LG 65G1PUA OLED Ultra HDTV Review Page 2

All of the G1's picture modes provide 2-, 10-, and 22-point White Balance adjustments plus color Fine Tune settings (LG's current name for its color management system). The sets also support an autocalibration feature developed by Calman from Portrait Displays, though all the calibration work for this review was done manually.

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I used the set's ISF Expert (Dark) mode for my HD/standard dynamic range (SDR) picture adjustments and Cinema (User) for Ultra HD/ HDR. But even pre-calibration, the LG's measured results were impressive in both modes, and I didn't have to alter the White Balance controls from their factory settings (all zero) to achieve a good HD/SDR white balance.

The following comments are based on evaluation following a full manual calibration, including Fine Tune (color management) adjustments. All program material referenced was on standard Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray disc.

HD/SDR Performance
Watching Oblivion, a title I regularly use for viewing evaluations, the image looked nothing short of outstanding on the 65G1PUA. While the SDR version can't equal the HDR version in certain respects, particularly the way HDR punches up the film's bright highlights, viewing it on regular Blu-ray disc left little on the table.

I often rely on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 to judge blacks since it's a consistently dark film (in more ways than one!). I did notice black crush on the G1 when viewing some of the most challenging scenes, though careful setup largely (but not totally) corrected this. Peter Pan (2003) is live-action and miles removed from the Disneyfied concept of the story and character. It's brilliantly photographed and has strong but not overdone color and crisp detail. Here, the G1 simply got out of the way and lets the production quality speak for itself. The film has only one truly dark scene (in an abandoned castle) and the LG navigated this perfectly.

Muppet Treasure Island may seem an odd choice for testing, but it's a quality transfer that's hard to criticize. It's also (for me) easily the best film ever to escape the Jim Henson workshop. There are a few moderately dark scenes (particularly just before the entrance of Boom-Shakalaka—don't ask!), but the film is notable primarily for its color, particularly in the musical numbers, and the G1 delivered what I expected visually from beginning to end.

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Black bars on letterboxed Blu-rays remained fully black on the G1 even in a totally darkened room. The set doesn't do quite as well at this when viewing 4K/HDR sources, but that's always been an issue even with the best TVs. When properly set up, images never looked gray-ish or washed out unless the same issues were present in the source material. Starfields in sci-fi films looked as jaw- dropping as I expect to see on an OLED, and screen uniformity was solid.

Ultra HD/HDR Performance
Pre-calibration, the G1 displayed vivid but natural color and punchy HDR highlights after only making minor touchups to the various controls in its Brightness menu. The results were even better post-calibration, though not dramatically so. I'm normally averse to using features such as the LG's Auto Dynamic Contrast control, but without it many HDR10-format images looked a little crushed and dark even with the set's other Brightness settings maxed out. Turning Auto Dynamic Contrast to Low (and sometimes, though rarely, to Medium) resulted in a significant visual improvement (this was true as well with SDR sources). The static calibration results shown in the Test Bench, however, were taken with Auto Dynamic Contrast off since its dynamic nature might produce misleading measurements.

I'd expect that some viewers accustomed to the brightness levels typical with HD/SDR sources might find dark scenes too dim on the G1 when viewing in HDR. But dark scenes always displayed good to excellent shadow detail during my evaluation. Watching Jumanji: The Next Level, the differences between the bright sunlit desert, the snow-covered mountains, and the night scenes in the frontier town were brilliantly resolved. As usual with HDR, however, optimal results were achieved when viewing in a completely darkened room.

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As mentioned in the HD/ SDR section above, Oblivion's bright HDR highlights were a standout on the G1. In the third act's flashback sequence where Jack and Victoria approach the Tet in their NASA vehicle, the control dashboards were full of brightly lit screens that vividly popped out against the darker backgrounds. Darker scenes from Oblivion were also handled superbly, particularly the one where Jack descends into the underground library in search of a missing drone.

I didn't calibrate the G1 for Dolby Vision viewing but did watch a sampling of DV clips with the set's default Dolby Vision settings active (plus some minor brightness and contrast adjustments). Aquaman is a film I watched once before when it first came out and do not recall being particularly impressed by either the story or the video presentation. But my experience was very different with the G1. My plan was to sample a few key scenes, but the image looked so exceptional that I watched nearly the entire film, from the early submarine hijacking to the overwrought, confusing, but nonetheless spectacular final underwater battle.

Conclusion
The performance of today's flagship OLED TVs is so good that it's getting harder to differentiate between them. But the 65G1PUA brings some extra juice to the table. It's the brightest OLED we've tested so far, and while the extensive HDMI 2.1 features it offers may not be needed by all buyers, no TV on the market delivers more gaming-related capabilities. Movies, videogames, broadcast 4K TV viewing, whatever, if your budget accommodates it, LG's 65G1PUA should be at the top of your shopping list.

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COMMENTS
mtrot's picture

Looks great, but I suspect that the additional brightness will hasten the onset of image retention/burn in.

jeff-henning's picture

Just busting balls! It always amazes me when reviewers wax prolifically about the greatness of a $40K speaker. Well, I certainly hope it sounds great since it costs as much as a good car.

As to displays and TV's, as you eluded, I think we may be running out of steam with display technology when it comes making a more satisfying image. The only place left to go is making it bigger for the same price.

Currently, I have what was the best 46" TV made 8 years ago (Samsung). Hey, it still looks great, but I know better can be had and this set would absolutely fill the ticket when I upgrade.

In my small home theater, a 64" like this would be the biggest set that would fit well.

I'd expect this set to blow my mind compared to my old joint. That being said, no great TV can keep the content from sucking less!

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