LG B6 Review – Flat-Screen 2016 OLED 4K HDR Ultra HD TV (OLED65B6P , OLED55B6P)
In 2016, LG has so far released four different OLED 4K TV models to the market and they can be divided into two broader categories: The G6/E6 Picture-on-Glass “top-shelf” TVs with their extremely unique design, and the more aesthetically conventional C6/B6 OLED models. All of these TVs offer the full range of LG’s high dynamic range specs for HDR and Dolby Vision and all of them also offer wide color gamut to boot. However, among these four different 2016 OLEDs, the B6 is the most affordable along with its virtually identical (but curved) C6 cousin. In terms of all relevant visual specs, this model is just as good as its G6 and E6 cousins but because it lacks the admittedly stunning Picture-on-glass design and comes with a weaker level of sound power, LG has decided to sell the B6 model for a considerably more affordable price.
This of course completely benefits you the consumer. Why? Because with the B6 you get your hands on a 2016 HDR OLED TV with virtually identical (and in one instance superior) display quality to its top-shelf cousins but at a massive discount. As long as the more conventional design of the B6 and its slightly weaker speakers aren’t a problem (and the speakers shouldn’t be since you can easily hook in external audio power), then the B6 is absolutely the best piece of OLED value among the 2016 4K models along with its almost identical but curved cousin the C6 OLED model.
And quality is something this particular 4K TV has plenty to offer of. The B6 OLED delivers the best peak brightness we’ve yet seen in any 4K OLED TV and this includes its top-shelf G6 and E6 cousins, given the right conditions, this model can, oddly enough, surpass the peak brightness of LG’s two more premium OLED TVs and as a result also surpass the peak brightness of almost any LCD 4K TV on sale today except for maybe Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TVs and some of Sony’s 2016 LCD 4K HDR TV models.
This is an impressive achievement indeed for a TV that uses otherwise superior but more typically dim organic light emitting diode technology and it’s further complemented by a whole load of other stunningly good display and smart TV specs which are among the best of their kind not only for any OLED TV on sale today but also for any 4K TV of any kind we’ve seen yet. Now, let’s get down to some more details.
Where to start? LG has delivered one excellent piece of 4K TV technology in the B6 and to top it off has developed this model with a truly beautiful physical design that would look stunning in any home. Yes, LG’s G6/E6 Picture-on-glass models are even more stunning in their physical appearance and screen thinness but that doesn’t in any way take away from the overall aesthetic value of the B6. Its borders are virtually bezel-free, measuring at just 1.1 cm and the TV’s screen panel thickness is also impressively delicate, measuring out at just 1.77 inches, or 4.5 cm along the bottom of the TV. Closer up to the top where the back of this TV is pure display, the screen thickness is around an 8th of an inch. As for the stand on the B6, it’s like one of LG’s classic 2015 OLED stands in appearance meaning that it offers a small but firmly stable black base and a clear plastic vertical support which connects to the bottom of the TV and serves to make this model’s display look like it’s floating above wherever its placed, especially in a darker room while the TV is on.
Moving beyond physical design characteristics, we get down to the real golden features of the B6. These are of course its visual performance specs and we have to say that they are absolutely superb almost across the board. This isn’t just hyperbole, this TV, like all of the LG OLED models performs spectacularly across virtually every metric of ultra HD display quality, for color, contrast, black level (total and perfect), motion control and even brightness, most surprisingly of all. OLED is a technology which has been criticized in the past for its weaker peak brightness in comparison to LCD TV display panel designs but LG has gone a long way towards dispelling this worry with the B6 and its cousins for this year. In fact, the peak brightness of the B6 and its G6, C6 and E6 siblings is as good as or superior to that of the majority of 4K LCD TVs on sale today, and this is if we include HDR 4K TVs like Vizio’s P-Series, LG’s own UH-Series models and even many of Sony’s otherwise excellent XBR Bravia 4K HDR TVs. We’re going to go into further detail on this models specific display specs in another section below but needless to say, the B6 is an absolute powerhouse performer.
Then to complement the general performance of the B6’s display specs, there is the caliber of its HDR features. This particular TV model, like all the 2016 OLEDs offers compatibility with both HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR standards, meaning that the B6 can deliver the encoded high dynamic range visuals from the widest possible range of content sources to its users. This is something no other TV brand has managed to deliver yet at this point in time, with most of the major 4K TV makers vying for either Dolby Vision HDR standards or Ultra HD Premium specs which are based on HDR10. For more details on what these two types of high dynamic range mean, check out our detailed HDR guide as well. It will explain what to look for in TVs like the B6 and the other major models of 2016.
