LG OLED65E6P OLED Ultra HDTV Review Page 2

The King’s Speech is also beautifully photographed, though with more subtle hues. While fleshtones varied a bit from shot to shot on the LG, that appeared to be in the source itself. And when bright colors did appear—as in the gold- and medal-encrusted blue naval uniform of the king, the elaborately trimmed rooms of Buckingham Palace, and the red coat of a palace footman—they popped out brilliantly. The LG’s performance totally involved me in the film.

SDR Comparisons
On Samsara and the equally well-photographed Seven Years in Tibet, the LG 65E6P and the Sony XBR-65Z9D were virtually indistinguishable (after the readjustments to the LG’s Color and Tint controls noted above). Watching Samsara, I noticed only a few differences worth men- tioning. A brief shot of an indoor ski slope, for example, looked cooler and slightly more realistic on the LG, whereas the Sony gave it a subtle aqua tint. But I never would have noticed this without a direct A/B comparison.

On details such as a medium or long shot of a face against a very bright background, the face sometimes looked a bit washed out on the Sony but was correctly balanced and resolved on the LG. The Sony result appeared to come from that TV’s otherwise superb local dimming. When I turned the dimming off, the scene looked the same on both sets. (A self-illuminating OLED TV like the 65E6P, of course, doesn’t use backlit local dimming.)

117lghd.rem.jpgGiven OLED’s black-level prowess, I was surprised to find that blacks and shadow detail on the two sets ran neck and neck most of the time. But when I did see a difference, it favored the LG. This was particularly true of the starfields at the beginning of Prometheus and Avatar. Both sets showed about the same number of stars. (Or maybe the Sony showed more. I didn’t actually count them.) But whereas the stars on the Sony all had roughly the same brightness, the luminance varied dramatically and more realistically on the LG—which also displayed a deeper black behind the stars.

The Sony is, of course, capable of much greater brightness than the LG. But for comfortable viewing of SDR material in a dark or darkened room, that advantage proved irrelevant.

Light flare, or blooming around a bright object that’s set against a darkened background, is an issue for many enthusiasts and common on many displays. I don’t entirely trust my subjective visual impressions here, so I used a sensitive light meter to measure the center of a 100 percent white window and then the black area just to the right of it. I also put a flexible hood on the meter, pressed up against the screen, to keep light spill from contaminating the result. The Sony, just outside the edge, measured 0.021 foot-lambert. With the same peak white level at the center of the window, the right edge on the LG measured 0.000 ft-L. ’Nuff said.

HDR Performance
Onward to HDR. I began with selections from a new Samsung HDR10 test disc (not commercially available). The LG handled most of the material on this disc beautifully, but in the brightest demo scenes, it produced peak white clipping on raging surf, bright snow, and sun- drenched clouds. In LG’s defense, though, this disc was mastered with peaks at 1,000 nits, primarily for use with LCD sets, so it’s bound to be a challenge for any OLED. I never saw evidence of HDR clipping in any of the (albeit limited) commercially available UHD Blu-ray titles I viewed.

The opening sequence in the first of the Star Trek reboots gives you all the evidence you might demand for HDR, including the bright lights on the bridge of the USS Kelvin, the dark interior of the enemy ship, and of course director J. J. Abrams’ beloved lens flares. But as before, I was distracted by the overabundance of reds, including a strong shift on fleshtones. As it turned out, no foul on the LG: I later discovered that, in this case, the “problem” was in the movie’s creative color palette (see below).

The original Independence Day is one of the best-looking movies I’ve seen to date on Ultra HD Blu-ray; in comparison, the standard Blu-ray version looks soft and sloppy. The starfields in several sequences—particularly in the opening chapter, where they back up a brightly lit Earth—were jaw-dropping on the LG. Fleshtones were perhaps a bit oversaturated, but here they were fleshy fleshtones and not sunburn red. I’ve now seen this movie several times, and it has never looked better, not only because of the LG’s effective HDR but also because of its stunning resolution and convincing color.

Life of Pi helped the 65E6P earn another gold star, again for brilliant color and superb detail. The HDR was effective, though more subtle than in Independence Day. It stood out, however, in several sequences, including lightning strikes as the ship founders in the storm and the underwater shot of the ship’s bright lights, still illuminated as it goes down, with Pi looking on in the foreground.

My experience of Dolby Vision was limited to a few episodes of Marco Polo on Netflix. I was pleased, but not wowed, by what I saw. Still, this was too small a sample to draw any definitive conclusions about Dolby Vision on the 65E6P, and we still lack some of the necessary calibration tools. But at least LG does provide this HDR format, while other major manufacturers (Vizio excepted) sit on the sidelines.

