“LG’S 55in OLED is a stunning TV for the money – its picture quality can’t fail to impress”
Intense competition between brands means there are plenty of superb TVS around
LG OLED55C8PLA £2000
At 55in, things get really tasty – this is where manufacturers get super-serious and it’s the smallest size in which you can buy an OLED. It’s also an extremely popular size with buyers looking for something really special – so step forward the LG OLED55C8PLA.
Needless to say, the competition between brands at this size is incredibly intense. We’ve seen 55in OLEDS from Philips, Sony and Panasonic (all derived from the same LG panel), and Samsung this year made its strongest case yet for QLED as a viable alternative.
LG’S answer to that extraordinary line-up of rivals was risky: rather than make massive upgrades to the panel, it instead decided to focus on the brain that drives it. The Alpha 9 processor brings with it a number of changes that are individually quite subtle but collectively amount to a meaningful step forward. And let’s remember, LG was already at the top of the TV game, with the OLED55B7V having been crowned our TV Product of the Year last year. The OLED55C8PLA takes that awesome benchmark and adds even greater sharpness, detail and punch. Play the opening of Planet Earth II on 4K Blu-ray and the selection of clips from the episodes to come provides evidence of a supremely capable, consistent and natural performer. The snow of the mountains is purer and brighter than it was on last year’s sets, and there’s more bright detail, too, as evidenced by the distinct, fluffy, three-dimensional clouds. The sun-baked side of a ridge of dunes is a gloriously rich, burnished orange, the seemingly endless canopy of a rainforest is lusciously, vividly green, and the ocean surrounding a tropical island combines beautiful, enticing aquamarine around the shore with steadily, subtly deepening shades of blue as your eye moves out to the open ocean.
This is an HDR10 disc, but the LG also supports the dynamic metadata-toting Dolby Vision format that, in the vast majority of cases, brings with it even greater contrast and colours.
The TV that mounted the strongest challenge against the C8 was Samsung’s QE55Q9FN, which boasts even greater punch and vibrancy. The C8 counters with typically deep OLED blacks, and greater consistency to its colours and contrast. Everything you watch on this LG looks natural and authentic to an extent that no current rival can match.
The C8 also boasts one of the best operating systems out there in webos 3.5. Not only is it slick, colourful and intuitive, it houses practically every streaming app you’re likely to need including, of course, Netflix – complete with Dolby Vision support.
The only other 55in TV that can match the C8 is its sibling, the E8 – and that’s because it has the same panel and processing. The biggest difference is that the E8 is sonically superior. It doesn’t sound better than a good soundbar, though, so we’d recommend buying the C8 and using the change to add a seriously good sound solution to the seriously great picture.
The only TV that can match the C8 is its more expensive sibling