Tips on Acquiring LG OLED TV's?

Zarathustra

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Hey all,

I've been considering picking up a new TV for the living room / home theater for a while. The 60" Panasonic TC60P54U has been an excellent screen for the last almost 9 years, but I think it is finally time. I'm not as well read on TV's as I am on other components, so I figured I'd ask here.

I've been plotting and scheming this thing for a while. Last year I landed on a 77" LG CX as probably the direction I was going. A little bit about my usage scenario:

  • I want the best possible picture for movies and TV
  • The TV will never be used for gaming, so gaming features are uninteresting to me. (I believe Gaming does not belong in the living room under any circumstance)
  • TV Movie watching is primarily in dark rooms at night, so brightness is not terribly important unless it has a huge impact on HDR/Picture quality
  • External surround receiver is used 100%. I do not care about internal TV speaker quality or even if they exist at all. They will never be used.
  • External inputs are used 100% of the time. "Smart" features will never be used. TV will never be connected to any network.
  • 8k is not even under consideration. I consider them a useless gimmick of wasted pixels, and the price is totally not worth it.


The 2021 CES has added a little bit of a twist to this by announcing the C1 and G1 models. It used to be that B models cut some corners on picture quality, but that C models had as good picture quality as you could get. The only thing you got by going up to G and W models were more features (speakers, gallery design, "smart" features, and other useless crap like that) but the latest gen models seem to have thrown a twist in to that logic.

From what I understand, this is the first time the G model actually has picture differences from the C model. The G model apparently has something called EVO mode which offers additional brightness. I haven't been able to find much information about this though. Is it "more brightness" as in, better HDR? If so, it might be worth it. Is it more brightness as in "you can watch TV in a brighter room and still see it". In that case it probably isn't. Mostly this setup is used for night time TV and movie watching, so ambient light is rarely if ever a problem.

The only improvement for the C1 over the Cx seems to be a newer processor. I don't really fully understand what this means and what it does. Does this improve picture quality at all? Or is this just for the on board smart features which - again - will never be used?

Also, even if the pricing weren't ridiculously prohibitive, I consider 8k to be a useless gimmick, as no combination of viewing distance and field of view exists in which 4k does not already outresolve the eye, not to mention that there is essentially no 8k content, so I am not even considering anything 8k.

So, my questions are as follows:

  1. Are any of the features in the C1/G1 worth waiting for over the CX in my use scenario?
  2. If no, are they worth waiting for anyway, in order to try to get a better EOL sale deal on a CX?
  3. Are there any tips or tricks for where to get the best deals on these TV's? I've ordered from Amazon and Crutchfield in the past, but they all seem to have fairly equivalent pricing.
  4. Are there any other models (either non LG, or non OLED) I should be considering? Do Samsung's QLED screens even hold a candle to LG's true OLED?

Appreciate any input from those in the know.
 
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Brian_B

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G1 will have a new brighter screen, but I don't know how much "better" or more expensive it will be. G was always kind of the premium series.

Processor improvements largely deal with upscaling non-4K sources, and being able to provide more power for SmartTV apps (LG runs a version of PalmOS). The LG Smart Remote is the best remote control I've ever used (it's like a Wii controller).

The new series is usually full MSRP until around August, they start to get deals then, and then around Black Friday go on fire sale, and remain pretty cheap until inventory clears. The x1's probably won't see inventory until June+. Superbowl is one of the best times to buy last year's models, and the worst time to buy current year models.

As far as best place to buy one - I do like Crutchfield a lot, and I always start there looking for A/V gear... they don't always have the cheapest deal though. Amazon / Best Buy both have frequent sale. I have bought TVs through all those places, I would say Crutchfield is worth a bit of a premium, but not hundreds of dollars of a premium. Best Buy has the benefit that you can walk out of the store with it (same with Costco - which is another good option to look), but keep in mind you need a big trunk or truck - they want to load them standing, not laying on their side, and most cars can't do that in the back seat with anything larger than a 55". I got my C7 via MassDrop, and shipping took forever (just the way that site works), and now other places have just as good of deals.

As far as "other models" - to my knowledge pretty much all the OLEDs are LG panels, so other than software / processing not going to be a lot of difference. Samsung QLEDs have a much brighter panel, and do better in higher ambient light conditions, but in my experience my C7 has been bright enough under normal use, that would be a personal preference thing. Every now and then if I try to watch something in the middle of the day, I do find myself closing the blinds.

The first time I saw HDR on the OLED though - those blacks... there is nothing even close on any other panel. When I got the TV hung up on my wall, I played one of the Dolby demos on the TV, a nature one, and it was like looking out a real window.
 

Zarathustra

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Lots of great info here, thank you!


G1 will have a new brighter screen, but I don't know how much "better" or more expensive it will be. G was always kind of the premium series.
What I had read was that the panel and picture quality were identical between C and G series, but that they made the G more premium by dressing it up with the sorts of features I will never use in my setup Could be wrong though.

