LG OLED 55B8PTA - First Impressions

raghupb

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Hello Folks,

After waiting long enough (about 18 months), I finally pulled the trigger and got myself an OLED TV to replace a plasma model.
Below are first impressions. I am no expert.

Old: Panasonic Viera P42VT (42" Full HD Plasma)
New: LG OLED 55C8 (55" 4K OLED)

A few words about the plasma:
This was bought in 2009 (at Diwali time). Has served the home needs very well for all these years.
Excellent contrast, fantastic viewing angle and very good for sports viewing. No breakdowns or issues.
This set will continue its service at my parents' place.

First impressions of the new puppy (at store):
Design - Minimalistic, stand doubles as speaker reflector
Sound - Sounded OK at store; was not nitpicking on this aspect during audition
Picture
- Inbuilt 4K/Dolby Vision Demo content was fabulous (unfortunately limited use at home for daily viewing)
- Tried out SD/HD channels (entertainment, movies, news, sports)
- HD channels were an improvement over plasma, SD were satisfactory (mostly due to larger size screen)
- Sports/action scenes were as good as the plasma (if not better)
- Bluray movie was also also very good (except it was Baahubali; so colors were in your face for the scene playing)
Remote/UI - Lots of features, yet intuitive and simple for a dinosaur like me; loved the voice control thingy

Verdict - Sold on the set

What else did I consider:
Sony AF8 - Almost similar showroom experience (vis-a-vis LG picture); I was not convinced about the price
Samsung QLEDs - bright picture; but otherwise did not wow (me)
Panasonic - if only they were available to audition

The logistics:
Price - About 1.4L after cashback (0% EMI of 6,999/- for 19 months) 12,019/- down payment + 2,200/- EMI processing fee
Dealer - LG Shoppe Banashankari 3rd stage, Bangalore
Best price/deal? - Prices will drop further closer to festival is my guess

As I had a Bajaj FinServ Account and have purchased at this store earlier, the EMI paperwork and billing was quick (10 minutes)
Booking date - 18/10/2018 (evening)
Delivery date - 19/10/2018 (morning)
Install date - 19/10/2018 (afternoon)

What's in the box/offer:
- Panel, remote, table stand, user manual, wall mount unit (unlikely to ever use it)
- Reliance Jio hotspot (useless at my place; will give it to parents)

The at-home experience (I am no TV expert, so only impressions):
Design
- Sits pretty on my AV stand (had to move a few cutesies that were previously there)
- I suggest at least 6 to 9 inches from all edges of set to table/rack edge; the display is frighteningly size zero
- Also a cover when not being used; I live in an apartment on 7th floor away from streets, yet very dusty

Seating/Viewing distance
- 8 feet from couch; 8 - 11 feet from recliners; 15 feet from dining table (yeah I watch while I eat sometimes)
- TV set horizontal center line is at 1 meter (40 inches) from ground; sit down eye-level
- Recliners are at 40 degrees (max) from TV set vertical center line; so good at these viewing angles
- Kitchen door is at 60 to 70 degrees from TV set vertical center line; no perceptible loss in picture quality

Sound
- Much better and tighter at home (store was open floor and a bit noisy)
- I have a soundbar for "better" sound
- TV volume goes from 0 - 100
- News 20 to 30 is good enough (they always scream)
- Football/Cricket needs 30 to 40 to get involved
- Movies/TV needs 30 - 50 based on content

Picture
4K content
- Demo is there to remind me of how good the display is
- Have Netflix HD plan; maybe worth to upgrade to UHD
- Prime has some 4K content (need to explore)
HD Channels
- Really good; better clarity than my older plasma
- Sports channels are a pleasure to watch (my son and I watch football regularly)
- Movies and entertainment channels are also quite pleasurable with increased display size
SD Channels
- I don't really watch them; not very appealing earlier; definitely not appealing now
News Channels
- Scary experience; could see panel members nose hair clearly; ugh!!
Netflix/Prime/YouTube
- Ah a pleasure with good streaming quality and display
- Need to figure out aspect ratio tweaks when required
HDD movies
- Mostly HD except some oldies
- Very watchable and enjoyable; got a kick watching Mad Max Fury Road scenes again

