LG UH9500 Review (65UH9500, 86UH9500)
LG may become one of the leaders in premium class 4K TV in 2016 with their OLED TV lineup. But they also didn’t forget to produce high class LED 4K TV with premium quality. LG UH9500 series is the top models of their 2016 LED 4K TV called Super UHD TV with the performance that is not less great than their OLED lineup. In the market, this series is only available on two sizes, 65UH9500 with 65 Inch Screen size and 86UH9500 with 86 inch screen sizes. It is a 4K TV that delivers very decent performance in all aspect of picture specs whether it is about contrast or color performance at HDR or SDR quality. LG may become the king of black level with their OLED TV, but not for their LED lineup including UH9500.
Although there are some improvements are done to improve contrast level particularly on black level, nonetheless it is not quite enough to match its competitor. But at least, in the LG’s own scope, this is much better than previously models. With the other words, LG UH9500 is the best 4K LED TV that LG have made. And in the market, UH9500 series is sold about $2800 for 65UH9500 and about $10000 for 86UH9500. But of course, this price could still change as time goes by.
LG UH9500 Specification
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||55” 60” 65”|
|Tru Black Panel||Yes|
|Picture Engine||Super Mastering Engine|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot|
|HDR||HDR Super w/ Dolby Vision|
|4K Up-scaling||Tru 4K Up-scaler|
|Motion rate||TruMotion 240Hz|
|Features||Full Browser, LG Content Store, Magic Mobile Connection, etc|
|Remote||LG Magic Remote Control|
|HDMI||3 (HDCP 2.2)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1|
|Composite In (AV)||1|
|Wi-Fi Built In||802.11 a/c|
|Sound Design by HarmanKardon||Yes|
|Total Audio Output||40 Watts|
|Sound Effect||DTS Premium Sound 5.1|
The Performance of LG UH9500
As mentioned, LG UH9500 is the top level of LG’s 2016 LED TV lineup. It is the model that offers best picture quality LG has made. Although not as strong as the competitors, Contrast and black level are much better than the predecessor or lower series. This makes HDR performance that offered is amazing and can be said the best among a fellow IPS TV. The highlight is about their viewing angle where it does the job that can be done by a lot of TV. Great 3D performance also becomes its own advantage considering most of the competitors began to leave 3D technology. And that is not less interesting is about Smart TV that offers complete apps for streaming HDR or 4K contents.
Before we discuss the other, it looks be better if we discuss HDR performance that offered by UH9500 because this technology become the main focus in 2016. Unlike Samsung’s 2016 SUHD lineup that only support HDR 10 format, LG UH9500 offers more than that. It is powered by HDR Super with Dolby Vision Engine supports two HDR format at once, HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. There is standardization for each HDR formats. HDR 10 require 1000 nits peak of brightness, DCI P3 color space, and 10 bit color depth while Dolby Vision require 4000 nits peak of brightness, Rec. 2020 Color space and 12 bit depth of color.
One of the highlights of UH9500 is about color gamut that can be covered. With quantum dot panel behind it and 10 bit depth of color, it is able to cover more than 90% DCI P3 color gamut and offers 1024 level of color gradation for each of RGB or equivalent to 1.08 billion shades of color. This makes the gradation between hues is much finer than 8 bit panel. This means its color accuracy is very good and meets the standardization of color gamut and depth set by UHD alliance for HDR 10. But for Dolby Vision, although its picture engine has supported it but its display spec has not been feasible for displaying perfect Dolby Vision quality.
But unfortunately, the stunning performance of UH9500 in color coverage is not counterbalanced by its contrast ratio, peak brightness, and black level. Contrast ratio delivered by UH9500 is only 1263:1 with 997 nits white brightness and 0.79 nits black level. Compare to contrast ratio that were successfully sent by top model Samsung SUHD lineup that is about 4000:1, of course it still far from them. In term of peak brightness, LG UH9500 has successfully sent more than 425 nits. For fellow IPS TV or OLED TV, this value can be said great. But if compared to the competitor, it is still far below them. As the comparison, Sony X930D as the top model of Sony 4K LED TV lineup offers more than 900 nits while KS9000/KS9500 of Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TV lineup offers more than 1400 nits. This means LG UH9500 cannot meet the standardization of peak brightness and black level set by UHD alliance for Ultra HD Premium or HDR 10 specs, much less for Dolby Vision that set higher standardization. In other words, although UH9500 is labeled with Dolby Vision, but in practice, its display specs has not qualified for it particularly for black level and peak brightness.
The lackluster peak brightness and black level of LG UH9500 certainly is caused by the use of IPS Panel. But in other hand, IPS panel offers wider range of viewing angle than VA panel. This makes viewing angle offered by UH9500 cannot be matched by the competitor even for Samsung Curved Panel TV. This means, wherever you sit, you will see great picture quality without contrast and color deterioration like that happen on VA Panel.
