LG SK9000 Review (55SK9000PUA, 65SK9000PUA)
LG SK9000 is the second top model of LG’s 2018 4K HDR LED TV lineup. Like other models of LG’s TVs, SK9000 also comes with IPS panel. In the markets, it comes in 2 screen size option only including 55 inch (55SK9000) and 65 inch (65SK9000). Overall, technologies and features offered by SK9000 is similar to what offered by the model above it SK9500. Nevertheless, the number of dimming zones of SK9000 is not as many as SK9500. Additionally, since SK9000 uses IPS panel, can be ascertained, it is not including TV that has good performance when used in a dark room. But on the other hand, it offers good viewing angle coverage, makes the picture displayed on their screen looks more consistent than VA TVs when viewed from the side. So, as long as you don’t often watch TV in a dark room, this TV may be becoming a good option for you, particularly for you who often watch TV with a group of your family who sit on the wide seating.
LG SK9000 Key Specs
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||55 Inch (55SK90000PUA), 65 Inch (65SK9000PUA)|
|Backlight Technology||Direct Led|
|Local Dimming technology||Yes (Full Array Local Dimming)|
|Processor||Alpha 7 Intelligent Processor|
|Color Technology||Nano Cell Color Pro with Tru Color Accuracy|
|Black Enhancement||Nano Cell Black|
|Brightness Enhancement||Ultra Luminance Pro|
|HDR Format||HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR|
|4K Up-scaling||Tru 4K Up-Scaler|
|Motion rate||TruMotion 240Hz|
|Native Refresh Rate Panel||120 Hz|
|Platform||WebOS 4.0 with LG’s AI ThinQ|
|Features||Full Browser, LG Content Store, Magic Mobile Connection, Google Home Compatible, Amazon Alexa Compatible, etc|
|Remote||LG Magic Remote Control|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1|
|Composite In (AV)||1|
|Wi-Fi Built In||802.11 ac|
|Total Audio Output||40 Watts (Woofer : 20 watts)|
|Support Dolby Atmos||Yes|
The Strong Points of LG SK9000
Side Viewing Angle
As we know, one of the advantages of IPS panel than VA panel is about its wider side viewing angle coverage. If on the screen of VA TVs, the picture displayed on the screen will look degraded when viewed from the side, on the screen of SK9000, the picture displayed will look remain accurate. Although its peak brightness and color degrade starting at a certain angle but it is able to maintain its black level up to extreme wide angle. This much better than VA TVs where black level of VA TVs usually starts to degrade at around 15 degrees off center and front. Nevertheless, performance of SK9000 in maintains their picture quality from side angle is not still as good as OLED TVs.
Wide Color Gamut
Comes with Nano Cell Display, LG SK9000 can produce wide color gamut. Its color gamut may be not as wide as OLED TVs or Samsung’s QLED TVs, but at least, its color gamut can cover more than 90% of DCI P3 color space required by HDR content. The result, when it is displaying HDR content, most of colors can be shown fairly accurate. But like most of modern TVs, SK9000 also has difficulty producing some certain colors like dark greens or other. Additionally, since it cannot produce deep black, it also cannot show dark colors fairly accurate. On the other hand, LG SK9000 also is also inconsistent in producing bright saturated colors. Nevertheless, overall, color reproduction of SK9000 is good.
LG SK9000 also has good performance in handling motion blur. It has excellent pixel response time, makes motion looks smooth and clear when it is playing fast paced contents like sports or fast movies. Additionally, it also has an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion Mode) that makes its backlight can flickers at 60 Hz. This is very useful to reduce persistence blur when it is playing 60 fps content like game or sports. But keep in mind, since its backlight flickers at lower frequency than its default flicker frequency, this certainly makes the flicker on its screen is more noticeable.
The other advantage offered by LG SK9000 is about their excellent input lags. In game mode, no matter in 1080p 4K resolution, with HDR or not, SK9000 has excellent input lags. Their input lags are less than 20 ms in almost all type of inputs, makes it is very responsive when used for playing any game, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. With excellent input lags offered, this makes SK9000 is a good choice for most gamers.
