This 55in 4K OLED is the real McCoy, the genuine article – or so its ‘UHD Premium’ certification would have you believe. Sounds fancy, right? Well, all this industry tag really tells you is that the LG we have here meets the must-have ‘premium’ specs for resplendent TV viewing.
It’s our job to let you know whether it comes good on that considerable promise. Thankfully, that task is easier than even Germany’s group at the Euros this summer.
HDR: It's VHS vs Betamax all over again
With HDR support and a 10-bit panel capable of producing more colours than the costume department on a Wes Anderson movie (or, technically speaking, over 90 per cent of the DCI P3 colour standard), LG’s C6 is a truly stunning television. Unlike rival LED sets from Samsung, Sony and Philips, this TV is comprised of an OLED panel. The benefit? This C6 can go blacker than King Joffrey’s heart and will dazzle your senses with a minimum peak brightness of 540 nits. In TV terms, this is a whole lot of nits.
It also boasts support for both HDR standards: HDR10 and Dolby Vision. The latter format is Dolby’s own HDR solution and the alternative to HDR10, which has been adopted by Amazon, Netflix and Ultra HD Blu-ray. Netflix also streams in Dolby Vision, and film studios are in talks on the disc front.
Whichever standard wins out in the end, you needn’t worry. Since the LG C6 plays ball with both, it’ll devour any HDR content it’s fed.
You know how everyone wouldn’t stop gushing on about Breaking Bad two years ago? Meeting anyone with a 4K OLED TV is a bit like that, minus the plot spoilers.
Aside from delivering great picture quality, these sets are impossibly thin. The C6’s svelte, curved frame is more slender than some smartphones, while even its protruding power pack is slimline to an extent that Schweppes would be proud of.
LG’s foolproof, granny-friendly WebOS smart platform also celebrates its second birthday here, not with a bouncy castle party, but with an update. The new 3.0 version is just as slick and intuitive and like the class boffin who’s returned to school after spending the summer at an academic camp, it’s evolved into an even bigger smarty-pants with three ace new features.
The first is called Magic Zoom and lets you magnify anything on the screen, and pause and screenshot it if you see fit. It’s kind of like goal-line technology, expect you can use it on The Great British Bake off. Elsewhere, Magic Mobile Connection connects your smartphone to the telly via the LG TV Plus app so you can share content from small screen to big, while a new Magic Remote – combining an on-screen cursor with physical buttons for when your arms get tired – has had a makeover so it’s now more geared to control set-top boxes.
There’s a greater focus on recommended content too – a clear ‘we search for programmes so you don’t have to’ mentality – and plenty to entertain your alter-coach-potato-ego as well: BBC iPlayer, Demand5, Amazon, Netflix and Google Play. The addition of Freeview Play at the end of the month means that all the Freeview channels and the full flush of catch-up TV services (ITV Player, All4, BBC iPlayer and Demand5) will be under one roof.
A feast for your eyes
And now it’s playtime. We don’t have the patience to save the best till last, plugging the Panasonic DMP-UB900 4K Blu-ray player straight into one of the LG’s three 4K- and HDR-ready HDMI inputs and spinning our much-loved Mad Max: Fury Road Ultra HD Blu-ray.
Upon detecting the disc’s HDR10-ness, the LG kicks into a special picture mode – HDR Standard, Bright or Vivid – the former our favourite for the leeway it offers with tweaking settings. The result? A two-hour rip-roaring, adrenalin-fuelled car chase that’s as polished and unruffled as a Lego Man’s hair.
The film’s graphic aesthetic and eyeball-exploding colours are a visceral assault and the LG makes it look like eye candy, with every pixel seemingly in on HDR’s promise: to offer brighter, more subtle and realistic colours. It’s a little too much on the rich side to call it the most natural-looking palette we’ve clapped eyes on, but whoever went tooth and nail to get the film’s colour grading right will see it pay off here.
The picture is not only cleaner than Monica Geller’s flat, but a real stickler for detail too. And with excellent viewing angles, the OLED55C6V won’t punish those that have given up their central spot on the sofa to get more nachos either.
Despite all this, there’s no reason to consign your Blu-ray collection to the bin just yet. This LG is the skilful upscaler we wanted 4K tellies to be three years ago, and perfectly watchable with everything we throw at it (yes, even an ‘80s Only Fools and Horses episode on Gold).
As for sound? Skinny TVs often give you feeble quality, but LG’s partnership with audio specialists Harman Kardon ensure the C6 is perfectly listenable and significantly more full-bodied than its physique suggests. While you’re still best off investing in a decent soundbar or surround package, there’s there’s no shortage of clarity, detail or volume in this TV.
LG OLED55C6V Verdict
Sat there waiting for us to burst your bubble? No need. As committed to HDR and 4K as a Texan is to the Republican Party, the OLED55C6V may as well have ‘future-proofed’ stamped across its forehead. And with a picture like that, sends us into a televisual nirvana you’ll no doubt want to get high off yourself.
Packed full of tech with a jaw-dropping performance, this LG C6 does plenty to justify its prohibitive asking price. It’s the TV your overdraft was made for.