LG B7/B7A OLED TV Review

Reviewed Nov 07, 2017 at 10:24 am
LG B7/B7A OLED Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
8.6
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
9.3
Movies
8.4
TV Shows
8.3
Sports
8.6
Video Games
9.1
HDR Movies
8.6
HDR Gaming
8.0
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the LG B8 OLED
Type OLED
Sub-Type
WRGB
Resolution 4k

The LG B7 is a high-end 4k OLED smart TV with exceptional picture quality thanks to its infinite contrast ratio and wide viewing angle. It produces little motion blur, and its ability to reproduce a very wide gamut of colors and relatively high peak brightness helps it produce an impressive HDR image. It does, however, tend to retain a ghost of static images temporarily and isn't quite as bright as some LCD TVs. It offers the same performance as the B7P found at warehouse stores like Costco and Sam's club.

Our Verdict

8.6 Mixed Usage

The LG B7 is a great TV for a mixed usage. Its picture quality is remarkable, and it features a large set of powerful features that make it a well-rounded set fit for almost any usage.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
9.3 Movies

Exceptional 4k TV for watching movies in a dark room. The LG B7's ability to shut off individual pixels gives it perfectly uniform blacks and an infinite contrast ratio. Combined with its 4k resolution, this makes for an exceptional home theater.

See our Movies recommendations
8.4 TV Shows

Great TV for watching TV shows in a brighter environment. The B7's screen finish takes good care of reflections, and it gets just bright enough not to appear dim in most environments.

See our TV Shows recommendations
8.3 Sports

Great TV for watching sports. The B7's OLED screen displays very uniform colors so grassy football fields don't have any banding or blotches. It also handles motion very well, making fast moving players look very fluid.

See our Sports recommendations
8.6 Video Games

The B7A is a great 4k gaming TV. It's very responsive thanks to its low input lag and low amount of motion blur. Its overall great picture quality also helps make video games particularly immersive.

See our Video Games recommendations
9.1 HDR Movies

The LG B7's HDR capabilities are excellent. The very high dynamic range produced by its infinite contrast ratio and its very wide color gamut creates a realistic and vibrant image. It's not the brightest TV, but its capable of brightening small highlights well enough to give a very nice effect.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
8.6 HDR Gaming

Great TV for HDR gaming. The B7's excellent picture quality and HDR capabilities are well retained for gaming, and its input lag is not affected by the type of input. People that find the image too dim might prefer to enable the "Adaptive Contrast" feature which helps brighten up the picture for gaming.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
8.0 PC Monitor

The LG B7 is a good TV to use as PC monitor. Its input lag is low, and it supports even essentials like chroma 4:4:4 as well as more niche features like a 120 Hz input. Unfortunately, some users might not find it bright enough, and some static content can have ghosts remain temporarily if kept on-screen too long.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 8.6 Mixed Usage
  • 9.3 Movies
  • 8.4 TV Shows
  • 8.3 Sports
  • 8.6 Video Games
  • 9.1 HDR Movies
  • 8.6 HDR Gaming
  • 8.0 PC Monitor
Pros
  • Perfectly uniform blacks thanks to infinite contrast
  • Great picture even from an angle
  • Low input lag for gaming
Cons
  • Static images can get "stuck" temporarily
  • Screen brightness varies with content being displayed (ABL)
  1. Update 3/14/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2. Learn more about our versioned test bench system here.

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Test Results

Design
9.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The design of the LG B7 OLED is excellent. The TV looks impressive, with a very thin screen and thin borders. It doesn't have the front-facing soundbar of the E7, and instead, sits on a stand similar to the B6. Some of the rear-facing inputs may be difficult if placed close to a wall, but the two HDMI and two USB ports on the side are easily accessible.

