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Review: LG CX OLED

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LG CX replaces last year's C9 as LG's most affordable, feature-packed OLED TV in 2020. It boasts Filmmaker Mode, HGiG Mode, Dolby Vision IQ, an upgraded video processor, FreeSync, and the 2020 OLED panel in addition to HDMI 2.1 and other features that are also found in last year's C9. A new development this year is that OLED will, for the first time, be available in a smaller 48-inch size alongside the 55, 65 and 77-inch models.

Does LG CX represent the next step for OLED? Join us as we examine LG CX in detail.


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First impressions

There are no surprises here. LG CX looks like the C series models that came before it. Once again in 2020, CX has an extremely slim profile at the upper half and an unsightly electronics box below to store all driving circuits, input/output ports etc. CX has the same stand as last year's C9, which provides a solid foundation for the relatively light-weight TV. There is not much to add because unlike the company's 'wallpaper' WX or 'gallery' GX, the 2020 version of the C series could easily from a design perspective be mistaken for an earlier generation of the TV. The biggest surprise is, perhaps, that CX still has rear-facing HDMI ports. The company has addressed the issue with its new GX series but CX is still equipped with one rear-facing HDMI port, two USB ports, an Ethernet port, an optical audio port, and antenna plugs. The remaining ports face sideways, making it possible to reach them when the TV is wall-mounted. If you place the TV on furniture there is a simple cable management system that lets you partially route cables through the stand as seen below. LG Display’s OLED panels remain some of the least reflective display panels available in TVs, partly due to the nature of OLED's integrated structure. The anti-reflective coating is glossy and you will see reflections in a brightly lit room but the same coating helps maintain colors and contrast under those same viewing conditions.

User experience & features

Although the version number is no longer advertised, LG's webOS platform has reached version 5.0, up from version 4.5 in last year's TVs. The latest version of webOS will once again be exclusive to this year's TV line-up. As usual, previous webOS-based LG TVs will not receive an OS update, which is very unfortunate.

Operating system & smart TV

webOS 5.0
So what is new in webOS 5.0? First and foremost, webOS will feel familiar to you if you have used it in the past. There are no major changes to the overall form so all navigation goes through the menu at the bottom where you can place your favorite app icons. Some apps such as Netflix or YouTube support 'AI Preview', which means that services can highlight recommended content above the icon, much like the preview function found on other TV platforms. Support is still limited to a handfuld of partners that take advantage of LG's API, which is a consequence of the decision to limit the feature for webOS 4.5 or later. Smaller streaming providers are just not incentivized to spend the time required to implement the API because support it is limited to relatively few TVs. If LG had made AI Preview available across its webOS-based TVs (by updating webOS on existing TV) the situation would have looked very different. Another example of this is the fact that new apps such as Apple TV+ and Disney+ are limited to more recent versions of webOS, despite running perfectly well on relatively cheap Apple TV or Roku devices that are several years old (and have received continuous OS updates). We fear that this situation will only escalate as new streaming services launch; HBO Max, Peacock, Quibi, Google Stadia, Microsoft xCloud etc. So while LG CX offers most relevant streaming apps at this time, that may not be the case a few years from now. Content preview support has enabled LG to launch a new section for recommended content (see Aladdin picture on the right) in webOS 5.0 that can be brought up by clicking the search icon in webOS's bottom menu. It can find content from across multiple sources including TV channels, YouTube, Netflix, Rakuten, and Amazon, but not most other international or local streaming services, which limits its usefulness. Again, streaming providers would be much more incentivized to spend the time required to implement the API if LG had made this functionality available on all of the million of webOS-based TVs (by continuously updating webOS) in the wild. Corporate decisions not to update software usually come back to bite. LG and Apple have begun rolling out AirPlay 2, HomeKit and the Apple TV app to LG TVs, again limited to more recent webOS versions. At the time of testing, the Apple TV app had not been approved for 2020 LG models but AirPlay 2 and HomeKit were implemented. AirPlay 2 allows you to push media content, including videos, music and photos, wirelessly from an iOS or macOS device onto the TV, while HomeKit is Apple's platform for the connected home. Be aware that AirPlay 2 in TVs lack some features from the Apple TV box such as the ability to output TV audio wirelessly to AirPlay 2-compatible speakers or receivers.

