The LG OLED EF9500 4k TV has a very sleek design and excellent overall picture quality, especially in a dark room. Motion handling is excellent, and smart features work very well. It isn't perfect, though. Notably, the input lag is higher than average.
- Perfect blacks
- Perfect flicker-free motion
- Great color accuracy at an angle
- Prone to temporary image retention after displaying static images
- Constantly changing luminosity based on the scene (ABL)
- High input lag
- Poor color uniformity in the shadows
The EF9500 has a flat screen (the only one in LG's OLED lineup). The back of the TV is a white cream color. The borders around the screen are really thin.
Dimension of the 55" TV stand: 28.5" x 8.5"
1.46" (3.7 cm)
With its perfect blacks, the picture quality for movies is really great. The color uniformity could be better, especially with darker shades, but the issues aren't really noticeable with normal content. The TV can be enjoyed from anywhere in the room, and 3D is a nice bonus.
The blacks are really black on this TV, because the pixels self-emit the TV's light.
For reference, we took a video of our local dimming test.
SDR Peak 2% Window
SDR Peak 10% Window
SDR Peak 25% Window
SDR Peak 50% Window
SDR Peak 100% Window
SDR Sustained 2% Window
SDR Sustained 10% Window
SDR Sustained 25% Window
SDR Sustained 50% Window
SDR Sustained 100% Window
The SDR peak brightness is bellow average and is similar to the HDR peak brightness, and the same comment about the 'ABL' apply. The overall peak brightness is a bit less than what you can achieve while in HDR mode, though.
HDR Peak 2% Window
HDR Peak 10% Window
HDR Peak 25% Window
HDR Peak 50% Window
HDR Peak 100% Window
HDR Sustained 2% Window
HDR Sustained 10% Window
HDR Sustained 25% Window
HDR Sustained 50% Window
HDR Sustained 100% Window
Like other OLED TVs, it has ABL, which means the maximum luminosity of the screen varies depending on the content of the image. You can see a table of our full measurements in the Q&A section.
In terms of uniformity, this is the worst OLED TV we've seen so far. Even the edges are slightly darker than the rest of the screen. This varies by unit though, so don't look at this number meaning there will be a definite problem, but more as a general indication.
It can maintain its picture quality at an angle without major problems (the colors change slightly, though).
Update 01/06/2017: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results from 2016 TVs.
On a purely black screen, the uniformity is perfect. However, dark grays are not as good (more on this later).
Lower quality content like DVDs or SD channels are displayed without any problems. You might want to turn on 'Noise Reduction' though, to reduce a little bit the noise.
Cable TV and other 720p content looks good on the LG EF9500.
Blu-rays looks good on this TV.
Native 4k content looks good and sharp on the LG EF9500.
The screen finish has a purple tint, which is a little bit annoying, but not a deal breaker. The screen is glossy, though, so if you have a window directly opposite the TV, your eye will be distracted.
The varying luminosity is not as bad on this OLED as the others we reviewed. With half the screen displaying white, a luminosity of 219.9 cd/m2 is not bad. See the Q&A for a table of measurements at different window sizes.
The passive 3D on this TV is great. You don't see the alternating lines the way you do on the 1080p OLED TVs.
The motion performance on the EF9500 is excellent. There is absolutely no motion blur trail following fast objects, and the TV can interpolate 30fps and 60fps content. Most movie sources play without judder.
Interestingly, the transitions look more like the EC9300 than the EG9100. It is not noticeable to the naked eye, though. Unfortunately (or fortunately for some), the screen doesn't flicker.
PWM Dimming Frequency
Judder-free 24p via 60p
Judder-free 24p via 60i
Update 1/25/2016: We installed new firmware (04.20.75) and no longer have judder via 24p or 24p via 60i, which means this TV is now equal to the LG EG9600 for judder-free playback. You can find the firmware and installation instructions here.
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
The TV supports a wide range of resolutions and supports chroma for sharp text. There is a slightly higher input lag time than average. There is a wide range of inputs to plug devices in.
1080p With Interpolation
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
The good news is you don't need to be in any special mode to get lower input lag. You simply need to make sure 'TruMotion' is disabled.
