Loewe Bild 3.55 4K HDR OLED TV review

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posted on Wednesday, 28th March 2018 by Steve May

home cinema  4K  OLED  HDR 

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For many integrators, Loewe is the premium screen brand of choice. Offering high image quality, superior finish and helpful support for control systems and third party ecosystems (installers will appreciate IP and RS232 integration with Control4 and Crestron certification, and a KNX module was recently announced), it’s been striving to fill the space vacated by Pioneer when it withdrew from the plasma market, back in the day.

The Bild 3 is the latest, and cheapest, premium screen from the brand. The model featured here is the range topping 55-inch OLED, but there are smaller LED LCD sets (also known as the the Bild 3.49 and Bild 3.43), which match in terms of cosmetic design and interoperability. For large installs, it’s reassuring to know that matching screens of different sizes can be integrated together across a project. But how does the Bild 3.55 stand up under scrutiny?

OLED PR

Rear Panel (9)

Loewe Bild 3.55 OLED 4K HDR TV: Design and specification
Loewe televisions typically set a high bar for design, thanks to the vision of creative director Bodo Sperlein, and the Bild 3 is no exception. It’s chic and minimal. The screen features a forward facing speaker array, finished in a neat charcoal fabric. Loewe has resisted running it full width. This results in a less cluttered, more streamlined look. The characteristic circular display is used merely to signify power status. Branding is limited to a small tag on the top right of the ultra-thin bezel. The trim is aluminium.

Connectivity is par for the course. All four HDMIs are v2.0 and HDCP 2.2 compliant; there’s also micro AV, a trio of USBs, Ethernet and digital audio output. There’s a choice of Freeview or generic HD satellite tuners. Bluetooth headphone support makes a virtue of personal listening.

The remote control is a weighty wand with an attractive hairline finish. It’s a class apart from lightweight TV doofers.

Rear Connections (1)

Input Screen

Loewe Bild 3.55 OLED 4K HDR TV: Features
The Loewe baked TV OS is clean and uncluttered. The Home page features a titled thumbnails for a selection of channels. App support includes Tidal, Deezer and the Berliner Philharmoniker as wells as the more familiar sights of YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. Catch-up is limited to BBC iPlayer though. The best element of the UI is that graphics are customisable, so the screen can be made to feel bespoke and intuitive. The programme guide offers a PIP window with audio.

An optional Optional DR+ upgrade allows installers to add an integrated PVR; on a network of Bild TVs, content can be shared.

Loewe Bild 3.55 OLED 4K HDR TV: Picture Performance
Image quality is high. All the familiar characteristics of OLED are there - rich blacks and vibrant hues. Image presets consist of Home, Premium (an eco mode), Cinema, Shop and Personal. These become HDR Bright, HDR Dark and HDR Premium, when HDR content is detected.

The Home mode has the best average APL, and looks great with both for SDR 4K from Sky Q, and regular HD. The Cinema option isn’t recommended as it’s low on contrast, and makes images look a little too flat.

HDR support covers HDR10, broadcast HLG and Dolby Vision. The good news is that the Bild 3.55’s HDR performance is impressive. We measured HDR peak luminance at a creditable 749 cd/m² (nits) in a 5 per cent window, and only slightly less (718 nits) in a 10 per cent window. This translates to wonderfully naturastic spectral highlights, and a comfortable but dynamic HDR viewing experience. Its wide colour performance is excellent. While Loewe doesn’t submit its screens for Ultra HD Premium certification, this model clearly exceeds that particular benchmark.

HDR Menu

Home Page

Amongst the usual image adjustments (variable contrast, Brightness, Colour Intensity, and Skin tone), there’s Image+ Active, a proprietary mode with Soft, Normal, Extended and Intensive settings. You can use this to give contrast a lift, but it comes at the expense of near black shadow detail, so don’t get carried away.

A Deeper set of Picture adjustments, accessed via other settings, includes sharpness and image interpolation.

The set has DMM image interpolation on by default. It comes in Soft, Middle and Intensive strengths. A de-judder treatment, it comes with unwanted motion artefacts. For the most cinematic of performances, you might opt to turn it off. An auto dimming mode reduces the contrast of the TV, depending on room ambient light, and there’s Deblocking filter, which combats low compression streaming artefacts.

When setting up the screen with an HDR source, make sure you set the HDMIs correctly. Uncheck the Compatibility mode in the HDMI menu setting, as this is intended for older devices. This is the only way you’ll get an HDR signal through.

This isn’t a set for gamers though. Even in the dedicated Game mode, input lag doesn’t fall lower than 39.9ms; which will be too high for serious games players.

Branding

Loewe Soundbar (1)

Loewe Bild 3.55 OLED 4K HDR TV: Audio Performance
That front facing speaker array pays dividends. The Bld 3.55 offers audio that’s immediately impressive. Power output is rated at 2x40w, while the stereo soundstage has surprising clarity. Inevitably, bass is limited - it’s only active from 100Hz up - but for everyday use, it’s well above average.

In a media room or lounge, a matching Dolby Atmos audio system would seem entirely appropriate. Unlike LG OLEDS, the set does not have an Atmos decoder onboard.

Loewe Bild 3.55 OLED 4K HDR TV: Verdict
The Loewe Bild 3.55 is an artful blend of high design and admirable AV performance. Image detail, black level and colour fidelity are all top notch. It can certainly hold its own with rival OLED screens, but has the edge when it comes to CI integration. And when partnered with other Loewe Bild 3 screens in a large AV install, it really comes into its own. Highly recommended.

Available now
Price: £2,990
The Loewe Bild 3.55 is distributed by Pulse Cinemas

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for various media outlets for more than 20 years.

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