2.0 out of 5 stars
By Michael Franz - Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2018
another TV spying on you - bad setup experience - sends you spam too
I am absolutely baffled at how bad the user experience with this device is, especially considering the other reviews. I am contemplating whether to return it to Amazon. Most importantly, this TV spies on you. When you set this up, you give them permission to observe everything you do, including what program you watch both on your cable and on Netflix/Amazon Prime, and how you interact with the TV. You allow them to collect all that data on their servers and you explicitly allow them to use that for marketing. You should ask yourself: -- why exactly does a TV require an "advertising ID" and -- why exactly should I agree that LG has the right to display advertisements on my private property? I am quite surprised that people put up with this. But let's go through this one by one: --- First Setup Experience Half way through setup, the setup application crashed. That left me with a totally unusable device. The problem is that there is no proper manual (just tedious videos on LG's website). It took me a while to figure out how to reset this to factory settings. In fact, I have had to reset the TV several times, and it required multiple software updates before it became stable. Then, it turns out that this TV really only works properly as intended if you allow it to take over your cable box. The problem is that my cable box is not among those that LG has in their database (I have an Evolution DMS23344UHDS). Now, LG has a web site where you can submit additional cable boxes and they promise to add them, but when you browse the web, you find that people have been complaining about the non-support of this particular cable box with LG as far back as 2016 and apparently LG still hasn't bothered to add it. --- Second Setup Experience Since my cable box is not supported, and I don't really want LG to know (and report back to Korea) every channel that I watch on my cable and when I watch it, I decided to run this expensive TV as a dumb monitor. So I set it up with a Logitech Harmony instead of the fancy remote that comes with it. Small problem - the Harmony also thinks that the LG should take over my cable, so when I press the "guide" button on the Harmony remote, it brings up the TV's interactive guide rather than the cable company's. That can be fixed by telling the Harmony that you have a "dumb" LG TV rather than a smart one. Apparently, all the important IR codes are the same. --- Verdict After One Week So now I have a very expensive dumb monitor, but with good speakers and great picture. If it weren't such a hassle, I would probably still return this to Amazon. I will certainly not buy another LG TV ever. The user interface is stupid, the privacy implications are horrendous, and the TV has surprisingly many quirks. Among them: - no physical controls: there is no way of turning the TV off other than by remote. That is just stupid - no headphone jack: this TV has only optical out, not even a regular line out jack, and switching between sound options is complicated and requires the fancy unusable remote - no component input --- Summary Good screen, good sound, disappointing everything else. I will not ever buy another LG TV --- update after 2 months Update: it gets worse. Now LG has started sending me spam emails to the email address that they previously forced me to give to them to create an "LG account". These emails of the sort of "Register to discover all your product can do" are just stupid and will lust alienate customers further. I am not using the "smart" features of my LG TV, I am using it as a dumb monitor now. But every time that LG sends me spam email, I am even less likely to ever buy another LG device and even more likely to tell all my friends how bad LG is.
