When Atlas Sound and Vision told me that the latest Loewe TV, the bild 7 had won Gold in the 2017 German Design Awards I frankly didn’t think much about it – Loewe must have a couple of trophy cabinets full of design awards in their German HQ after all, so one more TV design award wasn’t a surprise.
What was a surprise is how good the bild 7 looks in real-life, so to speak – the near bezel-less design looks, to me, like a high-end tablet scaled up to 75-inches, especially with its smooth matt-grey all-aluminum back. Like the LG E6 we reviewed a few issues ago the design focus is on the slim 7mm OLED panel with all the electronics kept in a second slim module at the back with a neat magnetically attached rear cover to hide the TV sockets.
Turning on the bild 7 is an experience – the screen starts up sequence looks like curtains parting in a movie theatre, and the whole panel rises to expose the soundbar and you can in fact use the remote to adjust the TV to the left or right to suit your viewing angle. Another item this TV shares with the LG E6 is that it uses a very similar LG-sourced OLED panel that was built to Loewe’s specification with WRGB pixel backlighting for sharper and accurate colour reproduction and contrast. The result is visually impressive and the bild 7 is impressively good with handling blue graduations. The bild 7 is Dolby Vision rated but not yet HDR – that will come from a firmware upgrade sometime in 2017.
Now the one thing about Loewe TVs that never impressed me was their handling of standard definition content, or even HD. Most of their previous tellies didn’t upscale so no matter how good their 4K TVs were, watching a HD video scaled up 4 times without a bit of processing wasn’t visually enjoyable. The bild 7 is the first Loewe TV to use their VantaVision image processing so yes, it upscales, and quite decently as well. I did notice that faces upscaled from HD to 4K had a little bit of ‘plasticity’ like a computer generated image but we’re so used to CGI these days most won’t notice (and I admit I was standing about 1 metre front of the screen).
So it’s a good panel, matched to a very impressive 8 speaker sound bar with four passive bass diaphragms – which surprised me by the amount of bass they generate. Audio has always been Loewe’s speciality and if you want a 5.1 channel experience you can purchase the companion klang 5 ($5,199) twin wireless speakers and woofer system. While the bild 7 is not a Smart TV it does come with a very clean menu system that includes internet access via WiFi and there’s 1TB built-in storage to store your favourite movies or audio and you can stream videos to a separate device via WiFi or music via Bluetooth to a wireless headset – the reverse is also true and you can stream your tunes from your smartphone to the bild 7 to take advantage of those awesome speakers.