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
As with all LG TVs, it doesn't support a 120 fps signal. To get chroma 4:4:4, you need to set the input icon to PC. For 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4, you also need to turn on UHD Color.
Digital Optical Audio Out
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm
1 (incl. adapter)
1 (incl. adapter)
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwith
Variable Analog Audio Out
The sound is pretty good, for a TV. The sound is pretty accurate, has good bass, and gets relatively loud. There also isn't much distortion.
Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.
Std. Dev. @ 70
3.56 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ 80
3.35 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ Max
4.83 dB SPL
Good bass extension and loudness. The frequency response is good too, and no pumping is present.
Total Harmonic Distortion
Very good distortion results all-around.
LG's WebOS smart platform is great and very user-friendly. You can control the onscreen cursor with the remote by pointing at the screen. See our full review of WebOS here.
Ads can be found on the main page of the LG content store.
Power Consumption (Max)
Great all-round TV. Excellent picture quality and motion handling for a range of different content. Unfortunately the screen can't get very bright and fluctuates depending on the content.
Great movie performance. OLED panel provides perfect blacks and great dark scene performance. Picture quality is excellent.
Great for watching TV is an an open room. Excellent picture quality can be enjoyed from all angles. Deals very well with reflections. Unfortunately can't get very bright to overcome ambient light.
Excellent sports performance. Almost perfect motion handling to minimize blur. Uniformity of screen could be better.
Very good video game performance. Excellent picture quality, and motion handling. Unfortunately the input lag is above average for fast-paced games.
HDR looks great. Supports a wide color gamut and brighter highlights. Unfortunately the whole screen can't get bright.
Works well as a PC monitor. Supports a wide range of resolutions at up to 60Hz. Unfortunately there is some temporary image retention after static images.
Questions & Answers
30 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
Will the 24p judder issue be fixed by firmware updates, or is that something that will be there forever?
There's a good chance that it will be fixed with an update - it's currently the only OLED model with this problem - but only time will tell.
Update: The judder issue has been fixed with a firmware update. Check the judder section of our review for an explanation of how to install it.
Screen Door Effect
One advantage of a 4k OLED vs a 1080p one is the screen door effect is less of an issue, which was quite noticeable on a 1080p OLED. This results in less apparent aliasing for video games, and a more pleasant, softer picture. Here is a closeup of the pixels on the EF9500, vs the EG9100.
LG OLED EF9500
LG OLED EG9100
ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter)
The EF9500 also has ABL, but to a lesser degree than the EG9100. Here are measurements of pure white, with 'OLED LIGHT' set to the max. Varying sizes of the screen are covered by the white window.
|Window size||Luminosity (EF9500)||Luminosity (EG9100)|
|2%||346.2 cd/m2||336.4 cd/m2|
|5%||347.3 cd/m2||336.0 cd/m2|
|10%||345.6 cd/m2||331.2 cd/m2|
|18%||346.8 cd/m2||330.8 cd/m2|
|25%||349.1 cd/m2||330.0 cd/m2|
|50%||219.9 cd/m2||172.1 cd/m2|
|100%||126.7 cd/m2||80.6 cd/m2|
You can see that the luminosity stays constant up to about a 25% window and then drops rapidly, but less so on the EF9500 than on the EG9100.
On the EF9500, this problem was barely noticeable, unless we were actively looking for it.
Dark gray uniformity
As with other OLED TVs, the uniformity of dark colors is worse than that of brighter colors. It is also constantly changing, not only due to image retention, but also just by itself. In the pictures below, you can see the edges are darker. You can also see a few horizontal lines.
I contacted LG to ask if they've fixed the judder issue and they swear the TV doesn't have it. Have you reached out to them, and have there been any updates since Nov. 26?
We just retested our TV and there is still judder, and our firmware is up-to-date.
Update: We have downloaded and installed a firmware update that has fixed the judder issue. A link to the fix is included in the judder section of the review.
