​Finally! LG 2016 OLED TV range review

Simply the best TV you can buy. And now it’s affordable too

LG 2016 OLED TV range
  • LG 2016 OLED TV range
  • LG 2016 OLED TV range
  • LG 2016 OLED TV range
  • Expert Rating

    5.00 / 5

Pros

  • Best picture on the market
  • Resolved upscaling issues
  • Great sound
  • Affordable
  • Best handling and navigation

Cons

  • Remote control labels
  • Slight juddering in scrolling credits

Bottom Line

LG's 2016 OLED TVs are a notch above all the competition and get even better when paired with Dolby Video-compatible content. They sound great and are a joy to use. That you can buy one for well under four grand rounds off the best TV we've ever seen.

Would you buy this?

YouTube and Netflix 4K

There are plenty of great 4K demo reels available and they all look great on this TV. But the go-to clip is the Costa Rica 60fps 4K show reel which never gets old no matter how many times you watch it.

The Costa Rica 4K show reel on YouTube always looks stunning. But we suspect this is the very best yet for colour vibrancy.
The Costa Rica 4K show reel on YouTube always looks stunning. But we suspect this is the very best yet for colour vibrancy.

To be fair, this demo looks sensational on everything but sometimes, on really cheap 4K TVs, some of the detail in areas like water can vanish and go all blocky. Nonetheless, the colours are truly exceptional here, especially when used in Vivid mode although it’s fair to say that, in this specific test, Samsung’s Quantum Dot and Hisense’s ULED technology are also incredibly good too.

Lesser TV

Where LG’s OLED TVs have really fallen down in the past is with upscaling – to the point where it was worth swerving from buying them (there wasn’t enough UHD content and the price was high to justify doing so). Now, however, upscaling (which is the process of stretching a low-quality image across a large, high-definition screen without making it look terrible) is much improved.

We watched DVDs, downloaded movies, old low-res clips on YouTube and, well, Father Ted – which is only available at 480p quality whether you’re on DVD or Netflix. Few TVs can rescue the train-wreck quality on offer here but how a TV deals with such appalling quality tells us about its upscaling prowess. Now, instead of an indistinct, blotchy mess, we have a noticeably-yet-uniformly pixelated image along with jagged edges on some lines. We still, slightly prefer the upscaling from Hisense, Panasonic and Sony here, due to their smoother areas of colour, but the best praise we can ever really say is that it was at least watchable. So it passed the test.

We also watched Mad Men in Full HD, a 1988 Guns N’ Roses concert on YouTube, Point Break on Foxtel’s crappy On Demand service (sub-Standard Definition quality), cartoons on a variety of kids channels, a load of downloaded movies and many other types of content.

Perhaps our only real issue here was with vertically-scrolling titles. They were a bit juddery compared with the excellent Hisense. But this is hardly a deal breaker.

Cold Feet in Standard Definition on free to air. It looks soft because of the lack of detail in the original content, but it's watchable.
Cold Feet in Standard Definition on free to air. It looks soft because of the lack of detail in the original content, but it's watchable.
A sub-Standard Definition shot from the movie, Freeheld. Again it's soft, but it's being spread over 65-inches here.
A sub-Standard Definition shot from the movie, Freeheld. Again it's soft, but it's being spread over 65-inches here.
The First Wives Club on Standard Definition cable TV. Very watchable with no real issues.
The First Wives Club on Standard Definition cable TV. Very watchable with no real issues.
Guns N' Roses live at The Ritz in 1988 on YouTube at just 360p.Again, very watchable considering the very low quality.
Guns N' Roses live at The Ritz in 1988 on YouTube at just 360p.Again, very watchable considering the very low quality.
Low resolution kids TV on cable was a little soft (as it would be) but there were no issues with jaggies and blocky patches.
Low resolution kids TV on cable was a little soft (as it would be) but there were no issues with jaggies and blocky patches.
Ren and Stimpy on a very very low-resolution cable channel was still watchable (Moire effect is from camera).
Ren and Stimpy on a very very low-resolution cable channel was still watchable (Moire effect is from camera).
Mad Men on Netflix in Full HD looked excellent.
Mad Men on Netflix in Full HD looked excellent.
Father Ted, in it's appalling 480p digitisation, is very pixelated and lines are still jaggy, but it's watchable and so passes a tricky test.
Father Ted, in it's appalling 480p digitisation, is very pixelated and lines are still jaggy, but it's watchable and so passes a tricky test.
Few TVs are able to display smooth-scrolling vertical credits and LG's OLED TV isn't one of them. They appear quite juddery but it's not the worst attempt we've seen.
Few TVs are able to display smooth-scrolling vertical credits and LG's OLED TV isn't one of them. They appear quite juddery but it's not the worst attempt we've seen.
Batman Begins on DVD. There are no real blocks or jaggies infecting the image. Upscaling is dealt with well.
Batman Begins on DVD. There are no real blocks or jaggies infecting the image. Upscaling is dealt with well.
Watching Formula 1 in Standard Definition has resulted in pixelated messes on previous LG OLED models. Now lines and objects are much smoother.
Watching Formula 1 in Standard Definition has resulted in pixelated messes on previous LG OLED models. Now lines and objects are much smoother.

Image modes

There are many quick-and-simple ways to tweak the image. Moving from the vibrant colours of Vivid there’s Standard (bit more muted), APS (Auto Power Save – even more slightly-muted), Cinema (warmer picture), Cricket (super bright colours – but no sound change), Game (Bright but with less processing - we had no problems playing Gears of War (turn off image sharpening to play in other modes)), Photo (more-natural and neutral colours), Three levels of HDR effects which tweak the brightness of the picture a little and two ‘ISF Expert’ settings which are intricately-customisable in the main TV Settings.

Next: Handling, Sound and Conclusion

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