LG CX review

AirPlay 2 is implemented in much the same way as in Samsung TVs and you can adjust certain settings. HomeKit on the other hand is a relatively new development in TVs and it lets you control certain aspects of the TV via the 'Remote' app on iPhone/iPad or via voice commands to a Siri-compatible device. As part of webOS 5.0, LG has refreshed its Home dashboard that links connected devices (based on OCF or ThinQ) to LG's TVs, although not Apple HomeKit-compatible products that can only be set-up from the 'Home' app on Apple's own devices. LG's refreshed Home dashboard also gives you quick access to inputs, media servers, and 'sound out' settings. You can set-up voice routines such as "Good morning" that will activate multiple devices.

LG CX review

AirPlay 2 and the Apple TV app for LG TVs support 4K Dolby Vision streaming. Dolby Atmos support will be enabled via a software update later this year. Another new feature this year is 'Sports Alert' where you can select your favorite team to get notifications when a match starts or get results. At this time, only the most prominent teams are included. If a match is broadcast on a channel the TV will suggest that you automatically change to that channel when the match starts. At this time, it works via the internal tuner, not yet with external set-top boxes (update: LG says that it will work "with external tuners as long at the TV has the cable listings available and TV is set up to control the set-top box")

LG CX review

LG informed FlatpanelsHD that it will phase out its 'LG TV Plus' mobile app this year in favor of the ThinQ app for iOS and Android. This app can be used to control certain aspects of the TV. A few other tweaks in webOS 5.0 include an edit mode that lets you add shortcuts to the left-aligned settings menu and a new Home setting option that lets the user select if the webOS bottom menu should appear automatically after standby. In addition, the large banner ad in the left side of the screen will be replaced by a smaller ad in the left side of the bottom menu (can now also be deactivated manually).

LG CX review

Lastly, we spotted a new manual 'Optimisation Settings' menu that will recommend optimal settings based on what you are watching at the time. It would appear that this feature forms the basis of the TV's "AI" suggestions that pop up from time to time to make you aware of features or suggest changes to settings.

LG CX review

Despite new webOS features and despite some genuinely good ideas such as the new recommendations section and universal search, we still believe - as concluded last year - that LG's approach to developing a TV platform is unhealthy for everyone involved; users, developers, and LG. By not updating webOS on existing TVs, new useful functions fail to live up to their potential as one key ingredient to success for any platform is to have a critical mass of users. As such, we repeat what we said in last year's LG C9 review: - "If you have one foot in the old world of TV channels and expensive cable TV packages and another foot in the new reality of streaming TV, webOS is a good compromise and middle-ground. However, if you have both feet in the streaming camp we think you will be much better served by a solution such as Apple TV that offers a vibrant app ecosystem and is getting relevant updates on a regular basis."

Operation

LG CX comes bundled with the standard 'Magic Remote' that remains unchanged (still made from glossy, black plastic). The motion-enabled remote lets you wave the remote around to control a cursor on-screen. You can also use the left/right/up/down buttons but the cursor will reappear if you move the remote too much. We are not fans of the on-screen cursor and there is still no way to turn it off.

LG C9 review

In past reviews of LG TVs, we have discussed the remote and the whole paradigm shift in how the TV experience is changing. We will not repeat all of this other than stating that the design of LG's remote control continues to be stuck somewhere between "one button for each function" paradigm of TV channels and the new paradigm of streaming TV that require far fewer buttons. We do not applaud the decision to include Netflix, Amazon and Google Play Movies buttons either. LG is not alone here as the buttons have also made their way to remote controls from other brands such as Samsung or Philips, presumably as part of commercial agreements. While such shortcut buttons can be very useful, there is no argument in favor of making them exclusive to certain partners. We encourage TV makers to make decisions based on consumers' interests; make the buttons fully configurable or remove them all together. LG CX is equipped with tuners and comes complete with a TV guide, recording capabilities, picture-in-picture, and more.

