OLED Obsession: LG 65EG9600 4K OLED TV

2015 is shaping up to be the Year of the Ultra HD as the balance begins to shift from everyday HDTVs to 4K/Ultra HDTVs with their higher-than-HD 3840x2160 pixel count. The latest projections from the Consumer Electronics Association show UHD shipments growing exponentially over the next few years, jumping from 1.3 million sets in 2014 to 4 million this year and tripling again to 13 million in 2017. Before long, UHD will become as commonplace as HD.

One of the finest UHD specimens to hit the market of late is LG’s 65-inch 65EG9600 ($9,000), one of seven 4K OLED models previewed at CES this past January. The introduction of several UHD models was a momentous occasion for fans of OLED as it confirmed LG’s commitment to a category that (at least for now) has been shunned by Samsung and other top-tier TV players. (We’ll see how things shake out down the road.)

The first thing you notice when you lay eyes on the 9600 is how images stretch to the very edge of its frameless screen. More impressive is how skinny the screen is—about a quarter of an inch at its thinnest point. LG calls the ultra-modern design “Art Slim” and indeed, it is striking in an artful kind of way. Even diehard enthusiasts who abhor curved screens will find themselves seduced by this sexy thing. Equally remarkable, the set weighs only 44 pounds (total shipping weight with the stand and everything is a reasonable 71 pounds).

To bolster OLED’s inherent contrast benefits, LG uses a four-pixel “WRGB” layout that adds a white subpixel to the traditional red, green, and blue to boost light output and “render a wider range of more accurate colors.” (Another benefit of WRGB is that it makes it easier to mass-produce TVs at larger screen sizes, which might, in part, explain LG’s dedication to OLED.) The 9600 is compatible with HDCP 2.2 copy protection, supports HEVC and VP9 codecs for streaming UHD content, and comes with two pair of passive 3D glasses.

Beyond the promise of a stunning picture—something we’re anxious to confirm with a hands-on review—sound is not an afterthought on this TV: It’s equipped with a speaker system designed by Harman/Kardon, a company that knows a thing or two about sound. TV smarts and connectivity are handled by LG’s webOS 2.0 platform, which is said to facilitate an intuitive and easy-to-navigate experience with quick transitions between online streaming and broadcast or cable channels. If you happen to get bored, you can always talk to the TV using the Magic Remote’s voice control feature. With any luck, it will listen.

COMMENTS
jnemesh's picture

and using the built in speakers...I honestly don't know what to say. Anyone who does so is an absolute fool. You would be FAR better off going with a less expensive set and buying a good sound system to go with it.

dnoonie's picture

Hi,

jnemesh, although I tend to agree with you...
What if this TV were used as digital signage where quality was of concern, in the entry of an architects firm, a property management company, a construction company, a Visual Effects company, a modeling/talent agency...I could go on but these folks might just use the built in speakers since they're pretty darn good for built in and their real message is in the photos or videos there are being shown, these folks could also appreciate and require the best image quality available.

It would be nice if the speakers were optional. My plasma speakers are stored in the work room taking up space.

Cheers,

jnemesh's picture

Well, the main problem there is the warranty. I don't know LG's policy, but Samsung restricts your warranty to 90 days if you use a consumer panel in a commercial application. I also don't know many businesses that are even willing to spend $5000 on a 65" flat panel, much less $9000. I am sure there will be some people using the built in speakers...but it's a shame.

K.Reid's picture

Sorry, not an early adopter. Why would anyone want this absurdly expensive set (ok, I'm talking anyone who is not wealthy with a compulsive urge to be the first on the block to brag) knowing full well that it may not have BOTH HDR and conform to REC 2020 expanded color gamut - whenever that gets adopted. Oh and let's not forget that there is minimal native content that broadcasters are providing so you end up with an upconverted image. Yes, I know 4K BluRay is coming. It may very well look spectacular but with all the color enhancements engaged, it may not conform to the current REC 709. One would need to deactivate any enhanced processing modes. I commend LG though for sticking with OLED. Reproduction of blacks is likely to be jaw dropping. I hope Tom Norton gets this set in for a full review.

jnemesh's picture

The new UHD Blu-Ray standard (with players coming this fall) WILL support the new expanded color gamut. Netflix also is supporting HDR, I am not sure if they have also committed to REC2020. However, this time around, we don't have to wait for broadcaster support. The internet is a game changer, and content will be available sooner than you think. THAT being said, I feel that the Samsung UN65JS9500, currently retailing for HALF of what this set costs, is a far better value. OLED is for the 1%ers out there right now, and is most definitely NOT mainstream.

mikem's picture

Ok, I'm drooling at the mouth for an OLED tv. However I'm not buying until the prices go down significantly and screen size increases dramatically. I'm not going to plunk down my bank account until I see just how far LG will go with size. Why would I want to buy a 55" or 65"? I thought the whole point of UHD is to go big and not worry about pixels, artifcats, or other noise.

mikem's picture

Forgot to mention that, under no circumstance (except for projection screen) will I purchase a curved screen. What a bunch of marketing crap this is. Granted, it's pretty slick, but nonetheless 'crapola.'

Kamilla33's picture

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