A Review of the LG Electronics EG9600 4K Ultra HD 3D Curved Smart OLED TV Series – 55EG9600 & 65EG9600
Simply put, the LG 65EG9600 65-inch Art Slim Curved OLED 4K TV may just be the single best 4K television of the entire year 2015 so far. This seems like a seriously boastful statement that might be a bit hard to qualify but in this case, it’s hard to argue that it isn’t true. The 65EG9600 really does have that much going for it.
Starting with an absolutely spectacular OLED 4K display that delivers some of the very deepest blacks you’ll see in any type of ultra HD TV on sale in the world, the EG9600 impresses right at first glance. But the beauty of the display doesn’t end there. OLED 4K colors themselves are also absolutely impressive marvels of subtle, realistic color and the contrast created by the mix of perfect, total black and vibrant, realistic color is about as good as contrast can get, something that’s notable at a single glance. Beyond this, the EG9600 also comes with a beautifully slim design of a thinness that’s almost only possible with OLED technology working behind the display.
And from there we could go on and on. The bottom line, however, is that this particular TV will probably leave almost anybody breathless and hoping to buy it as soon as possible. LG has really put effort into its OLED 4K TVs and the EG9600 pretty much distills their finest qualities down into a single wonderfully sized package. Unfortunately, quality like this doesn’t come cheap and if you want the best, you’ll definitely have to pay extra for it as far as LG is concerned. Thus, this is by no means a budget model or anything close to it. Quite the opposite in fact.
The good in the LG EG9600 is everywhere and almost too numerous to list. This model is as close to perfect as we’ve seen so far in a 4K TV and pretty much only Samsung’s higher end SUHD models come close to meeting the same level of quality. We’re talking here about a 4K TV that practically defines what quality is in the industry, at least as far as display technology goes.
For starters, there is the now famous OLED technology of the EG9600. Shared by its other LG OLED cousins. This backlighting innovation is able to create perfect, total black colors due to the self-omitting nature of the OLEDs themselves, thus resulting in an “infinite” level of contrast, or something that’s as close to it as we’ve seen in 4K TV technology so far. This single feature alone does wonders to the overall picture quality in the LG EG9600 and stands out above everything else, but it’s certainly not where the display quality ends.
The off-axis viewing and brightness of the EG9600 are also absolute fantastic and the color vibrancy and range both are practically bar-none. Combine these characteristics with that perfect black capacity in the OLED technology sand you get what is probably the single most realistic 4K TV display technology on the market today. No other TV can produce these exact display specs because no other TV is capable of creating the same perfect, total black levels caused by individual pixels being able to literally turn their lighting off and on. On top of this, LG has introduced a four color pixel technology which dramatically widens color gamut coverage in their 2015 OLEDs.
Furthermore, the LG EG9600 doesn’t just excel at offering display like no other. LG has also invested a ton of work into perfecting its smart TV platform until it becomes something remarkably lean, efficient and extremely user-friendly. Thus, the webOS 2.0 smart platform of the EG9600 is quite possibly one of the best 4K TV OS systems we’ve seen or heard of on the market today. Even though just about every major UHD TV maker has been revamping their smart TV OS platform in 2015, none have pulled it off quite as well as LG has so far.
Finally, the overall design of the EG9600 is about as elegant, ultra-slim and, well, beautiful, as you can have in a 4K TV. The display seems to float above its elegantly minimalist stand and the screen thickness on this model (like most OLED TVs) is pretty much the thinnest among all 4K TV models.
4.4 - 21 Reviews
No 4K TV is perfect and the LG EG9600 does still have its odd flaws, despite LG’s best efforts to create a model that’s like nothing owned by any competitor to date. However, the majority of these defects revolve specifically around the model’s connectivity.
While the EG9600 is fully equipped in terms of connectivity essentials, it oddly lacks a couple things that other cheaper 4K TVs do come with. For one thing, there are only 3 HDMI 2.0 ports on the EG9600 and not one of these is an HDMI 2.0a port, meaning that the connections have no capacity to handle HDR content as it arrives, despite the high contrast ratio of this and other LG 4K TVs. Furthermore --and this is rather odd to say the least—the EG9600 also doesn’t come with WiFi 802.11AC support for high speed wireless connectivity, which is another thing plenty of 4K TVs definitely do come with, even many far more affordable models. In simple terms, the EG9600 is not as future-proof as it could be and this is a shame in such a fine, pricey TV.