5.0 out of 5 stars
By Mayra S. - Reviewed in the United States on May 3, 2018
With Google Assistant and new Alpha 9 Processor, 2018 LG Oled's are great upgades for first time 4K/HDR/Oled Owners
(This is a lengthy review broken into two parts. The first part is what's new with 2018 Oleds with my review, and the second goes over general Oled info and 2018 specs. Please note that I am waiting on my 2018 C8 Oled and will update my review accordingly). Since 2016, LG's Oleds have become front runners on what to expect from a top of the line television in terms of visual ability and features. Now with several other companies in the Oled Race (though many still get the display from LG), LG's needs to continue to improve their winning product to stay in the lead. Since 2016, I've given each Oled 5 stars, and its hard not too. Every year, LG improves features and visuals in their lineup, somehow while staying aggressive on pricing to make them more affordable compared to previous years. One of the first 65 in Oleds ranged between $9,000-$11,000, where as now a 55 inch sells for around $1500. The best part is that all of the LG Oled Lineup share the same vivid and lifelike display panel, making choosing between models more of a preference instead of performance choice (except the B8 which I'll explain later). Lastly, besides the occasional TV with issues or defects, each years Oleds further improve on quality. This has led to much improvement regarding dead pizels, banding, ghosting, and burned in images, some of the major problems with early Oled TV's. Of course no TV is perfect, so for new or returning LG Oled owners please read my new owner tips section at the very end of this review. Now with 2018, it's not a question of whether or not the Oled lineup deserve to be five star TV's (which they do), the main questions to ask is what's new, and is it worth the purchase or upgrade? I made the Oled jump back in 2016 with my E6 model and I can say that its the best TV I ever had. There is so much about its functionality, ease of use, and visuals that leave me impressed even to this day. Jump two years later, LG's 2018 lineup has some new features which should entice any non 4k/HDR/OLED owner to take the financial plunge, but it still may leave many 2017 and 2016 owners waiting for a better upgrade in the future. Improvements and Changes- LG has added a new software and processing features rather than updating its display compared to 2017 Oleds. These features include the integration of Dolby Atmos Audio, Google assistant integration, and the Alpha 9 Processor. The Dolby Audio to me does not seem the most crucial, as I feel most people would want a dedicated surround sound/Soundbar to play audio when you own an LG Oled. In that case, it may be more important for that equipment to have Dolby Atmos Audio capability instead. As I mentioned before, all of the 2018 LG Oleds have the same display, which means that each model will be able to give you the same vivid and rich visuals. This makes choosing between them a bit more simple. However this year, the difference will be the Alpha 9 Processor, which is NOT integrated in the B8 model. the B8 instead uses an Alpha 7 Processor. According to LG, the Alpha 9 Processor compared to 2017's M16+ processor is supposed to give a 35% CPU and GPU boost which should create better images by processing contrast, color, sharpness, and motion more efficiently. This new detailing technology is called Tru Color Accuracy pro which can be achieved by the Alpha 9 Processor. By default, the Alpha 7 should make the B8 as good if not better than 2017 Oleds. H owever there should also be disadvantages in terms of CPU and GPU processing speed and image/video handling from the Alpha 7 processor when compared to the rest of the 2018 Lineup. To which extent remains to be seen, I will update this as information becomes available. The last improvent is the inclusion of Google Assistant to the WebOS on 2018 Oleds, which should help with voice activated assistance in changing TV functions and settings, and hopefully will also interact with other smart home products as well. I will also update this review once I'm able to try this feature first hand. Disadvantages to 2018- As of now, there are three issues I can think of. The first disadvantage (which shouldn't affect more than 95% of people for years to come) is the exclusion of 2.1 HDMI's. Although HDMI 2.1 allows for many improvements over HDMI 2.0a (see HDMI section below), LG has already said that their 2018 Oleds will be able to handle 4K 120hz broadcast or streaming content. Also, it cannot be excluded that some aspects of HDMI 2.1's advantages wouldn't be able to be integrated in the future on 2018 Oleds (Dolby Vision which was supposed to need HDMI 2.1 previously is a good example) so it may not be a huge issue. The second big disadvantage will be for those opting to get the