After giving up my c7 due to dim hdr game mode and brief stints with the Samsung Q9FN and Sony A8F, I ended up with an LG C8. This is the tv checks more boxes for me than any other set. The q9 was a disaster. It was like going back in time with picture quality. Yea it was super bright and all, and black levels were remarkable. No complaints there and the black bars were perfectly acceptable for me and I’m used to oleds. The problem was the horrible uniformity, banding, DSE and worse of all...really awful color. The pink/purple face push was real and couldn’t calibrate that out without ruining other parts of the picture. I had other complaints as well such as handshaking issues, elevated dark grays which couldn’t be fixed unless I crushed the blacks.
I returned it for an A8F. At first i thought it was a great tv and better upscaling than my c7, better color and way better motion. Compared to my old c7 I immediately noticed a big improvement in clarity, sharpness, less noise and posterization practically gone. Near blacks also better on the a8f. Also very uniform with no vertical banding. Perfect tv right? I then put on sports and that’s when things started going downhill. Very very bad abl dimmed the Stanley cup finals in hockey to a point where I kept having to change the channel and put it back to get the brightness back up. Then I tried some hdr movies on my Apple TV 4K and I was shocked when I saw how dark and dull with complete absence of specular highlights unless I turned on contrast enhancer. Dolby vision was even worse. Practically unwatchable unless contrast enhancer was set to high. Put on an hdr game...again..dim as hell after abl constantly kicking in made it as bad as the dim hdr game mode issue on the c7.
So that left me with no other choice than reluctantly going back to LG after swearing them off due to the dim game mode on the c7 which pissed the hell out of me. I got the c8 and put it side by side with the Sony a8f and all I gotta say is WOW. Huge improvement over the c7. No vertical banding on the c8 just like the a8f so the 2018 panels are way more uniform. The upscaling, for both bad sources and clean 1080p blurays, matched the Sony! Almost identical upscaling performance, and I’m very picky when it comes to artifacts, posterization, etc. and I was shocked to see the a9 chip basically matched the x1 extreme chip 99%. I would rate the Sony processing and motion on the a8f 1% better than the c8 only because I literally had to search and put my eyes literally a foot from the screen to see a difference and if there is a difference it’s so subtle, it’s a total non factor for choosing between the two. Moving on to hdr, it was no question the c8 blows the a8f away in that department. The c8 looks awesome in hdr with dynamic tone mapping. Highlights pop out and you can tell you are watching hdr and Dolby vision is even more jaw dropping. I was shocked and very happy to see this. Color also much better on the c8. It doesn’t have that blue push. HDR Gaming is great. ABL is a non factor on this tv. Couldn’t be happier and no I can watch sports without having to reset the abl every minute. For all those that are undecided but leaning towards a Sony OLED over a c8, or are thinking about switching to qled, or even thinking 2017 oled to save a few bucks over 2018, the choice is clear IMHO. Go with a C8 and you will be a very happy camper. Disclaimer though....if you go with a c8 or any set for that matter, I suggest turning off all updates unless you do the research first and make sure they don’t mess up something in regards to the picture quality. LG destroyed hdr game mode last year with a software update that made it super dim, and Sony gave their oleds overly aggressive abl resulting in a severely extremely dim with sports and gaming after their last firmware update. So my suggestion is to turn off all updates until you are sure they won’t mess things up for you.
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