OLED TV: is it time?


Dunno, here’s the 55" model number: OLED55B7

And the 65": OLED65B7

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The big things that leap to my mind:


A lot of people still don’t know what this is, while everyone over on the AVS Forums treats it like the Antichrist. Essentially, there are still issues with the manufacturing of the panels, which often exhibit “jail bars” of various sizes and placements (though there does seem to be some sort of regularity of one that is just right of center).

These bars generally show up on low levels just above the perfect 0% darkness of absolute black. They can often be visible in very dark scenes, which can be more common in games. Other torture tests are the movie Arrival and, apparently, Game of Thrones.

Some also talk about “blockiness” with low black levels, essentially visual artifacts that show up in such circumstances. This can also happen with color banding. For example, the sky box in XCOM 2 looks pretty splotchy, but it wasn’t great to begin with.

Many think that LG took a step backward with uniformity and low-black performance with the 2017s, and since they make all the OLED panels, it’s pretty widespread. But you also see versions of these issues with LCDs, so pick your poison.

I see both of these problems with my C7, and I’m sure some would be horrified by its uniformity. But I see it so rarely that I don’t really care, not when the picture looks so amazing the other 97% of the time.


Another one that people who are sensitive complain about that I rarely see. This is inherent to the technology and the differences between different OLEDs is all down to the processing strategy.

Some say there is improvement with this year’s OLEDs (some especially swear by the Sony A1E in this regard). If you are picky about smooth motion without the Soap Opera Effect, then you probably want to test drive your favorite action movie on a set at Best Buy.


Kadath is right that this is still a bone of contention, especially regarding HDR. LCDs can still get much brighter than OLEDs. I suggest you watch this to understand the differences in how it is handled among OLED sets:

  • HDMI 2.1

The current HDMI implementation (2.0a? 2.0b?) taps out at about 18Gps, which is a lot of bandwidth but is not enough for The Future™.

It does have some implications for being able to handle increased frame rates at 4K/UHD resolution down the line. And it does affect having a PC hooked up to your set (the current standard can’t handle HDR + 4:4:4 color + 4K/UHD + 60 Hz). But the primary impact for today is that is can’t carry Dolby Atmos over ARC. Don’t know what that is? Then I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

A good write-up is here.


Yeah, I tried, but Costco wouldn’t take my password, even after I changed it, and locked me out of my account. :)


That’s the opposite of what I’ve read in terms of professional reviews, and FWIW, my own panel seems fine on uniformity and no worse than my old LCD on near blacks.

Otherwise, yeah, HDMI 2.1, brightness and motion. Though, speaking of AVSForum, someone on there claims to be testing the new 2017 firmware and says it improves motion performance dramatically.

There’s also quibbly little stuff like a firmware update that messed up the Youtube app’s HDR handling, and some people complain about audio sync over ARC, but that should be solvable.


Yeah, I think uniformity is a bit overblown based on what I’m seeing. It’s hard to tell when everyone is posting different 5% slides with different cameras with different camera settings on different TVs with different TV settings. At these prices (which are becoming more “reasonable” by the day), it’s hard not to expect perfection, though.

Fortunately, I think I’ve gotten to a good place with my expectations, which, in most cases, have been blown out of the water.

The YouTube thing annoys me, too, but what annoys me more is how it borked HDR in PC mode. But only a little more since there are so few HDR PC games right now. Hopefully, it will be fixed before HDR is a more common feature in PC gaming.


Oh, I don’t blame people for wanting perfection. It’s a lot of money for a TV, and LG have obviously been hyping OLED tech to high heaven. I’m just saying the reviews have been pretty unanimous in saying near-black performance is materially improved over 2016.


But the common counter is “They’re looking at near-black performance, but no one is commenting on the uniformity issues! What are they, blind?”

I suspect they see the uniformity issues but don’t comment on it because a) it’s different per panel and b) they know it is to be expected. I do think, though, that it would be a good idea to at least mention it in the reviews so that people don’t question their credibility over that single issue.


So my E7 showed up today. Sent it right back, totally spidered glass. Check before they leave!


You missed the most damning problem with current OLEDs, automatic brightness limiting. All-white scenes on the in-store sets I’ve seen become basically grey.