TV audio

The speaker hardware in CX is identical to the hardware in C9 but LG's 'AI Sound' system, now 'AI Sound Pro', has been tweaked in order to better identify and enhance dialog, the company explained, in addition to delivering a wider sound stage. The effect? Positive based on our time with the TV. While 'AI Sound Pro' will alter sound presentation, it helps compensate for the shortcomings in the speaker hardware. It manages to convincingly widen the sound stage and we believe that many viewers will like the effect when watching movies. The tweaked algorithm that aims to enhance voices also does exactly that. But it not for everyone and it does not solve the bigger challenge. If you want great sound you must connect external speakers via HDMI ARC/eARC, optical or wirelessly via WiSA. Dolby Atmos can be output from the TV via HDMI eARC (or ARC). LG has also promised to fix the eARC issue (PCM being limited to 2.0 channels) affecting 2019 models. 2020 models come with the fix at launch while 2019 models will receive a firmware update sometime this year. In its 2020 models LG has implemented support for bluetooth-connected rear speakers as part of an upgrade to Bluetooth 5.0. Unfortunately, the current implementation is limited to upmixed surround, meaning that you cannot pull down 5.1 surround from Netflix and distribute it to bluetooth-connected rear speakers. Instead, the TV will pull down 2.0 stereo and upmix it for the two rear channels. For this reason, we advise you to use a different connection path, for example WiSA or an external system, if you want surround sound.

Calibration

In 2018, LG partnered with CalMAN to implement hardware-based auto-calibration and in 2019 it expanded the system to include a built-in pattern generator, meaning that the TV can generate the patterns required for measurement and calibration. "All" you need now is a meter and the CalMAN software. We explored these systems in depth in our 2019 review of LG C9 and 2018 review of LG C8 so we refer to those for additional information on auto-calibration. Here, we want to focus on the built-in picture modes in LG 2020 OLED TVs and especially the new Filmmaker Mode. As you may know Filmmaker Mode is a project initiated by Hollywood directors and the UHD Alliance in an effort to combat motion smoothing and other picture enhancement systems for a picture that is true to the creator's intent. However, there are no requirements relating to color accuracy other than Filmmaker Mode presumably having to be based on the TV's most accurate picture mode. In the case of LG that would be the 'Cinema' picture mode and as you can see below Filmmaker Mode is identical to Cinema mode in HDR, and more or less identical to Cinema mode in SDR (except for lower brightness of approximately 100 nits, optimized for dark room viewing). In LG's 2020 TVs, Filmmaker Mode replaces Technicolor Mode. At this time, Filmmaker Mode must be enabled manually by the user from the settings menu. A planned feature is to offer automatic detection of film content to enable Filmmaker Mode. However, at this time automatic detection is not active as playback devices and streaming partners must implement metadata in their content first. As such the future prospects of Filmmaker Mode are more exciting than the current implementation, and right now the market message carries more weight than the feature in itself. Below and to the right we have also included measurements for the other SDR and HDR modes implemented in LG CX. As you can see Cinema, Filmmaker Mode and ISF provide the most accurate picture. You should steer clear of Vivid, Sports, Standard and HDR Effect. If you want to use Game mode, you should try the picture settings suggested below for the most accurate picture. Now that TVs from several brands in recent years, including LG, come pre-calibrated to quite high standards (from a consumer perspective), recommending optimal picture settings becomes mostly an exercise in tweaking the built-in picture modes. That is why we have started including measurements for all picture modes embedded in the TV in our reviews. Switching our attention to HDR, we measured peak brightness to around 740 nits but it will depend on how large a portion of the screen is illuminated (see table below). The OLED panel covers 96% of DCI-P3 and 71% of Rec.2020. This is in line with previous OLED TVs and the 2020 panel remains mostly unchanged (see picture quality section for more details). A few of the HDR picture modes in LG CX provide pleasingly accurate luminance and color accuracy in HDR.
Another development is HGiG Mode, which was actually added to 2019 LG OLED TVs via a firmware after launch. HGiG (HDR Gaming Interest Group) can be found as a setting option under 'Dynamic Tone Mapping'. Enabling HGiG will ensure that tone-mapping adheres to the HGiG's specification for console games in HDR, meaning that tone-mapping will not be done twice (first on console and then on the TV). HGiG is a way to make sure that you experience HDR console games from PlayStation and Xbox the way that the game creators had intended.

