LG 65EF9500 4K OLED TV Reviewed

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LG 65EF9500 4K OLED TV Reviewed

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Here are the measurement charts for the LG 65EF9500, created using CalMAN software by SpectraCal. These measurements show how close the display gets to our current HDTV standards. Click on each photo to view the graph in a larger window.


The top charts show the projector's color balance, gamma, and total gray-scale Delta Error, below and after calibration. Ideally, the red, green, and blue lines will be as close together as possible to reflect an even color balance. We currently use a gamma target of 2.2 for HDTVs and 2.4 for projectors. The bottom charts show where the six color points fall on the Rec 709 triangle, as well as the luminance error and total Delta Error for each color point.

For both gray scale and color, a Delta Error under 10 is considered tolerable, under five is considered good, and under three is considered imperceptible to the human eye. For more information on our measurement process, check out How We Evaluate and Measure HDTVs.

The Downside
The one area where the 65EF9500's performance falls short is in its video processing. The TV failed to properly detect 3:2 in the 1080i film-based tests on both the HD HQV Benchmark and Spears and Munsil test discs, regardless of whether the Real Cinema setting was on or off. With 480i sources, the TV was very slow to detect 3:2 in test signals, and I saw a lot of jaggies and moire in my standard demo scenes from the Bourne Identity DVD. I got much better results when I let my Oppo BDP-103 handle the deinterlacing and signal conversion to 4K. Also, there were a couple of instances in Gravity, when the colors around the sun transition to black, where I saw uneven gradients--distinct steps from bright to dark--that I did not see in the Samsung HU8550. These processing issues are the only reason why the 65EF9500 did not earn a five-star performance rating, and you can work around some of them with good-quality source devices or a scaler. Still, given this TV's premium price, the processing should be better.

Short-term image retention and long-term burn-in are possible with OLED technology, as they were with plasma. The 65EF9500 owner's manual warns as much. Outlines of an image can remain visible on the screen for a short time, especially at maximum brightness. I only noticed this when leaving static test patterns on the screen for a few minutes, and even then it faded quickly. But you should be mindful that it's a possibility.

I'm not crazy about the TV's menu design--in particular, the process of navigating and adjusting the various picture controls was more laborious than it needs to be. Granted, the average consumer isn't going to spend a lot of time in these menus, but professional and DIY calibrators may grumble a bit during the process.

Comparison and Competition
Since LG is the only company selling OLED TVs right now in the U.S., the 65EF9500 doesn't have any direct competition in the OLED market except for other LG OLED TVs. The brand new 2016 model, the 65-inch OLED65E6P (available for preorder via Amazon), will support both the HDR-10 and Dolby Vision formats for better HDR compatibility, and LG claims improved brightness and a wider color gamut, as well as webOS 3.0 and a new stylish design; it will also be priced about $2,000 higher.

On the LED/LCD side, obviously there are much cheaper 4K models available. However, if we look specifically at 4K models that support HDR and a wider color gamut and could offer comparable performance in black level and contrast (i.e., full-array panels with local dimming), the list gets a lot shorter. Samsung's current flagship SUHD model is the (curved) JS9500, which has a full-array LED backlight with local dimming, HDR-10 support, and quantum dots for a wider color gamut. The 65-inch UN65JS9500 sells for about $4,200 through authorized sellers like Amazon, Crutchfield, and Best Buy. Vizio's 65-inch Reference Series RS65-B2 with Dolby Vision is priced at $5,999.99. Sony's 65-inch XBR-65X930C with HDR compatibility and a wider color gamut is selling for about $2,800, but it features edge LED lighting; to get a full-array panel, you have to move up to the 75-inch XBR-75X940C, which sells for $6,000. Hisense offers the (curved) 65-inch 65H10B2 with a full-array LED panel with local dimming, HDR support, and quantum dots for $2,500.

LG's 65EF9500 OLED TV delivers everything you could want in a high-performance television: a gorgeous image that looks great in any viewing environment; future-friendly technologies like 4K, HDR, and better color; a comprehensive and easy-to-use smart TV platform; and an attractively flat cabinet design. There's no denying that OLED is an expensive proposition; however, as you can see from the Comparison & Competition section above, this TV is now priced in the same ballpark as several premium LED/LCD models design to compete in performance. And that's what it comes down to: performance. If you're in the market for "good enough," there are plenty of lower-priced 4K TVs out there, and this year many more of them will support HDR. But if you're a videophile with the means to shop at the higher price points, you owe it to yourself to see what the LG 65EF9500 can do with both 1080p and 4K. You won't be disappointed.�

Additional Resources
� Check out our Flat-Panel TVs category page to read similsr reviews.
Dolby and LG Team Up to Bring Dolby Vision to LG 4K TVs at HomeTheaterReview.com.
LG Announces "Super UHD" TV Lineup at HomeTheaterReview.com.

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HTR Product Rating for LG 65EF9500 4K OLED TV

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