LG 65EF9500 Flat 4K OLED TV Review

Design

The 65EF9500 looks almost identical to the 65EG9600. It shares the same half-inch black border flush against the screen, framed with a chrome band around the edge of the display. LG 65ef9500 - design 2It sits on the same brushed silver-colored trapezoidal base with an acrylic stand that makes the display look as if it’s floating. It has the same curved white plastic back panel covering two-thirds of the rear of the display. It even features the same tiny control stick/Power button hidden behind the LG logo on the bottom edge of the display. The big difference is that the screen itself is flat, not curved.Three HDMI 2.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, and a 3.5mm audio output sit on the back of the HDTV facing left. A combination composite/component input that works with included 3.5mm adapters faces downward, along with a coaxial antenna/cable connector, an optical audio output, and an Ethernet port.LG 65ef9500 - design 1

 

Software & Features

LG throws in plenty of goodies via the webOS 2.0 smart platform. The most notable thing about webOS is how fun and bubbly it is. Where many smart platforms are choppy and difficult to use, webOS manages to spruce up the experience with friendly cartoon characters, easy-to-follow setup instructions,LG 65ef9500 - software and lots of helpful prompts.The new webOS looks almost identically to last year’s version. Bring up the main app hub and you’ll find favorites like Netflix and Hulu Plus lined up in neat diagonal wedges at the bottom of the screen. You’ll also find shortcuts to frequently used items, letting you quickly move from one app, to another, to traditional inputs like your TV antenna or cable box.You also get a ton of options for customizing both display and audio, which is customary for LG’s top-end TVs. You’ll find the usual spread of picture and sound modes, plus the full array of advanced calibration options like 2- and 10-point white balance controls and a Color Management System.

 

Picture Quality

The first thing to say in assessing the 65EF9500’s pictures is that OLED’s contrast capability proves so extreme that to some extent the TV’s native 4K UHD resolution and HDR support just feel like the icing on the cake rather than the killer apps they might be on other TVs.Provided you’re careful with its brightness (more on this qualification later), the 65EF9500 can give you black colours during dark scenes that look almost otherworldly in their depth and naturalism.since each OLED pixel essentially does its own thing independently of even its direct neighbours, where there’s a very bright object surrounded by almost total blackness those bright objects look as blisteringly intense as if someone has cut a hole in the screen and shone a torch through it.The 65EF9500’s colour talents don’t stop at black, either. With the incredible blacks to build on, the screen is able to produce a strikingly dynamic colour palette that clearly benefits again from the independent nature of each OLED pixel. LG 65ef9500 - picture 1The sheer quantity of these independent pixels also helps deliver a strong sense of refinement in the 65EF9500’s colour handling, helping to consolidate the exceptional sense of immersion in what you’re watching. Especially when what you’re watching is a native 4K UHD source.The most troubling issue is the fact you can only bathe in the 65EF9500’s OLED-inspired black level glories if you keep a fairly tight lid on its brightness output.The extent to which this greyness can jump in intensity with even just a single upward step on the brightness scale is startling too, suggesting that LG is finding it difficult to deliver really fine control over OLED’s luminance performance beyond a certain brightness level.It’s important to add, too, that while you’re limited over the brightness setting you can choose on the 65EF9500, it carries a separate OLED Light adjustment that lets you boost the image’s intensity without the screen succumbing anywhere near as drastically to sudden infusions of greyness.The bottom line from all this is that if you want to get the best from the 65EF9500 you have to accept some significant limitations on the screen’s light output versus the brightness you can enjoy with Samsung’s JS9500 HDR-capable LCD TVs.LG 65ef9500 - picture

 

HDR

While the entire industry is embracing HDR in one form or another, everyone’s at odds with each other about how to deploy the technology. LG 65ef9500 - HDRThere are competing formats, and different flavors of HDR processing at play.The compression streaming services must apply to make such huge 4K movies streamable really takes its toll on the bit-rate, and the lower the bit-rate, the messier the picture gets. From a great distance, it isn’t too noticeable, but get within eight feet of a 65-inch TV, and you’re going to see the big blocks, especially in darker areas.

 

Connectivity

The TV has a generous 3 HDMI ports which are plenty enough for the majority of users, however there is always the ability to expand the number via expansion devices that are currently on the market. LG 65ef9500 - connectivityThe TV also features 3 USB inputs, 1 Component Video In, 1 Lan, 1 RF in (Antenna/Cable), 1 Composite In (AV). And as you can expect the TV has WiFi, both Direct and Built-In as well as SimpLink. In short, it has enough connectivity that we can say LG has made a significant effort to future proof the TV. We are particularly impressed with the large number of HDMI ports and WiFi systems, especially for a TV that is so slim and light.

 

Sound

While the 65EF9500’s super-slim design might look the business, it doesn’t bode well for the set’s sound quality.With the assistance of renowned audio company Harman Kardon, LG has managed to build a surprisingly potent sound system into the 65EF9500’s bottom third, where the set’s rear protrudes a few centimeters further than it does elsewhere.The amount of detail and clarity to be heard is startling considering there are no forward facing speakers, and the soundstage expands beyond the confines of the TV’s bodywork without losing cohesion or sounding forced. Voices sound well-rounded and well-integrated into their surroundings too.

 

Performance

LG has consistently impressed us with the picture quality of its OLED HDTVs, and the 65EF9500 continues this streak.After basic dark room calibration, the 65EF9500 displayed, as expected, a perfectly dark black level; blacks on the OLED display emit absolutely no light. When partially lit, the screen can produce a peak brightness of 391.46cd/m2, approximately as bright as the 55EG9600.Color performance is even more impressive. Under the 65EF9500’s Standard color gamut setting,colors are generally spot-on. Under the Wide LG 65ef9500 - performancesetting, however, the 65EF9500 can extend impressively past the the standard color range. This means the screen is capable of displaying even more colors than we expect from this type of HDTV, all without any of them skewing or otherwise appearing “off.”The 65EF9500 doesn’t need dark scenes to look great, though. Breaking Bad looked fantastic in 4K, with accurate skin tones against the bright daylight of New Mexico, and the darker but much more vivid reds of Walter’s lab. Everything looked crisp, and the straight white of the opening credits stood out against faithful, varied colors in both the show’s opening sequence and the first few scenes of the episode “Fly.”

 

Conclusions

LG has produced an OLED display that offers the best picture you can buy, and once again its price tag is very high.When the 65EF9500 produces the best-looking pictures the TV world has to offer. Especially when you’re watching the colour standards and standard dynamic range luminance levels that dominate today’s AV content. Its black level response is peerless, its ability to punctuate near-total blackness with stunningly bright points of light never ceases to amaze, and the richness of its blacks provides a spectacular foundation for the rest of its color palette. The 65EF9500 is the HDTV to get.