LG C9 OLED 4K HDR TV Evaluate: Second finest
“The LG C9 OLED, like its predecessor, is near good.”
Class-leading image high quality
Glorious person interface
Alexa, Google Assistant, AirPlay2 suitable
Low danger of burn-in
Costlier than prior 12 months’s mannequin
LG and Sony went toe-to-toe on picture high quality this 12 months, and in a minor upset, Sony received. The Sony Grasp Collection A9G 4K managed to nudge out the LG C9 OLED.
Don’t minimize the LG C9 OLED out of consideration but, although. It doesn’t win in image high quality, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a visible deal with, and it has different virtues which may make it your best option for you. I recognize its broad requirements help, and there’s no denying the LG is an actual looker even when the TV is turned off.
Thinner than your cellphone, and approach sexier
Unboxing an OLED TV by no means will get outdated. Even after 5 years I’m nonetheless amazed a TV could be this skinny. Within the case of the LG C9 OLED, there’s just a little extra to like than the TV’s slender profile. For 2019, LG has upgraded the TV’s stand significantly to supply extra stability and a extra premium really feel, because of all-metal design.
The elevated stability comes from a hefty chunk of ballast constructed into the again of the stand. Whereas the metallic chassis now seems and feels higher, it additionally has a smaller footprint and higher assists with the TVs sound high quality – extra on that final level later.
Riley Younger/Digital Tendencies
You received’t discover a lot within the field moreover the TV. Along with the stand, which is available in three components accompanied by eight Philips-head screws, you get LG’s Magic Movement distant management, a few AA batteries, and a breakout cable for older A/V parts. Like that VCR you possibly can’t wait to see upscaled on a 4K display.
Assembling the TV’s stand is a chunk of cake, however you’ll wish to have some assist when attaching the stand to the TV. Invite a pal or 5 over. The additional palms and muscle turn out to be useful, and the extra eyes you’ve readily available to ogle the TV, the extra compliments you’ll get if you flip it on.
What’s new and what does it do?
LG touts a laundry record of latest options and upgrades for the C9. A pair are a giant deal, whereas the remainder are extra delicate.
For my cash, the one most important new characteristic is HDMI 2.1 certification for all 4 of the C9’s HDMI ports. With HDMI 2.1, the C9 can supply 4K decision at as much as 120 frames per second (FPS), help for enhanced audio return channel (eARC), variable refresh fee (VRR), and auto low latency mode.
Sadly for early adopters, none of these options are any use simply but. Nonetheless, having HDMI 2.1 on board means the TV is as future-proof as a TV can get today. When 4K/120 content material is a actuality, the C9 will have the ability to deal with it. When soundbars and A/V receivers geared up to deal with eARC come alongside, they’ll work along with the C9 to ship completely uncompressed audio, together with full-on Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
Riley Younger/Digital Tendencies
When graphics playing cards for PCs and next-gen recreation consoles with HDMI 2.1 arrive, players will see the C9 robotically switching into low-latency mode and robotically adapting refresh charges to match the wants of the video games they play.
To be clear, a sure taste of VRR utilizing AMD’s FreeSync expertise is already accessible within the Xbox One X and with varied PC graphics playing cards, however the LG C9 doesn’t work with FreeSync. As a substitute, it depends on HDMI 2.1 to make VRR work, therefore the requirement that the supply system additionally help HDMI 2.1 We’ve deeper information on HDMI 2.1 right here in case you’d wish to study extra.
One other potential recreation changer for house theater lovers is the C9 OLED’s WiSA compatibility. WiSA is a wi-fi audio customary that lets customers arrange house theater speaker techniques which have amplifiers constructed proper in and join them on to their TVs or another supply part. With the C9’s WiSA compatibility and a set of, say, Klipsch’s Reference Premiere Wi-fi audio system, you’d solely must plug the audio system into the wall and, voila, instantaneous house theater, no speaker wires or A/V receivers required.
The final main advance is LG’s Alpha 9 Gen-2 processor, which sees incremental but essential advances over final 12 months’s top-tier processor. TV processing, as we now have mentioned at size up to now, has all the pieces to do with how good a TV’s image high quality is – two TVs with the identical show panel can look drastically totally different primarily based on processing alone. LG’s processing recreation has by no means been stronger, and this 12 months LG is leaning closely on its ThinQ AI to ship higher image high quality over its equally geared up 2018 TV.
By utilizing what LG describes as an unlimited database of pictures and picture data together with machine studying, the Alpha 9 Gen-2 processor makes an attempt to enhance picture high quality irrespective of the supply. Upscaling 1080p to 4K is hard sufficient, however upscaling the 720p content material most of us get from cable and satellite tv for pc TV is even tougher. The LG C9 tries to make these much less pixel-dense sources seem like the 4K HDR content material we see from Amazon, Netflix, and YouTube. It additionally cleans up low-bitrate content material to scale back artifacts like banding and macroblocking, which is commonly seen in extremely compressed streaming content material like HBO’s Recreation of Thrones.
Riley Younger/Digital Tendencies
The Gen-2 processor is programmed to extend peak luminance time for SDR. In different phrases, when not in an HDR mode, the TV will maintain high-brightness areas for longer earlier than dimming pixels to forestall them from getting too sizzling or carrying out prematurely. This helped maintain the distinction wanting spectacular when watching through the day with solar pouring into our testing room, however wasn’t needed with the blinds drawn or when the room was in any other case dim.
