LG E6 OLED Review
|Inputs||4x HDMI 2.0a, 1x Component, 1x Composite, 1x Antenna, 3x USB|
|Streaming Services||Netflix, Amazon, Vudu|
|Display Size||48.7" x 30.2" x 2.2"|
|Display Weight||37.7 lbs.|
|Review Date||June 23, 2016|
|Price||Check on Amazon|
The LG E6 is the best looking TV I’ve ever reviewed. It’s not perfect, but it comes closer than anything else I’ve used to date. There’s no reason to bore you with a long introduction or exciting story: if you can afford it and you want the best TV out there today, the LG E6 OLED is it. It’s compatible with both HDR formats on the market today, covers almost the entire color gamut current content uses, and looks better in action than anything you’ve ever seen.
The only thing keeping me from replacing my Panasonic VT60 plasma with the LG E6 OLED is price. $4,000 for a 55” and $6,000 for a 65” is a lot of money for a TV. What makes the LG E6 worth that is a package that other TVs can’t compete with: absolute blacks, wide viewing angles, cutting edge styling, HDR and WCG support, and even 3D that looks better than the competition. The LG E6 TV is a cut above the competition.
|Inputs:||4x HDMI 2.0a, 1x Component, 1x Composite, 1x Antenna, 3x USB|
|Streaming Services:||Netflix, Amazon, Vudu|
|Display Size:||48.7" x 30.2" x 2.2"|
|Display Weight:||37.7 lbs.|
|Review Date:||June 23, 2016|
|Price:||Check on Amazon|
The E6 is a striking piece of gear. OLED enables the top 2/3rds of the display to be remarkably thin, while the lower 1/3rd includes the inputs and VESA mount. This actually means the TV will mount higher up than other TVs where the VESA holes are in the center of the screen, so be aware of this. You might need to reposition your wall mount if you already have one for the E6 to be at the right height. The rear finish is an attractive metallic blue, though most people will never see it.
HDR is Amazing
Last year I reviewed the Samsung JS9000 which is one of the first TVs that supports HDR and Wide Color Gamut. Using some sample clips from Samsung of Life of Pi and Exodus, you can see highlights that were not possible before. The wider color gamut was noticeable, but the other flaws of the display made the HDR impact less than it could be. On the E6, these same clips are just breathtaking. The ability to have bright, vivid highlights with pure black backgrounds lead to images that jump off the screen. Those same clips, watched by myself and others, now show what HDR can do. A simple demo loop from Sony watched on the E6 shows what is going to be possible going forward. No matter who I showed the E6 to, from videophiles to people that couldn’t care, they always came away impressed by what HDR and WCG can do.
Streaming HDR content also shows this promise. Marco Polo on Netflix might only be a so-so series, but the opening images provide plenty of eye candy. The flickering flames in a dark room jump off the screen. The bright sunrise causes you to need to almost squint and adjust your vision to make out the shadow details on the same screen. Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle features even more of these shots. The flames of a car explosion flicker in vivid orange-red hues that HDTV cannot replicate, while a neon sign in the nighttime is bright and vivid against a dark background. Screenshots cannot do justice to what the LG E6 looks like in person.
The E6 includes a simulated HDR mode, that takes the highlights of standard content and pushes them to HDR brightness levels. While this doesn’t work perfectly, it shows what HDR could do even on older titles. Voldemort and his army attacking Hogwarts in Harry Potter has magical blasts that jump off the screen in a way they can’t without HDR. While you can overuse HDR, when used right it makes things look fantastic.
Watching programs in HDR and WCG is a revelation. Going between the HDR version and the SDR version, you feel as though you are missing something. Daylight scenes actually are bright like daylight. Highlights have a quality you can’t typically find. It provides an image that you can’t help but notice the difference in. As more content becomes available in HDR and WCG, the LG E6 is only going to perform better.
Improved Image Quality
Missing in action for the most part are the “black flames” that plagued dark shadow situations on the prior OLED displays. Certain scenes of The Man in the High Castle would show some small issues here, but some of that might be compression artifacts. Watching the final Harry Potter, which shows this issue on the EG9100, it is either absent, or I cannot notice it as I did before. LG did a great job by going back and fixing the main flaw I had with the prior OLED sets. The longer I spent with the E6, the more the complete absence of these flames was clear. Perhaps they show up sometimes, but before they happened all the time and that is no longer the case.
Even if you just watch 1080p streaming content, the LG E6 offers a big improvement over other displays. My VT60 plasma is still one of the best displays out there, with 40,000:1 contrast ratios and great motion quality. Watching Mr. Robot on Amazon Instant Video, the E6 looks much better than the VT60. Blacks are far improved, and low light shadows are clearer. The VT60 always has had some slight issues with skin tones but those are completely absent on the E6. While most UltraHD sets don’t look any better than a 1080p set with non-UltraHD content, the E6 looks better with everything.
