LG C8 2018 OLED TV review: The best TV gets even better

    OLED is formally a mature TV know-how. 

    For the last four years, LG’s TVs with OLED panels — that is natural mild emitting diode screens — have taken high honors for image high quality in CNET’s opinions. Yearly they beat the very best LCD-based TVs, and yearly I name the latest LG OLED the very best TV I’ve ever examined.

    That is the case as soon as once more. As of April 2018, the LG C8 is the very best TV I’ve ever examined, beating the 2017 Sony and LG OLED TVs by a hair. And it is a skinny hair: The C8’s major benefits are actually minor, together with barely higher display uniformity and ephemeral new video processing choices.

    Anyone who purchased a 2017 OLED TV can relaxation assured that the latest model is not considerably higher (and has an uglier stand). For anyone who desires to save cash by getting a 2017 OLED TV on closeout now, slightly than ready till this fall for the C8 to drop in worth, take into account this overview a inexperienced mild. (Notice that Thanksgiving week has been the best time to buy LG’s OLED TVs in recent times.)

    The C8 is the most cost effective this yr with LG’s new Alpha 9 processor, one thing that will likely be lacking from the B8 when it seems this summer season. However the B8 will likely be cheaper. And that processor is not price a lot more money by way of real-world efficiency, from what I’ve seen. In different phrases, the B8 is certainly price ready for in order for you the very best worth on a 2018 OLED TV.

    And for individuals who simply need the very best TV, no matter worth, it additionally pays to attend. Samsung’s Q9 prices greater than the C8, however guarantees a brighter picture and the very best quantum-dotlocal dimming tech that LG’s arch-rival can muster. It is the one 2018 LCD TV that I believe could have an opportunity to equal an OLED. In the meantime cheaper fashions such because the Vizio P-series Quantum may additionally make a play for videophiles who crave brightness — or worry OLED burn-in.

    It is early within the recreation, however the LG C8 remains to be my favourite to win the 2018 image high quality championship.

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Modern appears past the weak stand

    I’ve liked LG’s minimalist OLED designs previously, however the 2018 C8 is extra of a miss in my e book. The included stand is absolutely large, nearly the identical width because the panel, and it scoops as much as both facet. I a lot most popular the cleaner look of the narrower, angular stand on the C7 from final yr.

    In fact you could possibly all the time ditch the stand, wall-mount the TV and delight in its wonderful minimalism. There’s lower than a half-inch of black body across the image itself to the highest and sides. Then there is a bit extra under, however no hint of silver, no “LG” or another brand in any respect.

    LG OLEDC8P seriesLG OLEDC8P series

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Seen in profile, the highest portion is razor skinny at only a quarter-inch deep. But it surely has the standard bulge on the backside that juts out one other 1.75 inches. That bulge homes the inputs, energy provide, audio system and different depth-eating TV parts. It is plastic, however the bottom above it’s sheathed in silvery steel.

    New for 2018, LG up to date the screensaver that seems when the TV is not receiving a sign. Now it is an precise framed image, together with work and pictures of landscapes, and the body itself modifications too. My first thought is that LG desires to ape the panache of Samsung’s The Frame in software program kind.

    Good TV: First rate however not progressive

    LG’s Internet OS menu system feels good and snappy nevertheless it’s mainly unchanged from final yr. It nonetheless lacks the progressive extras and app-based setup of Samsung’s 2018 Tizen system, and falls properly in need of the app protection of Roku TV or Sony’s Android TV. In order for you extra apps, your greatest wager is to get an external streamer, nevertheless it’s price mentioning that just one, the Apple TV 4K, can help Dolby Imaginative and prescient.

    LG OLEDC8P seriesLG OLEDC8P series

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    The distant is similar because the 2017 mannequin’s. I like utilizing its movement management to whip across the display, one thing that is significantly useful when signing into apps or looking utilizing an on-screen keyboard. The scroll wheel can also be nice for transferring by way of apps, like these seemingly infinite thumbnail rows on Netflix and Amazon.

    Each of these apps get devoted launch buttons on the distant, by the way in which. However not like Sony’s 2018 distant there is no particular logo-infused key for Google Assistant. LG’s 2018 units will quickly embody Assistant, which you’ll be able to entry by urgent the plain-Jane mic button, nevertheless it wasn’t but energetic after I reviewed the TV. I am going to replace this part after I get the prospect to check it.

    Options and connections

    Key options

    Show know-how OLED
    LED backlight N/A
    Decision 4K
    HDR appropriate HDR10, Dolby Imaginative and prescient
    Display screen form Flat
    Good TV Internet OS
    Distant Movement

    OLED’s primary tech is nearer to late, lamented plasma than to the LED LCD (QLED, quantum dot or in any other case) know-how used within the overwhelming majority of at present’s TVs. LCD depends on a backlight shining by way of a liquid crystal panel to create the image, whereas every particular person sub-pixel is liable for creating illumination on OLED and plasma screens. That is why OLED and plasma are often called “emissive” and LED LCD are known as “transmissive” shows, and a giant purpose why OLED’s picture quality is so good.

    LG’s 2018 OLED TVs have the identical mild output and colour gamut capabilities as 2017 fashions, so the largest image high quality distinction is that the 2018 TVs (except for the B8, due later this yr) get LG’s new Alpha 9 processor. The corporate claims the chip improves noise discount, sharpness, distinction and colour (the latter with superior colour mapping). LG additionally added black frame insertion to all of its 2018 OLED TVs, together with the B8. See the image high quality part under for extra particulars.

    In contrast to Samsung, LG TVs just like the C8 help each main present forms of HDR video: Dolby Vision and HDR10. The set additionally helps HLG HDR in addition to Technicolor and Philips’ HDR format. However you need to consider them as future-proofing options as there is no content material you’ll be able to watch in these codecs but. A Technicolor-approved image mode can also be obtainable.

    New for 2018, LG’s TVs are additionally compatible with HFR (excessive body charge) video, though solely by way of built-in streaming apps, not on exterior units linked by HDMI. The presentation of upper body charges in a handful of films — for instance, The Hobbit and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk — is controversial. Many viewers merely do not just like the impact, which may give movies the same look to the much-maligned soap opera effect. That stated, it’d turn out to be extra extensively accepted in sports activities and gaming content material. Once more there is no HFR content material obtainable but, however LG says it’d seem later in 2018.

    LG OLEDC8P seriesLG OLEDC8P series

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Along with its standard burn-in prevention measures, LG’s added one known as “Brand Luminance Adjustment.” It is designed to routinely detect a static on-screen brand and, after two minutes, begin reducing its brightness over a couple of minute and a half, after which the emblem must be 20 p.c dimmer. CNET’s preliminary checks of the function discovered it does cut back brand brightness a bit, however we do not count on it to be a cure-all given the comparatively delicate proportion lower.

    The number of connections is top-notch. In contrast to lots of Samsung’s units, this one truly has an analog video enter for legacy (non-HDMI) units, though it now not helps analog element video.

    LG OLEDC8P seriesLG OLEDC8P series

    Sarah Tew/CNET
    • 4 HDMI inputs with HDMI 2.0a, HDCP 2.2
    • Three USB ports
    • One composite video enter
    • Optical digital audio output
    • One RF (antenna) enter
    • RS-232 port (minijack, for service solely)
    • Ethernet (LAN) port

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