Smart TV Platform
LG SK9000 is featuring excellent WebOS 4.0 as their smart TV platform. As we know, in addition to it has attractive menu and easy navigation, its performance is also fast and responsive, more responsive than most smart TV platforms from other manufacturer. That makes it is more attractive than previous version, now WebOS 4.0 has been integrated with LG Ai ThinQ, an artificially intelligence by LG. With AI ThinQ, now you can control and monitor your other ThinQ compatible devices like refrigerator, Air conditioner, and others via your LGTVs. Additionally, AI ThinQ also makes its voice navigations is much more excellent than previous version. Meanwhile, in addition to it already has complete apps and features, there is also an App Store called LG’s apps store provide a lot of downloadable games, apps, and others that you can directly download from your LG TVs.
In addition to excellent smart TV platform, LG SK9000 is also equipped with excellent smart controller called LG’s magic Remote. Its remote is identical to the remote of the series above SK9500 or LG’s OLED TV lineup. The most attractive features that offered, when it is pointed at the screen, this remote can act as the pointer. This means, the cursor on the screen can be moved by the moving of the remote, making entering the text or navigating the menu is faster and easier. As we have mentioned, the other attractive features offered by this remote is about their voice command. Since it is already supported by AI ThinQ, it can perform a lot of more jobs. With your voice command, you can search all contents within apps, controlling TV menus, and others. It even allows you to interact with your other ThinQ AI compatible devices with your voice command.
The Weak Points of LG SK9000
Low Native Contrast Ratio
The use of IPS panel may makes LG SK9000 has side viewing angle, makes the picture displayed on its screen looks remain accurate, but on the other hand, this makes its native contrast ratio is poor. The result, it cannot produce deep black. Since it cannot produce deep black, this certainly also makes its dark room performance is not so good. When set in a dark room, blacks of images tend to look grey than really black, make the picture produced look inaccurate, especially dark scene. Additionally, its inability to produce deep black also makes it is not able to show shadow details of HDR images excellently. Meanwhile, comes with full array local dimming, it cannot perform much in boosting its contrast ratio.
With SDR contents, peak brightness of LG SK9000 is actually very good. It can reach more than 400 nits where this should be bright enough to fight the glare in most room. This means, when it is set in a bright room, it can get bright to fight the glare. But unfortunately, with HDR content, its peak brightness is not improved significantly or even tend to similar than with SDR content. Its peak brightness is still far from 1000 nits of the target that required for showing highlight of HDR images like the creator intended. This means, although it can play HDR content, you will not get the benefit offered by HDR technology itself, particularly in bright scene or highlight.
Performance of LG SK9000
For Watching Movies
Since LG SK9000 cannot produce deep blacks, this certainly makes its performance in a dark room is not so good. The result, when used for watching movies in a dark room, performance of SK9000 is also not too satisfying. This is due it cannot show dark scene excellently. Additionally, although it already has Full Array Local Dimming, but this cannot do much to improve black level produced. Details of images looks crushed in a dark scene. And of course, when you come with HDR movies, you might be disappointed due shadow details will not be able to shown like the creator intended. But even so, once you set in a bright room, the picture displayed on its screen will looks much better. Additionally, LG SK9000 is also able to show the movies with judder-free, no matter the frame rate of the source. This means, whether you are playing 24p movies, 24p movies via 60p or 60i signal, or 24p movies from streaming app like Netflix, the picture produced will look smooth with judder-free. So, as long as you don’t use it for watching movies in dark room, performance of SK9000 is not too disappointing.
For watching Sports
Different to when watching movies, most people prefer to watch sports with a group of friend or family in a bright room. This makes black level is no longer crucial like in a dark room. On other hand, LG SK9000 has good peak brightness and anti reflective coating that well performs in overcoming the glare. Combined to its good performance in handling motion, this certainly makes its performance when used for watching sports is great, particularly in a bright room. The other advantage that offered, it also has good viewing angle coverage, allows each of you can get the best viewing even though you sit together with your family on wide seating.
