Reaching for the blackest of blacks, color can be delivered with the most magnificent visual ecstasy. Bringing out the highest detail in every object on the screen, LG aimed to do this with their curved OLED 4K screens, including the new 55-inch “55EG9600” model. An all-in-one featuring all of the latest in technology, it offers a sleek curved design, deep blacks, rich 3D capabilities, all your favorite apps and of course, a 4K Ultra HD resolution that seals the deal.
We originally covered LG’s latest screens at CES earlier this year where we were stunned by their performance in both picture and effect (3D). Our teams had a number of interviews with them going over what to expect later in the year but we finally have the opportunity ow to experience this model first-hand and really see what it can accomplish.
As any smaller curved TV, we were impressed very little by the curved design outside of the sleek sexy look that adds to the decor in a room and the fact that you get little-to-no glare from nearby light sources. Since the TV is smaller in size, you aren’t going to get an IMAX-like experience as your eyes won’t take in the wrap effect (you generally don’t get the effect unless the TV reaches 70-inches or larger, and it also depends on how far away you sit from the screen. Also, in our opinion, curved TVs are generally limited to stands vs hanging them on the wall since the curve looks distracting when mounted (again though, that is our opinion and you may feel differently about this). Sitting on its stand, the TV looks like a sculpture that immediately brings attention to itself within visual range. The screen has a very thin design to it with multi-color tones that lead to becoming an instant conversation piece as guests notice it sitting there.
Moving past the curve design though, the highlight of this model that we would like to focus on is picture. There has only been a few television models that we abstained from using a calibration disc on, because the picture quality was already something to gawk at. This LG happens to be one of though. Right out of the box, the TV was ready to display the pile of Blu-rays we had picked out for it. How to Train Your Dragon 2 3D (one of our favorites to test with), Avengers (non-3D) and Star Trek Into Darkness 3D (another favorite).We also have a thumb drive filled with 4K test content and rely on Netflix and YouTube for other scenarios. There is still a heavy limitation on 4K until true Ultra HD Blu-ray devices and media enter the market next year.
Upon testing the Blu-ray movies out, the TV performed perfectly to expectations. Non-3D content is super-rich and every object pops right out with great depth and clear edges. 3D content is also wonderful as the image looks flawless, with no blurriness or ghosting that generally causes strain on your eyes. The depth between layers is crisp and clear and the smallest of objects flying around the screen can be focused on with solid quality. 3D is finally starting to become a thing more viewers are willing to jump into. These new TVs help to crush the complaints most critics have had (including ourselves) about 3D technology. Holographic 3D (whenever it shows up) will still blow the current methods away, but for now, this looks amazing. Also good to keep in mind that 3D quality depends on the movie as well since not all movies should have been made available in the format. It’s best to stick to movies that were originally filmed in 3D and not later “converted” after it was shot. Animations seem to be the best, although Star Trek was mind-numbingly awesome as well, so once again, it depends on the movie and the quality placed into its development.
Curving (pun) back towards non-3D content, everything displays just as you would expect it to on such a high quality screen. Netflix and other streaming options work great as well. 4K content takes everything yet again to whole new level. The test content we used against the TV produced remarkable detail, including color richness, dark blacks, flawless edges and smooth motion. We felt we were back at CES already. There is still a heavy shortage on 4K content on the market but that will change when the new 4K Blu-ray media hits the shelves in 2016. For now, as mentioned, you are limited to whatever demos you can download online or the content on Netflix, YouTube or your cable/satellite provider. Not all providers support 4K yet, but the selection will be growing tremendously soon, especially due to the latest breakthroughs in video compression (ie, HEVC/H.265).
4K upscaling is also impressive with this model as all 1080p content scaled very nicely resulting in a wonderful image. Some content scales better than others, but we never found ourselves thinking “we should disable this feature”. The same goes for 720p content and even DVD content as well. Standard definition content below that of DVD however usually never looks impressive upscaled. At times you run into something and think “hey this helps”, and other times it does nothing or makes it worse. We try not to bother ourselves with standard definition anymore (insert playful snobby humor).
It isn’t all rainbows and butterflies though as the screen could be better. It won’t be getting a perfect 10 rating because at times there are troubles with 100% of the screen properly taking advantage of the deep blacks. This is something that most owners won’t even notice, but worth pointing out for videophiles in the world that like to calibrate their experience to the T. The center of the TV can sometimes produce greyish areas, mostly noticeable on the darkest of scenes. Again, most owners won’t even notice this, but seems like something that could have been focused a little hard on due to the price of the TV. Regular 1080p content is where this pops up from time to time and not so much (nearly never) in 4K content. Maybe that was because we tested mostly using 1080p content. This is by no means a deal breaker, but something to keep in mind for those it matters most to.
