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Best 2016 LCDs: LG Electronics

Updated March 19, 2016: 8K and HDR update

LG Electronics has introduced its premium 2016 lineup of ultra-high definition (UHD) LCDs branded under the moniker "LG SUPER UHD". LG's latest UHD TVs include four distinct series for North American markets with three of them highlighted for preview today. The fourth series is a "production-ready" 98-inch 8K TV - 4x the resolution of a regular UHD TV.

All of LG's 2016 Super UHD TVs will feature the company's latest LCD/LED picture technologies including:

  • High-dynamic range (HDR10/PQ Curve compatible)
  • Wide color gamut (WCG)
  • Updated IPS panel
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2
  • Flat slim designs
  • Edge-lit LED backlight
  • SDR-to-HDR conversion engine
  • webOS 3.0

One item of note above is HDR10 support: an LG representative stated that all of LG's 2016 OLED 4K TVs and SUPER UHD LCDs will support all current HDR formats including the Dolby Vision format supported by VUDU and soon Netflix. Amazon and YouTube HDR playback compatibility are also arriving in 2016.

Review: LG Portable LED Projector

webOS 3.0
Aiming for an interface that provides the user with "simple connection, simple switching, and simple discovery", LG's webOS 3.0 is paired with an upgraded Magic Remote that adds DVR controls and improved universal control. The webOS 3.0 platform introduces the following new updates and features:

  • Magic Zoom - screen magnification without quality degradation
  • Magic Mobile Connection - Android/iOS compatible streaming
  • My Channels/Live Menu - check favorite channels easily
  • Channel Plus - free over-the-top (OTT) content
  • Channel Advisor - displays frequently viewed TV shows
  • Multi-view - view two sources simultaneously
  • Music Player - use TV speakers when display is off
  • IoTV app (Internet of Things) - control compatible devices via TV

Among the many new features of webOS 3.0 that are listed above, I'll be looking to see if Multi-view allows for the use of two HDMI-connected source devices - something that most TVs are unable to utilize for picture-in-picture (PiP) or side-by-side simultaneous viewing.

Review: RIVA Turbo X

The lineup
LG's 2016 SUPER UHD TVs have transitioned away from the use of quantum dot technology to improve brightness efficiency and color saturation. Instead, these TVs will feature an upgraded phosphor-coated LED backlight system paired with a tighter, thicker color filter layer to expand color coverage for supporting 4K UHD video sources. LG claims this technology dubbed Color Prime Plus achieves 91% coverage of the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) color space that is used in commercial cinema. DCI's enhanced color (compared to HD) has become available via streaming 4K UHD video services as well.

There aren't many details available about LG's production-ready 98-inch 8K Super UHD TV (model UH9800). Last year, LG demonstrated a very similar 98-inch 8K LCD that boasted an HDR-benefiting "ultra" luminance algorithm and a wide color palette. However, LG has announced that this TV will feature a superMHL port to wrangle an 8K video signal into this massively detailed screen.

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The flagship UH9500 series TVs feature LG's latest display improvements and design concepts. The 9500's bezel is a sliver-thin strip of trim with slightly rounded corners leaving the eyes to focus on its triple-filtered 10-bit screen that reduces glare and reflections by a claimed 50% better than last year's tech. Compared to LCD panels that operate at 8-bits per color channel or less, a 10-bit LCD should better reduce the appearance of banding and posterization artifacts.

Other noteworthy features of the UH9500 include:

  • 10-bit panel/10-bit processing
  • Color Prime Plus
  • Ultra-thin chassis (6.6mm/0.22in)
  • harman/kardon-enhanced audio
  • "Magic Sound Tuning" room audio analyzer
  • "Near invisible bezels"
  • Screen sizes: 55- to 86-inches
  • Triple layer anti-glare/low-reflection film

The "sound tuning" room audio analyzer has my attention - I'm hoping it uses the microphone on the remote to listen for setup tones (stay tuned!)

Review: Channel Master DVR+


The LG UH8500 also features the company's Color Prime Plus technology for a greater range of color saturation. However, instead of the UH9500's triple layer of anti-glare/low-reflection film, the UH8500 gets a double layer that LG claims provides a 40% improvement over 2015 TVs. Like the flagship UH9500, the UH8500 also features a 10-bit panel. Screen sizes for the UH8500 series are 55-inches and 60-inchesNote: the UH8500 was originally described as an 8-bit LCD - LG has since clarified that it is in-fact a 10-bit LCD.

Review: Samsung's Best 2015 TV

Rounding out LG's Super UHD TV lineup is the UH7700 series that features the company's Color Prime technology (not Plus) that will presumably be slightly less colorful compared to the UH9500/UH8500 TVs. The UH7700 also features an 8-bit IPS panel with improved dithering to minimize artifacts like banding in fine gradients. Screen sizes for the UH7700 series are 49- to 65-inches.

Robert's Favorite Home Theater Gear

Updated: Great TV Deals

     This article will be updated as new information becomes available

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