5.0 out of 5 stars
By Kaz - Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2019
You've found it. This is the TV to buy.
Bottom Line: Buy this TV! NOTE: Scroll down towards the end to see the calibration settings I used when initially setting up the screen to help you get started. The LG OLED TVs are very likely the best TVs on the market right now. You should absolute get one. I purchased my first one about a year and a half ago (an older version of this same model) and have been extremely pleased with it. So much so that I convinced my friend to hold off on buying a new TV for several months just to wait for this one to be released. He has it all setup now and I’ve spent the weekend playing around with it and helping him get it calibrated. I do not claim to be a tech expert, but I do my research, I am pretty savvy with electronics, and I probably have most of the same priorities as other people when it comes to a TV. This time around I didn’t do as much research of other brands as I did for my first LG OLED, but I did still make sure that they were top quality, and they are. Beyond that, the real challenge this time was deciding between a B9 and a C9 versions of the LG OLEDs. This one, the B9, is considered the most basic model and is $200 cheaper that the C9. While the C9 is absolutely an attractive option, I convinced my buddy to save the $200 and go with this one; as with my first OLED, I just didn’t feel the jump to the C9 was worth it (more on that below). There is so much that is amazing about this TV. If you haven’t gotten a new TV in a while, prepare to be blown away. In terms of size, the rule most of us seem to follow is go as big as you can. While generally I still like that idea, the 65” really is about as large as I’d want (though I definitely want that size!); there is, I believe, an OLED that is in the 70+ inches range, but at those sizes I think I would struggle to be able to even see the whole scene at a time. More importantly, few of us probably have the empty space necessary to place such a behemoth. Regardless of what size you go with, the quality of these screens almost gives you a sense of awe. The images are so rich, so clear, and so realistic that you feel overwhelmed by the technology and innovation that must have gone into this. The colors, no matter how dark or how bright, always appear as they are meant to (the C9 supposedly is better with brightness, but looking at them both next to each other, I honestly couldn’t see a difference). There is no light bleeding around the edges where is shouldn’t, no dead pixels that I can find (I looked), and absolutely no burn-in of images on the screen. As an aside, I have to respectfully disagree with the reviewer who said burn-in is a problem on these screens. I don’t want to post an external link here, but you can easily search the internet (I did!) and find numerous tests by neutral third parties that has run their OLED TVs for literally thousands of hours without any burn in appearing. Quite simply, for virtually all of us, this will simply not be an issue. Aside from the screen, which continues to blow me away every time I see it, I want to briefly mention some of the tech specs. I am not as interested in these as some might be, but I do like to make sure it has what I need (both in the now and potentially in the future—I plan to use this TV for years to come). This TV has HDMI, of course, but it is HDMI 2.1, which means that you can have 4K viewing at 120 Hz via the HDMI cable. In layman’s terms this means you get a super high-quality image and an incredibly high screen refresh rate. Honestly, I think 4K is a bit over-rated, as most of us don’t sit so close to our TVs that we can really notice a difference, but I always like a higher refresh rate. I have not used this TV as a monitor for a computer, but I imagine a 120 Hz rate would come in real handy with PC gaming. The TV also has all the various inputs a person could want or need (including DisplayPort). The processor is also quite impressive, though is one of the few areas where the C9 version is superior (the B9 has the a7 processor, the C9 has the a9 processor). Despite that, the processor in this one seems to be a real workhorse and able to handle everything thrown at it (my buddy and I tested Blu-ray movies, Xbox One games, live sports, streaming from Hulu, etc); I didn’t notice or feel any lack in comparison to the C9. My friend especially liked live sports on this TV, as he felt that the live action movements were smoother than on other TVs. One criticism I have is that this TV still appears to have only USB 2.0, rather than 3.0. Given how long this technology has been around, at least one of the ports really should be 3.0 (this likely won’t be an issue for anyone, but is more of a frustration