LG UH8500 Review (55UH8500, 60UH8500, 65UH8500, 75UH8500)
Like Samsung that carried SUHD categories started in last year, in this year 2016, LG also divides their 4K lineup into two, SUHD (Super UHD) and UHD. And like on Samsung SUHD lineup, the main advantage of LG SUHD TV including LG UH8500 series than LG UHD TV Lineup is about quantum dot panel that over wider range of color gamut. And of course, to enliven the competition in HDR where it is a big focus on 4K TV in 2016, LG UH8500 is also equipped with HDR technology that supports HDR 10 and Dolby Vision Format.
In the market, LG UH8500 is released on 4 variant screen sizes, 55UH8500 with 55”, 60UH8500 with 60”, 65UH8500 with 65”, and 75UH8500 with 75” screen sizes. Unlike Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TV series that left 3D technology to focus more on HDR, LG’s 2016 SUHD TV lineup including UH8500 still maintains 3D technology as one of their mainstay features. In addition to HDR performance, WebOS 3.0 as its smart TV platform is something that that is no less interesting. In the market, LG UH8500 is sold started at around $1300 for the smallest screen size up to around $3500 for the biggest sizes.
LG UH8500 Key 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 UH8500
The excepting of 3D and Audio Performance, LG UH8500 is similar to the lower series UH7700, strong in color reproduction but weak in black level particularly in dark room. This caused by the use of IPS panel. But even so, for a fellow IPS TV, black level produced by UH8500 is strong. But in other hand, the use of IPS Panel give its own advantage on side viewing angle where it offers wider viewing angle than VA panel. And of course, this becomes one of the advantages of LG UH8500 than its competitor in its price range because there are not a lot of TV that offers side viewing angle as wide as UH8500.
One of the advantage of LG SUHD TV than UHD TV lineup is about quantum dot panel. This makes the color produced by UH85000 looks richer and more vibrant. This is understandable because with quantum dot panel, UH8500 can meet more than 90% DCI P3 Color space. You need to know, it is the standard minimum that should be met by a 4K TV for getting UHD Premium Certification form UHD alliance. As we know, to minimize the deluded consumers about TV labeled HDR, some 4K TV manufactures formed an alliance called UHD Alliance. In here they set the standardization of HDR called HDR 10 that should be met by a 4K TV to get UHD premium Label. Provision is made, among others are color gamut produced is more than 90% DCI P3 color space, supports 10 bit color, more than 1000 nits peak brightness and lower than 0.005 black level. Fortunately, LG UH8500 is equipped with the technologies that allow it meet all of these criteria particularly about color performance.
To processing HDR signals, LG UH8500 is powered by HDR Super with Dolby Vision embedded on Super Mastering engine. This means LG UH8500 already support HDR 10 and Dolby vision at once. Dolby Vision even set higher standardization than HDR 10 although in real world, the standardization of Dolby Vision is very difficult achieved by UH8500 moreover it comes with IPS panel that makes black level deterioration in dark room. Why is difficult achieved? Because the hardware of UH8500 has not qualified for it although its picture engine already support Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision Set a 4K TV must achieve Rec.2020 color space and support 12 bit depth of color. While for peak brightness, the target is 10,000 nits with 4000 nits current. Compare to HDR 10 that target only 4000 nits with 1000 nits current target. Although in display specs it is inadequate, at least it already supports Dolby Vision that offers more precise HDR picture than HDR 10 because the meta data information of Dolby Vision is sent frame by frame while on HDR 10, meta data is sent once at the beginning of the videos. Please click here to know more about HDR 10 vs Dolby Vision.
Overall, picture quality offered by LG UH8500 is great in its class. Smooth, Vibrant and realistic images is an overview of the picture produced by UH8500. But once again, contrast of UH8500 is not as strong as the competitor that used VA panel because this is indeed the downside of IPS panel.
Unlike a lot of TVs that left 3D technology to focus more on HDR, LG UH8500 still maintain 3D technology. This makes UH8500 is included a few TVs that support HDR at once 3D. But even so, 3D performance that offered is still great with tons of depth. One of the advantages, it uses passive 3D technology that offers free crosstalk and flickers. The other advantage, in addition they are cheaper, passive 3D technology doesn’t require specific 3D glasses like active 3D. In its buying package, LG UH8500 includes 2 pairs passive 3D glasses.
Great performance UHD Up-scaling engine is still needed by a 4K TVs for this time. This means 4K contents that available in the market are still scarce. And this condition will certainly goes on much longer with the advent HDR technology on TV. Why so? Because some creators are certainly prefer to re-master their contents in HDR than 4K. There are many reasons to do that. But you don’t need worry about that. With great Tru 4K Up-Scaler embedded in its picture engine called Super Mastering Engine, LG UH8500 does its job greatly for up-converting contents with lower resolution to 4K quality, as great as Samsung 4K TV. While processing 480p like DVDs or 720p contents like cable TV or HD Blu-ray, UH8500 does his job greatly. Moreover when the source is 1080p like full HD Blu Ray Player, the result is more perfect even better when they are played on full HD TV.