For Watching TV Shows
LG SK9000 is also a great TV when used for watching TV Shows in a bright room. As we have mentioned, since it has good peak brightness and anti reflective coating, it is able to overcome the glare easily. Additionally, its good viewing angle coverage also makes the picture produced will remains looks accurate even though you watch TV shows from the side.
For playing Games
LG SK9000 is also a great TV for gamers. In addition to it has good picture quality in a bright room, good motion handling, good side viewing angle, it also has excellent low input lags. Combination between all of these factors makes its performance is excellent when used for playing games. Its low input lags makes the TV is very responsive for any game, no matter you play casual or fast paced games. Additionally, its good pixel response time also ensure you to watch smooth motion when you are playing fast paced games. Its good viewing angle coverage ensures each of you can get the best viewing when you are playing a game with a group of your friend or family. And since its screen is free from permanent burn in, you don’t need to worry when playing the same game with over long time.
HDR formats that supported by LG SK9000 is very complete. In addition to it already supports HDR 10 and HLG, SK9000 also already supports Dolby Vision and Advanced HDR by Technicolor. The only HDR format that is not supported by SK9000 is HDR10+. This means, it can play most of HDR formats which available in the market. But unfortunately, it has limited performance in some aspect the required by HDR images in order to show HDR image with the quality like the recommended. As we have mentioned above, it cannot produce deep black that required for showing the shadow details of HDR images excellently. Additionally, its peak brightness is fairly bright for SDR content, but it is still far from the 1000 nits of the target for showing highlight or bright scene of HDR images like the creator intended. This means, although you can enjoy HDR movies in most formats, you will get a lot of benefit offered by HDR content over SDR content. Nevertheless, since all of the competitors in its price range are not also able to show HDR images like the intended, for its class, HDR performance of SK9000 can still be said fairly well.
Overall, as long as you don’t use it in a dark room, performance of LG SK9000 is excellent for its class. It has good peak brightness and anti reflective coating that well performs in overcoming the glare, makes its performance in a bright room is good. Additionally, its excellent performance in handling motion blur also makes it is able to show smooth motion when it is playing fast paced contents like sports or fast games. Not only that, its low input lags also makes it is very responsive for any game. And its good viewing angle coverage makes the picture displayed on its screen looks remain accurate even though you watch TV from the side. Overall, for its price range, LG SK9000 is a good TV for mixed usage.
Should I buy this TV? As we have discussed a lot above, this certainly depends on your habit in watching TVs. If you often watch movies in a dark room, this TV may be not a good TV for you since its dark room performance is not so good. For this case, you can go to the TVs with VA panel like Samsung NU8000 or Sony X900F. Otherwise, if you don’t often watch TV in a dark room, this TVs may be a great TV for you, particularly for you who often watch TV together with a group of your family.
Compare to the Competitor
LG SK9000 vs SK8000
LG SK8000 is one level under SK9000. In the market, it comes in 3 screen sizes option including 49 inch (49SK8000), 55 inch (55SK8000), and 65 inch (65SK8000). With the same screen, SK8000 is priced hundreds dollar cheaper than SK9000. Like SK9000, It also comes with IPS panel that certainly make it has good side viewing angle coverage. But as is typical of a TV with IPS panel, it also has poor native contrast ratio that makes its dark room performance is not so good. LG SK8000 may also have local dimming technology, but since it comes with edge lit backlight, its local dimming doesn’t perform as well as SK9000 that has Full Array Local Dimming. Although SK9000 actually has poor native contrast ratio, but it still has better native contrast ratio and black uniformity than SK8000, makes dark room performance of SK9000 is slight better than SK8000. Additionally, SK8000 doesn’t also have peak brightness as bright as SK9000. This makes SK9000 still has better performance when used in a bright room. Color gamut SK8000 is not also as wide as SK9000. Overall, SK9000 is superior to SK8000 in almost all aspects of picture quality, makes picture quality displayed on its screen looks a bit better than SK8000, no matter in a dark or bright room. Meanwhile, the superiority of SK8000 over SK9000, it has better pixel response time, a bit lower input lags, and better gray uniformity. This makes SK8000 can do better job in handling motion blur and is a bit more responsive for any games. Overall, SK9000 is better than SK8000. But of course, it is also priced more expensive than LG SK8000.
