Yesterday I became a proud owner of Metz Carat (which is a special edition device similar to Chorus Manufakturkonzept). For this post, I’ve decided to pick a competitor’s TV in the same price range (around 800 €, note that I’ve got a special employee price for the Carat), which happens to be LG 42LW570S, and to compare the features. The comparison speaks for itself.
Main Features (as in sales prospects)
Metz: 37 inch
LG: 42 inch
(This is more a marketing number than something technically clean and useful, but still interesting to compare)
Metz: 200 Hz
LG: 600 Hz
LG: yes, shutter-glasses inclusive
Metz: yes (see below)
LG: yes (see below)
Metz: yes (see below)
LG: yes (see below)
Metz: two independent triple-tuners (PIP is possible, recording and watching other channel is possible)
LG: one triple-tuner
Metz: two independent slots (recording one CI+ channel and watching another one is possible)
LG: one slot
Metz: integrated 500 Gb HDD drive (I estimate around 60 hours of HD recordings), which is also used for timeshift. Recording on externally attached USB drive possible. Export of recordings to external drive possible.
LG: User’s Manual is not clear whether you have to attach an external USB storage, or has the TV an integrated storage. In any case, recording duration is limited by 5 hours. No export.
Metz: 4x HDMI, SCART, FBAS, 2x USB, LAN
LG: 4x HDMI, SCART, FBAS, 2x USB, LAN
Metz: DMP (expect more to be announced on the IFA)
LG: DMP and DMR
Metz: CE-HTML and HTML5 apps possible with a software update (expect more to be announced on the IFA)
LG: free web browsing, an own CE-HTML portal, as well as downloadable LG apps
Metz: MPEG1/2, H.264, AAC, MP3, OGG, WMA.
LG: all of the above, plus VC-1, WMA9 and DivX, XVid.
Video on Demand
Metz: none yet
LG: at least two VoD providers (vod.divx.com and maxdome.de), supposedly either WMDRM10 or PlayReady supported
Metz: stable and heavy brushed aluminium traditional remote control
LG: cheap plastic looking remote control with innovative gesture control
Metz: a very geeky UI allowing you to configure a lot of very technical settings. Just two examples: when scanning for DVB-C services, you can setup up to three symbol rates (don’t ask me what is this); when configuring display brightness, you have the choices of automatic, manual, dependent on current picture (dynamic contrast), dependent on the room luminance, and dependent both on current picture and room luminance. There are also a lot of features. For example, many settings (eg. volume, sharpness, saturation, zoom level etc) can be set per-channel. The remote control has programmable buttons labeled F1, F2 and F3. And, especially for the older geeks, there is a file manager looking just like Norton Commander (but in gray).
LG: Hard to say just looking at the manual, but it looks more along the lines of a very average and usual modern TV UI (hard to tell the difference between LG, Philips and Samsung).
I suppose Metz and LG are very similar in terms of the display panel used. The only difference could theoretically be in video processing algorithms, but the only information I have is that they have 600 Hz of something versus ours 200 Hz. It is hard to say without the possibility to compare the products in a direct test. The only thing I can surely say is that Metz produces truly stunning quality when switched to the “brilliant” mode and tuned on a HD service. The colors and sharpness are even a little exaggerated in comparison with the real-world objects situated left and right from the TV device. And yes, this is absolutely in no comparison with any Internet video stream I’ve ever played on my Acer 27 inch FullHD monitor.
Again, hard to compare without a direct test. Metz won some of the comparisons according to Stiftung Warentest. I don’t remember a similar test result for LG. I’ve even found a 7-band equalizer in the settings. No wonder knowing the persons in charge (hi, Burkhard and Alex) and how they absolutely passionate about the sound.
Metz: currently mostly focused on traditional TV uses (receiving digital and analog television as well as playing DVD and BluRays)
LG: Traditional TV is only the half of the user’s manual, the other half is Entertainment section comprising Hbb-TV, web browsing, downloadable Apps as well as integration with second screen devices.
Metz: I’ve witnessed a one-hour discussion related to some parts that can break after 10 years of usage, according to the conducted aging tests. The topic was that 10 years it critically low, and the software had to be changed drastically to eliminate the very possibility of damage.
LG: I have no idea. Suppose they will survive 10 years too (with some minor breaks)
The Made in Germany factor
For me personally, Metz Carat is the clear winner, because it runs the software I was co-developing :) As for the market as a whole, the opinions may differ depending with whom you talk.