The Loewe Bild 5 series is now also available in OLED version. The German manufacturer has been known for years for high quality and customizable finishes, extensive PVR functions and extensive audio possibilities. The 55-inch Loewe Bild 5.55 oled is in the line-up just below the top model, the Bild 7 OLED.
Loewe Bild 5 – specifications
- What: Ultra HD OLED TV
- Screen size: 55 inches (139 cm), flat
- Connections: 4x HDMI (1xARC 4x v2.0a (1x full bandwidth), 1x component video / scart / vga, 1x stereo minijack out, 1x optical digital out, 3x USB (1x 3.0), 1x headphones, 3x antenna, Bluetooth (source , speaker, keyboard)
- Extras: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG, WiFi (802.11ac) built-in, Loewe Assist+, USB / DLNA media player, dual DVB-T2 / C / S2, dual CI + lock, built-in 1TB hard disk, Multiroom (Client / server) , Klang soundbar
- Dimensions: 1,230 x 793 x 300 mm (including foot)
- Weight: 20.4 kg (excluding foot)
- Consumption: 150 / 0.5 watt (Energy label B)
- Recommended retail price: 3.999 euros
Loewe Bild 5 – design
Design has always been an important part of the Loewe DNA and that is visible in the Bild 5. The super thin OLED screen has a metal back that folds seamlessly around the side of the screen. At the bottom in the middle is the iconic ‘Loewe eye’. The device is available finished in ‘Piano Black’ or ‘Silver Oak’ and can be equipped with different types of wall mounts or feet.
Our version is equipped with the classic table stand, a wide and solid base plate that also ensures that you can turn the device left and right. The whole feels very solid, and while you’re still running a super-slim 55-inch oled screen, it testifies to Loewe’s eye for detail and attention to build quality.
Our Bild 5.55 is also equipped with the Klang soundbar. But true to its modular thinking, you can also provide this Loewe with more extensive sound solutions.
The connections are partly behind (all down) and partially sideways (behind a door, which you can possibly remove). At the back we find the antenna connections, twice HDMI, a USB connection (3.0), a digital optical output, and the Digital Audio Link that you use when you connect other Loewe sound systems. There are two additional HDMI connections on the side, two USB connections, an analogue stereo output and a headphone connection. In addition to wired network, WiFi is also provided. Via Bluetooth you can connect a keyboard, you can use the Loewe as a Bluetooth speaker for your mobile devices, or you can connect a wireless headset.
With the HDMI connections we note that only HDMI 4 is labeled as ‘UHD’. However, all HDMI connections are of type V2.0a and all accept Ultra HD input. However, HDMI 4 is the only ‘Full Bandwidth’ connection on which you can view Ultra HD in 4: 4: 4 chroma subsampling.
Loewe Bild 5 – ease of use
The first installation is very smooth, you make the usual choices for language, country, network and television channels.
The settings menus appear on the left side of the screen and you navigate through them very quickly. They are well organized and you get a lot of explanation about the functionality at each institution. That is worth emphasizing, because on a modern television you regularly ask yourself what exactly a certain institution does.
Once you select a group of settings, a second ribbon opens with the settings in question. The only drawback is that you can not see the current value of any institution at a glance. You have to click once more to see and / or change the current value.
For a long time, very little has changed on the Loewe remote. It is a sturdy, luxurious zapper with metal chassis that fits well in the hand. The keys are somewhat on the small side, but due to the spacious setup there is never any danger that you accidentally press a wrong key. The layout is good, only the placement of the back key seems unhappy to us.
The remote control can also be used as a universal remote, but that does not happen automatically. The functions you wish to use must be ‘taught’ to the Loewe remote using the remote you wish to replace.
Loewe Bild 5 – features
Smart TV platform
Loewe’s smart TV platform is called Assist+. The Home screen covers the entire screen and gives you clear and easy access to all functions (TV, recordings, sources and apps), and all settings.
The app offer seems very spacious at first sight, but we soon find that a number of essential things are missing. For example, Netflix is not present. Loewe told us that the underlying reason for this is entirely with Netflix itself, who do not want to certify the Loewe app because Loewe is too small a player on the market. Loewe solves that at the Bild 7 by supplying a small external player, on the Bild 5 that is not the case. Later in the year there will be a solution based on the browser version of Netflix. Also Amazon Video is missing, but that app can pick you up by choosing Germany as the country during the installation. This problem will also be eliminated later in the year. The YouTube app does not support Ultra HD or HDR. Another absentee is Spotify. Deezer and Tidal are present again. Some of Dutch catch-up TV services are available.
The video player drops some stitches. He refused part of our Ultra HD files, and does not support any form of subtitles (internal or external). The audio player on the other hand is very complete, it runs through all our test files, from mp3, wma and aac to flac and alac.
A very handy energy saving feature is the timed quick start mode. You can specify up to three periods in which the device is in quick start mode. This way you save energy at other times of the day, while in the evening you can turn on the TV quickly.
Undoubtedly one of the most important added values of this Loewe is its spacious equipment for television viewers. The device has a full complement of digital TV tuners and a dual CI + lock. You can watch a program and record a second at the same time (in some cases, even watch two and record one). But where that requires an external hard drive from other manufacturers, Loewe has built in a 1TB drive. Anyone who prefers to lose his set-top box for digital television than is rich, should certainly consider the Bild 5. A nice EPG, and all the modern convenience to schedule recordings is present.
