LG SJ9500 Review (65SJ9500) – Top Model LG’s 2017 4K HDR LED TV
LG SJ9500 is the top model of LG’s 2017 4K HDR SUHD LED TV lineup and also the predecessor of UH9500 series. Unlike other model that comes with some screen sizes option, SJ9500 series only comes with one screen size option that is 65 Inch (65SJ9500). Coming as the top model of LG’s 2017 SUHD TV lineup, it certainly offers some advantages than the competitor. The strong points that offered include excellent rendition or colors, extremely low input lags, wide viewing angle, and excellent WebOS 3.5 as its smart TV platform. One level above 65SJ8500, it sold three hundreds dollar more expensive. But of course, its price is not fixed and could still change at any time.
LG SJ9500 (65SJ9500) Key Specs
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||65 Inch (65SJ9500)|
|Backlight Technology||Edge-Lit Led|
|Local Dimming technology||Yes|
|Color Technology||Nano Cell Display with Tru Color Accuracy|
|HDR Engine||Active HDR with Dolby Vision|
|HD Format||HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR|
|4K Up-scaling||Tru 4K Up-Scaler|
|Other Features||HDR Effect, Ultra Luminance|
|Motion rate||TruMotion 240Hz|
|Native Refresh Rate Panel||120 Hz|
|Features||Full Browser, LG Content Store, Magic Mobile Connection, etc|
|Remote||LG Magic Remote Control|
|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|
|Price||Check the price on Amazon|
Features and Technologies
At a glance, technologies which support LG SJ9500 and features which offered are similar to the lower series SJ8500. One of the mainstay technologies of SJ9500 as a part of LG’s SUHD TV lineup is Nano Cell Display. This technology basically is based on quantum dot panel technology, but it has smaller particle, that is about 1 nm. With this technology behind it, this makes it is able to deliver wide color gamut and excellent rendition of colors and maintain its excellent color reproduction at wider viewing angle. Combined with IPS panel, this makes SJ9500 can maintain the quality of the picture displayed on its screen from wide viewing angles. In addition to IPS panel, on its panel, LG SJ9500 uses edge lit backlight and local dimming technology. Nevertheless, since it uses IPS Panel, contrast ratio and black level produced by SJ9500 is not so strong, makes its performance in a dark room is not so good. And for maximizing its peak brightness so makes its performance in a bright room is good, it is powered by Ultra Luminance technology. Combination of all technologies behind them, as long as it is not used in a dark room, picture displayed on its screen is excellent.
Coming with HDR technology, LG SJ9500 is powered by Active HDR engine and already supports most of HDR formats including HDR 10 by UHD Alliance, Dolby Vision by Dolby laboratories, HLG by NHK and BBC, and also Advanced HDR by Technicolor. This allows you have more options to watch HDR videos. Additionally, in addition to it has great UHD Up-scaling engine called “Tru 4K Up-Scaler” that allows you to enjoy any content in 4K quality, it also has a feature named “HDR Effect” that can improve the brightness and color range of the picture so you can enjoy any content in nearly 4K HDR quality. Meanwhile, for delivering smooth and clear picture quality when it used for watching fast moving or 24p movies, LG SJ9500 is powered by Tru Motion 240 Hz based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel.
For connecting with other device, LG SJ9500 is equipped with 4 HDMI ports with extreme low input lags that are lower than 20 ms. This certainly makes it is a great TV when used to play any games. In addition to HDMI ports, there are also 3 USB ports, and some other inputs/outputs, make it is able to cover most of your other electronic device at once. As their smart TV platform, SJ9500 features WebOS 3.5 as its smart TV platform that equipped with excellent smart remote named “LF’s Magic Remote. And for delivering impressive sound quality, LG SJ9500 is equipped with 2.2 channel speaker system with 40 watts of total speaker and designed by HarmanKardon, the one of the big names in Audio manufacturers.
