OLED is formally a mature TV know-how.
For the final 4 years, LG’s TVs with OLED panels — that is natural gentle emitting diode screens — have taken high honors for image high quality in Proinertech’s evaluations. Yearly they beat one of the best LCD-based TVs, and yearly I name the latest LG OLED one of the best TV I’ve ever examined.
That is the case as soon as once more. As of April 2018, the LG C8 is one of the best TV I’ve ever examined, beating the 2017 Sony and LG OLED TVs by a hair. And it is a skinny hair: The C8’s essential benefits are actually minor, together with barely higher display screen uniformity and ephemeral new video processing choices.
Anyone who purchased a 2017 OLED TV can relaxation assured that the latest model is not considerably higher (and has an uglier stand). For anyone who needs to save cash by getting a 2017 OLED TV on closeout now, fairly than ready till this fall for the C8 to drop in worth, contemplate this evaluation a inexperienced gentle. (Be aware that Thanksgiving week has been one of the best time to purchase LG’s OLED TVs lately.)
The C8 is the most cost effective this 12 months with LG’s new Alpha 9 processor, one thing that can be lacking from the B8 when it seems this summer time. However the B8 can be cheaper. And that processor is not price a lot extra cash by way of real-world efficiency, from what I’ve seen. In different phrases, the B8 is unquestionably price ready for in order for you one of the best worth on a 2018 OLED TV.
And for individuals ready to purchase one of the best TV, no matter worth, it additionally pays to attend. Samsung’s Q9 prices greater than the C8, however guarantees a brighter picture and one of the best quantum-dot, native dimming tech that LG’s arch-rival can muster. It is the one 2018 LCD TV that I feel might have an opportunity to equal an OLED. In the meantime cheaper fashions such because the Vizio P-series Quantum might additionally make a play for videophiles who crave brightness — or worry OLED burn-in.
It is early within the sport, however the LG C8 continues to be my favourite to win the 2018 image high quality championship.
Smooth appears past the weak stand
I’ve beloved LG’s minimalist OLED designs previously, however the 2018 C8 is extra of a miss in my e book. The included stand is basically vast, virtually the identical width because the panel, and it scoops as much as both facet. I a lot most well-liked the cleaner look of the narrower, angular stand on the C7 from final 12 months.
After all you could possibly all the time ditch the stand, wall-mount the TV and take pleasure in its wonderful minimalism. There’s lower than a half-inch of black body across the image itself to the highest and sides. Then there is a bit extra under, however no hint of silver, no “LG” or every other brand in any respect.
Seen in profile, the highest portion is razor skinny at only a quarter-inch deep. But it surely has the standard bulge on the backside that juts out one other 1.75 inches. That bulge homes the inputs, energy provide, audio system and different depth-eating TV elements. It is plastic, however the bottom above it’s sheathed in silvery metallic.
New for 2018, LG up to date the screensaver that seems when the TV is not receiving a sign. Now it is an precise framed image, together with work and pictures of landscapes, and the body itself modifications too. My first thought is that LG needs to ape the panache of Samsung’s The Body in software program kind.
Sensible TV: Respectable however not modern
LG’s Net OS menu system feels good and snappy but it surely’s mainly unchanged from final 12 months. It nonetheless lacks the modern extras and app-based setup of Samsung’s 2018 Tizen system, and falls properly in need of the app protection of Roku TV or Sony’s Android TV. If you’d like extra apps, your greatest guess is to get an exterior streamer, but it surely’s price mentioning that just one, the Apple TV 4K, can assist Dolby Imaginative and prescient.
The distant is identical because the 2017 mannequin’s. I like utilizing its movement management to whip across the display screen, one thing that is notably useful when signing into apps or looking utilizing an on-screen keyboard. The scroll wheel can also be nice for transferring via apps, like these seemingly infinite thumbnail rows on Netflix and Amazon.
Each of these apps get devoted launch buttons on the distant, by the best way. However in contrast to Sony’s 2018 distant there isn’t any particular logo-infused key for Google Assistant. LG’s 2018 units will quickly embody Assistant, which you’ll entry by urgent the plain-Jane mic button, but it surely wasn’t but energetic after I reviewed the TV. I am going to replace this part after I get the possibility to check it.
Options and connections
HDR10, Dolby Imaginative and prescient
OLED’s primary tech is nearer to late, lamented plasma than to the LED LCD (QLED, quantum dot or in any other case) know-how used within the overwhelming majority of at present’s TVs. LCD depends on a backlight shining via a liquid crystal panel to create the image, whereas every particular person sub-pixel is accountable for creating illumination on OLED and plasma screens. That is why OLED and plasma are often known as “emissive” and LED LCD are referred to as “transmissive” shows, and a giant cause why OLED’s image high quality is so good.
LG’s 2018 OLED TVs have the identical gentle output and colour gamut capabilities as 2017 fashions, so the largest image high quality distinction is that the 2018 TVs (other than the B8, due later this 12 months) get LG’s new Alpha 9 processor. The corporate claims the chip improves noise discount, sharpness, distinction and colour (the latter with superior colour mapping). LG additionally added black body insertion to all of its 2018 OLED TVs, together with the B8. See the image high quality part under for extra particulars.
In contrast to Samsung, LG TVs just like the C8 assist each main present sorts of HDR video: Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HDR10. The set additionally helps HLG HDR in addition to Technicolor and Philips’ HDR format. However you need to consider them as future-proofing options as there isn’t any content material you possibly can watch in these codecs but. A Technicolor-approved image mode can also be accessible.
New for 2018, LG’s TVs are additionally appropriate with HFR (excessive body charge) video, though solely via built-in streaming apps, not on exterior units related by HDMI. The presentation of upper body charges in a handful of films — for instance, The Hobbit and Billy Lynn’s Lengthy Halftime Stroll — is controversial. Many viewers merely do not just like the impact, which may give movies an identical look to the much-maligned cleaning soap opera impact. That mentioned, it’d turn into extra extensively accepted in sports activities and gaming content material. Once more there isn’t any HFR content material accessible but, however LG says it’d seem later in 2018.
Along with its customary burn-in prevention measures, LG’s added one referred to as “Brand Luminance Adjustment.” It is designed to routinely detect a static on-screen brand and, after two minutes, begin reducing its brightness over a few minute and a half, after which the brand ought to be 20 p.c dimmer. Proinertech’s preliminary assessments of the function discovered it does scale back brand brightness a bit, however we do not anticipate it to be a cure-all given the comparatively delicate share lower.
The collection of connections is top-notch. In contrast to lots of Samsung’s units, this one truly has an analog video enter for legacy (non-HDMI) units, though it now not helps analog element video.
4 HDMI inputs with HDMI 2.0a, HDCP 2.2Three USB portsOne composite video inputOptical digital audio outputOne RF (antenna) inputRS-232 port (minijack, for service solely)Ethernet (LAN) port