on my part). Despite the fact that this is a smart TV, I don’t actually use it much as such. It comes with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and I’ve read that more connectivity is expected in the future (Amazon Echo, etc). I have not played around with any of these features, so I honestly cannot comment on their functionality (though from what I’ve read the voice command features work pretty well). The built-in smart TV apps, however, all seem to work quite well, utilizing the TV’s high quality capabilities (I tested the built-in Amazon and Netflix apps). Some of the other features of note on this TV are the sound and stand. The E9 has the best sound, followed by the C9, but the B9, supposedly having the lowest quality sound, will surprise you. LG significantly increased the output on this model, doubly the wattage from their previous models. The B9 also includes a built-in sub-woofer. While I freely admit to not being an audiophile (and many people buying a TV like this will perhaps have a full sound system), rest assured that the speakers on this TV are solid and offer full sounds sufficient for a typical living room or den, which most people should find to be enough for their purposes. The stand and backing of the B9 are plastic, so they certainly don’t feel quite as high quality as the C9. Being plastic, it does seem to have a bit more wiggle to it, but this is a minor thing and certainly doesn’t feel unstable. Once positioned, it stands firmly and I have no worries that it will fall over even if bumped. A final note is that this is a lot of money. My buddy didn’t wait to buy, but with Thanksgiving and Black Friday coming up soon, it couldn’t hurt to wait for the deals. That said, it is definitely worth saving up and purchasing it; you’ll be getting a phenomenal TV that will last you for many years. As with any high-end screen, you will need to adjust the display settings after you’ve applied updates and connected to your WiFi. Below, I have included the settings I ended up using. While every screen is slightly different, feel free to use these as a starting point—they should at least get you close to perfection. Just make sure that you adjust all the settings first, as the image might not look right until all of the changes have been made. As I (and my friend) very much like to ‘set it and forget it’, when I set this up for him I wanted to take the time to do it right. NOTE: Anything I exclude below means I didn’t change/mess with that setting at all Go to Settings, choose the Picture tab: * Picture Mode – see below * Aspect Ratio – Set to 16:9 (if you watch old shows you can change this, but this is the standard now) * Energy Saving – set to Off (if On it can automatically adjust settings, which I find distracting) * Additional Settings – see below Under Picture Mode: * Choose Expert (Dark Room) – this is the set it and forget it option that will always look good * AI Picture – set to Off (doesn’t seem to do much, and I don’t like the settings being changed automatically) * OLED Light – 72 (I kept this fairly high so the picture mode never needs to be changed, but this may be too much for some people, anywhere in the range of 50-80 is where you should experiment) * Contrast – 83 (anything in the 80 to 85 range seemed solid, 83 is what worked for me) * Brightness – 54 (anything between 50 and 60 is probably what you want) * Sharpness – 8 (I wouldn’t go more than a few digits higher or lower than this) * Color – 50 * Tint – 0 * Expert Controls – see below * Picture Options – see below Under Expert Controls: * Dynamic Contrast – Off * Super Resolution – Off * Color Gamut – Auto (I haven’t notice a difference either way) * Gamma – 2.2 * White Balance – see below Under White Balance: * Color Temperature – Warm 2 (choose whatever suits you, but this appealed the most to all four adults in the room at the time) Under Picture Options: * I left all these turned Off; this is a personal preference, but nowadays it doesn’t matter as much, since most content is being produced at a high video quality Under Additional Settings: * Eye Comfort Mode - Off NOTE: Be sure to “Apply to All Inputs” on every screen where it is listed to make these settings standard for your whole TV. Overall this is just an outstanding TV. If you already have an OLED TV from the last couple of years, it may not yet be time for an upgrade, but if you don't have one or need a second, this TV is the current king of the hill and will be a wild improvement over essentially all other TVs. Do yourself a favor and buy this TV, it's just that good.
3.0 out of 5 stars
By Mr. Bikes, Books, Music, Tech, Stocks - Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2019
Jury is still out. Great picture quality, TERRIBLE integration with other devices.