LG SJ9500 Performance
If you often watch TV in a dark room, LG SJ9500 might not be a good choice for you. Since it doesn’t have strong native contrast ratio, in a dark room, it cannot show blacks looks really black. Its local dimming even doesn’t well work to improve the contrast ratio. Instead of really black, black of images even tend to looks grey. The result, dark scene of images will looks washed out. Additionally, since it only has 1500:1 of native contrast ratio, it can only reach about 0.067 of black level. This certainly is not quite dark to reveal details in dark scene of HDR images so looks like the intended by HDR technology itself. As we know, to show shadow detail of HDR 10 videos where this format has lower standardization than other HDR formats, a TV must have 0.05 nits of black level or darker. While what reached by SJ9500 is not quite dark to meet this standardization. But of course, picture quality is not just about black level and contrast. There are also some other points that has major impact on the picture quality.
Meanwhile, once it is set in a bright room with ambient light, the picture displayed on the screen of LG SJ9500 will look far better. This is due the impact of low native contrast ratio in a bright room is not too noticeable like in a dark room. Powered by Ultra Luminance technology, its peak brightness is good enough to fight the glare of ambient light. Combined to its good reflection handling, this certainly makes its picture displayed on its screen looks fairly well. On other hand, its local dimming is also every effective to brightens the smaller windows than large windows, makes highlight in dark scene of HDR images looks brighter. But unfortunately, since HDR images is usually mastered in 1000 – 4000 nits of brightness range and its peak brightness is still below 1000 nits, of course it cannot show highlight of HDR images at the native brightness of HDR image where it is mastered. Nevertheless, for IPS TV, peak luminance of SJ9500 is including the brightest and HDR images displayed on its screen is not so disappointing.
The excellent performance that offered by LG SJ9500 is about its renditions of colors. With Nano Cell Display technology behind it, SJ9500 is able deliver excellent wide color gamut and among the best in 2017, only a bit worse than Samsung QLED TV as a TV with widest color gamut. This means, it can cover almost colors in DCI P3 fairly well, even its Rec.2020 color coverage is a better than Samsung QLED TV. The result, almost all colors of HDR images in DCI P3 can be represented fairly well. There are only some colors like cyan and green that cannot be shown fairly saturated. Nevertheless, overall, colors of HDR images displayed on its screen looks very accurate, even for Dolby Vision contents that mastered in Rec.2020 color space. On other hand, LG SJ9500 also has good color volume. The excepting of darker colors due it has low native contrast ratio, it can show its wide color gamut at its brightness range fairly well. Additionally, LG SJ9500 also already supports 10 bit depth of color that means it can deliver more than 1.07 billion shades of colors. As the comparison, 8 bit TV only can deliver about 16 million shades of colors. The result, color gradient of HDR images can be shown excellently and smoothly without any major color banding. A bit some imperfections might be still visible in darker colors, but this should not interfere with your comfort in watching movies. Furthermore, it is not alone since most of TVs which available in the market also has the same issue in gradient of darker color.
The use of IPS panel might make LG SJ9500 has low native contrast ratio, but on the other hand, it makes its side viewing angle coverage is far better than VA TV. On VA TV, the picture usually look degraded started at 20 degrees off center and front and will be worse when viewed from wider viewing angle. Meanwhile, although not as good as OLED TV, SJ9500 can maintain its good picture quality from wider viewing angle. Black looks consistent at any angle, but colors and brightness will degrade from moderate angles. With good viewing angle overage offered by SJ 9500, this certainly make it is a good TV when used in a wide room where there are viewers watch TV from multiple angles.
