LG OLED B9 review: The best value in a high-end 2019 TV

    TVs that use OLED screens are so good that anyone who values picture high quality extremely ought to do their damndest to purchase one. The drawback is, they’re actually costly — as a lot as twice the value of a solid-performing TV with a LCD display. So yeah, stepping as much as OLED is an funding, however if you would like the perfect image, it is price it.The good factor is that every one newer OLEDs have very related — learn: spectacular — image high quality, so you may get the least-expensive one and never have to fret about lacking a lot. Every yr the “cheapest” OLED collection is LG’s “B” lineup, and for 2019 that is the B9 collection reviewed right here.Its image has all of that high-contrast OLED goodness, beating any non-OLED TV I’ve examined, together with fashions from Samsung and Vizio. In my side-by-side comparisons between B9 and the more-expensive C9 OLED TV it was robust to see any distinction. The B9 was barely dimmer and it did a bit higher job cleansing up some lower-quality video, however that is it. In my e book the 2 are so shut that it is not definitely worth the worth distinction for the C9 (at present round $200 for the 65-inch dimension).The primary query for OLED TV buyers proper now could be when the B9 will come down even additional in worth. I feel you must wait till not less than Black Friday time in mid-November. In the meantime, the 2018 B8 OLED TV is a good higher discount and stays my go-to suggestion — for now.
    Get to know the B9It’s solely out there in 55- and 65-inch sizes. If you need one thing greater you will need to pay much more for a 77-inch OLED or go along with a 75-inch LCD.Currently the 65-inch B9 prices $500 greater than the equal B8 from 2018, whereas $300 separates the 55-inch sizes. Their picture high quality could be very related. Until the B9 will get a worth minimize, 2018’s B8 remains to be the perfect worth.LG’s 2019 OLED TVs, together with the B9, add a couple of extras that the B8 is lacking, specifically Alexa built-in, Apple AirPlay 2 and extra HDMI 2.1 extras, together with eARC and Auto Game mode and Variable Refresh fee. Otherwise they’re mainly the identical.The solely variations between the 2 2019 TVs, the B9 and the C9, are barely totally different stand designs and LG’s processing. Right now, the C9 is $200 dearer in each sizes. As I discussed above, I do not suppose the C9’s slight picture high quality benefit is price paying that a lot further for. OLED show expertise is basically totally different from the LED LCD expertise used within the overwhelming majority of immediately’s TVs, together with Samsung’s QLED fashions.The finest LCD TVs I’ve reviewed to this point, the Samsung Q9 QLED and the Vizio PQ-65F1, scored a “9” in picture high quality. At instances they have been brighter in HDR than the OLEDs, however in any other case the OLEDs’ photos have been superior in nearly each method.All OLED TVs are extra topic to each non permanent and everlasting picture retention, aka burn-in, than LCD TVs. We at CNET do not contemplate burn-in a motive for most individuals to keep away from shopping for an OLED TV, nevertheless. Check out our information to OLED burn-in for extra.View full gallery
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    The look of OLEDCompared to LCD TVs the OLED panel itself is amazingly skinny when seen from the facet, a few quarter-inch deep. A bulge on the backside spoils that profile considerably by jutting out one other 1.75 inches. That bulge homes the inputs, energy provide, audio system and different depth-eating TV parts.From the entrance 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 beneath, however no hint of silver, no “LG” or some other emblem in any respect. This is TV design at its most minimalist.The B9’s stand has a narrower width than the C9’s and stands proud in entrance of the TV about two inches additional on the 65-inch fashions. Both are angled and minimalist and, actually, completely superb.View full gallery
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    LG channels apps, Alexa, Google and AppleLG’s WebOS menu system feels good and snappy, but it surely’s mainly unchanged from final yr. It nonetheless lacks the modern extras and app-based setup of Samsung’s Tizen system and falls properly wanting the app protection of Roku TV or Sony’s Android TV. If you need extra apps, your finest guess is to get an exterior streamer, though solely two, the Apple TV 4K and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, can help Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos to take full benefit of the B9’s capabilities. Meanwhile LG’s apps for Netflix, Amazon and Vudu all help Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, so utilizing the TV’s built-in apps will get you the highest-quality video and audio from these companies, no exterior streamer required.View full gallery
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    The distant tracks the movement of your hand and wrist to whip rapidly across the display, one thing that is notably useful when signing into apps or looking utilizing an onscreen keyboard. The scroll wheel can be nice for transferring via apps, like these seemingly infinite thumbnail rows on Netflix and Amazon.LG’s 2019 TVs are the primary gadgets to construct in each Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The primary mic button invokes Google Assistant whereas a long-press the Amazon button will get you Alexa. Both can do all the standard Assistant stuff, together with management sensible dwelling gadgets, reply questions and reply by way of a voice popping out of the TV’s audio system (yep, each voices). Basic stuff like “What’s the weather?” works as you’d count on from both assistant, full with onscreen suggestions. View full gallery
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    I did not dive too deep into both one, but it surely felt basically like Google Assistant was higher built-in than Alexa. I used to be in a position to carry out searches for motion pictures and TV with Google however the identical queries from Alexa directed me to allow expertise and hyperlink my LG ThinQ account. When I attempted doing so I bought so far as the step asking Alexa to find gadgets, however she could not discover the B9.The B9 additionally works with Apple’s AirPlay 2 system, and identical to on the Samsung Q70, it labored superb. I used to be in a position to hearth up my iPhone to share pictures and video to the B9’s display from the Photos app. Screen mirroring additionally labored as anticipated and was in a position to play movies on the TV, and management them from the telephone, by way of Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube and YouTube TV for instance (observe that Netflix would not work with AirPlay on any gadget). Mirroring my Mac display additionally labored too; the TV confirmed up as an possibility on my Mac’s AirPlay menu and I used to be in a position to stream video in a browser window. It was a bit uneven at instances, nevertheless. Apple followers: observe that in contrast to Samsung TVs these LG’s do not have the Apple TV app but, however Apple says it is coming “in the future” to LG and different platforms.Full-fledged options and connectionsKey TV options