Measurements

In our "measurements" section we include all measurements and our suggested calibration settings. If you want to learn more about our test methodology click here Note: We include calibration settings only for SDR, not HDR. For our calibration we have deactivated the ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the backlight setting according to your environment. You may prefer to have it enabled.
LG CX review

Picture quality

As noted in the introduction, LG OLED will for the first time be available in 48 inches in addition to 55, 65 and 77-inch models. We have reviewed the 65-inch LG CX but the company confirms to us that the 48-inch CX will be an exact match, save for the smaller format (and higher pixel density). It has the same panel, same processor, same design and same features. It is great to see uncompromised, high-end picture quality return to the 4x-inch segment. Starting with SDR video (HD and 4K) and low-quality video (SD resolution), there is not much new to report. LG CX remains a good performer and the OLED's panels inherent qualities such as deep contrast and very accurate colors help lift SDR presentation. LG says that the third generation of its Alpha 9 video processor features improved upscaling but outside of a single test pattern intended to demonstrate the effect we were not able pinpoint visible improvements with real content. The 3rd-gen Alpha 9 performs in line with the previous two generations, despite some tweaks. In other words one of the best TV video processors on the market today. Switching our attention to HDR (High Dynamic Range) video, we measured Rec.2020 color gamut coverage to 71% and peak brightness to 740 nits (smaller than 20-25% APL). High luminance in HDR scenes is typically reserved to small segments in the picture so despite much discussion about the ABL (automatic brightness limiter) in self-emitting displays such as OLED this is not a big concern - although further improvements are of course welcome. High-end LCD TVs suffer from the inverse effect; small highlights such as stars or lamps have much reduced peak brightness because these object are far smaller than the physical dimming zones behind the LCD panel. This is a much bigger limitation that significantly impacts HDR picture quality. We explored the subject in more detail in our review of LG C9 last year so we will not repeat it here but instead turn our attention to another aspect of HDR picture quality.
The 3rd-gen Alpha 9 processor has an improved dynamic tone mapping system, says LG. If you are unfamiliar with the concept think of it like a system that tweaks luminance / contrast dynamically in HDR depending on the type of content / scene. It achieves this by modifying the luminance curve, known as the PQ (Perceptual Quantizer) curve. It may sound technical but it is easy to understand with photo examples. By pulling the slider from the left photo (original picture) to the right photo (tone-mapped picture) you can see the same HDR scene with or without LG's dynamic tone-mapping system engaged. As you can see, it raises luminance especially in highlight areas such as the bright clouds. Other areas in the picture are boosted to enhance perception of details. The overall picture looks brighter and the color temperature appears, perceptually, a little cooler. Some highlight details are subdued somewhat in the brightest areas (please do not pay attention to the softer photo on the left as this is caused by the camera).
We explored the system further by using the HDR clip seen below. The very bright light to the right of the lady was measured to slightly below 300 nits on a Panasonic GZ2000 and LG CX (without dynamic tone-mapping engaged). With the tone-mapping system engaged, LG CX boosted the luminance in this area to above 500 nits. This gives you an idea about how the system plays with luminance to increase perceived contrast.