It’s also worth noting that aside from delivering HDR and superb visual specs for color, contrast and black level, (as do all OLED TVs to-date), the B6 is also a stunning performer in terms of motion control and content upscaling power. It handles motion blur with superb quality, LG’s motion interpolation technology (TruMotion) is particularly good at sharpening movement without creating bizarre and unwanted visual effects, and the B6 comes with the usual LG upscaling engine, which is excellent at magnifying the sharpness of most non-4K video sources and especially of Full HD video when it’s viewed on this OLED model.
Finally, LG’s OLED technology itself is something we’ve come to fall in love with by now. There was quite a bit of skepticism about the future of OLED in a 4K TV when LG first pushed these kinds of TVs to the market in 2014 but we’re thoroughly convinced by this point. With OLED, each individual pixel can be activated fully to maximum brightness or deactivated to total darkness. This means that any OLED TV --such as the B6—is capable of creating perfect black, extremely wide ranges of brightness down to a level just above those perfect blacks and also capable of delivering pixel-perfect local dimming. In other words, since each pixel can be individually turned off or on, a 4K OLED model like the OLED65B6P and OLED55B6P offer up 8.29 million local dimming zones. No LCD TV can come anywhere close to matching this sort of precision. Basically, All HDR enhancements aside, OLED alone does plenty to make the TVs with its technology into some of the best displays on the market.
4.5 - 23 Reviews
As we’ve by now made abundantly and honestly clear, the B6 is one truly excellent 4K TV performer. However, since no 4K TV is without its flaws, this model also has a few mostly minor ones that we need to cover.
First of all, there is the single biggest defect of the B6, at least for some fans of high-end home entertainment who want to make sure they can get the full range of features from their 4K TV. This is the fact that the B6 comes with no 3D features to speak of. In this one regard, the LG C6 is actually the better piece of value since it offers all the same specs in other regards and costs the same price but does include passive 3D technology. LG’s E6 and G6 flagship model also come with 3D. However, if you’re choosing between C6 and B6, the curve of the C6 may be a turn off, and rightfully so for reasons we cover here in detail here with regards to curved TV displays and their problems. Thus, LG has placed users who like 3D but want a nice flat screened OLE TV at a decent price into a bit of a problem with the B6.
Next, despite being a generally excellent performer in terms of motion control specs and how well it handles motion blur or judder in many cases, the B6 can sometimes underperform at delivering judder-free 4K content from certain sources. This applies particularly to judder-free 24 content over a 60p signal and though the effect can be reduced by setting Trumotion to user and activating “De-judder” in the calibration settings on the TV to a setting of 0, the result isn’t exactly great, with judder still happening from time to time.
Finally, as a 4K TV for console gaming and PC use, the B6 isn’t nearly as good a performer as the E6 model or the LG G6, or many other much cheaper 4K LCD TVs we’ve reviewed (the Vizio P-Series in particular, which excels as a gaming display and PC monitor ). Basically, with a minimal input lag of 55.1 milliseconds, this model is going to be a poor choice for people who are serious about fast and heavy-duty gaming. Even setting the TV to “Game Console” mode and putting the picture settings to “Game” mode won’t reduce input lag to below 50 ms. Gamers who want to use the B6 HDR OLED TV for HDR gaming from newer consoles like the PS4 Pro or the Xbox One S are also out of luck since Game Mode delivers poor input lag with HDR on this or any other 2016 OLED HDR 4K TV for the time being due to a hardware design oversight by LG, apparently.
As we said, with its absolutely stunning display specs and superb build, along with the range and quality of its HDR technology, the LG OLED55B6P/ OLED65B6P 4K TV is the model which delivers the best overall value and quality per dollar spent among all the LG OLED TVs we’ve reviewed in 2016, and since the 2016 OLD TVs are the best 4K TVs of them all overall for this year, this means that the B6 is possibly one of the best 4K TVs you can buy at its price in 2016. We absolutely recommend it for users who want top-shelf OLED with high dynamic range but who don’t have the funds for the super-expensive G6/E6 LG picture-on-glass OLED TVs.