Remote
- Remote has a good ergonomic design; hefty at the bottom and slim/tapered at top
- Does not need to be line of sight with TV; it works through walls; guessing its wireless
- Logically placed keys; numbers at the top; scroll button, voice button and navigation in the middle; others at the bottom
- Volume buttons are + and - tactile keys; program buttons are ^ and v tactile keys; useful in dim lit rooms
- Netflix and Amazon have dedicated keys
- Voice commands are easily recognized; I tried simple words/phrases only; in thick accents too; I would say 80-90% hit rate
- App menu has a dedicated key so does settings; selection can be using pointer or navigation buttons; personally prefer navigation buttons
- I find the motion enabled pointer a bit annoying/disorienting; my boy loves it
- "Select" button has up down scroll; nice
- "Back" button could be better placed; just above "Netflix" key; easy to press it instead
- "Guide" button could be better placed; just above "Amazon" key; easy to press it instead
- TV and STB power buttons are separate; most used TataSky remote operations can be done easily
- My wife, who is left handed, prefers an alternate arrangement of buttons/keys; fair enough

UI/Apps (the left click)
- "Home" key gets you to all the apps
- Long list of preloaded apps (netflix, prime, youtube, google browser, Indian content apps, etc)
- Easy to navigate, select and rearrange; have not tried downloading new apps; but it is possible
- My 2 TB HDD is readily recognized
- Music player plays many formats from USB; I have tried MP3, FLAC, WMA; panel off during playback is available
- Video player plays many formats from USB; I have tried AVI, MKV
- Remote integration for Netflix/Prime/Youtube is great and intuitive; music/video players are easily controlled by remote

Settings (the right click)
- "Gear-wheel" key gets you to all frequently used tweaks and the full menu (when required)
- Frequently used radio buttons are picture mode, aspect ratio, sound mode, sound output device, sleep timer, network, full menu
- Not going to talk about the full menu; please refer user manual

Network
- Wired, wireless, 3G/4G, Wi-Fi Direct
- I am using wired as my router is next to TV
- Strangely, TV could not pick up the wireless on this router; but connected to my secondary connection; proximity issue on Wi-Fi

Picture Calibration
- Used Standard, Cricket, Expert (Bright Room), Expert (Dark Room)
- Tweaked Expert modes as per RTINGS.com recommendations for now
- Tweaked Standard and Cricket (sport) modes using my intuition
- Lots to play around and fine tune

I/O
- TataSky on HDMI
- HDD on USB
- Optical out to soundbar (for movies)
- Analog out to Integrated Amp (for music); my DAC went kaput recently

Others
- Can access Google Drive/Photos (not tried as I don't use cloud storage)
- There is something on Mobile Connection which I was shown at store; need to explore

IMG_20181023_004611.jpg IMG_20181023_005055.jpg IMG_20181023_005554.jpg IMG_20181023_010413.jpg IMG_20181023_010452.jpg




That's it for now. Will update when I explore other features.

Cheers,
Raghu
 
Last edited:

NiteRider

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Very good purchase at a very good price. I don't see the price dropping below Rs.1.3 lacs even during heavy sales, and so 1.4 is quite good.

And an excellent review, thanks for sharing :)

Some more points that you may want to add:

• You mentioned B8 in your review title instead of C8

• How is the stutter on panning shots? It is supposed to be more compared to Plasma and LED-LCD TV. But is it too obvious or can be ignored?

• The C8 screen is supposed to be glossy with some light anti-reflective treatment without any heavy anti-glare matte coating on it. And that is the same in Sony A8F. So it should give a good viewing experience and without eye strain at the cost of some reflections. How do you like it?
 

raghupb

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Very good purchase at a very good price. I don't see the price dropping below Rs.1.3 lacs even during heavy sales, and so 1.4 is quite good.

And an excellent review, thanks for sharing :)

Some more points that you may want to add:

• You mentioned B8 in your review title instead of C8

• How is the stutter on panning shots? It is supposed to be more compared to Plasma and LED-LCD TV. But is it too obvious or can be ignored?

• The C8 screen is supposed to be glossy with some light anti-reflective treatment without any heavy anti-glare matte coating on it. And that is the same in Sony A8F. So it should give a good viewing experience and without eye strain at the cost of some reflections. How do you like it?

Sorry.
The Title should be 55C8PTA
Thanks for pointing out.