Great display. Great user interface. Great remote. But "bad" for some important details... THE GOOD: Picture quality is amazing - have not done a lot of 4k viewing with it yet, so more to come on that. But the quality is obviously great. Amazingly bright and vibrant colors. The remote is very nice, and the OS uses a pointer/cursor, which makes it easy to navigate around the UI when changing settings, etc. The central processor seems to be really fast - everything is very responsive - user interface, volume changes, etc. FOR THE PRICE, I was hoping for better interoperation with home theater gear and devices. My lower-end, older, Samsung tv integrated just fine with my AppleTV box and home theater - this LG does NOT. It could be that I simply have not learned the settings yet, so, again, I'll update this later. My setup: Yamaha home theater receiver, AppleTV, Tivo Bolt (for over-the-air broadcast), Blu-Ray player. Tivo bolt is connected directly to TV, everifying else via the home theater. [A little explanation - the Tivo Bolt DVR sucks at HDMI output, so I have to connect it directly to the TV; can't connect through the home theater without getting black screen. Thus, I need to constantly switch between two inputs on the LG, and it doesn't seem to auto-sense which input is newly active.] Audio quality: not amazing, but decent sound quality coming out of the speakers. High end is not quite there, but good low end. Have not adjusted (or even found) EQ settings for audio. THE BAD: A) Does NOT switch input sources when I power up the AppleTV (connected via HDMI ports on a home theater). So, you have to keep going to the Home screen and choosing an input source. The TV seems to just stay on whatever source you last used - so I have to manually switch input sources a lot. It's possible the Tivo could be screwing everything up, since it really never sleeps or powers off, so perhaps there's an active signal on the HDMI, and this confuses the LG. Not sure. B) Does not sense power-off. So if I sleep the AppleTV, the TV remains on. Pain in the rear. C) Does NOT integrate with volume changes in home theater - so you have to turn the TV's volume down. And you can't then control the home theater volume with the TV remote. That is just lame - my older TV handled this seamlessly. I've played with the settings for this and still no success. D) The preset display settings are just ridiculous. The color saturation is so high that lots of things look unnatural - like a football game. The team uniforms are glowing and the field is neon green. A few other settings are too muted or too dark. So, you will have to change their presets. Not a big deal, but why have so many presets that are the same? Again, if I had this with a bargain tv it wouldn't be an issue. But a TV that cost me almost $2k? They should've dialed this in better. Also, regarding the color clarity, I find the black levels to be nice and deep, but no definition at all - I can't see detail in black colors, and it's very noticeable. E) No auto light sensing of the room? None of the presets for the display seem to respond to room brightness. My cheap tv did, why can't this expensive one? They have "power saver" presets, but they don't seem to adjust to room brightness. So this means you're going to have to change existing presets in order to create the right brightness for your various situations (say, all lights on, and low-lighting for movie viewing). Then, you'll have to manually switch between those settings when needed. Pain. F) One serious bug in their display technology - watching football, the ball, when thrown, looks semi-opaque. As if the compression or frame rate settings are not rendering it every frame. The ball looks semi-transparent, as if the grass on the field is showing through the ball, making it harder to track. I've not yet found any display settings that will let me adjust this (usually it's the motion or smoothing algorithms on these 'smart' tv's). But this is a serious flaw - will this tv not do sports well? G) Bad ergonomics for using with a wall mount. How do you move this thing around? The display panel is so thin, there's not way I'm going to grab it form the top corners and swivel the TV - I'm sure the glass would burst. So for a wall mount, you're going to have to really loosen up all the swivel joints so that you can more easily move the tv. And, in moving it, I guess grab it from the bottom, where the CPU housing is, because grabbing a 1/4-inch sheet of glass seems like a bad idea. Does no one at LG every swivel a TV from side to side? I love this thing, but now I'm forced to do a lot of research and testing settings just to get basic things working that used to work for me on a much cheaper tv. In the mean time, I'm forced to use three remotes often. I'm terribly disappointed with the lack of integration with a home theater setup. Especially at this price. Will update this review after more testing and research (fun - not!). I just want to watch tv, I don't want to be an HDMI sync expert.