LG CX review

Dynamic tone-mapping is not a new concept but in LG CX the system is engaged by default, even in Filmmaker Mode. As noted last year, the system also aims to resolve more highlight detail in very bright scenes through the use a "roll-off" near the brightest tones (since an OLED TV with maximum 700-1000 nits peak cannot resolve highlight details above 1000 nits otherwise). Another aspect is that modern TVs are now increasingly adjusting picture brightness to ambient light conditions in your room based on input from the TV's built-in light sensor. This concept has been utilized on SDR video content for a long time and is now also increasingly being applied to HDR through systems like dynamic tone-mapping. With the introduction of Dolby Vision IQ, this also extends to Dolby Vision video content (Dolby Vision IQ was btw. supported in LG 2019 OLED TVs - now it just has an official name). Is this a good thing? Well, it changes the picture so if you want the most accurate representation you should leave it off but also be aware that you should then enjoy HDR content in a relatively dark room (because that it how it was mastered in the mastering studio). How our eyes perceive especially contrast/light - but also colors - on a display depend on ambient light conditions so obviously there should be some system in place to account for this effect. We are not convinced that current implementations are optimal but we still think that people who enjoy HDR movies, series and games during both daytime and nighttime will like at least some aspects of these systems. Overall, OLED TVs remain our preferred choice for HDR as HDR representation is consistently great across movies, games, and other types of content - with or without subtitles. However, our preference has little do with the systems discussed above. Instead it is a result of OLED's self-emitting pixel nature that is ideal for HDR, and as such the next important step for HDR on OLED will also come from luminance improvements in the panel, which is why we have Panasonic GZ2000 with its higher-brightness OLED panel as our current Reference TV. Unfortunately, the 2020 OLED panel (in LG CX) remains largely unchanged after OLED panel development hit a roadblock 3-4 years ago. On the other hand it is noteworthy that, despite little improvement on the panel side, OLED still delivers the best HDR picture quality. Staying on the subject of HDR, LG informs us that it no longer supports Technicolor's 'Advanced HDR' format (the Technicolor picture mode has also been replaced by Filmmaker Mode), leaving it with HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision. LG has made the decision not to support Samsung's HDR10+.
Motion is a major theme this year as new game consoles with 4K120 and VRR support are scheduled to launch in late 2020. Like last year's LG OLED models, LG's 2020 OLED TVs are equipped with HDMI 2.1 ports with bandwidth for 4K120. Unfortunately, like last year, there are still no playback devices with HDMI 2.1 output. 4K120 via HDMI 2.1 (or FRL to be more specific) is potentially a big step forward for console gaming but at this time there is no way that we can test or verify LG's implementation. In our review of LG C9 last year, we commented on VRR performance when connected to Microsoft's Xbox One X. If you are unfamiliar with VRR (variable refresh rate) systems, the short version is that it lets the TV syncronize its refresh rate to the PC/console's frame rate output in realtime to make gameplay look and feel smoother while at the same time reducing lag and eliminating tearing. Since the launch of the 2019 models, LG has added support for Nvidia's 'G-Sync Compatible' tier to select 2019 models. The 'G-Sync Compatible' tier will also be supported in the 2020 LG OLED models and later this year LG will add support for AMD FreeSync as part of a firmware update - for a total of three supported VRR systems (HDMI VRR, G-Sync and FreeSync). With HDMI 2.1, LG's 2020 OLED TVs are specified to operate at a frequency range of 40-120Hz for 4K but, again, we cannot verify this due to the lack of HDMI 2.1 playback devices. There are some caveats here. LG's TVs are 'G-Sync Compatible', which is another word for basic level support. You can get HDR VRR from a Nvidia graphics card via HDMI VRR (over HDMI 2.0). HDMI 2.1 VRR also supports HDR but it remains to be seen if there are any limitations in LG's TV when used together with for example Xbox Series X. AMD FreeSync support will be added via a later firmware update and LG informs FlatpanelsHD that they are in business discussions with AMD about what level of FreeSync to support. LG has been very agressive in this area and if everything works out as intended the company's HDMI 2.1 implementation gives them a big headstart on competitors. But as said, there are lot of unknowns here and we have our fingers crossed that everything will work. Even without HDMI 2.1, LG 2020 OLED TVs are excellent performers in the area. We measured input lag to 13 ms in Game Mode - 1080p SDR, 4K SDR and 4K HDR. At this time, we cannot measure input lag in VRR and 4K120 where it will be as low as 6 ms with, according to the company. 13 ms is the lowest input lag we have measured on an 4K TV to date but at the same on par with performance in 2019 models.
Another new development this year is 'OLED Motion Pro', which is a more effective version of the BFI (Black Frame Insertion) system found in previous OLED TVs. BFI inserts black frames into the video stream to 'reset' the human eye in order to make motion appear less blurry. You can achieve similar results (plus more) by increasing the frame rate of the content (i.e. 4K120 or higher) but it is nice to have BFI as an option for lower frame rate content, too, in order to replicate more "plasma-like" motion on an OLED panel. The improved 120Hz BFI system was actually intended for LG Display's 2019 OLED panel but was pulled before release. Now it has reappeared in the 2020 OLED panel and as such it will also be available in OLED TVs from competing brands, too. FlatpanelsHD saw the 2019 implementation in action and although we did not get a change to thoroughly examine it, it seems to us that the 2020 implementation sacrifices brightness to a higher degree. In LG CX there are five levels for OLED Motion Pro (Off, Low, Medium, High and Auto). With a special test pattern we measured 'Off' to 318 nits brightness, 'Low' to 273 nits, 'Medium' to 187 nits and 'High' to 77 nits. The exact brightness values are not important so focus on the relative change in brightness: 'Low' will reduce brightness by 15%, 'Medium' by 40% and 'High' by 75%. The 'High' setting produces visible flicker and is not recommended for any type of content (it should probably be removed). 'Medium' is more effective at increasing motion resolution than 'Low' but brightness obviously takes a more significant hit. Lastly, there is an 'Auto' option that varies between 'Low' and 'Medium' but avoids 'High'. The conclusion? Well, at its two lower settings the BFI system is definitely useful now, as opposed to BFI in previous years' OLED TVs, but improved motion resolution comes at the expense of a reduction in brightness that is a little higher than we had hoped. Also note that by engaging 'OLED Motion Pro' input lag increases slightly to 22 ms. Further improvement is welcome.

