- Lush OLED photos, particularly with deep blacks
- Very economical — for OLED
- Audio high quality that does not require a soundbar
- Help for a number of audio and video codecs to play media from storage gadgets
- Picture processing is considerably weak in comparison with costly OLEDs
To say that LG’s C1-series is not the perfect OLED you should purchase is like saying that the Portofino is not the perfect Ferrari you should purchase. It is an important TV, and it is extra inexpensive than OLEDs. However to choose a nit, we had been hoping for higher picture processing.
“Oh wow…” I get from slack-jawed colleagues evaluating an OLED TV like this LG C-Collection to various typical LCD TVs. It is all the time enjoyable to listen to. Why worship? It is black, child. Puppies on velvet. Finest Starfield. It impacts the individuals.
Do not get me fallacious, OLEDs aren’t excellent – no TV expertise is. However general the viewing expertise is pretty much as good because it will get.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart TVs, where you’ll find a review of what the competition has to offer, as well as a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.
Design and Features
Most of the C1-series display panels—LG’s 65-inch model OLED65C1PUB reviewed here—can’t be more than 1/4-inch thick, and have little or no bezels. Because of its thin screen, I waited for extra hands to help move it. It’s not so fragile, as it turned out, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The C1-series has a less than 2-inch-thick caboose downstairs to accommodate all the working electronics and speakers. The main body sits on a counterweighted two-part stand that screws into the bottom of the unit. It’s a relatively heavy TV—which weighs in at about 71 pounds—that drops down to about 52 pounds, if you want to use the 300mm x 200mm VESA mount point.
The C1-series is a 10-bit, 120Hz, 2160p (3840 x 2160, 4K UHD) TV that uses self-emitting OLED sub-pixels. It is RGBW, which means that the red, green, blue, and white subpixels are grouped into pixels. The white sub-pixel is used to add brightness when needed.
A quick shout out to LG for the specifications on the website. “Color Fidelity 100%: Yes.” Classic non-information. Your guess as to what color standard is being referred to in that sentence is as good as mine.
You’ll find three USB 2.0 ports (two back, one side-facing), four 120Hz HDMI ports with eARC on port 2, an Ethernet port, coax for TV antenna or cable connections, a 3.5mm RS-232C port for system . controls, digital optical S/PDIF audio output, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s also an 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter and a Bluetooth 5.0 radio onboard.
Almost all the latest technologies are supported: HDR (Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HLG but no HDR 10+); movie maker mode; and Dolby Vision IQ, which uses the TV’s ambient light sensor to adjust its color output. For gaming, there’s FreeSync Premium, auto low latency, HGig (HDR Gaming Interest Group) tone mapping, variable refresh rate, G-Sync compatibility, and Stadia Cloud Gaming (with firmware updates).
Apple’s AirPlay 2 multi-room audio technology is available with Alexa and Google Assistant voice control. Dolby Atmos immersive audio is supported, as is the WiSA multi-channel wireless audio standard.
webOS and remote
LG is one of the few TV makers to use webOS, even though the company announced plans to license the operating system to other brands, and I really wonder why. I think webOS is significantly more efficient than Google TV or Samsung’s Smart TV user interface, so I guess it’s economics; That is, how much it costs a company, or how much they can earn if they use Google’s creation.
The Magic Remote is also a hoot. If you haven’t tried one, when you tap the remote it creates a free floating cursor that you can move around by waving the remote. With the rocker button, I can get where I want to go faster than any other TV OS.
The usual potpourri of apps, curated content, and easily navigable channel guides are also available.
picture and sound
I’ve already noticed OLED’s juiciness—it’s just a different ballgame from LCD, even allowing for advances like mini-LED backlighting and dual-LCDs. It’s not quite as sharp as an LCD TV, but it’s quite sharp, and the contrast offered by the self-emitting pixels that stop completely to produce a true black is amazing. Watching real-world content is simply an enriching experience.
That said, I wasn’t overly impressed with the C1-series’ motion handling, or its processing of fine patterns and wide pans. It’s good, it’s not great as I remember from my experience with LG’s older E1-series. There was occasional moire, wide pans sometimes jumbled, and even maximizing the lack of judder didn’t yield the result I was looking for.
It messed up a bit during the Spears & Munsil speed test, with several bands moving across the screen at different speeds. That was some old E1-series. The number of times you’ll see such artifacts outside of a benchmark disc is very few, and there’s always that gorgeous black to compensate; Still, LG touts its latest image processor, so I was hoping for better.
Note that the C1-series can pump out a lot more brightness than the default; However, that feature isn’t particularly useful. Do it and you’re basically pumping out white sub-pixels, so you’ll end up with something that looks like an old backlit LCD TV: a picture with a washed out color palette.
The only other OLED we’ve seen recently is Sony’s A90J-series, which is better than LG’s C1-series in both image processing and audio performance. On the other hand, the 65-inch A90J costs about a thousand dollars more than this model. I expect the price-competitive Sony A80J-series to hit the house soon, so I can compare.
That said, the LG C1-series looks great for a TV. The soundtrack came out clearly, with some real bass emanating from the down-firing speakers. I also wouldn’t have a problem listening to music on this TV, although if I did this regularly I would play a feed to my stereo receiver. And this brings me…
I don’t spend much time talking about playing media from USB or DLNA storage anymore, because very few people use these methods as often as I do. Despite this, I greatly admire webOS and LG for its local media playback. The player is rock solid; Shows thumbnails of where you are when you scroll through the video; Playback is easy to control; And the platform understands an unusually large range of video formats.
Even better, in my book: It plays all three major lossless compression audio formats: Windows, Apple, and FLAC. This is a boon if you want to use your TV as an audio playback station for your music collection, as I often do.
Best performance in its price category
In my experience, an LG OLED of any level will provide one of the best viewing experiences you can buy. The only comparable TVs are other OLEDs, which generally use the same panels.
My review is insanely tempting, but that’s the gig. LG’s OLED65C1PUB is not correct Best Saying an OLED TV you can buy is like saying that the Portofino isn’t the best Ferrari you can buy. It’s a great TV, and it’s far more affordable than OLEDs—it’s half the price of the top-tier model while delivering a 95 percent experience. That’s more than enough to earn our Editors’ Choice award. I can’t imagine anyone would be disappointed after buying this.