LG SK9000 vs Samsung NU8000
Samsung NU8000 is the mid-level TV of Samsung’s 2018 4K HDR TV lineup. With the same screen (55SK9000 vs UN55NU8000, 65SK9000 vs UN65NU8000), Samsung NU8000 is sold hundreds dollar cheaper than SK9000. Unlike SK9000 that use IPS panel, NU8000 comes with VA panel. The result, NU8000 has strong native contrast ratio and can produce deep blacks, makes its dark room performance much better than SK9000. But otherwise, use VA panel makes its side viewing angle coverage is not as good as SK9000. Unlike on the screen of SK9000 where the picture will look remain accurate when viewed from the side, on the screen of NU8000 the picture will look less accurate. Additionally, Samsung NU8000 also has slight brighter peak brightness than SK9000. Nevertheless, its reflection handling is not as good as SK9000, so when used in a bright room, SK9000 is still slight better than SK8000. Meanwhile, in term of color performance, NU8000 may also already support wide color gamut, but its color gamut is still slight worse than SK9000. Additionally, SK9000 also can deliver a bit smoother color gradient than NU8000. Overall, in term of picture quality, this is depending on where you are used this TV. In a dark room, NU8000 is superior due it has excellent native contrast ratio but in a bright room, SK9000 is a bit better. On the other hand, Samsung NU8000 also has better pixel response time thanSK9000, make NU8000 can do better job in handling motion blur. But even so, in term of input lags, SK9000 has lower input lags that makes it is more responsive when used for playing games. Which is better choice between them? If you often watch movies in a dark room, NU8000 is a better option for you, but if you often watch TV with a group of family who sit together in wide seating, SK9000 is better.
LG SK9000 vs SK9500
LG SK9500 is the top model of LG’s 2018 4K HDR LED TV lineup, one level above SK9000. In the market, it is only available in 65 inch screen sizes only (65SK9500). With the same screen size (65SK9000 vs 65SK95000), LG SK9500 is sold hundreds more expensive. The excepting of the number dimming zones of their local dimming, their technologies and features offered by SK9000 and SK9500 are almost similar. Nevertheless, their difference in the number of dimming zones delivers significant impact on the picture quality produced. Although not as strong as VA TV, local dimming of SK9500 can do much better job in improving contrast, makes it can produce deeper black. This also makes it has better black uniformity. This certainly also makes its dark room performance is better than SK9000. Additionally, SK9500 also has brighter peak brightness than SK9000. Overall, picture quality of SK9500 is better than SK9000. But even so, on other aspects like motion handling, input lags, smart TVs and others, their performance is almost similar.
LG SK9000 vs Samsung Q6FN
Samsung Q6FN is the lowest model of Samsung’s 2018 QLED TV lineup. With the same screen size (QN55Q6FN vs 55SK9000, QN65Q6FN vs 65SK9000), Samsung Q6FN is priced hundreds dollar more expensive than SK9000. Almost all aspects of picture quality like native contrast ratio, peak brightness, color gamut, black uniformity, gray uniformity and others of Q6FN is better than SK9000. This certainly makes Samsung Q6FN can deliver better picture quality than LG SK9000, no matter the light condition of room where they are used. But even so, as is typical of VA TV, it also has poor side viewing angle coverage, makes it is not suitable when used in a wide room with viewers watch TV from multiple angles. Additionally, in other aspects like motion handling and input lags, Samsung Q6FN may be also a bit superior to SK9000, but its superiority is not too significant. As long as don’t need a TV with wide viewing angle, overall, Samsung Q6FN is better than LG SK9000.
- Good SIde Viewing Angle Coverage
- Excellent Response TIme
- Excellent Input Lags
- Cannot Produce Deep Dark