LG CX review

Lastly, LG has a new 'Cinema Clear' option for TruMotion (LG's motion interpolation system) that dynamically adjusts its settings based on the content. We put the system to the test by loading up the sword fight scene from Netflix's The Witcher. 'Cinema Clear' still produced some visible, although mild, motion artefacts but it is also clear that it does not apply much smoothness to this particular scene, which made the scene look more faithful to the creator's intent as opposed to for example the TruMotion's 'Smooth' option that has more artificial look to it. In other scenes it applied a little more aggressive and visible smoothing. Fans of motion smoothing may find 'Cinema Clear' to be a better compromise but our preference is still to either leave TruMotion - and motion interpolation in general - off completely or at a very low setting to counter the "stroboscopic-like" effect that bright scenes in low frame-rate 24fps movies or series can suffer from due OLED's very fast response time. To sum up, what are the preferred compromises here? For movies and TV series, we refer to the preceding paragraph. For games, we discourage the use of motion smoothing (due to the inherent higher frame rate of the content as well as added input lag) but OLED Motion Pro (BFI) at 'Low' or 'Medium' is an approach that some may find appealing (although perhaps not during daytime due to the reduction in brightness). Ultimately though we think that the larger challenge lies in the movie industry's insistence on using low frame rate (24fps), which is a format for cinema projectors, not TVs. For console gaming we are far more excited about the prospects of anything above 60fps (4K60 - 4K120), which require HDMI 2.1, than any compensation system for motion. Your TV viewing experience will never be better than the weakest link, and the content/distribution industry remains, increasingly, the weakest link.
In 2018, some owners of 2018 OLED TVs started to experience occasional brightness flashing when the panel transitioned out of black. LG implemented a solution in its 2019 OLED panel but as noted in our review of last year's LG C9 the solution reduced resolution in the darkest tones, which led to banding in some instances. In 2020, LG has tweaked the dithering (note that the white subpixel is off for most RGB clusters in this macro photo of a full-grey screen) to make it less visible to the eye and based on our time with LG CX this tweak makes the effect less visible - not perceptible from a distance - and banding is reduced to a minimum. We did not experience any flashing issues either. Viewing angles are, as always with OLED TVs, excellent. We did not observe retention or burn-in during our time with the TV but we do not carry out long-term testing to provoke burn-in either. Panel homogeneity on our sample was good too, as seen below. We did not observe any related issues such as vertical banding.