\Motion Handling and 24p Playback
When playing video contents with a lot of fast scenes, LG SJ9500 does a great job in handling motion blur. It has extremely low pixel response time and combined to Tru Motion 240 Hz based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel behind it, this makes the picture produced looks smooth and clear when used to watch sports or fast movies. Following fast moving object, motion blur might still be slightly visible, but it is just a short trail and very faint, so most people with untrained eyes might not notice that. Additionally, when used to play 24p movies, SJ9500 also can do a great job. No matter the source of movies, whether it is native 24p videos like Blu Ray Movies, 24p videos via 60i signal like movies from Satellite TV or even 24p videos via 60p signal like movies from streaming device, the picture can be shown clearly and smoothly with judder-free on its screen. To remove the judder without adding “soap opera effect”, you need to turn on “Real Cinema”, set “Tru Motion” to “User” and set both “De-Blur” and “De-Judder” to “0”. And since LG SJ9500 has native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, this certainly also makes it is able to interpolate both lower frame rate content (60fps and 30 fps videos) fairly well.
For connecting to the other devices, LG SJ9500 is equipped with 4 HDMI ports ver.2.0. All of their HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.2, CEC, MHL, and other HDMI formats while that supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) is HDMI 2. Additionally, it is also equipped with 3 HDMI ports (USB ports ver.2.0 on USB 2 and 3 while USB 3.0 on USB 1). In addition to HDMI and USB ports, there are also RF In (Antenna In), 1 Ethernet, 1 Composite In (AV In), and 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical). However, there is no Component In behind it. With all of the inputs/outputs provided by SJ9500, this certainly is enough to cover most of your electronic devices you want to connect at once. Meanwhile, the input lags of SJ9500 in Game Mode and PC mode are excellent, that is below 20 ms at any source, a bit better than LG’s 2017 OLED TV or Samsung LED TV. Its input lag is even including the one of the best in 2017. This certainly makes LG SJ9500 is very comfortable when used to play any kind of games, even when playing fast games that require fast response.
Like other model of LG’s 2017 4K HDR TV lineup, LG SJ9500 also features WebOS 3.5 as its smart TV platform. As we know, it is one of the best Smart TV platforms that come with a lot of smart features, fast and simple navigation, and excellent remote. On this new version, WebOS is powered by a new chip that makes its performance is more responsive and faster. On its home interface, there is strip bar contains some quick access to inputs, apps, and settings. From the earliest slot of its strip bar, there are My Channel, HDMI Inputs Selection, Live TV, Some VOD Service like Netflix, Amazon Videos, and YouTube, Catch Up Service, and more. This allows you to launch them without leaving the home menu. This certainly make the navigation is faster and simple. Meanwhile, talking about apps provided, there are a lot of interesting and useful preinstalled apps provided include VoD premium Service like YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon, Live TV, Catch Service apps, Web Browser, and many more. Additionally, there is also LG’s apps store that provides tons of downloadable apps, contents, and videos, allows you to download them directly from your TV.
As its controller, LG SJ9500 is equipped with excellent remote control named “LG Magic Remote”. The remote has a lot of smart features, make you easier and more comfort when navigating. There are two dedicated buttons for Amazon and Netflix, allow you to launch them without entering the home screen. Additionally, the number button also can be functioned as quick access button, where you need to set previously. The remote is also equipped with built microphone for voice navigation. But unlike voice command on Samsung TV or LG OLED TV that allows you to control some features and also search the content or on the internet, the voice command of remote of LG SJ9500 is limited for content search only. The excellent feature is “Point and Click”, allows you to navigate like use mouse on PC. Not even just that, the cursor on the screen can be moved by the movement of remote, like the remote of WII Nintendo. Additionally, the remote also has a universal ability, allow you to control your other device connected on SJ9500 via HDMI ports
Since it has poor native contras ratio and its black level is not so deep, as long as you don’t use it in a dark room, overall picture quality of LG SJ9500 is excellent, particularly on its excellent rendition of colors. HDR performance is also fairly good but it doesn’t show HDR image like the intended due its black level is not darker than 0.05 nits and its peak luminance is still below 1000 nits. The advantage that offered, although as perfect as OLED TV, it has wide viewing angle coverage, make SJ9500 is as a good TV when used in a wide room with viewers watch TV from multiple viewing angles. Motion Handling and 24p playback is also excellent, result in smooth and clear picture quality when used for watching sports program or movies. The other excellent performance that offers is about its input lags, even it is including the best in 2017, make it is very comfortable when used to play any kind of games. And that is not less attractive is about its smart TV platform where with WebOS 3.5, it offers fast, responsive, attractive, and simple smart TV experience.