    Display expertise


    LED backlight




    HDR suitable

    HDR10 and Dolby Vision

    Smart TV




    The feature-packed B9 consists of nearly the whole lot that issues in a contemporary TV. LG says the brand new A9 Gen 2 chip — included on the C9 however not on the B9 — has a “deep learning algorithm” that, amongst different claims, higher adjusts the image for room lighting. In my checks I did not see any actual enchancment from “AI” stuff, nevertheless.All of LG’s 2019 OLED fashions embody the newest model of the HDMI commonplace: 2.1. That means their HDMI ports can deal with 4K at 120fps, help enhanced audio return channel (eARC) in addition to two gamer-friendly extras: variable refresh fee (VRR) and automated low latency mode (ALLM, or auto sport mode). Check out HDMI 2.1: What you could know for particulars. I did not take a look at any of those options but for this assessment.Speaking of VRR, the B9 will miss out on LG’s help for the Nvidia G-Sync commonplace — a function reserved for the C9 and E9 collection solely. If that issues to you, hardcore gamer, then you definately’ll most likely need a C9 as an alternative.View full gallery
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    The collection of connections is top-notch. Unlike lots of Samsung’s units, this one truly has an analog video enter for legacy (non-HDMI) gadgets, though it now not helps analog element video. New for 2019 there is a devoted headphone/analog audio output and WISA wi-fi audio help.Four HDMI inputs with HDMI 2.1, HDCP 2.2Three USB portsComposite video/audio inputOptical digital audio outputAnalog audio 3.5mm headphone outputRF (antenna) inputRS-232 port (minijack, for service solely)Ethernet (LAN) port

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