HDR Comparisons
Again, I conducted A/B compari- sons with LG’s OLED and Sony’s state-of-the-art LCD. I went back and forth on the settings in an effort to match the two TVs as closely as possible, but ultimately I used settings very close to the best I’d determined for each display. A key parameter was having the white output of each be as close as possible to 100 nits (about 29 ft-L) at 50 percent of peak white.

On that Samsung HDR test disc—clearly not the material arch com- petitor LG would have us use to evaluate its OLEDs—the Sony had more pop on the very brightest scenes. It also showed none of the white clipping that, as noted above, tripped up the LG. The Sony’s lack of clipping uncovered bright white details that were obscured on the LG. Again, this LG shortcoming was never visible on the real-world HDR material I sampled, but that doesn’t mean you’d never see it.


Apart from that, the two sets looked virtually identical on most material in color, resolution, and HDR. The reddish fleshtones of Star Trek were nearly as intense on the Sony, which proved that they originated primarily in the source. The LG had a small advantage in the blacks, but it was far less than what you might imagine and, once again, was most prominent on starfields. And bright highlights, surprisingly, looked close to the same on both sets despite the Sony’s higher peak-white output capability. Just for grins, I measured the output of three highlights early in Independence Day on both sets. The average for all of them was 132 ft-L on the LG and 165 ft-L on the Sony. That’s technically interesting, but it proved insignificant to the eye on small, bright details.

Random Observations
Is burn-in a potential issue with an OLED set? LG does provide two related controls: Screen Shift and Clear Panel “Noise” (quotation marks mine). I did see some faint image retention after hours of using white and color calibration windows, but it disappeared overnight. My advice: Treat an OLED like a plasma, par- ticularly in its first 100 to 200 hours of use.

Off-center viewing is comparable to what we experienced with plasmas: You can sit as far to the side as you like without seeing obvious image degradation. In that respect, this OLED set is far better than any LCD, even the best of them.

On three images from the Sam- sung HDR test disc, with dark areas in the background, I saw sparkles on the LG’s screen. Typically, this is a symptom of HDMI cable problems. But that wasn’t the case here; the Sony TV didn’t show any sparkles with the same cables. Fortunately, they didn’t appear on the LG with any other source material.

The LG’s 3D performance was excellent. While I didn’t obsess over the settings, the 3D was nearly as bright as that of the Sony. I saw only insignificant traces of ghosting in the background scenery on my go-to 3D torture tests.

It may be hard on buyers looking for winners, but the differences between today’s top sets are small—and while we can argue about tiny flaws, the fact remains that all of those top TVs are mostly out- standing. It’s the tradeoffs in the small differences that count. There’s the brighter, unclipped peak-white level capability of the Sony, for example, versus the off-center viewing and the often (but not always) superior deep blacks of the LG. Or the fact that the LG offers both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, while some other prominent set makers do not. You pay your money and you take your choice. But if your choice is the LG OLED65E6P, I certainly wouldn’t argue with it.

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TheJoBoo's picture

One would hardly expert an expert reviewer of high performance vehicles to knock the latest Porsche or Ferrari for being "still expensive"; quality is and will continue to be at a higher price. Even in today's "everyone gets a medal" world, some things should be just high enough to make us reach a bit harder for the things we really want.

tommygunzz's picture

It would have been great if the 3d performance was better detailed in the review...

mishuk3's picture

You say OLED as organic light emitting diode and does not require backlighting but LED also stands for light emitting diode, so why does the latter require backlighting?

Oreo's picture

With LED sets, you are looking at an LCD panel with LEDs creating light behind it. With OLED, you are looking directly at a panel of Organic LEDs creating light.

It's because companies selling LCD sets wanted to give them a new buzzword. Sets branded as LED use an LCD panel backlit with LEDs instead of CFL tubes. Some of these are edge-lit, some are directly backlit with arrays of LEDs that turn on and off when that part of the screen is dark. CFL backlights were just constant light, and the LCD panel had to block that light for dark scenes

drny's picture

Plasma ruled in the early days of 720P and 1080P.
However LCD's eventually overtook the market due to cost to quality ratio versus Plasma. Simply put Plasma looked great but way to costly compared with LCDs.
OLED look great in a dark room environment. However their visual impact is highly reduced in daylight environment.
What we have currently is the same battle of Plasma vs. LCDs of
2005-2010. Now OLED vs LED (LCD improved).
Cost to quality ratio will again eventually determine if OLED will win or at least survive.

Philt56's picture

Not sure how you enter these values? You show 10 sets of values (lum R G B)', but the lowest value I can select for lu is 50, so his to enter values for 19-40? These are under white balance sub menu. Is the first number 10-100 the IRE value? If so is the second number target luminance or adjusting luminance? Target luminance default is 50. Is that left alone? Is the lum value for adjusting luminance?


Philt56's picture

Enter values for 10-40 typo

dgtv's picture

I just buy it, but how can I view my smartphone screen on my TV?