Buying a TV has never been an easy thing. There are so many factors to take into consideration, starting with your budget, then the space you have available, and then all these different screen technologies! A few years back we had Plasma and LCD. Today, it’s actually as simple at a base level but more complex for consumers – but – one thing is for sure, there is no TV that offers a better picture quality than the LG OLED.
When I reviewed the curved OLED screen from LG last year I said “It ticks every box. Perhaps with the curve though it just ticks too many?” And I was confident that a flat-screen OLED TV would be the best in market. Late last year I saw this TV in Berlin, and just a few weeks ago LG Australia announced it was available here. So on the weekend I checked into a hotel room in Sydney fitted with a stunning 65 inch LG OLED TV to take a good look for myself.
The room was equipped with display content which was being shown on both the LG OLED and another high-end product. To be honest, I didn’t spend too much time comparing the two because the difference was immediate – the blacks are blacker and the colours are brighter on the OLED screen.
So if we put to bed the idea that any TV in the market can offer a better picture quality then what more is there to say?
Well not a lot really. Sales people and LG will tell you that there are new advanced features in these 2016 models – and there are – just like with a whole bunch of other brands on the market there is a strong push for “HDR” support. HDR is “High Dynamic Range” which in simple terms is a way of filming content that should make the colours and detail “pop” even better than before.
And it does. This is a not a feature exclusive to LG, and to be honest, I don’t think it’s a feature people will be running around seeking out. It’s great that it’s there, but like many many technical features in your TV you’ll probably rarely know it’s there.
LG’s OLED TV is smart though, it can detect HDR content and will display a small notice when it does so you know it’s working harder for you to make the picture outstanding.
The simple fact is that side by side with any TV on the market, playing regular old TV content – not the fancy in-store demos all the manufacturers have – you can really see the picture quality improvement with OLED.
It’s amazing to see a high-end TV that’s not OLED in a dark dark room with just a small splash of colour on the screen. You can see how the entire side or vertical section of the TV is “lit up” – the pixels from top to bottom are backlit so that the black areas become slightly greyed. On an OLED TV that just doesn’t happen.
I didn’t spend hours watching stunning Blu-ray or looped content. We watched movies like Monsters Inc or Cat in the Hat – firstly because I had my 9-year-old son with me, but secondly because HDR content, let alone 4K content is still few and far between. So watching regular ol’ content is what most people are doing. And let me tell you it was stunning. The upscaling of content was spot on, and the colour reproduction would likely be something that the best in the movie business would admire.
That’s why this is the best TV money can buy.
However, It’s also extra expensive and therefore is a very “exclusive” product.
Will your mates notice if they come round to watch the footy that you’ve spent $9,000 not $4,000? Possibly. But not guaranteed.
Will your partner notice the deep blacks and rich colours when you’ve switched off the lights and are watching a movie? Possibly, but they’re probably more glad the kids are asleep than that you’ve gone OLED.
So should you buy one?
If you’ve got the cash – hell yes.
For almost 10 years I’ve been taking talk-back radio calls from people asking if they should buy this TV or that one, and it’s always come down to two simple things.
- Does it fit in your lounge room
- Can you afford it?
If so – buy it.
However, if it doesn’t fit, consider the 55inch.
Likewise if you can’t afford the $8,999 then look for the 55 inch at $5,999.
The good news is that these TVs are not exclusive to one retailer, so the deals are already on. You’ll find both TVs at $500 less than that already. The bad news is Flat and Curved are priced the same – a real missed opportunity – given I’m pretty sure it’s cheaper to make ’em flat not curved, but who am I to say!
Of course the challenge is convincing yourself – and or the minister for war and finance in your home – that you need to spend $3,500 MORE on a TV just because it’s OLED. It’s not a challenge I would win unfortunately. And I long for a time when OLED gets much more affordable, and I also think it’s the key to LG’s future success in the TV market. They have a large gap to Samsung to overcome – they need an affordable flagship product if they’re going to take them on head-on.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.