Design
Stand

The stand of the B7A has a relatively small footprint and looks very similar to the B6 we reviewed last year. It has a clear support, which looks good and overall feels stable.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 8.9" x 22.2"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x200

The rear of the TV is minimal but looks good. Some of the rear facing inputs may be difficult to access if placed close to a wall though.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.43" (1.1 cm)

The borders are thin and look great. The edges of the TV are metal and feel well-built.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.97" (5.0 cm)

The TV is very thin when viewed from the side, and the top half of the TV is only as thick as the OLED screen and backing. The bottom half of the TV houses the components and is thicker, but still will stick close to a wall if mounted.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
93 °F (34 °C)
Average Temperature
90 °F (32 °C)

The TV actually stays quite cool when playing HDR content, but it may get warmer when playing bright SDR content.

9.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the B7 is great, and all of the parts feel very premium and well constructed. The only gripe is that the top half of the screen feels a bit too thin and may flex slightly when it is being moved.

Picture Quality
10
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
Inf : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

As with other LG OLED TVs, the B7 has a perfect contrast ratio. As a result, it makes for a perfect TV for a dark home theater.

10
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
N/A

As the technology used in OLED TVs completely shuts off the emissive pixels when displaying black, there is no need for a local dimming option on the B7A.

7.9
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
384 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
419 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
415 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
415 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
416 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
144 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
407 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
403 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
405 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
394 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
140 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.070

Plot over time

Good SDR peak brightness, good enough for most bright rooms. Like other OLED TVs, the B7A unfortunately has an Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL), though in this case it only lowers the brightness for scenes with a very high average brightness like our 100% white window. This means that the ABL should be rarely noticeable while watching normal content. However, it is very noticeable during PC monitor use as white windows are common. Overall, the B7A's brightness is very similar to its siblings the OLED C7 and E7P, but behind many high end LCD TVs like the Sony X930E and Vizio P Series 2017.

7.6
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
670 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
822 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
768 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
479 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
313 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
144 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
753 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
734 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
471 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
300 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
140 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.102

Plot over time

Good HDR peak brightness. Because each OLED pixel is its own light source, in a typical HDR scene the TV can use the power savings from the dim pixels to make the bright pixels even brighter, producing a good brightness in our real scene test. This isn't as helpful in very bright scenes like our 50% white window test, where the TV's Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) dims the TV significantly, but luckily such bright scenes are rare in HDR content. Overall, the brightness is similar to the OLED C7 and E7P, but not as good as some high end LCD TVs like the Sony X930E and the Samsung Q9F. If users find the B7A too dim, increasing the 'Dynamic Contrast' setting will make the scene brighter but won't change the brightness of highlights.

8.2
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
1.232 %
50% DSE
0.155 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.384 %
5% DSE
0.116 %

The overall gray uniformity of the B7A is great. On the 50% gray test picture, some warmer patches are visible (on the left side of the screen), but those are mainly visible when displaying a uniform gray color and do not affect normal content. Since the screen is pretty even, no dirty screen effect is visible when watching sports like football or hockey.

On the 5% gray, some really faint vertical line are visible, but this is similar to other 2017 LG OLED TVs. Luckily, this is only visible in dark room and while looking at very dark uniform colors, which is fairly rare in TV shows or movies.

8.2
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Shift
34 °
Brightness
75 °
Black Level
75 °

Great viewing angle, far better than most LED TVs, as expected of an OLED. Blacks remain perfectly black and the brightness decreases only slowly at an angle, though colors do degrade more quickly. Overall, this TV is an excellent choice for a room where people often sit to the side of the TV and view it at an angle.

10
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.208 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The B7 has a perfect black uniformity since when displaying a perfect blacks image, the screen is completely shut off and unlike LCD TV, no light bleed occurs.

9.4
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.5 %
Indirect Reflections
0.2 %

The B7 is excellent at handling reflections. It has the same glossy finish and anti-reflective coating as the C7 and E7, which works very well to reduce the intensity of direct reflections and glare. The glossy screen doesn't distort or reduce the sharpness of the screen. As with other high-end TVs, there is a purple tint as a result of the coating which is most visible when the TV is off. Most people won't mind this, and overall, the reflection handling is fine even in a bright room.