Conclusion

Every year TV makers get on stage to tout their latest features but the major steps forward come less frequently. In recent times, OLED was one such step forward and when combined with 4K and HDR it took the picture experience to new heights. HDMI 2.1 is another step but not as significant and it is hard to gauge to true advantages until we have HDMI 2.1 playback devices such as next-gen consoles or players. In essence LG CX is closer to LG C9 than it is to representing another step forward. LG C9 already delivered some of the best picture quality, HDR or otherwise, that you can find in a TV. New features like Filmmaker Mode, Dolby Vision IQ and FreeSync are welcomed additions but do not represent important steps (and some were even included in last year's models). The new 48-inch size is probably the biggest news here. Seen from another perspective you could say that LG CX and C9 are actually a little ahead of their time. Few competitors offer the HDMI 2.1 features found in LG CX (and C9) and we expect its market price to once again be lower than OLED TVs from competing brands. Its strength will grow with time as next-gen game consoles and players arrive - why would you not opt for a TV model with HDMI 2.1 and a more attractive price if you are a gamer in the market for a new OLED TV? The replacement cycle for TVs is on average 6-8 years so there is a good chance that the benefits of HDMI 2.1 will be relevant to you for more than just console gaming later on. On the other hand LG still refuses to make a commitment to provide webOS updates for existing webOS-based TVs. We are starting to see big consequences of this decision as new apps such as Apple TV and Disney+ are technically available on webOS but only more recent versions (and therefore only more recent TVs). We fear that this will only escalate as new services such as HBO Max, Peacock, Google Stadia, Microsoft xCloud etc. arrive. Imagine if you bought an iPhone or Android smartphone that was stuck on the version of iOS or Android that it came with. Other negatives are the rear-facing ports and the fact that OLED remains uncompetitive in the segment for large-sized TVs due to the 77-inch version being prohibitively expensive. Panasonic GZ2000 retains our Reference Award (that does not take price into consideration) due to its customized, higher-brightness OLED panel but LG CX fully deserves our Highly Recommended Award, and it will also be the TV that we will recommend to far more buyers based on excellent picture quality, its much better value, and wide HDMI 2.1 support. Well done!
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Change in test parameters: In 2018, we made a change to a test parameter that relates to the features score, following years of poor practice in the TV industry. Unless a manufacturer of a given "Smart TV" can provide FlatpanelsHD with assurance that the TV platform will be updated to the next major version, the feature score will be lowered by 10 points. We hope that our initiative can help highlight the problem, start a discussion, and change the practice.

LG has not been able to give us such a guarantee for webOS.

Price and retailers:

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Excellent HDR
Excellent HD, 4K
HDMI 2.1 ports, features
Gaming features like 4K HFR, VRR
New 48" size


Rear-facing ports
webOS not receiving updates
77" still very expensive







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