That, and to me, I kind of automatically place any TV that costs more than like $600 or so in the "premium" category. I come from a long line of people who buy the cheapest electronics they can get at the local big box store on sale, because all TV's/Computers/Cameras/whatever are the same right?

Right? :p

Why ever spend any more than the absolute cheapest thing that is offered. That was my parents philosophy, and why I always spent my childhood with the cheapest off-brand knock-offs of absolutely everything. Still to this day I feel a little naughty when I buy anything considered higher end or better :p

Processor improvements largely deal with upscaling non-4K sources, and being able to provide more power for SmartTV apps (LG runs a version of PalmOS)
Hmm. Since this screen will almost exclusively be used for 1080p TV sources and blurays, and some native 4k sources, I'd imagine this doesn't make a huge difference. Upscaling from 1080p is a pretty simple matter of just multiplying by four and smoothing a little bit, right? Not particularly processor intensive. This makes me think maybe it is better to save a buck or two and go with the CX over the C1.

The LG Smart Remote is the best remote control I've ever used (it's like a Wii controller).
My 2015 Samsing JS9000 came with a remote like that, much like a Wii-Mote. It came across as really fancy, but I found it wasn't a particularly useful feature. Years later when I no longer used that TV as a desktop monitor, and moved it to the bedroom my Fiance lost the remote, and it turned out to be surprisingly expensive to replace. Luckily a more generic style TV remote was compatible with it, much cheaper, and I actually like it better than the fancy remote. I never feel the need to wii-mote or speak to my TV through a microphone in the remote.

The new series is usually full MSRP until around August, they start to get deals then, and then around Black Friday go on fire sale, and remain pretty cheap until inventory clears. The x1's probably won't see inventory until June+. Superbowl is one of the best times to buy last year's models, and the worst time to buy current year models.
Hmm. So essentially, right now is one of the best times to buy a CX, or should I maybe wait until we get into the first few days ofFebruary?

If you were shopping, would you buy a CX now, or wait and spend more on a C1?

As far as best place to buy one - I do like Crutchfield a lot, and I always start there looking for A/V gear... they don't always have the cheapest deal though. Amazon / Best Buy both have frequent sale. I have bought TVs through all those places, I would say Crutchfield is worth a bit of a premium, but not hundreds of dollars of a premium. Best Buy has the benefit that you can walk out of the store with it (same with Costco - which is another good option to look), but keep in mind you need a big trunk or truck - they want to load them standing, not laying on their side, and most cars can't do that in the back seat with anything larger than a 55". I got my C7 via MassDrop, and shipping took forever (just the way that site works), and now other places have just as good of deals.
Oh yeah, I learned the "big car or truck" lesson the hard way when I bought my 60" Panny plasma. I thought I had a big car, but there was no way that box was fitting inside no matter what I did. I wound up opening the box in the parking lot and sliding the TV in on it's back (which apparently isn't what you are supposed to do, but it worked, no damage). Having Crutchfield drop it of with a truck, like when I got my 48" JS9000 would be much easier.


As far as "other models" - to my knowledge pretty much all the OLEDs are LG panels, so other than software / processing not going to be a lot of difference. Samsung QLEDs have a much brighter panel, and do better in higher ambient light conditions, but in my experience my C7 has been bright enough under normal use, that would be a personal preference thing. Every now and then if I try to watch something in the middle of the day, I do find myself closing the blinds.

The first time I saw HDR on the OLED though - those blacks... there is nothing even close on any other panel. When I got the TV hung up on my wall, I played one of the Dolby demos on the TV, a nature one, and it was like looking out a real window.
That's pretty much what I figured, but thank you for confirming. At least now I know I'm not overlooking something.

I was leaning towards LG, and I know they make all OLED panels and I trust their products using them more than I do anyone who purchases panels from them, but at the same time I didn't know if because everyone else is thinking this way too, there might be some unusually good deals on Sony OLED's using LG panels as they are discounted out.
 

Brian_B

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In the beginning, all LGs had the same picture - they just varied by trim, built-in speakers, etc.

In 2019, all the units except the B series got a processor bump. They still have the same panels, and the differences between them is supposedly minor, but it’s there. Looking a them at Costco one day - I could not tell, but that’s showroom and hardly cinema level viewing.

In 2021 - the new A series has a 60Hz panel (the rest at 120Hz) in addition to the slower processor. The Evo G series is getting a new, brighter panel. So there will be three “tiers” of LG units this year.

 
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Brian_B

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If I were shopping now - unless you are willing to wait (and pay) for the new G1 screen, or want the new 42” size — I would get a CX in a heartbeat over waiting. It will be some months before prices on the C1s come down.

There is very little functional difference between the CX and C1 — looks like it’s mostly a bump to WebOS 6, and not a lot past that.
 

Strelok

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Best Buy has a warranty that you can buy that covers burn in. Keep in mind it isn't all that cheap, but if you are concerned I would go with them.
 
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