LG OLED B7 (B7A/B7V) Review (OLED55B7A / OLED55B7V, OLED65B7A / OLED65B7V)
LG OLED B7 / B7A (B7P is sold by Costco or B7V in Europe) is the lowest model of LG’s 2017 4K HDR OLED TV lineup. Looks at last year model, it is a successor of OLED B6. In the market, OLED B7 comes with 2 screen sizes available, 55 Inch (OLED55B7A / OLED55B7V /OLED55B7P) and 65 Inch (OLED65B7A / OLED65B7V / OLED65B7P).One of the advantages that offered by OLED B7A is about its price that is more affordable price than other model of LG’s 2017 OLED TV lineup, but picture quality that offered is not far behind them, even can be said similar. This certainly gives you a good solution for you who have limited budget but still want to enjoy premium display experience that offered by other models of LG OLED lineup including C7, E7,G7 or even W7 that sold hundreds to thousands dollar more expensive.
LG OLED B7 Key Specs
|Specs and Features|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Sizes Available||55 Inch (OLED55B7A/OLED55B7V/OLED55B7P) and 65 Inch (OLED65B7A/OLED55B7V/OLED55B7P)|
|Backlight||Self Lighting Pixel|
|Picture Engine||Information not provided|
|HDR Engine||Active HDR with Dolby Vision|
|HDR||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Advanced HDR|
|HDR Effect||HDR Effect|
|Ultra HD Premium Certification||Yes|
|Color Technology||4 Sub pixels technology (RGBW)|
|Advanced Technology||Perfect Black Panel, Ultra Luminance, Cinematic Color, True Color Accuracy, etc|
|4K Up-scaling||Tru 4K Up-Scaler|
|Features||Web Browser, VoD Service, Cloud Games, Samsung’s Apps store, etc|
|Remote||LG Magic Remote|
|HDMI||4 (HDCP 2.2)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1|
|Composite In (AV)||1|
|Wi-Fi Built In||802.11 ac|
|Total Audio Output||40W (Woofer: 20W)|
|Dolby Atmos Decoder||Yes (Via an update firmware)|
|Price||See the price on Amazon|
Features and Technology
LG OLED B7 is powered by similar technologies of the series above like C7 or E7. There are only certain items that make it is different to the series above like design, sound performance or others, but essentially, the differences to the series above don’t have significant impact on the picture quality that produced. Coming with OLED panel technology, where it offers infinite native contrast ratio, perfect black level, and excellent black uniformity, LG OLED B7 is powered by Active HDR engine that support most of HDR formats which available in the market like HDR 10 by UHD Alliance, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) by NHK and BBC, Dolby Vision by Dolby Laboratories, and Advanced HDR by Technicolor. This certainly makes you to enjoy more HDR formats than most of other TVs. Meanwhile, for anticipating the many of contents that available in the market that haven’t been mastered in HDR, LG OLED B7 has a feature called “HDR effect” that can improve the brightness and color range of the picture so you can enjoy any contents with the quality as close as 4K HDR. Still about clarity improvement, OLED B7 is also powered by great performance 4K Up-scaling engine named “Tru 4K Up-Scaler that can up-convert any resolutions videos to nearly 4K resolution sharply and clearly.
In addition to infinite native contrast ratio and perfect black level, LG OLED B7 is also powered by the number of technologies that makes the performance of each point of their picture quality is excellent. For maximizing its renditions of color, it uses RGBW sub-pixel technology that supported by True Color Accuracy. Additionally, for maximizing its peak luminance so it is able to show bright picture, OLED B7 is powered by Ultra Luminance technology. Combination of all these technologies behind them makes picture quality displayed on its screen looks absolutely amazing with perfect black, bright peak brightness, and excellent renditions of colors.
Meanwhile, the excellent performance of OLED B7 as the native characteristic of OLED panel is about its wide viewing angle coverage. This makes its excellent picture quality displayed on its screen looks consistently from any angles. Additionally, the other excellent performance that offered is about its excellent motion handling, allow you to enjoy fast moving images like sports or fast movies smoothly and clearly with no motion blur noticeable. And for offering you with simple, attractive, and responsive smart TV platform, LG OLED B7 is featuring Excellent WebOS 3.5 as its smart TV platform. And that is not less interesting is about its sound performance. With native firmware, LG OLED B7 might not support Dolby Atmos, but with an update firmware and external sound system, you can enjoy Dolby Atmos experience.
LG OLED B7 Performance
As we have a bit mentioned above, the excellent picture quality of LG OLED B7 is undoubtedly. The major strong aspect of the picture quality produced by OLED B7 is its infinitive native contrast ratio and black level. Since OLED panel don’t use backlight and each of pixel can switch on/off/dim individually without affected by the condition of other pixel surrounding, this allow the screen doesn’t emit any light at all when showing totally black. The result, black of images looks perfectly. And combined to its excellent black uniformity, this makes dark scene of images looks excellent, particularly when se t in a dark room where the effect of high native contrast ratio is very noticeable. Meanwhile, since it has perfect black level, this certainly also makes details of HDR images in dark scene can be revealed excellently, result in excellent shadow details like the intended by HDR technology itself. Additionally, its perfect black level also makes darker colors even for extremely dark colors looks very accurate. Essentially, OLED B7 does excellent job when showing dark scene of image and there is no LED TV that can match it.