Wait, so am I understanding correctly that the screen was actually cracked all over the place and that the cracks were fine enough that you couldn’t tell at a glance? Ouch!


What? No, he saw the glass was broken.


From what I understand, ABL has been improved in the 2017 LGs…if you calibrate the set to 150 nits. I don’t have a basis for comparison other than YouTube videos of past year models I’ve seen, but I can say that I’ve never seen the issue on my C7, even before my set was calibrated. I’m currently playing Kingdom Hearts with the kids, and that has a couple of huge, mostly white screens before getting to the start menu. It all looks great with no decrease in brightness as far as I can tell.

Now that’s in a very light-controlled room. I can only imagine what the set is dialed into at a retailer, especially if it’s a big box store.


The Xbox One has an excellent set of display calibration screens with specific (and easy to follow!) advice if you have one. Settings, Video, Calibrate.

Does the PS4 have an equivalent? It’s very handy!


Yeah it was like a shattered windshield. Obvious before even the translucent foam came off around it.


I’ve been coveting an LG OLED TV for a while now. Focused on the 65" C model and planning to finally pull the trigger on or after Black Friday. Also thinking about a 4k blu-ray player and maybe Blade Runner 2049 as my first 4k blu ray.

Will anyone who owns an OLED briefly list whatever “break in” or other initial steps they took when they first got the TV? Every once in a while I wander over to AVForums and feel like I see recommendations to leave the TV on for hours, etc. during the initial period. Also, thoughts on reference settings? I’ve found a few settings recommendations online, but I’ve also bought a reference DVD with the various test patterns that are supposed to allow you to set it up yourself.

I just watched the Best Buy video about how to unpack an LG OLED and install the stand. A bit intense but still, can’t wait!


I don’t think there’s any particular trick to “breaking in” an OLED other than a) waiting a while (200 hours is the commonly quoted number but I’ve no idea if that’s based on evidence) to calibrate it properly, and b) not overdoing content with a lot of static elements on screen initially (eg game HUDs, news channel chyrons).

For reference settings, you can always try out the rtings settings but really you’re better off using test patterns. Also the ISF picture modes are pretty well calibrated out of the box for the casual viewer. You may also want to bring down OLED brightness from the defaults, especially if you’re in a dark room.

One thing to note is that the HDR side isn’t really supposed to be manually calibrated (definitely not Dolby Vision), certainly if you don’t know what you’re doing.


I agree with everything GY says. My calibrator actually recommended 300 hours on the set before calibration (you can see hours used in one of the “About this TV” type menus in settings), the main reason being that gamma tends to float a bit during that time. However, he gave no recommendations as to how. Some like running full screen color slides, some just use the set as they would normally.

I did both. Whenever I wasn’t actually using the set, I ran these slides from a USB drive using the built-in slide show feature (“Pictures” app? Use Vivid picture mode, set slide show for fast motion and no transitions). I was on a deadline for my calibration date, so I even ran them overnight, but there’s no reason to do that if you’ve got time.

Some people have called the Rtings settings into question (can’t remember why at the moment), but you can always try them then tweak or reset them if you don’t like how it looks (make sure to write down all the default settings). Every panel is different, so the settings won’t translate 100% for your particular set.

I suggest OLED light to 40 or so for a light-controllable room in ISF Dark mode with TruMotion settings at 0 (not off) depending on how sensitive you are to judder. I’d also switch on Dynamic Contrast to Low for any HDR10 viewing (not applicable to Dolby Vision). HDR10/DV settings are unique like the other picture modes, but you can’t see them unless the set is being fed an HDR10/DV signal.


Personally I find 40 too low even in a dark room, but I do use bias lighting.


Yeah, my room is as close to pitch black as I can get it, so it will largely depend on the environment and personal preference. Contrast is at 85.

Oh, and for heaven’s sake, turn off the Energy Saving mode as soon as you get the set. You’ll probably be disappointed in the light output if you don’t.


Dell’s first Black Friday sales are up

Early deals available now through November 3rd:

LG 55-inch OLED 4K smart TV OLED55B7A for $1,599.00 (usually $2,299.00)
LG 65-inch OLED 4K HDR smart TV OLED65C7P + Blu-ray Player for $2,799.99 (usually $4,798.99)