B8 model which will have an Alpha 7 instead of an Alpha 9 processor. Although it still has Google Assistant integrated, it remains to be seen how much of a disadvantage the B8 will have compared to the rest of the lineup due to the processor's shortgivings. At worst however, the Alpha 7 should still be an improvement over last years M16+ processor, so it should not be any worse in terms of speed or display abilities when compared to a 2017 model. Lastly for W8 owners, the same issue continues from the W7 of last year, which is the inability to mount the TV on an actual moveable mount. I really appreciated having my 2016 Oled wall mounted on a moveable mount, which gave me the ability to move my TV and adjust viewing angles side to side, and also up or down depending on where I was watching TV. I think that wall mounting any Oled is a great idea, however mounting it flush and flat to a wall without tilt or turning ability needs to be thought out carefully. To Conclude- Since becoming a Signature Line product in 2016, LG did a great job turning Oleds from a gimmick to an industry leader. Now in 2018, the integration of a smart Google Assistant and new Processor makes for the fastest and smartest Oled lineup to date. The verdict is still out on the B8 until I have more information, but for those who have yet to make the leap onto 4K/HDR TV's or Oled's for that matter, 2018 is the perfect year to see what LG has been doing the past year to try to perfect the TV watching experience. For 2016 or 2017 owners, you must weigh price and functionality improvements to see if an upgrade is right or necessary for you. New buyers please also read my buyer tips section at the bottom of this review for more important information. General Oled Info and Specs: Picture, Color, and Processor- According many sources, 2018 panels haven't necessarily changed much since 2017. It still reaches 99 percent of the DCI color space providing an excellent range of colors for better true to cinema visuals. Not too different from 2017 or 2016. For comparision the older 2015 models only covered less than 90% of DCI-P3 which really affected their abilities to play HDR content in the first place. 2018 Oleds do have a new detailing technology however named True Color Accuracy Pro (Last year's was missing the Pro). According to LG's own tests, this technology provides 7.3 times the amount of data points for color. Since the panel really hasn't changed very much, this most likely is attained by the new 2018 Alpha 9 processor in all the 2018 Oleds (minus the B8). The 2018 Alpha 9 Processor has a 35% CPU and GPU boost which is supposed create better images by processing contrast, color, sharpness, and motion more efficiently. This should create more fluid visuals and crisper motion processing compared to 2017's M16+ processor. From reading other reviews, it seems that the processor doesn't necessarily create better colors, but instead creates better contrast between the color shades and brightness levels which in turn creates a better image as a whole. Another advantage to the Alpha 9 processor is the handling of motion compared to previous years. Although there are TruMotion settings available to process a smoother video in 2016/2017 models, there are still moments on past Oleds which lead to slight juttering which I can attest to on my 2016 Oled. The Alpha 9 Processor is meant to help alleviate these issues, creating a smoother, cleaner look while also improving contouring which occurs in scenes with bright lights and darkness (think the black panther Oled Demo). I will also say that although not able to play 4K 120hz media through HDMI (see HDMI section), The Alpha 9 Processor does allow Oleds to receive 120hz media as provided by broadcast provider or through streaming. I assume that the Alpha 7 processor in B8 models should at worst handle image processing the same as a 2017 Oled, but I have yet to find any information on advantages that the Alpha 7 has over 2017 Oleds in general. Brightness- A big reason 2015 TV's had a hard time playing HDR content (beside the color spectrum) was the sustained and peak brightness levels. 2015 models could only reach 370 nits when pushed. 