I purchased an LG 65EF9500
smart TV on Nov 23, 2015. It was installed Dec 9, 2015. The TV is beautiful as was working very well until Feb 25, 2016 (effectively working for 3 months). On this date a thin line appeared and ran across the bottom 3rd of the TV and is seen on every medium (cable, Apple TV, Chromecast). The $5,000 TV is defective and after verification from an LG approved TV repair person that the unit is in fact defective, LG refuses to replace the 3 month old $5,000 TV, telling me they will only replace the panel in a repair. Initially I was told by their representative Daniel that their process for replacement was to have a 2nd repair person come to my home and inspect the unit again. The appointment was emailed to me followed by a phone call from Daniel confirming the next day appointment. When I contacted the repair shop they informed me that the correspondence they received from LG was to order a panel for repair. I called LG for the third time only to be told by Robert (Rep#10243) that they use to replace the TV but now only repair it with a panel. As a consumer who paid $5,000 for an LG TV that only worked for 3 months, this is unacceptable. I will never consider an LG product again and I will tell my horrible experience and LGs tone deafness to their customers to everyone who will listen. Is this model so defective that they created a repair vs a replacement? Has anyone else experienced similar poor customer service from LG?
Your frustration is understandable, but in this case, it looks like LG handled the case properly. They will repair your TV. Whether it is a repair vs a replacement doesn't really matter because you will have a functional TV at the end. There are far worse customer service scenarios than this one.
Noticed your review says firmware version 03.01.15. Not sure when you reviewed but 04.20.07 Is available through update on the tv and manual download of 04.20.08 is available on lg's website. Maybe that would help with the 24p judder ?
The TV says it's current (maybe they are doing a partial roll out, like Vizio). We'll try the manual download and report the results.
We manually updated the firmware to 04.20.08, but unfortunately it didn't fix the issue (see result here
We have updated our firmware again and the issue has been resolved. Please see the judder section of the review for the link to the firmware and the installation instructions.
I understand this TV has RGBA subpixels instead of RGB, and I fear that the RGBA clusters don't line up exactly with the input pixels, making the display unable to fully represent the color detail in a 4:4:4 4k image. Could you take a close-up picture when displaying an image like this one
with no scaling?
This isn't an issue like the 'fake' 4k LG UF6800 that has WRGB. The left picture is the one you requested on the EF9500, the right one is our chroma test.
Would it be possible for you to post shots of 2% and 5% gray slides on the EF9500
to go with the 10% and 20% gray slides you already have up? Most of the vignetting/"black flame" issues that users are experiencing with these panels are primarily visible at 5% or lower grayscale.
Sure, there you go (we had to change the shutter time on our camera from our normal 1/15s to 1/2s, to make them more obvious).
5% gray EF9500
Is there a way to turn off the ABL? I think it's such a horrible feature. If not, is there a way to limit it? I only see it being an issue if I watch hockey, and right now my Flyers stink, so I am not watching much.
Unfortunately, no, there's no way to disable or limit it.
Firmware 04.20.75 is available. You need to use a USB Flash Drive to update. The LG USA servers for updating directly by TV have not been working for months, and 04.20.60 should have fixed the problems you mentioned, according to AVSForum.
You can find the firmware and installation instructions here
Thanks for letting us know! We tried the new firmware and it did indeed correct the judder issue. We'll update our review accordingly, and mention the steps necessary for installing the update.
Hi, can this TV do 3D in full 4K resolution or does it split it to 2K? Can this TV convert 2D content to 3D? Have you experienced any dead/bad pixels or screen burn-in with this TV?
4k 3D content will loss half its vertical resolution (down to 1080), but you do also get that same 1080 vertical resolution for 1080p content, which is great, and means no loss of resolution.
It can convert 2D to 3D, and we haven't had any issues with burn-in or dead pixels.
Hello dear Rtings friends. I got to say I love your reviews and have been relying on those for quite some time. I've been eyeing the OLED 55 EF9500
for quite a while, but decided to wait for the 2016 lineup instead mostly due to the new HDR formats being a part of all LG 2016 models. So my question is, do you guys have any idea when will you be reviewing the upcoming B6 and C6 models? Thanks.
We will buy them as soon as they get released and our reviews will follow shortly after. Something between 1 to 3 months from now.