On stutter, it is too early to comment. I have not noticed it yet. Almost all content I have watched till now has been smooth.
Have not experienced screen fatigue. It will happen when I dive into binge watching.

Thanks,
Raghu
 

danccc

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Congratulations on your purchase. I have been enjoying 65C7 for close to an year now and might be getting another B8/C8 now as it is impossible to watch anything else now!
Do upgrade to Netflix 4K subscription ASAP. There is a huge amount of 4K content including Dolby vision. This will truly bring out the power of the screen you have invested in.

Also, not sure if you got the "tilt" wall mount. I find it extremely useful to ensure the correct angle of viewing, horizontal as well as vertical. Also helps in taking care of any reflections or glare, brings TV very close to the wall, thereby freeing up space.
 

raghupb

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Congratulations on your purchase. I have been enjoying 65C7 for close to an year now and might be getting another B8/C8 now as it is impossible to watch anything else now!
Do upgrade to Netflix 4K subscription ASAP. There is a huge amount of 4K content including Dolby vision. This will truly bring out the power of the screen you have invested in.

Also, not sure if you got the "tilt" wall mount. I find it extremely useful to ensure the correct angle of viewing, horizontal as well as vertical. Also helps in taking care of any reflections or glare, brings TV very close to the wall, thereby freeing up space.

Thanks "dancc" for the NetFlix suggestion. I have it table mounted; prefer this over wall mount.
I am planning to give my ChromeCast to parents (for the older Plasma) and buy mum a small SMART TV for her bedroom.
Can Netflix be used across IP addresses? Should be right, if using via mobile, etc?

This way I can upgrade to 4K plan for my home and parents can also use HD in their home. Rs. 150/- per month extra will be well spent with multiple view benefit.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

danccc

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Can Netflix be used across IP addresses? Should be right, if using via mobile, etc?
/QUOTE]
I believe it is. Have had guests from Australia login to their Netflix account from my place.
Have myself used my account on mobile/iPAD at various places including from hotel wifi etc.
The only limitation would be number of devices using the account concurrently, which is 4 for the 4K subscription.
 

raghupb

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Thanks guys. Roughly 40k more than C8 for acoustic surface tech and x1 xtreme upscaling? Hmm.
Picture quality wise I felt Sony was slightly better than LG.
Sound wise, I was not impressed. A soundbar or AVR will do more justice.
This is why I was not convinced about price premium.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

Nanu

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Picture quality wise I felt Sony was slightly better than LG.
Sound wise, I was not impressed. A soundbar or AVR will do more justice.
This is why I was not convinced about price premium.

Cheers,
Raghu
Last night for the first time I heard the Acoustic surface for sometime, as I have not yet hooked it to my AVR, and honestly I was amazed.
It is the best sounding TV I have heard, but key word is TV, it is no comparison for a dedicated setup, but for watch just TataSky and some Sports, it maybe just fine.
The premium I don't believe is only for the speaker, but the X1 extreme processor, I was surprised by the 1080p content which was being upscaled, looked really superb.
 

thebanik

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What should we look for? I have no idea to comment.
Cheers,
Raghu

hmmm...I will try to find the exact video, but basically details around black lose details. For eg. A face which is lit from one side so the other side should be blackish but not so black that nothing is visible. With both LG and Sony OLED, blacks were losing details. another eg. a racoon's eyes is covered with black skin, with both the OLEDs racoon's eyes and surrounding area were just a full black patch.

But I guess any information is useless for us prospective buyers, because any loss in detail can only be judged when compared to something. Here there is nothing to compare it to.
 

danielnaveen2003

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anyone noticing any black crush/lack of shadow details? also any discoloration of panels/DSE?
Yes shadow details are missing in the default settings, but that’s because gamma is set at 1.9 and all viewing material is designed to be used at 2.2. I’m guessing lg setup the pic modes at 1.9 to make the demo material look cool at the store. You can change it to 2.2
 

vij

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Yes shadow details are missing in the default settings, but that’s because gamma is set at 1.9 and all viewing material is designed to be used at 2.2. I’m guessing lg setup the pic modes at 1.9 to make the demo material look cool at the store. You can change it to 2.2
Agree. If the Oled is in very lit showrooms with light just above it, then it's bound to lose some details around blacks. And gama is especially important, pl check that too. If it is 1.9.. setting it to 2.2 will be a monumental difference in some scenes.
 
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