which OLED tv is best | allbesthome reviews

by | Dec 29, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

An LG OLED TV mounted on a wall in the living room
Photo: LG

Our choice

LG CX

LG CX

The LG CX produces stunning 4K HDR images and works just as well as advanced OLED TVs at a significantly lower price.

That LG CX is our choice for the best OLED TV in 2020 because it offers an excellent picture and the most future-proof range of features at a lower price than you would pay for competing OLED TVs. The CX delivers the same picture quality as LG’s advanced 4K OLED TV and differs only in sound and styling options, making it the best overall value in the company’s OLED lineup. The CX supports all of the leading high dynamic range standards (including Dolby Vision), and it looks great with both high-definition and standard-definition video. Even video files that require the most accurate image will be won by the LG CX and its huge range of calibration options, but thanks to the new Film producer mode, which automatically adjusts the TV settings to the best movie options, you may not have to pay for that calibration.

For our tests, we used Film Producer Mode, which accurately measured for SDR and HDR video right out of the box. CX produced the best images of any TV we tested, displaying bright, detailed images with vivid colors that looked amazing. Although Film Producer Mode was very accurate, we still calibrated the CX, which has more advanced calibration control than any other TV we’ve tested. This calibration process took the TV from having error levels that were invisible to the eye to having error levels that were even more invisible to the eye – in other words, the effort made to see nicer scorecards in Calman software we used, but it’s not something you have to do.

Placed side by side with our favorite LCD TV, CX OLED produced an image that offered superior contrast and viewing angles, and it was our clear favorite. Black areas of the picture looked completely black without the shadow breaking, we watched some older OLED TVs. (Shadow crushing occurs where dark details that are supposed to vary in darkness appear as a solid black block.) In addition, 4K material seemed sharp and vivid, and HDR content looked great with highlights popping out of the screen. We measured almost 750 nits of brightness on our 65-inch walk-through, and the CX’s wide color gamut supports it to display colors that other TVs are unable to create. The end result is an amazing, true picture that is a noticeable step above what even the most efficient LCD TVs are capable of producing.

Someone who has an LG TV remote control
LG’s Magic Remote supports both voice and motion control. Photo: Chris Heinonen

LG currently supports Dolby Vision, HDR10, Technicolor, HGiG and HLG HDR standards. The only format it does not support is HDR10 +, but that is not important as all HDR10 + content is also available in either HDR10 or Dolby Vision. And because the HDR10 + offers the most performance gains on TVs with maximum brightness below 500 nits, it would not benefit the much brighter picture of this LG model. LG also uses a more common Dolby Vision profile than Sony does on its OLED TVs; As a result, some Dolby Vision source devices only work with LG models and not Sony models. HGiG is an HDR mode designed to work with video game consoles; Xbox One X currently supports it, and future consoles should too. The goal of HGiG is to ensure that all details of HDR games are visible without broken highlights or shadows.

The CX has a 120 Hz refresh rate for smoother, cleaner motion. This year, LG has improved its black-frame insertion mode, which is designed to reduce motion blur to include multiple levels. The low, medium, and high settings adjust the time the black frames appear between video images, with longer periods that increase motion clarity but decrease light output. In our test, when we watched sports, the low mode worked wonderfully, and the image remained bright enough to easily enjoy it, showing an insignificant change in overall brightness. The medium and high settings began to make the image darker than we preferred; some people will probably notice flicker at these speeds. An automatic mode switches between low and medium depending on the content, as it tries to balance light output and readiness of movement. You can also enable this mode for HDR video, but as it affects the brightness of the image, we do not recommend it.

LG has done a good job of continuously improving its video processing. In the images below, you can see how well CX’s Smooth Gradation treatment removes visible tape in streaming content with a lower bit rate. When smooth gradation is turned off, the uneven steps of the gradient are easy to see, but when set to low, the TV reproduces a smooth gradient without much loss, if any, in fine detail.

Images showing the CX's smooth grading, changing from dark to light
When the CX’s Smooth Gradation function is switched off, you can see the uneven steps (bands) in the transition from dark to light. With activated, the transitions look much smoother and cleaner. Photos: Chris Heinonen

What sets the LG line apart from Sony’s comparable OLED TVs is its full HDMI 2.1 compatibility as well as its superior user interface and calibration control. HDMI 2.1 offers a number of enhancements over HDMI 2.0: eARC allows you to send lossless sound of higher quality from the TV to a soundbar or receiver; low latency automatic mode allows the TV to automatically activate game mode to achieve lower input delay; and variable refresh rate may lead to smaller strain from supported game consoles. HDMI 2.1 ports on the CX offer a bandwidth of 40 Gbps, which we discuss below.

The LG CX is just as good at playing video games as it is at showing movies and TV. In addition to the HDMI 2.1 support, which makes it compatible with all the latest gaming features offered by the upcoming Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, it supports Nvidia’s GSync and AMD’s FreeSync if you want to connect a PC and play games using these variables -update standards. In our tests, the input delay on the LG CX was as low as on any TV we have ever measured, coming in at 13 ms for 60 Hz content and only 7 ms for 120 Hz content. Since the absolute minimum for delay time with a 120 Hz monitor in our Murideo Seven measurement system is probably around 4.2 ms, the CX itself adds only approx. 3 ms delay. LG also includes features like a slight pixel shift and attenuation of static elements (like video game elements and channel logos) to reduce any chance of burn-in, which we already think is unlikely in normal use.

CX’s WebOS streaming system provides easy access to the most popular audio and video services and is faster and more responsive than the Android TV interface on the Sony A8H. It does not have as large a selection of content as some other streaming platforms, but it does support all the major services including Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies, Hulu, Netflix, Vudu and YouTube. (If you regularly use services that WebOS does not support, you can always get a cheap, stand-alone device for media streaming.) The WebOS interface allows you to easily set your favorites for quick access, and the integrated Google Assistant combined with LG’s ThinQ AI technology allows you to search for content and adjust control settings with your voice by speaking into the remote microphone.

As we mentioned above, LG includes more advanced calibration controls for those who want to have their TV professionally calibrated to perform its absolute best with all types of video. You can calibrate to SDR, HDR, and Dolby Vision and save different settings for each. In contrast, Sony OLED models share settings across SDR and HDR, and they do not offer the same level of access to calibration control as LG models do. The LG OLED TVs in 2020 also include direct LUT calibration; this feature that I have written in detail about, can produce calibration results that are more accurate than a standard calibration. In addition, LG’s TVs offer a calibrator custom tone curves, which allows you to squeeze every last performance out of your OLED. You can also set the game mode to be accurate; most other televisions still have a game mode that is markedly tinted blue, forcing you to choose between picture quality and responsiveness.

The CX has a slim, attractive design, and it’s easier to mount on the wall than LG’s previous models because it uses standard VESA mounting holes instead of a custom bracket. If you use the CX’s included stand, LG makes it easy to hide the cables, so your setup looks neat and clean. If you want the cleanest setup of wall mounting, the more expensive LG GX model is completely flush with the wall and comes with a wall bracket instead of a stand.

Finally, we like that LG supports its TVs with firmware updates that add new features and wider support for new formats. In 2017, LG updated e.g. Continuously its firmware to improve the movement quality and color accuracy as the year went on. A company that provides this kind of support to improve its TVs, even after their release, is good to watch.

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