LG TVs including UH8500 is one of a 4K TVs that does his job greatly when handling fast motion images. With the support of TruMotion 240Hz technology based on native 240 Hz refresh rate panel, UH8500 its jobs better rather than a lot of TV in its price range. This means, UH8500 can handle motion blur and juddering during fast scenes extremely well. Of course this will make you more comfort when watching sports program or your favorites fast action movies. Juddering and Motion Blur may not be eliminated completely and still slight noticeable in certain scenes, but at least they are not much noticeable like on 60 Hz TV panel.
As its smart TV Platform, LG UH8500 features WebOS 3.0, the latest version of WebOS. In term of layout, it looks similar to two previous versions. However, make no mistake because entering in third years, there are some improvements over two previous versions. If we find an issue about streaming ability in two previous versions, there is now no longer in this version. This means when it used for streaming 4K contents, there is almost no “buffering” time. In term of layout, it looks similar to version 2.0. The other biggest improvement is about “split screen”. This allows you to watch two different things on the same screen and at the same time.
The other feature that is no less interesting is about “Magic Zoom”. This is not like usual zoom because it integrates directly with TV’s hardware, so you can magnify any area of screen without reducing picture quality. Additionally, there is also “LG Music Player” that allows you to play music on your TV. The interesting, you can still play music when your TV is turn off. This is as though your TV changed into a jukebox. And one more new feature that is no less interesting is about “Magic Mobile Connection” where it allows you stream contents from your smart phone to your TV.
WebOS 3.0 also pampering their users with its 4K streaming ability in Dolby Vision or HDR 10with their complete VoD apps like Netflix, Vudu, Amazon, YouTube. The other interesting apps are Hulu, Plex, Crackle, Spotify, Pandora, and many more. There is also LG contents store that provides tons of movies and TV shows. WebOS 3.0 is also equipped fast and lightweight web browser. And to make the users easier when operating and navigating in WebOS, LG UH8500 includes “LG magic Remote”. As we know, LG Magic Remote has many useful functions that will makes you more comfort and easier when operating an app.
The connectivity specs of LG UH8500 can be said quite complete. There are HDMI 2.0 support HDCP 2.2, USB Ports, RF in, Composite In, Component in, Ethernet, built in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, RS232, Audio (Optical). But unfortunately, the number for HDMI ports is only 3, less than most high class 4K TV that usually equipped with 4 HDMI ports. For you who have a lot of HD Devices, of course this amount is still inadequate.
LG UH8500 is equipped with 2.2 channel speaker with total power output 20 watts and 2 built in woofer. The interesting from this TV, its audio system is designed by premium audio company HarmanKardon. This course make audio performance offered by UH8500 is above average than most TV that available in the market. For built in audio system in a thin TV, its performance is great, but for better audio sound performance, the addition of a sound bar still required.
LG UH8500 is a TV that has great performance in bright room that offers many advantages than other TVs in its price range. HDR performance with Dolby Vision and HDR 10 Compatibility is also great with bright picture and great color saturation especially when you use it in bright room. As well as about motion clarity, UHD Up-scaling, and 3D, its performance is also great for its class. But unfortunately, black level and contrast of UH8500 is not as strong as the competitors that use VA panel, especially in dark room. The black level looks deteriorated when you use it in dark room. Local dimming and Tru Black panel technology behind it cannot do much for improving black level of UH8500 in dark room. But even so, it is understandable because it is one of the characteristics of IPS panel. But in other hand, it does good job where not a lot of TV can do in term of side viewing angle.
The other strong point of LG UH8500 is about WebOS 3.0. There are many improvements over last year version. In addition it is simple and easy to use, it also fast and responsive. Additionally, WebOS 3.0 also provide complete app for 4K streaming purpose and other app like Web Browser, Magic Mobile Connection, LG Music Player, and many more. And that is no less interesting about WebOS is about their “magic remote”.
With the lowest price for smallest screen 55” about $1300 up to most expensive price for the biggest screen 75” about $3000, Of course it is more affordable than higher series UH9500 and LG’s OLED TV lineup. Should I buy this TV? Yes, if you are more interested in High Dynamic Range. But if you are more interested in perfect dark-room performance, in its price range, there are Samsung SUHD TVs or Vizio 4K TV that offers better performance.
- Wide Side Viewing Angle
- Very great in Motion Control
- Attractive and Responsive WebOS 3.0
- Good 3D Performance
- Wide Range Color Gamut fr HDR quality
- Audio Performance is above average
- Support two HDR format HDR 10 and Dolby Vision at once.
- Weak Black Level in dark room
- Picture Deteriorated in dark/dimmed room