• Screen size: 64.5 diagonal inches for OLED65B6P (54.5 diagonal inches in OLED55B6P)
• Smart TV: WebOS 3.0, LG Magic Remote Apps and Full Web Browser
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• VP9 Included. Yes
• HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
• Refresh Rate: 120Hz native refresh rate (TruMotion 240)
• Screen Lighting: OLED
• Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
• Remotes: LG Magic Remote, smaller (5.5-inch), simpler accessory remote
• Connectivity: 4 HDMI 2.0a ports, 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, 1 Component, 1 composite, 1 Audio Out, 1 RF In, 1 Optical Audio, 1 RS232C Mini Jack
• Sound: 4 Channel 40W Sound with Dolby Digital Decoder
• Real Contrast Ratio: infinite
• Black Level maximum: 0 nits
• Peak brightness: 787 cd/m2 (nits)
• Other Display Features: HDR10 and Dolby Vision, Magic Zoom
• TV weight without/with stand:
• 49.8 lb./ 57.1 lb. (65 inch model)
• 35.7 lbs/43 lbs (55 inch model)
• 65 inch model: 57.3" x 32.8" x 2.1"
• 55 inch model: 48.4" x 28.1" x 1.9"
• Processor: Quad-core Perfect Mastering Engine
OLED and HDR: The OLED panel of the B6 is now essentially brighter and more color rich than it has ever before been in any OLED TV except maybe the G6 flagship. Besides the B6, only last year’s This latest TV still takes its OLED additions to new levels with a peak brightness of over 700 nitsand thus offers full compliance on peak brightness by UHD Alliance Ultra HD Premium specs for OLED TVs. Best of all, this level of display brightness capacity looks all the more impressive when its presented on the screen next to the perfect, uniform blacks that OLED technology provides. What also makes the 2016 OLED experience in the B6 work particularly well is its sheer 10-bit color quality, occupying more of the DCI-P3 color space than almost any previous LG OLED model. This color quality is also what allows the B6 to offer what LG calls “Cinematic Color”, which is their description of color coverage in the TV which is almost exactly the equal of the best professional digital theater movie presentations.
The HDR standards of the B6 really show themselves when native 4K HDR content is viewed on the TV, either from a streaming source like Netflix or a media source like 4K UHD Blu-ray. Best of all, because this TV is equipped to handle both Dolby Vision standards and HDR10 standards, it offers the widest possible access to high dynamic range content, we’ve yet seen in a 4K TV.
WebOS 3.0 : In 2016 LG’s newest 4K TVs have moved over to the WebOS 3.0 update to WebOS 2.0 and we’re not unhappy with what this newest WebOS offers. The latest version of the Smart OS remains the best of its kind among all the major 4K TV brands and we love its usability, simplicity and sheer speed as you navigate it. WebOS 3.0 lets you add specific TV channels to the strip of tiles along the bottom of the screen when you press the “home” key on the remote and the OS makes surfing the web as well as surfing between channels and streaming services extremely easy and intuitive. Furthermore, the LG Content Store comes with plenty of applications for media of all kinds, all easily accessible from the smart platform itself. One other thing we like about WebOS 3.0 is the smart remote that comes included with the TV. It offers a pointer which makes navigation of apps and smart OS menus very easy and fluid.
Upscaling : LG’s Upscaling engine is nothing short of superb. We love it across the board in the E6 and think it has even improved from the already-excellent quality it offered in the 2015 LG OLED TVs. The 4K Upscaler engine impressively upscales almost all sources of non-4K video content to not only look sharper but also to have a much richer, deeper range of shadow and color variations in their shots. This is something that can even be seen in non-HDR 4K content to a lesser degree and in HD content as well, with even 720p video and SD video sources also managing to look much better than they normally would.
4.5 - 23 Reviews
The visual specs of LG’s OLED65B6P and OLED55B6P are, as we’ve already made quite clear, nothing short of stunning across all their major metrics. This is 4K TV that delivers superb color, perfect contrast, excellent black uniformity, pixel-perfect local dimming and the color performance of a true high dynamic range 4K TV at least by the standards of 2016, when this review was written. As we’d also said above, the B6 actually performs just about identically to its pricier G6 and B6 cousins in most of these above specs while also delivering a level of peak brightness that’s even superior to that of the E6 and G6 models, oddly enough. Bottom line, the B6 is fantastic on picture quality and here are some of the numbers to show it:
In terms of peak brightness, we’ve never seen an OLED TV go quite as as bright as the B6 does, with a measured peak brightness level in a 10% size window of the TVs display which reached 787 nits. Even when sustained, peak brightness insid a 10% window stayed at 764 nits and for an OLED TV this is downright impressive. Hell, it’s even impressive for an LCD HDR TV since none but Sony’s best HDR 2016 models and Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TVs can match this sort of peak brightness in their LCD panels, which are generally supposed to be brighter by a wide margin than OLED displays! Combine this peak brightness capacity with the total blackness of the B6’s black levels when the OLED pixels are shut off in dark scenes for video content and you get a perfectly infinite level of contrast that truly magnifies the power of the TV’s dynamic range, especially for native formatted HDR content.
