Back in May, I did a video review of 4K TV on Howtospendit.com and asked whether the point had been reached where there was enough ultra-high-definition content available to justify buying a 4K set. The answer was “just about”; since then, Sky has become the second broadcaster after BT to show football in 4K in the UK, so the argument for a UHD TV continues to strengthen.
The TV I used for this initial test was Loewe’s 55in Reference model, which I managed to keep on loan for a further few weeks. It is the paradigm of a luxury TV, a beautiful piece of furniture polished to near technical perfection. My standout impressions are amazing picture, wonderfully detailed but not too brash; exceptionally good sound, with absolutely no need for a soundbar; and rather slow to come on, reminding me of an old‑school TV where you had to wait for the valves to warm up.
And now, just as I am about to return it to Loewe, the German company, recently revamped by investors, has released a TV that’s even better, and in time for Christmas. I’ve only spent an hour or so with the Bild 7, but I’m pretty convinced that its claim to be the best TV in the world isn’t too over the top. It has Loewe’s first organic LED screen, using a specially commissioned panel from LG, the leaders in OLED. The screen (55in or 65in) is accordingly a ridiculously slim 7mm deep. It shouldn’t matter how thin a screen is, but it adds to a feeling of quality bordering on magic. The picture is as good as present-day technology offers, and should be futureproof for many years. The operating system is even better and cleaner than on the Reference 55. The 120‑watt sound is extraordinary, with 10 speakers, including four passive bass radiators that reside in a built-in soundbar that’s invisible when the TV is off, but appears when it is switched on.
There’s also an optional motor (from £799) to swivel the screen around for a perfect viewing angle, a built-in 1Tb hard drive to store recordings, and enough networking options to make your head spin. The Bild 7 even has the wonderful Tidal high-res audio-streaming software loaded. Add Loewe’s wireless Klang 5 speakers (er, great name guys) and you no longer need a separate hifi system – the TV is it. Quite magnificent.