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The Class of 55: Five of the Best 55-inch TVs on the Korean Market


Plasma or LCD?

When flat-panel televisions first hit the market more than a decade ago, plasma was the only option. But the rise of LCD TVs in recent years means that only three companies—LG, Panasonic, and Samsung—are still producing larger screen sizes and plasma-based 3D TVs.

People’s love for LCD over plasma is simple: it offers a wider range of screen sizes, a very bright picture and greater energy efficiency.

If you’re wanting to go large, though, plasma’s strengths are hard to ignore, with much deeper blacks, less bleeding of lighter parts into darker ones and better overall picture consistency. This is especially noticeable when watching fast moving action such as sports. Plasma is also great for a crowd with its sharper picture from any angle.

Haps has put together a list of five top TVs for your viewing pleasure

LG Google TV

LG is the sole TV maker in the world making sets with Google TV built-in. First introduced in the United States, the 2013 lineup of Google TVs are being released in Korea with an expected seven new models spread across two series. LG announced there will be an update to Jelly Bean in the third quarter of this year, an upgrade that will allow access to more apps originally designed to run on phones and tablets. The sets will also have a 3D Game Changer that stimulates 3D effects with 2D games. On the hardware side, they feature a dual-core processor, QWERTY motion remote controls as well as an integrated mic for voice commands and voice search powered by Google.

Samsung Curved OLED

This is the latest and the greatest out there, and Samsung and LG are the only ones offering it so far. The curvature of the screen is designed to give an IMAX-like picture with all points of the screen equidistant from the viewer. The downside is that it requires direct viewing, so you and a select group of friends would have to huddle next to each other right in front of the screen to really enjoy the stunning picture that the Curved OLED offers. Plus, the set supports Samsung’s Evolution Kit technology, meaning you can continually upgrade to add more software features over the next few years. Depending upon the model, the Curved OLED will run you between 11 and 15 million won.

Sony KDL Quantum Dot Series

The KDL series features some of the best colors available on an LCD with deep blacks, excellent shadow details and gamma, all packed in a sleek design. Sony is the first to develop the technology, known as Quantum Dots, which theoretically enhances the number of colors an LCD can produce by using microscopic crystals that glow green, red or blue when stimulated by a light source. Whatever that means, the picture is stunning. Sadly, until a Japan-Korea FTA, you’re going to pay considerably more than the local makes, and the 55-inch KDL is gonna run you around 3.5 million won here on the peninsula.

Samsung Series 8 Smart TV F8000

Dubbed as beauty without borders, last year’s version of this Series 8 set won several readers’ choice awards in the United States, and this year’s model, packed with 3D capabilities, a quad-core processor, four HDMI inputs, three USB inputs, a component input and an ethernet port, looks to be even better. The 55-inch beauty, which comes with Voice technology, AllShare, Motion Control (throw away that remote if you want) and the upgraded Smart Hub 2.0, will set you back about 4-to-5 million won

LG LA7400

LG has rolled out its penultimate LED for 2013, the LA7400, which features all of the latest buzzers and bells including new connectivity and easy search options. The set features natural language voice control via the new Magic Motion remote which allows you to control TV functions with the wave of a finger. (Imagine: a super-smart, high-tech Clapper.) The LA7400 features an edge-lit LED with dimming, and comes with LG’s Cinema 3D technology, complete with lightweight, battery-free glasses to deliver a great 3D experience for movies, TV shows and gaming. You can enjoy the viewing experience for upwards of 3 million wo



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