Loewe Bild 5 – Image quality
|Picture Mode: Personal Mode (start of the Cinema)
Contrast: 18 – 10
Color intensity: 10
Image Active +: Off
Picture format: 16: 9 PC
Autom Image format: Off
|Color temperature: Soft
Sharpness: 1-2 *
Autom. Dimming: Off / on
Film smoothing (DMM): soft / medium
Digital Noise Reduction: Off / soft *
Gamma Brightness correction: 0-15
Deblocking filter: Off
Explanation of main settings;
- You should start from the Cinema mode, which you then adjust to the above settings.
- Contrast determines the maximum white value of the image, at 18 it is very clear and lets you activate the best Automatic dimming. We found 10 a good choice for most environments.
- Picture format 16: 9 PC does not have anything to do with computers, but guarantees that the entire image is displayed, without cutting the edges.
- Sharpness: The step between 1 and 2 is clearly visible. We prefer 1.
- Film smoothing (DMM) is the setting for motion compensation. Purists turn them off, but the soft and average settings also give good results.
- Digital noise cancellation: you can activate to taste at sources with noise.
- Gamma Brightness correction: the Loewe is standard set to a gamma of 2.4. If you look a lot in daylight, you can increase this value to 10 or 15 to approach a range of 2.2 more.
General image properties and image processing
We select the cinema image set to evaluate the device. The image processing of the Loewe generally produces good results. De-interlacing sometimes takes a few seconds to determine the correct film or video frame rate, but it also provides excellent work. No moiré effects, no serrated lines. The noise reduction works well, as long as you keep it at the lowest setting, higher settings make the image a bit too soft. Compression noise (block formation) you work with the ‘deblocking filter’.
The Bild 5 provides excellent upscaling of your sources, but be careful with the sharpness setting, position one or two is sufficient, higher positions provide some false detail. Loewe bundles part of his image processing in Image Active+. However, the OLED screen does not need updated contrast, and images often seemed the most natural with Image Active +.
The movement acuity of the OLED panel shows a lot of detail in fast moving scenes, at least as long as you leave the ‘Film smoothing (DMM)’ setting at least on soft. If you want fluid pan images, you better choose the average setting, which produces nice results without excessive image artifacts.
The Bild 5 oled TV offers very few possibilities to calibrate the image, but fortunately that is not necessary. Only in the clear part of the gray scale she leans a bit to green, but the deviation is small enough to go unnoticed. Calibration is exemplary in all other areas. The color range is fine. The device carefully skins with skin tones and color reproduction is certainly excellent. What about the black detail, traditionally a focus on OLED screens? The Loewe also hides a tiny bit of black detail. The ‘clarity’ setting, however, works in such a large number of steps that you better not tinker with it. The result is beautiful anyway, the deep contrasts and excellent color rendering provide very realistic images with a tangible depth.
Loewe’s like LG and Sony one of the few manufacturers that next HDR10 and HLG also Dolby Vision supports. The maximum peak luminance of the OLED screen is about 715 nits (after a good 20 minutes heating up), but even from the start you can already count on around 650 nits. Those values are perfectly in line with expectations, the maximum is even slightly higher than hoped for. The color range is 96% DCI-P3 and 71% Rec.2020, these figures are also perfectly in line with the expectations.
Again the calibration scores very well. Loewe’s tone mapping looks neatly at the metadata to give you as much detail as possible. For sources with a peak brightness of 1000 nits, that produces very nice images. If the source indicates 4000 nits then the tone-mapping has to act stronger and the image will be a bit duller. Since there are no standards within HDR10 that say how to perform tone mapping, we can not comment on that. Other manufacturers are also struggling with this problem. The default image preset is HDR Dark. If you look at a lot of light, you better opt for HDR Bright, which makes the dark parts of the image clearer.
Reflections and viewing angles
Excellent viewing angles and a solid anti-reflection film we are now used to OLED panels. You can also enjoy it on the Loewe.
In the normal image modes we measure very high input-lag of 106.8 ms. In game mode the lag drops to 40 ms which is a perfectly playable result. We also see these two results in HDR mode. The screen is a decent choice for gamers.
Loewe Bild 5 – audio quality
Our Bild 5 is equipped with the Klang soundbar. She puts a good musical underline to your movie pleasure. The soundbar provides sufficient volume, but whoever turns the volume knob too far, hears a bit of distortion. As long as you avoid that, the sound is excellent and fits both your TV pleasure and an occasional listening session.
In the different listening modes you determine which loudspeakers you wish to use for a multichannel signal (such as a movie soundtrack). The Bild 5 supplements any missing speakers virtually, but you can also explicitly limit it to stereo. Who wants to choose an arrangement without the soundbar but with a more extensive sound solution, already has an extra trump card with the Bild5. The device has a built-in Dolby Digital/DTS decoder. Via the Digital Audio Link connection you can then connect active loudspeakers that of course perfectly serve you from the television.
For the lag measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements we rely on a Spectracal C6 colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, an AVFoundry HDMI Pattern Generator , an HDFury Integral for HDR patterns and the Spectracal Calman for Business software.
Loewe Bild 5 – conclusion
The Loewe Bild 5 OLED is a beautiful device that presents itself in a unique way to its competitors. Loewe’s smart TV platform still needs some tinkering. However, these defects can be easily absorbed by a good (Ultra HD) Blu-ray player or another source. But the device can be proud of the competition in all other respects. The price is solid, and put it next to the Sony KD-65A1, the Panasonic EZW1004 and the LG E7V. The Loewe offers compelling images, and Dolby Vision support. The calibration is excellent and he optimally puts the OLED panel to work. His unique features are the high quality design, the many options for setup and sound, and the built-in PVR. Are those things that attract you, then you do not have to hesitate.