2016 models met the criteria for “Ultra HD Premium” which required at least a 540 nits peak brightness and less than 0.0005 nits black level. RTings website has a great breakdown on a variety of TV's sustained and peak brightness levels. According to them 2016 models can reach levels as high as 652 nits. For 2017, released specs state that this year's Oleds can reach peak levels of 1000 nits in brightness which really helps with HDR content. According to Forbes first impressions, LG engineers noted that on a 10% white screen 2018 Oleds were able to achieve outputs of 700 nits vs. 620-650 nits from a 2017 Oled. It also seems that there is no real explanation from LG regarding the improved baseline nit levels, though it could possible be attrubted to the calibration process or even the Alpha 9 Processor at work. Overall, other TV models and technologies are able to produce brightness levels well above 1000 nits, but LG's Oled's ability to decrease black levels in individual pixels to virtually off levels, while displaying rich and vibrant color images, is a difference maker. This is why Oled's are able to create enough contrast between brightness, dark, and color levels to generate superb HDR images and video. For reference on my 2016 Oled, I find myself turning down Oled brightness when watching TV at night, and find the brightness level perfect for days. The increased peak brightness levels in 2018 models should really improve HDR visual effects rather than make overall TV viewing brighter which I find is bright enough on 2016 models. HDMI ports- 2018 models will have the HDMI 2.0a input, which allows 4K content at 50-60fps and ability to play HDR content by HDMI. This the same as both 2017 and 2016. Older HDMI ports (ver.1.4) on previous 4K TV's were able to play 4k, but only at half the frames and without the ability to play HDR content. If you follow technology trends, there has been a new announcement on a new HDMI cable and version 2.1. To be clear, 2018 Oleds will not include HDMI 2.1 as the chipset is barely being released early 2018. This means 2019 models are a better bet to include HDMI 2.1. HDMI 2.1 allows for 4K media to play at 120fps (which only PC's can really pull off), ability to transmit 8K and 10K media (depending where you read 60-120fps), VRR Game mode which provides better refresh rates, less lag/stutter using a 3d Graphics processor to display images in real time; eARC, an upgrade to current ARC (Audio Return Channel) with ability to play Dolby True HD, DTS HD, Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X, Quick Media Switching, and the ability to play Dynamic HDR through HDMI. Where as current HDR TV's are only able to play HDR10 through HDMI (I'll talk on LG in a bit), this HDMI 2.1 allows for Dynamic HDR to be played by HDMI sources. HDR10 works by applying one set of HDR rules across the entire movie or episode, where as Dynamic HDR can change settings and HDR rule sets from scene to scene, thus the word Dynamic. Though many TV aficionados have stated that it would be better to wait until HDMI 2.1 is incorporated into TV's, in reality the changes allowed by HDMI version 2.1 should not have any impact for more than 95% of people for many years. From what I read as well, some advantages of HDMI 2.1 may be able to be incorporated onto 2018 HDMI 2.0a Oled TV's through firmware upgrade, same as Dolby Vision abilities have shown up on other televisions without HDMI 2.1. How many and how extensive those features available by firmware upgrade will be (if even possible) have yet to be seen. HDR- Although the 2015 introduced HDR to LG Oleds, 2016 was really the year that you could take HDR on an Oled seriously. Between the increased color spectrum and improved brightness, 2016 was really when LG Oleds shined and showed off their true potential with HDR10 and Dolby Vision Sources. In 2018 continues the trend as well, including the ability to also play HLG HDR and advanced HDR by Tecnicolor (same as 2017). Another change is the introduction of "Active HDR", which is supposed to improve HDR10 sources and mimic the dynamic properties of how dynamic HDR works. As stated above, HDMI 2.1 introduces dynamic HDR by HDMI to TV's, however, LG is the only major TV company (not sure on Vizio) that has a leg up on the competition by having the Dolby Vision HDR chip embedded on 2016, 2017, 2018 models. However, HDR10 is and will continue to be for the time being the most widely recognized and used Dynamic HDR available across all platforms. As of March 2017, there has been an announcement that Dolby Vision will become available through software to a number of devices through software update, where previously the only way to get DV HDR was through an embedded chip. According to the announcement, a number of non 4k devices will be able to get the HDR upgrade, including the non 4k PS4 through an HDMI 1.4 cable. Some games and apps have already received the HDR treatment on such devices just not in 4k, however, it has yet to be seen if there is a difference in image processing between the chip vs. software. Nonetheless, I have seen some shows on both my Xbox S and directly from the TV app menu to compare shows in HDR10 and Dolby Vision (Marco Polo, Daredevil), and I can clearly see the advantage of Dolby Vision where HDR properties change from scene to scene, rather than having just one set of rules which excel only in certain scenes or with certain visual effects. Although other TV companies may be able to get the DV software through an update as previously announced, LG's has had a leg up on the competition with DV