Should I Buy this TV? As we have mentioned, since it has low native contrast ratio, its performance in a dark room is not so good. So, if you often watch movies in a dark room, this TV might not be a good option for you. Otherwise, in you often watch movies in a room with ambient light or you are searching TV that you will set in wide room with viewers watch TV from multiple viewing angles, LG SJ9500 might be a good option for you. The other excellent performance that should be considered is about its extremely low input lags and excellent Smart TV platform. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your need and preference.
Compared to the competitor
LG SJ9500 vs LG SJ8500 (65SJ9500 vs 65SJ8500)
Coming as one level lower than SJ9500, LG SJ8500 (65SJ8500) comes with similar technology and features, but it is sold hundreds dollar cheaper. Nevertheless, although its specs are similar to SJ9500 but its color gamut and peak brightness is not as wide and bright as SJ9500. This certainly makes its picture quality and HDR performance is not as good as what offered by SJ8500. The advantage that offered, its input lags is a bit lower, particularly at 4K source in “Game Mode”, makes it is a bit more comfortable when used for playing fast paced games. Overall, its performance is a bit lower than SJ9500.
LG SJ9500 vs Samsung MU9000 (65SJ9500 vs UN65MU9000)
Sold with almost the same price, Samsung MU9000 (UN65MU9000) offer far stronger contrast that makes it has far deeper than SJ9500. The result, it offers better picture quality, particularly when used in a dark room. Additionally, MU9000 also has a bit brighter peak luminance. Nevertheless, its color gamut is not as wide as SJ9500, make its rendition colors is not as good as SJ9500, particularly when displaying HDR contents. Also coming with HDR, MU9000 only supports HDR 10 and HLG formats. Additionally, overall, its motion handling and 24p playback is similar, but its input lags are not as low as SJ9500, but they are still quite low to play any games feel responsively. Additionally, comes with Tizen OS as its smart TV platform, it offers smart TV experience that is not less attractive and responsive than WebOS 3.5.The major drawback, its side viewing angle is poor, makes the picture displayed on its screen looks degraded if viewed from the side.
LG SJ9500 vs Sony X900E (65SJ9500 vs XBR65X900E)
Sony X900E (XBR65X930E) is also priced with similar price to 65SJ9500. The advantages that offered, it has excellent native contrast ratio, make its dark room performance is also excellent. Peak brightness is also brighter, make it can show the highlight of HDR images brighter. Nevertheless, like MU9000, its wide color gamut is not as wide as SJ9500. Like MU9000, Sony X900E also supports HDR 10 and HLG only. Additionally, since it use VA panel, this also makes its side viewing angle coverage is poor. Overall, it has better picture quality, particularly when used in a dark room. Motion handling is also excellent, even bit better than SJ9500. X900E is also able to do a good job when playing 24p movies. But unfortunately, although its input lags can be said low, but its input lags is not as low as SJ9500, even MU9000. Playing game on X900E might still feel comfortably, but of course, this is not as comfort and responsive as on LG SJ9500. As its smart TV platform, X900E comes with Android TVG Nougat. Taking about features and performance, it might not less great than WebOS, but its navigation is a bit confusing.
- Outstanding Renditions of Color
- Wide viewing angle coverage
- Excellent Input Lags
- Simple and Attractive Smart TV Platform
- Weak Native Contrast Ratio
- Peak brightness is not quite bright to show highlight of HDR image brighter than 1000 nits