A Review of the LG Electronics 65EC9700 65-Inch 4k Ultra HD 3D Curved OLED TV
As the world’s very first OLED 4K TV, the LG 65EC9700 broke completely new ground by combining the two top choices for the very best in high end 2014 TVs, OLED (organic light emitting diodes) and 4K resolution. Formerly two mutually exclusive exotic technologies, the two features were merged into this TV to create a whole new class of ultra HD experience like nothing ever before seen in a TV, 4K or otherwise.
Though this is quite naturally one very expensive TV even among 4K models, the 65EC9700 offers a nearly unprecedented package in terms of features, picture quality and overall technological sophistication. Only in 2015, with the impending arrival of even newer, more advanced 4K OLED models has LG created something that outdoes the 65EC9700.
The OLED technology on the 65EC9700 is its single finest feature and this alone makes this a worthwhile piece of technology, even if you exclude all the other powerful specifications and robust features built into this TV.
With OLED, an acronym for Organic Light Emitting Diodes, the entire TV no longer requires backlighting technology or local dimming mechanisms because the diodes themselves, extremely expensive to manufacture (and thus accounting for a large part of this TV’s high price) can completely turn on or off at the command of an internal algorithm. Thus, with the 65EC9700 and all of its smaller and larger OLED cousins, the blacks in content on the screen offer a total and perfect level of true black that no other TV can match because no other 4K TV really cuts off backlighting to its display, it simply blocks it with small light obscuring panels.
Going beyond the cutting edge OLED technology, the 65EC9700 also offers a wide spectrum of completely modern connectivity options and a whole host of extremely advanced smart TV functions that fully meet the standards of LG quality and brand recognition. These include multiple HDMI 2.0 connections, the full spectrum of internet connections from WiFi to Ethernet and a smart TV platform that gives you easy, quick access to the latest web applications for 4K UHD video entertainment, regular videos, music, social media and games.
Overall, this is a TV that truly delivers when it comes to creating a rock solid foundation for your new 4K home entertainment system.
4.3 - 6 Reviews
We could complain about only two aspects of the TV, one at least partly unavoidable and the other unnecessary: The 65EC9700 is one very expensive television at just under $10,000 and while we can’t really blame LG on this because this really is a feature packed machine and OLED technology is indeed hard to manufacture, we can at least hope that they start dropping the price on this still absolutely excellent 2014 model now that their 2015 lineup has emerged.
Secondly, the curved screen is just a gimmick. This is something we’ve mentioned in other reviews of other curved TVs (mainly from Samsung) and it applies here too. The curvature adds next to nothing to the overall viewing experience and even takes a bit away with poor viewing at off angles and a slight price markup that comes with its inclusion
Find out how the LG 65EC9700 compares to other 4k TV's.
If you have the money to go to the maximum with your 4K home entertainment investment, then you practically can’t do better than to buy the LG 65EC9700. Out of all the 4K UHD TVs to emerge in 2014, this is the absolute finest in terms of overall specs even if a few Sony and Samsung models beat it in terms of 4K content accessibility for the time being.
• Screen size: 65 inches television
• Smart TV: Yes with WebOS, full web browser and assorted other features
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes (with one of rear HDMI 2.0 ports)
• Refresh Rate: much faster than any LCD TV, screen refreshes at 0.1 microseconds
• Screen Lighting: OLED
• Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes built-in WiFi, SIMPLINK™ (HDMI™ CEC), WiDi, MHL
• and WiFi Direct
• Remotes: Magic remote with voice recognition controls
• Connectivity: 4 HDMI 2.0 ports, 3 USB, Ethernet, 1 Component, 1 Composite, 1 Digital Audio Out, 1 LAN, 1 RS232
• Sound: 40W 4 ch speaker system with ULTRA surround and Mono/stereo/dual
• Dynamic Contrast Ratio: infinite
• Other Display Features: LivePlus, Live Menu, Premium Content and access to LG Content Store
• TV weight with/without stand: 54.23 lbs/51.14 lbs
• Dimensions: 57" x 32.6" x 2.2" inches; With stand: 57" x 34.6" x 10.1" inches
• Processor: Quad core
The first thing that calls attention about the LG 65EC9700 is its striking, extremely elegant design. This truly is one exquisitely thin TV with a panel that’s virtually bezel free for the sake of totally immersing the screen surface (and user) in the viewing experience. And that thinness is no joke. With their OLED design and consequently much more compact internal design with no need for a backlight, these TVs manage to make their entire screen edge no thinner than a pencil –literally, they’re only a quarter of an inch thick. Try beating that with one of Sony’s much bulkier Bravia 4K TVs.
Moving beyond the TV’s eye catching visual appearance. Other highlights include obvious and not so obvious features.
First of all, there is the Magic Remote, which is nearly the same as a number of other motion sensing remotes which comes with other assorted LG WebOS-powered 4K and HDTVs. This is a curved control device that not only fits comfortably in the hand and looks vaguely like and egg but also performs very well as a sort of air mouse that allows you to control on-screen elements through gestures aimed at a pointer on the screen itself.
The remote also of course includes a normal direction pad and a scroll wheel in its middle that double functions as an OK button. Furthermore, a microphone inside the remote let’s you control the TV’s smart platform and other features through assorted voice commands.