Finally, there is this simple fact about the EG9600 and other OLED 4K models: Yes, they offer the best visual quality of any 4K UHD TVs on sale today but the difference in quality between them and LED/LCD TVs has shrunk dramatically since last year while OLED prices have stayed static. Thus, you can now get your hands on some absolutely fantastic LED TVs (like the Samsung SUHD models) for steadily dropping prices and still get the majority of the same display quality as that offered by the EG9600 and its cousins but without the much higher retail price.
The EG9600 is bar none the best 4K TV on the market today and the display in this model will knock your socks off. So if you’re willing to pay the extra money it’s going to cost you, the visual value you get will be second to none.
Weight: 49.6 lbs wo stand/ 58.4 lbs with stand
Dimensions: (WxHxD): 57” x 34.8” x 9.3” inches with stand/ 57” x 33.1” x 2” inches without stand
Screen size: 65 inch TV - 65EG9600, 55 inch - 55EG9600
Smart TV: Yes, webOS 2.0
HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
HD to UHD upscaling: Tru-4K Upscaler
HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes (all 3 HDMI ports)
Refresh Rate: 120Hz
Screen Lighting: OLED lighting
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes WiFi, Ethernet port
Remotes: Standard LG button remote and Magic Remote, Natural Voice control
Connectivity: 3 x HDMI 2.0 ports, 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, RS-232, Component/Composite, LAN
Dynamic Contrast Ratio: infinite due to perfect OLED black
Audio: 20 W 2 Channel Speakers with ULTRA Surround
Processor: Quad Core
Let’s start with the physical highlights of the LG 55EG9600. There are many beautiful 4K TVs on the market these days and sometimes it might even seem that everyone is trying to outdo the last guy in building a slimmer screen or a more minimalist overall design, but when it comes to sheer elegance, it’s hard to beat the features of the 2015 OLED models. The 55EG9600 is no exception to this and its ultra-slim screen and body are lovelier than ever. Lovely is not a word I’d easily use to describe a piece of cold, hard electronic hardware but it really could be said to apply in this case.
Even the screens curvature, a feature that, despite the hype, doesn’t do much at all for visual “immersion”, at least manages to look very cool on the extremely thin display of this TV.
Next up, there is the aforementioned OLED technology. This is obviously the single most important highlight of the 55EG9600 and while we’re going to go into further detail under “Visual Specs” below, let’s just say here that the perfect blacks, combined with brilliant whites and a truly stunning array of color tones work together to create an image realism that’s like nothing else you’ll see in any 4K TV, not in an of Sharp’s or Panasoinc’s THX Certified TVs and not even in one of Samsung’s also absolutely excellent SUHD HDR flagship models. The EG9600 really does take the prize at display technology thanks to its OLED technology.
Furthermore, even HDR is supported by the EG9600. While it sadly doesn’t come with HDMI 2.0a and thus won’t be able to receive HDR-encoded video content through its HDMI cables, you can still get this type of next generation of enhanced dynamic range 4K content through streaming video apps like Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix as they start to release their own HDR 4K programming (something which Amazon is already doing in fact). OLED technology itself is capable of handling HDR, just without some of the exceptional brightness that LED screens have over it.
Next, the off-angle viewing on the OLED TVs is second to none as well. This is something that these models particularly excel at and we’ve had this fact confirmed for us by testing document specs sent over by LG representatives. Samsung’s SUHD 4K TVs are often considered to be the closest competitor to LG’s OLED models in terms of overall quality but even these otherwise excellent TVs can match the same extremely wide viewing angle range of OLED.
Finally, there is the webOS 2.0 smart TV platform. This is something that LG’s engineers have truly refined down to a superb level. This update over LG’s also excellent 2014 webOS smart TV system is a marvel of customization options, much faster access to frequently used apps and functions and it’s as intuitive as navigation gets thanks to a navigation system that resembles the Wii.
Furthermore, the new OS of the LG 55EG9600 is powered up with a more powerful than ever processing engine that makes doing everything on the TV simply work faster. The webOS and all these associated features it comes with are a large part of the reason why the TV has gotten a “Netflix Recommended” rating from Netflix.
4.4 - 21 Reviews
Picture quality is what the EG9600 is truly all about and damn does it deliver, like nothing else outside the OLED 4K line. As we’ve already mentioned several times, this TV delivers some seriously spectacular colors, brightness and dark tones like nothing anyone else can match, literally.