The LG C9 is a visible feast for the eyes. Carry your urge for food, and it’ll fulfill.
LG even added a brand new AI brightness adjustment that alters brightness primarily based on the readings it takes of your room’s gentle ranges. Which will sound like a well-known characteristic I typically advise of us to show off of their TV’s settings menu, nevertheless it’s a lot better.
In contrast to earlier variations of auto-brightness, LG’s new AI-powered system adjusts the tone curve because it brightens to maintain colours wanting correct. I examined the characteristic and didn’t discover a factor. The TV seemed nice any time of day, beneath any situations.
WebOS, Alexa, the Google Assistant, and Apple AirPlay 2
One of many causes I get pleasure from utilizing LG’s OLED TVs a lot is due to WebOS, and this 12 months I adore it simply that rather more. The person interface has improved in a number of methods. First, I didn’t see any ads on the TV by default like I did within the 2018 OLED TVs – that’s a giant one proper there. Second, LG made the WebOS ribbon on the backside of the TV just a little shorter, so it takes up much less of the display when pulled up. I additionally observed that steered content material from the apps I exploit pops up above the ribbon a lot quicker. Lastly, LG added a dashboard for managing related good house gadgets.
You may tie this TV into any good house ecosystem you’re constructing as a result of it helps each Google Assistant and Alexa. In both case, the TV permits fundamental voice management of related gadgets together with deeper integration, like displaying a Nest digital camera’s video feed on-screen. It’s one of many smartest good TVs I’ve examined.
Whereas it isn’t accessible but, the C9 will quickly help Apple AirPlay2 and HomeKit. You’ll quickly have the ability to use Siri on their cellular gadgets or HomePod audio system, discover content material, and forged it to the C9. We’ve not been in a position to take a look at this characteristic but, nonetheless, because it wasn’t accessible on the time of this overview.
That image high quality!
The LG C9 is near good. Blacks are insanely deep, colour accuracy is excellent out of the field (and even higher when professionally calibrated), and brightness for each SDR and HDR content material is the most effective I’ve seen from LG but. The image is clear and extremely detailed in each vibrant highlights and shadows, and colour is maintained in darkish areas higher than I’ve ever seen. The HDR efficiency of this TV – be it HDR10, Dolby Imaginative and prescient, or HLG content material – was lovely to behold.
The C9 is a visible feast for the eyes. Carry your urge for food, and it’ll fulfill.
Riley Younger/Digital Tendencies
By reader and viewer request, I used Season 5 Episode three of Recreation of Thrones – the now notorious “The Lengthy Evening” episode – as a stress take a look at for the C9 and in contrast its dealing with of the fantastically shot however poorly delivered present to that of a Samsung Q90 and a 2018 LG C8 OLED. The C9 outperformed the Q90 within the darkest scenes by a helpful margin because of its good black ranges and distinction upkeep.
Although there are moments on this present the place a creative choice was made to disclose no element within the shadows, when there was one thing to see, the C9 made certain we might see it. The C9 additionally did the most effective job of decreasing the banding artifacts that make this episode all however unwatchable on lesser TVs. This occurred to be the one space the place I felt the C9’s superiority over the C8 was pronounced.
LG’s C9 OLED is without doubt one of the best TVs you should purchase.
My solely complaints concerning the C9? Its image efficiency enhancements over the a lot inexpensive C8 are minor – the 55-inch C8 at $1900 is $600 lower than the $2500 C9 whereas the 65-inch C8 at $2800 is $700 lower than the $3500 C9.
Additionally, the C9 continues to have the faintest wisp of inexperienced forged to its picture in comparison with different OLED TVs, and most actually to premium LED/LCD TVs. That isn’t one thing most individuals discover with out straight evaluating a TV head-to-head in opposition to one other, however since I did precisely that, it’s arduous to get out of my head.
Regardless of. I’ll take the C9 OLED any day. It’s a stellar TV.
LG provides a 1-year restricted components and labor guarantee. This guarantee doesn’t cowl picture retention, also called burn-in.
LG’s C9 OLED is without doubt one of the best TVs you should purchase, made much more compelling by its future-proofing options reminiscent of HDMI 2.1 and WiSA compatibility.
Is there a greater various?
Sony’s Grasp Collection A9G 4K HDR is the higher various in case you’re in search of the most effective picture high quality of the cash. It loses out on a number of minor particulars, however picture high quality is the one most essential trait of a high-end tv. And the Sony wins.
I’ll add that if you’re a hard-core gamer who performs the identical recreation for a lot of hours at a time for days and even months on finish, or if you’re the kind who watches the identical information or climate channel for a number of hours at a time, day after day, then an OLED TV shouldn’t be for you, no matter whether or not it’s made by LG or one other model. Burn-in is usually a issue. Nonetheless, it does take many hours of static content material to essentially trigger concern.
How lengthy will it final?
With the addition of HDMI 2.1 and excellent processing, the C9 is poised to serve one’s wants for a few years to come back. It’s my prediction this TV will final a great six to seven years earlier than any new TV makes a compelling argument to spend cash changing it.
Do you have to purchase it?
Sure. In order for you the most effective image high quality cash should purchase and an impressive person expertise, the LG C9 OLED is the most effective TV buy you may make.