Meanwhile, although not as bright as Premium LED TV like Sony X930E or Samsung Q9F, peak luminance of LG OLED B7 is also fairly good. With around 400 nits of peak brightness when inputted by SDR signal, this is quite bright to fight the glare of ambient light, make the amazing picture quality displayed on its screen look consistently when set in a room with any light condition. This means, no matter you are watching movies during the day or in the night, the picture displayed on its screen will look excellent. On other hand, when inputted by HDR signal, LG OLED B7 even can reach brighter peak brightness that is about 800 nits in small window. This certainly makes highlight in dark scene of HDR images looks fairly bright. Peak luminance reached by OLED B7 even is brighter than 550 nits as the minimum recommendation to show HDR images fully like what have set by UHD alliance for OLED TV to get Ultra HD Premium Certification. A bit unfortunate, since HDR images are usually mastered in 1000 – 4000 nits of brightness range, this certainly makes OLED B7 is not able to show highlight of HDR images brighter than 1000 nits or at the native brightness of HDR itself. Its performance certainly is still under Sony X930E or Samsung Q9F that has peak brightness brighter than 1000 nits. Nevertheless, for OLED TV, peak brightness of LG OLED B7 is excellent and quite bright to show HDR images displayed on its screen looks fairly well.
Like the predecessor OLED B6, color gamut delivered OLED B7 is great and only a bit under Samsung QLED TV as the TV with the best color gamut. Almost all colors in DCI P3 of HDR images can be represented fairly well. Most of colors in Rec.2020 of Dolby Vision images that have wider color coverage than DCI P3 even also can be shown properly. A bit issue is when it is showing saturated green in Rec.2020 where OLED B7 cannot show it as saturated as other colors. But of course, it is not alone and not its own problem considering almost all of modern TVs also have an issue when showing saturated green. On the other hand, LG OLED B7 also has good color volume. Almost in its brightness range, it can show its wide color gamut fairly well, even in extremely dark colors where most of LED TVs cannot do it. But unfortunately, nearly at its peak brightness, its wide color gamut narrows due its RGBW pixel doesn’t allow for it. Additionally, still about color performance, LG OLED B7 also already support 10 bit depth of color that means it can deliver more than 1.07 billion shades of color. As the comparison, 8 bit panel TV can deliver about 16 million shades of colors only. This certainly makes color gradient of HDR images displayed on its screen looks very clear and smooth with almost no major color imperfection. Some a little imperfection might be still visible in dark shades and gray scale, but since most of people might not notice it and most of TVs also has a same issue, this should not be a major issue for OLED B7. Overall, combination of excellent wide color gamut, good color volume, and smooth color gradient certainly makes the rendition of colors of OLED B7 is excellent, make the color of HDR images displayed on their screen looks very accurate and natural.
The other excellent performance that offered by LG OLED B7 is about its excellent wide viewing angle coverage. Black level and color that usually will be degraded at about 20 degrees off center and front on VA LED TV, they will look consistent at extremely angle on OLED TV. The result, no matter the angle of the viewers watching from, the picture displayed on its screen will look consistent, as good as when viewed from the front and the center. What offered by OLED B7 is even far better than LED TV with IPS panel that indeed is maximized for that. This certainly makes OLED B7 as a good option for you if you have a plan to use it in a wide room with viewers watch TV from multiple angles.
As we have mentioned above, for anticipating the many of video contents that have lower resolution than 4K, LG OLED B7 is equipped with great performance of 4K Up-scaling engine named “Tru 4K Up-Scaler”. This means, no matter the resolution of your video source, whether it is 1080p videos like Blu Ray Movies, 720p videos like moves from HD TV, even low resolution 480p videos like DVD movies, all of them will be up-converted to nearly 4K resolution sharply and clearly with small details are still preserved well. With other word, no matter the resolution of the source, you will enjoy them in nearly 4K quality sharply. Not even just that, with a new feature named “HDR effect” where it can improves the brightness and color range of images, this allows you to enjoy any video contents with the quality as close as possible to 4K HDR.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
Since each pixel of OLED Panel can emit its own color and depend on the backlight, this certainly makes the change from one color to another color of each pixel is very rapidly, far faster than the fastest that can be reach by LED TV. This certainly has an impact on when the panel showing fast paced contents like fast movies or sports. The result, the picture displayed looks clear and smooth with almost no motion blur noticeable following the fast moving object. Great performance offered by OLED B7, you will not find on LED TV, even for premium LED TV that sold hundreds to thousands dollars more expensive. Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, LG OLED B7 also does an excellent job. There is an improvement performance over the predecessor OLED B6. If OLED B6 only can remove the judder when the source is 24p videos like Blu Ray Movies, OLED B7 can do more. No matter the source of the movies, whether it is 24p videos like Blu-ray movies, 24p videos via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, or even via 60p signals like movies from streaming devices, all of them can be shown clearly and smoothly with judder-free on the screen of OLED B7. By enabling the “Real Cinema” Option, set “True Motion” to “User”, and set both “De-Judder and De-Blur” to “Zero”, this will remove the judder at any source without adding “soap opera effect”. Additionally, since the panel of LG OLED B7 has native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, this certainly make it can interpolate both lower frame rate contents 60 fps and 30 fps videos smoothly.
