LG SK9500 Series (65SK9500) review

    With an OLED line-up as robust as LG’s is, it may be simple to utterly overlook the corporate’s Tremendous UHD TVs. Certain, they’ve all the time supplied a souped up model of LED expertise with LG’s proprietary model of quantum dot which it calls Nano Cell however, when you might purchase an OLED display for about the identical value – and generally a bit much less – properly, Tremendous UHD doesn’t really feel so tremendous. 

    However that’s altering in 2018. 

    The highest of LG’s Tremendous UHD line-up is the SK9500. It can boast full-array native dimming and LG’s Alpha 7 processor, the identical one present in final 12 months’s high-end OLED screens, plus extra native dimming zones and a 20% general enhance in brightness. 

    On high of all that, you’ll discover the brand new and improved webOS with AI that connects with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, plus help Dolby Atmos, Dolby Imaginative and prescient and the still-nascent Superior HDR by Technicolor. 

    It’s a dream package deal and, for the primary time, is perhaps simply sufficient for Tremendous UHD to offer its rival OLED brethren a run for his or her cash. 


    Whereas LG’s Tremendous UHD screens aren’t any match for the corporate’s ridiculously skinny W8 OLED, they’re nonetheless fairly darn nice-looking. 

    On the SK9500, the TV’s stand takes the type of a crescent-shaped arch and the bezel is about as slim as we’ve slim. There’s nonetheless a bit room to be shaved off within the again, however contemplating that this 12 months’s high-end fashions – the SK9500 and SK9000 – are FALD, it’s about as slim as a package deal we’re wish to see.

    We’ll focus on the full-array native dimming display extra in a minute, nevertheless it’s price defining right here for the parents who’ve by no means skilled the posh of a FALD display previously. 

    Primarily, as an alternative of LED bulbs lining the perimeters of the chassis and lighting the entire display, full-array native dimming screens have sections of LEDs that may be turned on and off individually. Clearly, this isn’t nearly as good as OLED expertise that enables every particular person pixel to be turned on and off, nevertheless it a a lot cleaner image than normal edge-lit TVs.

    The one main weak spot right here when it comes to design is that, within the US, the SK9500 is simply obtainable in a single measurement – a fairly cumbersome 65-inches. Should you’re on the lookout for a display to squeeze in a smaller cubby in your house leisure middle or to doubtlessly place in a medium-sized or smaller bed room, this possible gained’t be the display for you. (Within the UK, you’ll have entry to each a 55- and a 65-inch choice and we’ve but to listen to what’s going to make its method to Australia.)

    Good TV (webOS with AI)

    This 12 months, the massive change for webOS is the addition of LG’s ThinQ platform: You’re mainly getting a sensible assistant inside each TV just like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri or Google Assistant, however with out the eerie disembodied voice.

    ThinQ can join with quite a lot of good gadgets by itself, plus will be built-in with both Google Assistant or the Amazon Alexa platforms. 

    Whereas good residence integration is unquestionably the marquee utility for webOS with AI, it’s not the one factor the brand new system can do: webOS with AI can even parse advanced instructions (like “Flip the TV off after this program is over”) and may intelligently optimize image and audio settings based mostly on the at present chosen enter (it can swap to sport mode once you ask it to modify inputs to your PS4, for instance). 

    There’s even some neat integrations for cable subscribers that help you seek for begin occasions of your favourite exhibits, or discover different places for them in your linked streaming companies like Netflix or Amazon.

    All that mentioned, from the sounds of it, LG’s 2018 TVs gained’t be as simple to arrange as Samsung’s fashions are, however LG representatives instructed us that the method shouldn’t be overly advanced and talked about that the TVs will supply customers a devoted person information that comes constructed proper into the OS that may educate you learn how to use the brand new instructions. 


    So the design is good and the OS has been upgraded to match the new-found intelligence of your good speaker. Nice. None of that will matter if the TV’s image efficiency didn’t enhance consistent with every little thing else. Fortunately, it did.

    Particularly, a kind of adjustments is the 20% enhance in general brightness. That, in tandem with LG’s proprietary HDR10 Professional expertise that up-converts static metadata to dynamic metadata in a similar way to HDR10+, ought to assist the SK9500 produce some authentically lovely photos with HDR sources. (Should you’re on the lookout for extra typical HDR help, the LG SK9500 will help the HDR10, Dolby Imaginative and prescient and still-nascent Superior HDR with Technicolor codecs as properly.) 

    The opposite change is that due to its anti-reflective coating, the TV will likely be higher fitted to brightly lit rooms and may have an improved efficient viewing angle for the 60% of people that, based on LG’s information, don’t sit immediately in entrance of their TV display. 

    There’s additionally the matter of the FALD display I’ve been occurring a lot about. With it, the SK9500 is ready to produce extra managed photos than ever earlier than within the Tremendous UHD line-up. Which means you’ll see much less halo-ing in fewer locations than you’ve gotten previously and higher general distinction. That is particularly noticeable when you place the SK9500 subsequent to any edge-lit TV the place you possibly can see mild banding, however even by itself the impact is profound. 

    Disappointingly, nevertheless, as soon as you start on the lookout for halo-ing and lightweight banding it will probably nonetheless be noticeable – sure, even right here on LG’s Tremendous UHD TVs. When you’ve got an eye fixed for this stuff and don’t thoughts shifting all the way down to a smaller measurement for higher efficiency, it is best to go along with the LG C8 OLED, which gives numerous the identical options talked about above however with a bulletproof OLED panel that has a spectacular distinction ratio and 0 points with banding or haloing.

    To finish on a excessive be aware, although, the Nano Cell expertise LG imbues into every panel helps colours look astoundingly correct and beautifully vivid. Throughout our demos, there was numerous discuss in regards to the thrice enchancment made to Look Up Tables (LUTs) however as an alternative of boring you with the small print, it’ll suffice to say that not solely will this 12 months’s display will likely be extra correct than final 12 months’s fashions, however with much less noise and better shade vibrancy, too.

    Early verdict

    Whereas OLED would possibly nonetheless reign supreme in the home of LG, the Tremendous UHD Collection is about as shut because it’s ever been to claiming the highest spot. The brand new FALD display will make the display brighter than it’s ever been with a greater distinction ratio, all whereas lowering banding and halo-ing, whereas the addition of webOS with AI and the brand new Alpha 7 processor will make it a heck of quite a bit smarter than an LG TV has ever been. 

    We’re nonetheless not satisfied the 65-inch SK9500 will likely be a greater performer than this 12 months’s LG C8 OLED – particularly contemplating how shut the 2 will likely be in value – however you possibly can depend on the Tremendous UHD display to be brighter and supply a greater efficient viewing angle, if nothing else.

    The LG 65SK9500 will likely be obtainable beginning in late March for $2,499 (round £1,780 or AU$three,250). For reference, the 55OLEDC8 (referenced above) may also price $2,499 (round £1,780 or AU$three,250).

    • Prefer to comparability store? Here is the whole LG TV 2018 line-up

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