Bought a 55EF9500
. After calibration i noticed that some scenes were so dark that images were hard to see & some were extremely bright. Tried everything & even LG sent out a tech to check my set, the tech said everything was fine. I returned the set & bought a Sony x850c
. Is the ABL you talked about have anything to do with this problem.
Probably not. We have noticed this behavior on all LG OLED TVs where depending on content, some dark scenes were too dark and crushes the blacks. Adjusting 'Gamma' to 1.9 fix that problem and give the same look as other LED TVs set to gamma 2.2 (of course, with the deeper blacks of OLED TVs).
When will you have test results for the new 2016 OLEDs?
The LG E6P will be reviewed within the next few weeks.
I have seen a bunch of requests asking if you have re-tested the judder after new firmware updates, but I'm more curious as to what series you have and if the newer series' could have fixed the issue. I work in an electronics store and on display we have a 507 series, while at home I have a 511 series and while in store I see judder, at home playing the same movies I have been judder free. In both instances I have adjusted the de-blur and de-judder settings.
Our serial number begins with '510'. In the past, we have seen different series act differently, so it may be the case here too. But just to be clear, we never use motion interpolation settings such as De-Blur and De-Judder for our 24p test. This is to avoid the soap opera effect. That said, we did further testing today on the EF9500
and found out that if you set TruMotion to 'User' and leave De-Judder and De-Blur to 0, motion interpolation (and the soap opera effect) is none existent and 24p becomes judder-free. We still think there is a bug in the firmware since this TV would be expected to be judder-free without the aid of TruMotion. For that reason, we won't change our 24p test result to be fair with our methodology (and other TVs) but if you are an owner of the EF9500, feel free to use the aforementioned settings for judder-free 24p.
A firmware update solved the judder issue for us. The judder section of the review now has a link to the firmware and instructions for how to install it.
Thank you so much for your detailed answers! I was told by a BB salesman that LG OLEDs won't be HDR-capable. How important is that to have now or in the future, and does it matter for OLED? Does it hinder anything not having HDR?
has at least partial HDR support, so the salesman is not quite right. The EF9500 has HDMI 2.0a, so it can read HDR files over HDMI. It also has the ability to display a wider range of colors than average, which is one of the major parts of HDR. It doesn't have the ability to display bright highlights, but how important this is remains to be seen.
At present, we consider the benefits you get from OLED to outweigh the potential downside of not being able to brighten highlights, so if you're interested in this TV, go for it.
You mention the screen door effect. How is this any different than an LCD at the same resolution? (1080p based on the 1080p OLED)
Is it because the spacing between individual LEDs/Pixels in the OLED is further apart than normal? Or just the sub pixel structure causing the illusion of it being so?
Based on your pictures, the pixels/subpixels do seem to look farther apart than LCD pixels/subpixels.
It is more noticeable than on LCD TVs. The distance between the pixels is the same, but the size of the pixels isn't. The pixels are smaller on OLED TVs, leaving more empty space between them.
Excellent info here! Could you offer some additional insights and check my research please? I fear my requirements translate to an expensive TV. Brightly lit living room with large windows on the adjacent wall, and I need a large viewing angle of 40 degrees or so. Movies and sports are important. Don't need the best gamer. The 9500 appears to meet these requirements better than any other TV in 65" category. Do you think 2016 will offer anything better/cheaper? I'm also confused about image retention in OLED panels. Is it permanent or not?
There is compromise to be made on picture quality and viewing angle. Most of the TVs that have the best picture quality don't have a wide viewing angle. TVs that have a wide viewing angle (the very few that have more than 40 °) have bad picture quality. The exception to this rule is OLED TVs. They have the best picture quality and viewing angle. The downside is that they are mainly available in 55" size and the 65" size is still very expensive. For no compromise, any of the LG OLED 65" (EF9500
) are the best. If you go that way, don't worry too much about image retention. Any regular viewing won't be a problem. For a LED, the Samsung LED JS9500
is great but if you find it too expensive, the JU7100
offer a similar picture quality and is a good chunk cheaper. We don't expect too much difference for next year TV performance but OLED TVs might become a little cheaper.