Another major highlight is the LG webOS interface that has undergone only minor changes since last year. The webOS interface supports a wide variety of video streaming services right out of the box. These include Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube and Vudu among a whole bunch of other social media, music and assorted entertainment applications. Furthermore, there is a complete web browser for accessing the internet in general and a connection to the LG Store offers hundreds of other free or pay-to-use apps.
Furthermore, each action you perform with the TV from the moment you activate it –opening apps, scrolling between different parts of the webOS interface or moving from one HDMI port to another—can be done with a smoothness and speed that leaves no room for frustration or impatience. This TV’s interface really moves its ass in a fluid, swift way that just radiates responsiveness.
The TV also offers live. TV integration through either a set-top box, direct cable or an antennae connection. Because LG has built you a fully media-compatible 4K TV here, you won’t have any problems between TV and nearly any source of 4K or HD content anywhere on the web and beyond. This machine offers full HEVC decoding compatibility, supports the Google VP9 4K video encoding standard and has at least one HDMI port that is fully HDCP 2.2 compliant for accessing copy-protected ultra HD content through set-top boxes or from other sources.
Finally, we should also mention the OLED-produced infinite contrast and just how magnificent it looks on the 65EC9700. With this, you truly do get a superb level of dark tone variation that’s unlike anything found in any LED LCD TV. Scenes from the dark alleys of a drama movie will show a whole range of subtly varied inky blacks and delicate shadows while sudden sources of light truly emerge from real darkness in a way that does an incredible job of imitating reality as our eyes might see it in the outside world. In this, the entire OLED line excels as no other 4K TV currently can.
The assorted visual specs of the LG 65EC9700 are robust and well designed in a number of ways aside from the impressiveness of their OLED technology. However, let’s run through the OLED first.
The organic light emitting diodes of the 65EC9700 produce a singular effect that is what makes them so powerful at creating extremely realistic vibrancy. This lies in their ability to create infinite contrast ratios by turning off individual diodes behind the screen completely instead of just dimming them. Thus, the differences between the deepest blacks and the brightest, illuminated whites are extreme when needed and almost infinitely varied in between as required. The resulting contrast levels do an incredible job of simulating reality on a digital screen.
Additionally, the TV’s advanced design includes a 4 color pixel technology that adds a fourth, unfiltered white sub.pixel to the more usual red, green and blue for not only brighter picture but also a much wider range of colors at higher levels of accuracy. This technology is somewhat similar to that achieved by Quantum Dots but because it also works in tandem with the 65EC9700’s OLED abilities, the overall effect is superior to that produced by the nanocrystal color layers of Quantum Dot technology, which we explain here.
Next we move on to the 65EC9700’s bedrock technology, which is obviously the ultra HD 4K resolution. Even on this, LG has created something that performs above-par for its nature due to the 4 Pixel feature and because of the TVs immensely fast internal processor/OLED combination which allows the refresh rate for the TV image to be insanely fast and fluid despite the 8.2 million pixels occupying the screen. Of course, the 65EC9700 also comes with a very robust internal upscaling engine for making HD content you watch on the screen into something clearer than normal.
This upscaler, called the Tru-4K Engine Pro, works particularly well at making HD look remarkable, especially with the help of the screen’s OLED technology.
The resulting effect is one of not only all the realistic colors and contrasts we mentioned above but also a smoothness of movement that does its own part to convey realism in a way virtually no other TV can manage.
In terms of connectivity, the LG 65EC9700 has everything you need for a future-proof source of 4K ultra HD content that won’t disappoint for several years at least.
The 4 HDMI ports are all of the 2.0 variety and one of them is built to handle HDCP 2.2 encoded content that can’t be read by anything except a TV which includes the latest version of HDCP. Furthermore, there are 3 USB ports of which one is a more advanced USB 3.0 connection which supports connecting the TV to another device for transfer of Full HD content.
Finally, we get down to the sheer web connectivity of the 65EC9700. It includes a full web browser, built-in WiFi, WiFi Direct, and of course, a LAN connection port. Along with these, there is also the fact that the TV supports the latest 4K video compression codecs like Google’s VP9 and everyone else’s HEVC/H.265 compression, meaning that if you’ve got the broadband connection to handle the content, you can absolutely view just about any major source of 4K entertainment that’s available to an LG TV today.
Other connectivity features that come with the 65EC9700 include MHL, Miracast and WiDi for passing content between the TV and nearby mobile devices, laptops and tablets.
The LG 65EC9700 is not a cheap TV by any measure given all of its innovative internal technology and extremely powerful specs. Even though it was first released in the second half of 2014, it still retails for $9,999 at Amazon.com and discount deals for less than this are not easy to come by.
4.3 - 6 Reviews
Once again, though it may seem hard to believe, there is really nothing to complain about with the specs and performance of the LG 65EC9700. The only sore points are its very high price and the unnecessarily curved screen that probably adds a bit more to that steep price tag.
• Extraordinary OLED contrast performance
• Completely future-proofed
• Powerful range of specs and connectivity
• Unrivalled picture quality
• Wonderfully fast user interface/OS
• One very expensive TV
• Curved screen is just a gimmick