support since 2016 on its integrated TV apps such as Netflix and Vudu when the content is available which looks spectacular. Operating System- With the new integration of a google assistant, I am excited to see how well it works at controllling the TV by voice and also some of my smart products around the home. I expect it not to be too different from my Google assistant. I will update this specific aspect of the WebOS once I get a C8 to try. Coming from a 2016 WebOS 3.0 on my 2016 E6 (Which was miles above my older 2010 LED OS), I expect nothing but better things from the new WebOS on 2018 models, especially with the new Alpha 9 Processor. For 2018, different styles are similar to 2016 models with the exception of the W7 which is the new "Paper on Wall" Oled that HAS to be mounted on the wall using a thin magnet. The rest of the differences relate to styling. Here's a rundown. * B8: crescent stand, "blade slim" look- Comes in 55in/65in * C8: premium aluminum stand and bezel (note, no longer Curved)-Comes in 55in/65in/77in * E8: Similiar as last year's picture-on-glass design with integrated sound bar. soundbar not removeable- Comes in 55in/65in * G series- Missing from 2018 Oled Lineup * W8: Similiar as last year's model. Ultra-thin picture-on-wall design with separate sound bar, has to be wall-mounted using a thin magnetic sheet- Comes in 65in/75in NEW OWNER TIPS: For new and current Oled owners, I would like to offer some buying tips. First, I'd like to mention that as Oled models become more exprensive, they also seem to be more fragile to handle due to thinner and sleeker frames. I've read on a few threads from people installing their Oleds both properly and improperly and causing permament damage in the process. Very important to handle and install your Oled either through a professional, or with the help of someone else. If wall mounting, please make sure that your mount supports the TV, or see if the mount needs a special adapter for Oled TV's. My Sanus Wall Mount works with my E6 TV, but I needed a special adapter to fit it properly. Proper installation can be the difference between enjoying your TV or seeing thousands of dollars worth of damage happen in an instant. Also be very careful how you handle and where you place pressure when adjusting your Oled's viewing angle. Secondly, I wanted to talk about Burn-in. Though LG has improved on their Oled technology to limit-burn in and other issues, they still can occur. It seems that the percentages vary, but anywhere between 5%to 15% of Oled forum users have had issues with burn-in according to different surveys, though I don't know in which Oled model years they occured. According to LG, most cases of burn-in occur from static images staying on screen uninterrupted for many hours or days at a time, with brightness typically at peak levels. However some Oled owners have reported burn-in with only moderate brightness. Burn-in may or may be reversible. Although every year newer Oleds improve features meant to prevent burn in, it can still occur. I bring this up because Burn-in is NOT covered under LG warranty, and most extended warranties do not cover burn in (except Best Buy) repair. I myself have a Squaretrade extended warranty, which to my knowledge does not cover burn in, however, I've been lucky to not have had any issues with my Oled including permanent ghosting, burn-in, yellowing, banding, or dead pixels despite hundreds of hours watching different content and playing video games. I do recommend having some sort of extended warranty as repairs can become costly for Oleds, but more importantly, use your Oled extensively during the return period in case there are any issues. Many users did report issues early in the life of their Oled panels, and even the same model Oled can have varying susceptibilities to issues including burn-ins depending on the when they were manufactured. Playing a TV network that has banner or symbol which stays on screen most of the time, would be a good way to test your TV's durability to ghosting or burn-in. Watching such programming is realistic for many people, so it's important to test your television for any programming or video gaming which involves stationary images. I for instance when I use my Xbox one tend to stay on the home screen quite a bit and have noticed slight ghosting occuring when the screen has stayed on one image in as quickly as 5-10 min. This seems to happen faster with brighter colors. However, they've always faded and dissappeared with just a few minutes in playing different content or changing screens. My point is you want to make sure that whatever is supposed to make ghosting or burn-in better, actually does make it better. So if your return window is 15, 30, or 90 days, use and test your 2018 Oled extensively to make sure that your TV is not one of the small number of Oleds that can develop issues sooner than others.