It’s best to keep content to 60fps or greater when using this TV. Some of the video games for example can produce a little judder as the consoles operate around 30fps and for some reason this TV doesn’t perform at 100% at this frame rate. Not all games or content seem to be affected by this, but we did notice it from time to time. You probably don’t want to use this as your Xbox or PS4 display.
LG’s WebOS smart tv functionality is spot on with this model. The menus and apps response quickly and don’t lead to any user frustration while bouncing around. There were no Wi-Fi dropouts causing buffering conditions while watching content on Netflix or YouTube. Then again, this building has so many repeaters installed throughout, there really aren’t too many spots you can find where you lose more than “one bar” in signal strength. Smart TVs have been come a long way since the slow laggy menu days and clunky (app) launch times.
LG’s Magic Remote is as fun as usual, offering voice control of the features of the set. This remote is larger than some of the models we have seen recently with LG and offers a number pad again–which has been a complaint with a few models in the past where they had removed it physically. A smaller remote is nice, but most users still seem to prefer instant selection of buttons that don’t require pointing the remote at the screen to find.
The built-in speakers are average for a thin screen but nothing we can complain much about. We almost never find ourselves impressed with a TV’s speakers. They all sound tinny and offer little dynamic range. Just look at the small footprint in which they have to pack the speakers into. As always, we suggest that if you want better sound, you should depend on a receiver/amp and not the built-in speakers. They don’t sound horrible, and they are Harman/Kardon (although it doesn’t seem like that makes too much of a difference). They deliver typical TV level audio with a flat limited range (as any flat TV). It’s enough for watching the news or weather or you simply need background noise. When it comes to watching your favorite series or movie, then make sure you have your audio sent out to something better. Even a nice soundbar would be fine.
On the side, you find 3 HDMI inputs. There used to be reach for more, but most users rely on their receiver for inputs and switching these days leaving the TV to act like nothing more than an attached monitor. Usually in such a scenario, the only time you find yourself making use of one of the other inputs is when you are looking to attach a mobile device such as a tablet or laptop. Then again, most mobile devices can stream their screens wirelessly to these TVs eliminating the need for an HDMI cable anyway. There are also 2 USB inputs on the side as well.
You still have an RF in on the back for cable or antenna, a shared component and composite input, another USB, optical (audio-out), ethernet and RS-232.
This is a great TV for those looking to watch their favorite TV, sports and movies on (non-theater situations of course due to size). The attention to detail is great and you won’t be disappointed. There were a few small things we pointed out for videophiles but besides that the only thing weighing down the model is the price. At the moment it runs about $3999, which is pricey for a 55-inch TV. There is also a 65-inch as well, but now your looking at six thousand. So as with any “top of the line” model, you are faced with a heavy price tag until they can develop a model that costs less to produce. We can’t dock them much in score for that since it’s something to be expected, but still had to take away a little. We almost gave it a 9.0+, but the judder found in some games was a downer.Over-all though, this TV is simply fantastic.
|ULTRA HD (3840×2160)||Yes|
|Triple XD Engine||Yes|
|Just Scan (1:1 Pixel Matching)||Yes|
|4K UHD File Playback||Yes (HEVC, VP9)|
|Real Cinema 24p||Yes|
|Magic Remote Control||2015 (Included)|
|Natural Voice Recognition||Yes|
|Universal Control Capability||Yes|
|LG Content Store||Yes|
|3D Type (SG/FPR)||FPR (Passive)|
|3D Glasses||2 Glasses Included|
|Speaker System||2 Channel|
|Audio Output Power (Watts – THD 10%)||20W|
|Sound System||ULTRA Surround|
|Dolby® Digital Decoder||Yes|
|Sound Designed by harman/kardon®||Yes|
|Clear Voice II||Yes|
|Wireless Sound Sync||Yes|
|SIMPLINK™ (HDMI™ CEC)||Yes|
|Photo||JPEG, JPS, MPO|
|Audio||AC3(Dolby Digital), EAC3, HE-AAC, AAC, MP2, MP3, PC M, DTS, RA, WMA|
|RF In (Antenna/Cable)||1 (Rear)|
|Component Video In||1 (Rear)|
|Composite In (AV)||1 (Rear)|
|USB 3.0/2.0||1 / 2 (Side)|
|Digital Audio Out (Optical)||1 (Rear)|
|RS-232||1 (Rear, Phone Jack)|
|Power Supply (Voltage, Hz)||100V ~ 240V, 50/60 Hz|
|VESA||LG Wall Mount Only, OTW150|
|TV without Stand (WxHxD)||48.3” x 28.3” x 2”|
|TV with Stand (WxHxD)||48.3” x 29.9” x 8.4”|
|TV Shipping Dimensions (WxHxD)||56.5” x 31.9” x 8.9”|
|TV without Stand weight||33.7 lbs|
|TV with Stand weight||41.6 lbs|
|Shipping Weight||55.3 lbs|
|Limited Warranty||1 Year Parts & Labor|
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