7.1
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Expert (Dark Room)
White Balance dE
3.55
Color dE
3.32
Gamma
2.44
Color Temperature
6098 K

Out of the box, when set on 'ISF Expert (Dark Room)', the accuracy of the B7A could be better. Both the white balance dE and color dE are high enough so that most enthusiasts would notice the inaccuracies. Note that the 'technicolor Expert mode' has the same accuracy than the 'ISF Expert (Dark Room).

The gamma is a bit higher than our desired 2.2 target and if you do not intend to calibrate your TV and notice that there is black crush (loss of detail in the dark region of the screen), you could simply raise the gamma in the 'Expert controls' menu and it should fix this issue.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Expert (Dark Room)
White Balance dE
0.15
Color dE
1.07
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6503 K

After calibration, all the issues were corrected and the white balance dE and color dE was brought down significantly and are now well below what most people would notice. The gamma value is right on our 2.2 target and the curve is now following our target curve very well. The calibration process went well and the 2 points and the 20 points white balance correction were easy to apply and the precision of both helped considerably. The color space management system was also precise and easy to use.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Low-quality content such as DVDs is upscaled well. The image is a bit more blocky than some other TVs, but all of the details are preserved well.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

HD content such as sports look good, with only minor haloing artifacts visible along edges.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Full-HD content such as 1080p cable, streaming and Blu-rays look good upscaled. The image is clear and detailed.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

No issues can be seen when watching 4k content on the B7A.

8.6
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
96.31 %
DCI P3 uv
98.65 %
Rec 2020 xy
71.56 %
Rec 2020 uv
75.66 %

Great wide color gamut, one of the best of 2017, and only a little worse than the Samsung QLEDs like the Q7. Saturated colors in HDR content will be well represented. The TV's accuracy with the colors within its gamut could be better, as almost all points artificially undershoot their targets and saturated cyan turns green.

The EOTF in the technicolor picture mode (with Active HDR on) follows the target PQ curve almost perfectly until it clips at its peak brightness. The EOTFs in Game and PC modes have similarly great accuracy. Raising the 'Dynamic Contrast' setting above 'Low' will make the EOTF brighter, which may be useful when watching HDR in a bright room.

Update 11/10/2017: The Active HDR feature ('Dynamic Contrast: Low') doesn't work in Game or PC mode; 'Dynamic Contrast: Low' only applies normal dynamic contrast (brightens the EOTF a bit near the high end). Our Game and PC mode EOTF tests were done with 'Dynamic Contrast: Off'.

7.3
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
81.9 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
44.4 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
63.7 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
33.7 %

Decent color volume. The OLED panel is able to show its wide color gamut at incredibly low brightness, which is great. Unfortunately, it loses a lot of color volume at high brightness because it cannot make saturated colors nearly as bright as it can make pure white, because of its RGBW pixel structure.

8.5
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.105 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.102 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.085 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.080 dE

The B7 can display our gradient test image very good and no banding normally seen on 8-bit TV can be noticed. Some imperfection can be seen in darker colors and grayscale, but this is in lines with other OLED TV like the C7 and E7P and it does not cause major banding when watching normal content.

Update 2017-11-07: Note that when the TV is set to 'PC' mode, via the input menu, the banding is much more visible, and this for all picture modes.

6.0
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
1.22 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.35 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.20 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.14 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.12 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.10 %

The LG B7 has a bad result on our image retention test, as we detected some faint ghost remnant of the Rtings logos even after 10 minutes of recovery. This is a worse result than we tested on the C7 and the E7, which were both better on this test and this result is more in line with the 2016 B6. This is likely only due to panel variance though, as all 2017 LG OLED TVs should perform very similarly as the panel used in those supposed to be the same. Playing normal video content for a couple more minutes did make any image retention that was still visible go away though.