Like other models of LG’s 2017 OLED TV lineup, LG OLED B7 is equipped with complete inputs / outputs. As its major connectivity, there are 4 HDMI ports ver. 2.0 that already support HDCP 2.2, CEC, and other formats while that support ARC (Audio Return Channel) is HDMI 2. Additionally, there are also 3 USB ports behind it, consist of 2 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0. In addition to HDMI and USB ports, there are also 1 Composite In (AV In), 1 RF In (terrestrial), Ethernet, Built IN Wi-Fi, and Digital Audio Out (Optical). Although there is not Component In behind it, this should not be a problem considering there are rarely devices that use Component port as their major connectivity. Meanwhile, discussing about its input lag, essentially the input lags of LG OLED B7 in “PC Mode” and “Game Mode” is low. Its input lags may not as low as LG SJ8500 or SJ9500 that has input lags under 20 ms, but with about 21 ms of input lags at any source in “Game Mode” and “PC Mode”, this is also quite low to play any kind of games so feel responsively and comfortably, even for fast paced games which required fast reflexes.
Like other models of LG’s 2017 4K HDR TV lineup, LG OLED B7 also featuring excellent WebOS 3.5 as its smart TV platform. Compared to previous version, there are some addition features and some improvement that makes its performance is better. In this new version, it is powered by a new chip that makes its performance faster than previous version. Meanwhile, the highlighted new features that offered are including 360-degree videos, Magic Link that provide you additional information of the scene, and Magic Sound Tuning that utilize the microphone on the remote to maximizing the TV sound in your room. Additionally, navigation on WebOS is also simple and easy. Its interface is split into 3 sections including apps, settings, and inputs where each of the section has its own button on the remote, quick menu, and full menu, makes the navigation is quicker and easier. Additionally, once you enter the home screen, there is a strip bar across the bottom of the screen contains shortcuts to many popular apps and features. This allows you to launch them without leaving the home screen. Talking about apps provided, there are a lot of apps and smart features. In addition native LG’s apps and features like Magic Link, Magic Sound Tuning, and more, there are also a lot of preinstalled apps provided like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Web Browser, Live TV, Games, and many more. Not even just that, there is also LG’s apps store that provide plenty of useful and attractive apps, contents and games where you can download them directly from you OLED B7.
As the controller, LG OLED B7 comes with a new “LG Magic Remote”. At a glance, it is similar to last year model. The remote is a bit large and has plenty of smart features. Like last year model, it is also equipped with built in microphone for voice command. The most attractive features that offered is about “point and click” functionality, makes the navigation, input the text, and browsing on the internet feel far easier. One of the most useful functionality, the pointer on the screen can follow the remote movement. So, to point the cursor, you just need to move the remote towards what you want. It is similar to Nintendo WII Remote. Additionally, this remote also has universal capability, allow you to control other devices connected on OLED B7 via HDMI ports with your LG magic remote. A bit difference to last year model, it now has Amazon and Netflix dedicated button, allow you to launch them without entering the main menu.
As we have discussed a lot above, in term of picture quality, what offered by LG OLED B7 is similar to other models of LG’s 2107 OLED TV like C7, E7 even G7 that sold hundreds even thousands dollar more expensive. Its differences to the series above are only on their design, sound performance, and might be also some features. This certainly gives a benefit for you who want to enjoy OLED TV experience but have a limited budget. Almost all aspect of picture quality are very strong like infinite contrast ratio, perfect black level, excellent rendition of colors, and bright peak luminance, make the picture displayed on its screen looks really amazing. Meanwhile, the other features offered also have strong performance like wide viewing angle coverage, excellent motion handling, great 24p movies playback, low input lags for games, and attractive and simple smart TV platform, makes it is as a good TV for mixed usage. A bit weakness but not really a weakness is about its peak luminance. Although for OLED TV, its peak luminance is excellent, but it is not able to show highlight of HDR images brighter at 1000 – 4000 nits where HDR images are usually mastered. Another weakness is about its less powerful sound performance, but it can be solved easily by adding external sound bar.
Should I buy this TV? If you want to enjoy OLED TV experience and picture quality and budget become main consideration in buying TV, it might be a good option for you considering it is sold hundreds dollars even thousand dollars cheaper than the series above like C7, E7, or G7, but picture quality and performance that offered is not far behind them. Nevertheless, if you have other consideration like sound performance, design, and others, and you also have an extra budget, you might be able to consider the series above. Now, the decision certainly comes back to you according to your own preference and budget.
- Infinite Contrast and Perfect Black Level
- Excellent Black Uniformity
- Excellent Wide Color Gamut
- Wide Viewing Angle Coverage
- Great Motion Handling
- Low Input Lags
- Attractive and Simple Smart TV
- Peak Brightness is is still below 1000 nit
- Require an external sound system to play Dolby Atmos