Great work on everything your team does and thank you for identifying all that's important for us!
I have a LG 65" EF9500
that I just purchased before the Superbowl. I'm very worried about the gray uniformity issue as I believe that my set has more than "normal." I know that you only test one panel but do you have any knowledge on the percentages that one could trade in their set for another and have better luck with this issue?
Also, it doesn't look like you test the network adapter in these panels. First, do you have any information on my set and the wireless signal strength? The wired strength? I'm seeing 20% of my homes total bandwidth with 5GHz, 15% with 2.4GHz and a measly 30% with direct ethernet. The distance from panel to router is negligible as they are 30' from each other sitting in the same great room with no obstructions. When checking with the only thing I have, my phone w/speedtest app, I'm getting full strength on that device. It's still strong enough to stream 4K, luckily, but one has to wonder about this.
Going forward and with how many sets going towards streaming via "smart" software baked in and with streaming apps (Netflix, Prime, etc) offering 4K, it might be worth testing these sets' and their built-in network cards. If I missed this part of your tests, please excuse as there's a lot to absorb with your extensive reviews.
If you send us a photo of the problem, we can give you an idea of your odds of getting a better panel by exchanging.
Unfortunately, because we don't currently test the network adapter, we don't have that information for you. But you're right that this is becoming more important for TVs, so we'll definitely think about doing so in the future.
What are your thoughts on using this TV as display for a Mac Pro? I can buy this TV for less than NEC's best 32" display. I do Photoshop, web design and audio engineering with ProTools for a living.
An OLED TV would work nicely as a PC monitor because of its wide viewing angle. The EF9500
also support chroma 4:4:4 on all resolutions so text and graphics will always look sharp. A little lower input lag would have been better (more responsive mouse cursor) but it shouldn't be a deal breaker. All in all, it's a good choice.
I was told that the OLED 65EF9500
65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart 2015 model TV manufactured in early to mid year 2015 experience judder and motion blur so significant that one would not want to watch sports programming. Further it was said that this condition did not occur on units manufactured late in 2015. Is that true? Please advise as I am awaiting your response before I move forward with purchasing a model made in the first half of 2015.
At the beginning, our set had some judder on 24p or 24p via 60i, but a firmware update fixed the issues. So if you buy this TV, just be sure to update to the latest firmware and it should be okay.
I have a very tight fit. Given that the inputs are on the side, will that cause the effective width of the TV to be more than the stated spec of 48.3 inches? Every millimeter counts.
The inputs are about 3.5" away from the edge of the screen, closer to the middle, so you should be fine.
Have you had a chance to retest the LG ES9500 OLED for judder? You mention that it does occur and it is probably an issue in the firmware. You say it doesn't happen in the LG 9600 OLED. I am considering buying the 9500 and wonder if I should wait until the newer model becomes available later in the year.
We have, and there has been no solution released via firmware. It's not impossible that there will be a fix eventually, but it seems less likely now.
Update: A firmware update did solve the issue. Please see the judder section of the review for instructions explaining how to install the new firmware.
The firmware you are using is old; it's now at version 04.20.60. Please see the following for more info and see if they fixed the problem: link
The firmware we listed is just the firmware the TV had at the time of our testing. We have installed updates as they have come, and our problems still have not been fixed.
Can you post the sound settings you used to get the best sound possible?
We did not touch the sound settings before testing, and the correct EQ settings will depend on your room and layout. There will also be no change to the low end cutoff of the bass, no matter what settings you change.
I found the LG EF9500
OLED had a beautiful picture in store, though one set had both a diffuse vertical shadow on highlights and a line of bad pixels across 50% of the screen. I worry about image retention when watching aspect ratios other than 16:9, particularly old 4:3 movies, as well as static Time Warner Cable pause frames, guide and menus. I am still using a Panasonic plasma, and have never had trouble with burn in. Is OLED safe to buy in this case? Thanks.
Yes. We don't expect OLED TVs to be any worse than plasma or to take any additional special care. Like for any new TVs, just make sure there isn't any obvious issues in the first couple days or else just return it. We do recommend the OLED TVs for their excellent picture quality so if you are interested by one, don't hesitate to buy.