Moving along, the B6 also performs superbly at sustaining the other major pillar of high dynamic range quality (for both Dolby Vision and HDR10 standards). This is of course its color performance. This is a wide color gamut TV and as such it offers up full 10-bit color, meaning that it delivers 1024 different tones for each of the RGB primary TV colors. This amounts to a total of 1.07 billion colors in total and some seriously rich color vibrancy and realism. Furthermore, as a wide color gamut TV model, the B6 covers about 94.1% of the DCI-P3 digital cinema color space, making it fit well into the levels needed for Ultra HD Premium certification from the UHD Alliance. We should also note that the color accuracy, as measured by Delta E in the B6 is superb after a bit of detailed calibration, coming out at 1.25, which is superb. Out of the box delta E is a bit weaker at 2.46 but this is still good enough to make noticing flaws in how realistically colors render very difficult with the naked eye.
Finally, the motion interpolation technology of the B6 TV is great and even with TruMotion, as it’s called, activated, the soap opera effect that motion interpolation often creates is remarkably minimal. On top of this, the OLED B6 delivers superb motion blur control for all sorts of fast-paced 4K and non-4K content sources, which its excellent upscaling engine renders extremely well.
Most striking of all however is the nature of this TVs OLED panel technology. Because OLED displays can activate and deactivate light down to the level of a single pixel, the OLED65B6P and all of its organic light emitting diode-lit cousins can create what is essentially perfect local dimming of a sort no LCD/LED 4K TV can come close to matching. Even the best LED TVs with full-array LED backlighting can only create what are for now at most some 300 or so local dimming zones across their displays, leaving plenty of room for inaccuracies and light bleed along the edges of each zone. In contrast, the B6 and its OLED cousins in effect deliver 8.3 million local dimming zones since each of the pixels on their 4K UHD screens individually lights or deactivates.
As an added bonus, OLED technology offers up perfect wide viewing angles, and the B6 models keep virtually all of their color, contrast and vibrancy even at very wide angles of just under 90 degrees off dead center, basically right off to one side of the TV.
The connectivity specs of the LG OLED65B6P and OLED55B6P are the same as those found in all of LG’s OLED 4K TV models for this year and late 2015. Most importantly, they consist of four HDMI 2.0a ports with HEVC, VP9 and HDCP 2.2 specs built into them, 3 USB ports (one of which is a USB 3.0 port) and the usual run of digital optical audio, component/composite, Tuner and Ethernet ports. The B6 models also come with 802.11ac WiFi capacity and built-in Bluetooth as well. On the other hand, they lack analog audio ports of any kind.
For such a robust and powerful HDR OLED 4K TV, the B6 is not too badly priced. When you consider that you’re getting nearly the same display quality as you’d find in the much more expensive G6 and E6 models, the two versions of the B6 start to look downright cheap in comparison. The 55 inch OLED55B6P retails for $2,799.99 and the 65 inch OLED65B6P sells for $4,499.99.
4.5 - 23 Reviews
There’s very little to criticize in the LG B6 4K TV models. Most of all, we’d say that people who really want to make sure they have 3D in their 4K TV should avoid this model since it doesn’t have it. Furthermore, as a 4K TV for console gaming, the B6 is not the best with its somewhat sluggish input lag. Serious console or PC gamers would be better off going for a different television like the LG E6, the EF9500 or, if they don’t want OLED, Vizio’s 2016 P-Series TV models or Samsung’s SUHD TVs.
• Extraordinary picture quality and color
• Stunning black levels and pixel-perfect dimming
• Amazing brightness by OLED standards
• HDR-compatible for HDR10 and Dolby Vision
• WebOS 3.0 is superb
• Incredible design
• Peak brightness doesn’t match the best LCD capacity
• No 3D features
• Sluggish input lag for games in particular