UHD Up-scaling Engine
Like other model of LG’s 2016 SUHD TV lineup, UH9500 is also powered by great UHD Up-scaling engine embedded on its Super Mastering Engine called Tru 4K Up-Scaler. Its role on a 4K TV is still important because until now since 4K TV was mass produced, 4K contents that available in the market are still not a lot. Moreover with the advent of HDR on TV, most of creators prefer to re-master their contents in HDR than 4K quality. Technical issue is as the reason. But this issue is not a big problem for UH9500. A 480p source like DVDs is up-scaled as great as 720p like Cable TV or other media. Moreover if the source is 1080p like from Bu-ray player, the result is near perfect in 4K quality and much better than if played on full HD 1080p TV.
LG TV including UH9500 is the one of the best in controlling fast motion images. Its performance even is better than much better than competitor like Samsung SUHD TV. The motion blur and judder is minimal when playing sports or fast movies thanks to TruMotion 240 Hz based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Additionally, LG UH9500 is also one of the best TV that can delivers 24p movie contents at 60i. This means most part of sources like Cable TV, Satellite TV, Streaming, DVDs even Blu ray movies are played smoothly on the screen of UH9500.
When handling 3D contents, LG UH9500 does its job very well. With passive 3D technology behind it, it delivers 3D images in 4K or non 4K quality greatly without flicker or crosstalk. Of course, this is an advantage of passive 3D than active 3D technology. Two 3D passive 3D included in its buying package may not enough for covering all of your family, but you don’t need to worry, because passive LG 3D glasses is sold much cheaper than active 3D glasses. Additionally, you can also use any passive 3D glasses because passive 3D doesn’t require specific 3D glasses like on active 3D.
There is no may difference between a fellow of LG SUHD TV lineup about their smart TV. As the platform, LG UH9500 also features WebOS 3.0, the third version of WebOS. Entering third years after it was released, LG have overhauled this platform for better performance. So, if there is an issue about its streaming ability on two previous versions of WebOS, we will not find at version 3.0. WebOS 3.0 still become one of the best Smart TV. With its simplicity, usability, and the speed of switching between applications, this will make you more comfort when operating and navigating on this operating system.
When you press “Home” Key on the remote, the strip of tiles of your favorite apps or channel will appear along the bottom. You can easy to manage and change your favorite apps or TV channels. For streaming HDR 10 or Dolby Vision contents, there are Netflix, Hulu and other apps provided. WebOS 3.0 also includes fast and lightweight browser that makes you comfort when surfing on the internet. Additionally, there is also LG content Store that provides tons of contents and applications.
A new feature of WebOS 3.0 is about “Magic Zoom”. Unlike “zoom” function on other TV, WebOS is integrated directly with LG’s hardware and this allows you to magnify area of the screen without picture deterioration. Additionally, another new feature is “Magic Mobile Connection” that allows you to stream contents directly from your smart phone. That is no less interesting is about “LG Music Player” where you can play music while your TV is turning off. And for operating all of these easily, LG UH9500 includes “LG Magic Remote” where as we know, it has a lot of useful functions like “point and click”, voice navigation and others.
LG UH9500 series is equipped with complete connectivity specs consists of 3 HDMI 2.0, 3 USB Ports, 1 Component in, 1 Composite, 1 RF (Terrestrial), Ethernet, Built-in 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, and Audio (optical). Of course this makes more flexible when you want connect your TV with your other devices. A bit disappointing is about the number HDMI ports where most of the competitor is equipped with 4 HDMI ports. Of course this will pose a little problem when your HD devices are more than 3.
One of the advantages of LG UH9500 is than the competitor is about its audio performance. It is equipped with 2.2 channels audio system with total power 40 watts designed by premium audio manufactures HarmanKardon. This makes its performance above average. But because of it is a thin TV, of course the performance is less than maximum. The addition of Sound Bar is still needed if you want more impressive audio performance especially for listening music.
LG UH9500 is the top model of LG’s 2016 4K SUHD TV lineup. It is a LED TV with best performance that LG have made. Its color performance is awesome for displaying HDR contents. So, does about contrast level, peak brightness and black level, its performance is solid for a fellow IPS TV, even can be said the best. The main advantage of IPS panel is it offer wide viewing angle where there s no TV with VA panel can achieve. But in other hand, it causes its own problem about contrast ratio and black level particularly when play in dark/dimmed room. Black level of UH9500 is not as deep as the competitor so does about brightness, this also not as bright as what offered by Samsung SUHD lineup or Top model of Sony 4K TVs. So, with this performance and high level standardization of HDR whether it is HDR 10 or Dolby Vision, of course it is very difficult to provide maximum performance in displaying HDR contents while its picture engine already support HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. So, if you are more interested in prefect dark-room performance, of course LG UH9500 is not best choice for you. But if you are more interested in High Dynamic Range, you can consider it as your choice.
But ignore its lackluster performance in brightness and black level, LG UH9500 offers strong performance in almost all aspect. 3D performance, Motion Control, UHD Up-scaling, Viewing angle, Smart TV, Audio Performance, all of them of them are very solid in UH9500. In the market, it is sold at the price around $2800 for 65UH9500 and about $10000 for 86UH9500, the price that cannot be said cheap.
- Support HDR 10 and Dolby Vision HDR Format
- Wide Color Gamut
- Great Motion Control
- Wide Viewing Angle
- Audio Performance is above average
- Excellent WebOS 3.0
- Contrast Ratio is poor
- Weak Black Level
- Peak Brightness is not as bright as the Competitors
- There are only 3 HDMI Ports