I have returned two 65" EF9500s. The first had perfect, even blacks, but had uneven bright pink and blue patches that did affect the bright video color. I exchanged it and checked the new TV at the store for bright color uniformity, and it looked very good.
The first movie I watched on it when I got it home was Star Wars: the Force Awakens and I immediately saw massive lines in the dark video - very distracting. So I ran a 10% dark gray test on it and it had startling amounts of banding. So I returned it.
I will check the next one at the store both for bright and dark colors before I leave the store with it. Best Buy said they have a three-time return policy. I guess that by three times I will be frustrated enough that I won't really care, but this is awfully silly. I just can't figure out how to get a good TV in this market, something that works the way it's supposed to. I am temporarily watching an old CCFL direct-lit 40" LG TV that produces an excellent, even, uniform picture, with good colors. This TV is 10 years old.
Are those color imperfections something that owners just have to live with if they want OLED? My old 60" plasma blows this thing out of the water as far as quality and build. I just want a high-quality TV that works right. These manufacturers are not making it easy. You would think for for $5,000 that you would pretty much have a shoe-in. It makes me wish they would bring plasma back and just charge more for it.
Unfortunately, those kinds of color uniformity issues are very common for OLED. It's nearly a certainty that any OLED unit will have them to some degree. Your choices are either to live with those problems or to get LED and live with the problems that technology has. A perfect TV does not exist yet.
Why does the score keep changing on this model? I just checked a few days ago it was an 8.9. Thanks.
The scores do change, as we are always trying to improve our scoring system. The weightings have been adjusted for all TVs to better reflect our experience using them. Our opinion of the TV has not changed.
Hey love y'alls site y'all do a really great job. I'm a gamer and I'd like to have the picture quality of a OLED TV but I'm wanting to try to future proof myself by getting a 4K wide color gamut TV but all the ones y'all have reviewed has a kinda high input lag (that's in my budget anyway XD) but I was wondering if y'all had any plans to test anymore OLED TVs this year or if you'd just recommend I get a LED TV I don't know if it helps but my budget is $2500 and if it's a really good TV I might be able to go to $3000 sorry if I over explained myself but thanks for your help
At the moment, there aren't really any TVs within your budget that meet those requirements. We plan to review the LG OLED C6 in the coming months, but this is also more expensive. There are advantages to an OLED, such as the almost perfect pixel response and excellent picture quality but for the moment, go with an LED TV. The Samsung KS8000
is a great pick, it has excellent picture quality with good motion blur and input lag. The biggest downside is that this picture quality rapidly degrades when viewed from the side, unlike an OLED TV.
So if you bought an expensive car that has serious issues or breaks down within three months, you are okay with repair? Screen to TV is like transmission to car, so you would happily have a repaired car. Please don't be such a hypocrite.
The frustration is understandable, but after replacing the panel the TV will perform as it should. The result is the same whether it is repaired or replaced.
I decided to finally step up to a 65 inch and give into 4k. Coming from a plasma I know I'm going to give up on inky blacks for brighter whites. After looking up your reviews I had the Samsung ks8000 as a primary option and the Samsung KS9000
(if given the right price) as a second option. But just recently I found the lg EG9600
in 65" (brand new) for a whopping $2500. Almost seems to go to be true but seeing that I saw the TV on Amazon, I don't think I will have issues pertaining to quality. I will be using my Xbox One S as my main hub for 4k HDR. I will be playing games, streaming mostly shows (Netflix, Amazon). I also have a lot of Windows in my living room but only keep a few open. My question is should I stick with the Samsung or take a second look at the OLED considering the price?
If you want HDR with the LG OLED EG9600
, be warn that there is 2 versions of this TV, The UA and UB and only the UB version support HDR via HDMI. So if you want to use the Xbox One S as your main hub for 4k HDR, buy it only if you can be 100% sure that you will get the EG9600 version UB (it is written on the box). If not you will be better with the Samsung KS8000
We are not taking any more questions for this product because we no longer have it in our lab.