“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

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents - ANDY MAD­DEN CON­TENT ED­I­TOR

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

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