The E6 is at a clear advantage over LCDs when it comes to groups of people. The viewing angles are wide, perfect for a group of people. Sports and video games offer mixed performance compared to LCDs. 34ms of input lag and almost instant response times mean no smearing or ghosting of fast moving images. What the E6 doesn’t have is a black frame insertion mode to improve motion resolution. OLEDs, like all sample-and-hold displays, don’t offer the same motion resolution of a CRT or Plasma. Black frame insertion helps with this, but OLED isn’t there yet. Even without this, the instant response time makes it a great display for sports and gaming in my opinion.
Useful Streaming Services
The LG E6 comes with WebOS 3.0 for its internal streaming apps. Compared to WebOS in the EG9100, WebOS is fast and responsive. Apps load as quick as any external streaming box. You can search across many services and record favorites that are tagged on the screen. If you’re watching The Americans and Mr Robot on Amazon Instant Video along with Better Call Saul on Netflix, they can all be added to the quick access menu.
Currently the Netflix app supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision streaming, while Amazon supports HDR10 but has promised Dolby Vision support. Both of these served up UHD and HDR content with no issues. The Vudu app supports UHD as well with Dolby Vision support. Watching Pacific Rim in UHD HDR it offered the best image I’ve seen with this film to date. I still think the whole plot is a bit cheesy, but I can’t argue with how amazing the image looks and sounds. It even streams in Dolby Atmos, but you can’t get that soundtrack out of the E6 currently.
If you want to stream HDR content from Vudu with Atmos, the Nvidia Shield will do that later in June 2016 with the 3.2 firmware update. The apps are responsive with the recent interfaces on them. The main issue is with the Amazon app, which often brings up the HD version of titles instead of the UHD/HDR ones. If you’re using the favorites option with the LG, the search is always the HD version. You need to search inside of the Amazon app to find the UHD and HDR ones for the best experience.
For calibrations we use CalMAN 2016 from SpectraCal with an i1Pro2 and C6 colorimeters. For HDTV we target the Rec.709 color gamut and the Bt.1886 gamma function. For HDR we use the ST. 2084 EOTF (Electo-optical Transfer Function) and the DCI/P3 color gamut.
The contrast ratio, just like with the EG9100, is infinite. Blacks measure nothing with my meters, while a 10% white field in HDR content is capable of 640 cd/m2. While not the 1,000 cd/m2 that the high-end Samsung SUHD LCDs can hit, the LG has much darker blacks than those displays. This lets the LG E6 easily quality for the UltraHD Premium specification for black and white levels.
Pre-calibration the ISF Expert modes on the E6 are good. The average Grayscale dE2000 is below 2.0, and all the color measurements have an average below 3.0. Post calibration this numbers fall down even more, with an average grayscale dE2000 below 0.7 and color errors at 2.0 or lower.
Measuring the color gamut coverage, we see 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut and 69% coverage of the Rec.2020 gamut. For all the details on calibration, including HDR calibration information, see the full Calibration section.
There are a few little quibbles with the LG E6 OLED at this point. On panning shots in The Man in the High Castle, you can see some judder present. This is likely 24p content sent as 60p content though Amazon causing it, as we don’t see this judder with 24p Blu-ray films. The LG E6 has no issues with judder on 60p or 24p content, but does with 24p content inside of a 60p signal. Since Amazon and Netflix send 24p content as 60p, this means you’ll get judder on films you stream from them.
Finally, the remote isn’t back-lit. Since OLED has perfect blacks, it can lead to a dark room when watching a movie at night. The more time I spent with the E6, the more I got annoyed that the remote on a $6,000 TV was not back-lit. Perhaps everyone using this will have a universal remote (like the back-lit Harmony Elite I use), but it still should be required to have one included.
LG E6 OLED Conclusions
I can say that I’ve never seen a better TV than the LG E6 OLED. The shadow crush issue is fixed, and the support for both current HDR standards means it works with all content you can get today. The updated design makes mounting it much easier than before and the updated WebOS is improved. Wide viewing angles make it great for a group, and the video performance just cannot be touched.
There might be a better TV out there, but I haven’t seen it or talked to anyone that has. If you want the best TV out there today, you should get the LG E6. As I write this I’m still trying to figure out a way to keep it myself so I don’t have to go back to my old plasma. The E6 is that good, and makes everything else look a bit dull by comparison.
|Pros:||The best looking TV we have ever used. HDR10 and Dolby Vision support, wide color gamut, infinite contrast ratios, wide viewing angles, and fantastic design make for a TV that everyone will want.|
|Cons:||The remote could be backlit, and black frame insertion to improve motion would be nice.|
|Summary:||Despite a couple of small flaws, the LG E6 OLED is the best TV we have used to date, and what we would pick for ourselves if we needed a TV today.|
|Pros||The best looking TV we have ever used. HDR10 and Dolby Vision support, wide color gamut, infinite contrast ratios, wide viewing angles, and fantastic design make for a TV that everyone will want.|
|Cons||The remote could be backlit, and black frame insertion to improve motion would be nice.|
|Summary||Despite a couple of small flaws, the LG E6 OLED is the best TV we have used to date, and what we would pick for ourselves if we needed a TV today.|
|Value||4 / 5|
|Performance||5 / 5|
|Overall||5 / 5|