What can be said is that, when using a tripod with a remote shutter release, the results of images – throughout the focal range – has far surpassed my expectations, especially considering what I paid.

Even hand-held, the percentage of shots that were perfectly in focus was pretty good, though nowhere near the almost 100% when using my tripod. For information, this lens with my D80 and Multi-Power Battery Pack is weighty, so I use a Manfrotto Bogen 3221W tripod with 804RC2 pan/tilt head. On that subject, the Sigma tripod collar is excellent and operates smoothly.Sigma AF 170-500 lens with Nikon D80

Admittedly, at times, the lens can be a bit slow focusing, when compared to, say, my Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens, but the difference has not been that much to make me dislike the lens in the least. I am quite sure that the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED IF VR II lens would surpass this Sigma lens in every way, but for the price I would expect that to be the case. and, the Nikon still only gets to 400mm.

The colors rendered are very nice and crisp. There is a good contrast in the images. The depth of field produces a sharp and clear main object and a great Bokeh (blur) in the background.East Indian Lotus - Rosea Plena
The above photo was taken from a distance of approximatelty 30 feet (9.14 meters) at 500mm, sitting on the Manfrotto tripod, using a remote.

The zoom operates very smooth throughout, no stickiness or hang-ups. It can suffer from chromatic aberration (CA), though that usually occurs only in very high-contrast situations where the background is quite bright and foreground objects are dark.

There is definitely lens creep, no way around that unless you decide to use a band. For me, I simply have the strap around my neck and hold the camera in my palm, with the lens pointed up, when walking. Keep in mind that this is not a light weight lens.

This lens will work in both AF (auto focus) and MF (manual focus) modes with Nikon camera bodies that have the motor to drive the lens, such as a D80, D100, D3, etc. It will only manual focus on entry-level models such as the D40, D60, D3000, D5100, etc.

I cannot give it 5 stars for honest all-out performance, only 4.5.

For the money, however, I am very pleased with my Sigma 170-500 and would recommend it to anyone who needs (or wants) to have more than a 300mm focal range and does not want to, or cannot, lay out four figures for a solid performing lens with this focal range.