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Last week, Tom Norton invited me to see the LG 55EA9800 OLED TV he's reviewing for Sound & Vision magazine, so of course, I jumped in my car and headed over to his place. He had it set up next to a Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 plasma TV, with both displays being fed the same signal from an Oppo BDP-103 Blu-ray player. Of course, the Panasonic is larger than the LG, so Tom had moved the OLED closer to the viewing position in order to reduce the apparent disparity in size.

 



 

The first thing I noticed was that the curvature of the LG seems to be less than that of the Samsung KN55S9 OLED TV, though I don't know that for a fact. I do know that I was distracted by the geometric distortion of the curved screen less than I recall being with the Samsung.

 

It was nighttime in a dark room, and we watched a variety of content, including clips from Prometheus, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Gravity, and the 2008 Pioneer Kuro demo disc. Of course, the blacks were truly black on the OLED, but I was surprised at how much deeper they were compared with the Panasonic plasma, which is the best plasma ever made with blacks at least as good as the legendary Kuro. However, next to the OLED, the plasma's blacks looked positively gray.

 

This was particularly evident in the black letterbox bars of the movies. The bars appeared equally black during bright scenes, but on dark scenes, they were obvious on the Panasonic while remaining completely invisible on the LG. And the black of space in Gravity and Prometheus was beyond deep, with a multitude of bright stars that the Panasonic could not match.

 

On the other end of the brightness scale, the LG put out plenty of light—in fact, bright scenes were almost painful to my eyes. Tom said the peak-white level was around 30 foot-lamberts with the OLED Light control (similar to an LCD TV's backlight control) set to 20 out of 100. Amazingly, he reported that he was able to obtain 30 fL of peak white in 3D mode with the OLED Light control maxed out. Unfortunately, we didn't watch any 3D content.

 

The color was slightly different between the two displays, but not in a typical way. In dark scenes, the LG looked slightly greenish compared with the Panasonic's slightly ruddy look. But in bright scenes, the Panasonic looked slightly greenish, while the LG looked very accurate; this was fairly consistent from one title to the next. I doubt anyone would notice this without a direct side-by-side comparison, but it was odd. Tom mentioned that the Panasonic hadn't been calibrated since last summer, so that might have something to do with it.

 

In terms of detail, the LG looked a bit sharper than the Panasonic, but perhaps that's because the LG is smaller, which was apparent even though it had been moved closer to the seating position. Shadow detail was exceptional on both sets—for example, when the Prometheus crew start their exploration inside the alien structure and when Voldemort and his minions gather to begin their attack on Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movie. Both sets looked fabulous in this regard.

 

The bottom line for me is that the LG 55EA9800 OLED TV looked sensational—as it ought to for a list price of $8000. (You can get it for $1000 less at Best Buy and Amazon.) That's a lot less than the list price when the set was first introduced, but it's still way too rich for my blood, especially for a 55" TV. And I still don't like the curve, even though it bothered me less in this case than with the Samsung OLED. I really hope that Samsung and LG come to their senses and make flat OLEDs, and that manufacturing costs drop so this technology becomes available to a wider audience. Until then, OLED will be limited to the 1-percenters, offering them a gorgeous picture—as long as they sit close enough to be immersed in that picture's curvature.

 

 

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Was the LG professionally calibrated? Given the 77" LG OLED at CES 2014, your observation about black levels is not surprising, but it is good for you to be able to see them side by side. OLED's would appear to be the wave of the future.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axxion  /t/1522890/lg-55ea9800-oled-tv-a-brief-critical-look#post_24491837


Fix the gaming lag and im sold

I'd be worried about the burn in. Just buy a gaming monitor or one of the new sony LCD TVs and save the OLED for critical watching.
 
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The oled tvs don't have any issues with flanges of color across the screen like we can see with many dlp pj and some plasmas do they? I can even see it at the digital imax near me, and is super annoying. Thanks, sorry if that's off topic.
 

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Thanks for the impressions. I've noticed that this model has dropped under $5k recently but cant quite commit yet to such a new technology. I hope LG continues with somewhat reasonably priced OLEDs since everyone else seems to have bailed out for the moment.
 

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Today's price at Fry's in Palo Alto, California was $4,559 tax free and delivered locally. Cleavland Plasma has it for $4,600 delivered.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson  /t/1522890/lg-55ea9800-oled-tv-a-brief-critical-look#post_24491749


The first thing I noticed was that the curvature of the LG seems to be less than that of the Samsung KN55S9 OLED TV, though I don't know that for a fact. I do know that I was distracted by the geometric distortion of the curved screen less than I recall being with the Samsung.

Don't forget, the Samsung has a separate frame, which no doubt adds to the illusion of a larger curve.
 

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What I am curious about is how well do these OLED TVs compare to any plasma that handles 24 frame like the Kuro and Panasonic V series.


Anyone able to give us the info on this? I admit I really dislike any "soap opera effect" or similar unnatural looking representation of 24fps media like Blu Rays.
 

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The Kuro actually has a more natural film-like motion than the Vieras. Concerning the LG, I believe it will do pretty well with 24 fps content (perhaps match that of the Vieras?) as long as you disable motion interpolation. 60 fps is more problematic.
 

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Se the plasma now been outshined was once thinking of grabbing a Zt but after this vs... Im so happy i didnt
 

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is OLED the 8 track and beta formats of the early 21st century?
 

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This is why i can't wait for OLED displays to come in 70" sizes. But nothing is happening in that department. Instead we get these gimmicky curved 55" screens. 4K too would be nice.



I would like to see a comparison with the 9G and 9.5G kuros. The latter especially since it has the deepest blacks on a plasma.



I'm guessing Tom got rid of 141, Scott?
 

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I hope not, while i am a gamer and i have pioneer (9g elite pro-111) i want better PQ and if its true that the price keep on diving low current price is $4,700 ) i will consider this oled for critical movie watching.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by saprano  /t/1522890/lg-55ea9800-oled-tv-a-brief-critical-look#post_24493204


This is why i can't wait for OLED displays to come in 70" sizes. But nothing is happening in that department. Instead we get these gimmicky curved 55" screens. 4K too would be nice.

 
Something is happening, LG is making and selling a 77" 4k OLED this year.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterbrew2  /t/1522890/lg-55ea9800-oled-tv-a-brief-critical-look#post_24493267


Something is happening, LG is making and selling a 77" 4k OLED this year.


Yeah i was really excited about that when they announced it, but i thought that was just for show? Alot of things at CES get announced and never get released.
 
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