In essence, you’re getting the best picture quality available today with the LG 65EG9600 and this is largely thanks to literally perfect black levels, excellent off-axis viewing of more than 176 degrees off center, superb brightness and color that delivers on 92% of the DCI-P3 digital cinema spectrum, meaning that the TV delivers 92% of the colors you’d see on-screen in a professional cinema. Furthermore, the EG9600 also has a 10-bit color display panel, so this broadens the shades of color you can achieve on the screen to 1.07 billion, a capacity that few 4K TVs come with.
However, most important of all is the OLED technology. This is the core of these TVs and the key reason for both their extraordinary quality and extremely high price. Only an OLED TV like the EG9600 can manage to display a single tiny but extremely bright pinprick of light right in the middle of an otherwise totally dark screen without illuminating so much a single other pixel around it. This is possible because each and every one of the 8.2 million pixels on the screen can have its backlighting turned on brightly or turned completely off. There are now increasingly complex LED full-array backlighting systems that try to simulate some of this OLED capacity but none of them come even close in replicating this degree of refined screen lighting.
With OLED, you basically reduce all halo effects and light bleeding between bright objects and dark spaces down to a complete zero and dynamic contrast is basically taken to an “infinite level” that no existing LED TV can yet match at all.
The off-angle viewing bears a bit more mention here. It’s simply excellent in the EG9600. Unlike Samsung’s SUHD TVs, which lose a remarkable percentage of their clarity, contrast and brightness after you move just a few feet off angle when viewing them, the EG9600 doesn’t suffer from this at all unless you move very far to the right or left of the screen. Thus, in a room, the total experience of viewing this OLED display can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.
Finally, we get down to HDR for the LG 55EG9600. This is a major issue in these days of anticipation for the next generation of HDR-encoded 4K content which is already starting to emerge. And to let you know the good news, the EG9600 can definitely process and display the enhanced dynamic range of this new content. Given its OLED technology and absolute blacks, the contrast of the EG9600 is more than broad enough for HDR, so streaming it from Netflix of Amazon Prime won’t be a problem.
On the other hand, HDR via the HDMI cables won’t be coming to the EG9600. HDMI 2.0a, which is needed to transmit HDR content from external media devices, is not built into this TV, so at least as far as HDR 4K Blu-ray discs go, you won’t be able to enjoy them to their max with the EG9600 when they go on sale by the end of 2015.
Connectivity in the EG9600 is oddly deficient in light of all the other extraordinary specs this TV happens to come with.
Instead of the much more common 4 HDMI 2.0 connection ports, the EG9600 comes with only 3 HDMI slots, and as we’d already mentioned, none of them are of the more advanced HDMI 2.0a standard. Aside from this, the TV includes 3 USB ports, two of which are 2.0 versions and one a 3.0 port. There is also internet connectivity via LAN and built-in WiFi, except not of the Wi-Fi 802.11AC kind, which offers support for extra high speed wireless internet.
Finally, there is the internet browsing access offered up by the TV’s webOS smart TV platform. Via webOS, you can obviously access the wider web of websites, video streaming services of all stripes and of the main 4K video streaming sites like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant video and even Ultraflix. This TV pretty much delivers access all of it and only a couple of limited services for 4K content, from M-Go and Comcasts X-Finity streaming service aren’t available, because they’re exclusive to only Samsung 2015 4K TVs.
The pricing of the 65EG9600 is the one feature on this television that really might throw an otherwise absolutely enchanted buyer off. The 65EG9600 is really damn expensive. Originally at $6,999, it has dropped to $4,997.99 . It costs a lot more than any comparable 4K TV of the same size and even Samsung’s HDR-capable flagship JS95000 is a lot cheaper in its 65 inch size version. This is something you need to consider carefully when you realize that the connectivity and HDR-readiness on these other TVs is actually better in many cases. The 55 inch version 55EG9600 currently retails for $2,997.99.
4.4 - 21 Reviews
To summarize very briefly, the only real flaws in this otherwise absolutely spectacular 4K TV are its enormous price, a lack of HDR support to its HDMI 2.0 connections and a lack of WiFi 802.11AC support for high speed wireless usage.
• Extraordinary perfect black rendering
• Single pixel-level light and dark control
• Exquisite color coverage (10-bit color!)
• Beautiful design and functionality in webOS 2.0
• Supports HDR in streaming content
• No HDR support via HDMI 2.0a
• Only 3 HDMI ports
• Very, very expensive
• No high speed WiFi support (ac)