As mention on for the C7, if you find out that your TV has some image retention after playing video games for a long time or after having watched a news channel with a static logo, there is a function in the 'Picture settings' page, under 'OLED Panel Settings' named 'Pixel Refresher' that will 'recalibrate' the screen to get rid of any imprinted images that may still visible. This procedure lasts around one hour, and the TV needs to be shut off for it to work. This can usually take care of any image retention if watching normal content (without static image) did not make it go away.

'Screen Shift' is also another feature that will 'move' slightly (couple pixels) the screen to make the image retention less problematic. For our test, this feature was turned on but there was still some image retention anyway, so this function is not perfect.

Note that this temporary retention is not the same as permanent image retention (burn-in), which requires looking at the performance of the TV over a long time (months or years).

Note that there is a variation in temporary image retention between units.

1.0
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Yes

OLED panels such as the B7 do have the possibility of experiencing burn in. You can see our investigation into this here.

Picture Quality
Pixels
Motion
10
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
0.2 ms
100% Response Time
1.0 ms

Near-perfect pixel response time, far better than any LED TV, as expected of an OLED. All the blur in the image is due to 60 fps persistence, no response time blur can be seen. The black to 20% dark grey transition does have some overshoot, but this shouldn't be too visible.

Unfortunately, this lack of motion blur is a disadvantage when watching movies when motion interpolation is not enabled, as the very low frame rate of movies is made more obvious by the lack of blur, causing them to look more stuttery than normal.

10
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The OLED panel dims without using any PWM, which is great because PWM adds double image artifacts. Some small flicker is measurable, but this shouldn't be visible.

0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps
0 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
No
120 Hz for 120 fps
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
0 Hz

Unfortunately this TV doesn't have the option to add flicker using black frame insertion, which would reduce persistence blur when gaming or using motion interpolation, like the Sony A1E does.

10
Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

The TV can use the soap opera effect to interpolate the frame rate of nearly any content into smooth 120 Hz. This significantly reduces motion blur, but this smooth motion may appear strange to those not used to it. Unfortunately this TV's interpolation isn't as good as on some other TVs: the motion stuttered at times during normal content, especially cartoons, and artifacts would appear in rare cases.

To activate motion interpolation for lower frame rate content, set 'TruMotion' to 'User' and raise the 'De-Judder' slider. For 60 fps content, raise the 'De-Blur' slider.

Update 11/13/2017: The motion interpolation performance has been clarified in the text.

4.5
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
40.7 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
15.7 ms

The LG B7A is bad at showing low frame rate content without stutter. The frame transition occurs almost instantaneously which can be quite jarring, as the image is static for about 40ms each frame of a movie. This is especially noticeable with wide panning shots. The only way to reduce this stutter is to increase the frame rate of the content through motion interpolation.

10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The B7P can display 24p movies without judder from 24p, 60p, and 60i sources.

For 24p movies playing from 24p sources like DVD or Blu-rays players, the 'Real Cinema' option must be turned on, and the 'TrueMotion' set to 'User' with both the 'De-Judder' and 'De-Blur' sliders set to zero.

For 24p movies playing over 60p/60i sources like cable boxes, simply turn on the 'Real cinema' option to remove judder.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
N/A
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors
N/A

The LG B7 has a native 120Hz panel, but doesn't support any variable refresh rate features such as FreeSync and G-Sync.

Inputs
9.1
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
21.5 ms
1080p @ 60Hz + HDR
21.4 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
63.1 ms
1080p @ 120Hz
21.7 ms
4k @ 60Hz
21.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
21.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
21.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
21.4 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
63.2 ms
4k With Interpolation
104.9 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
4k with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A

Excellent low input lag, good enough for all but the most competitive gamers. Normally only the 'Game' picture mode has low input lag, however when in 'PC' mode all picture modes have low input lag. 4:4:4 color is only properly displayed in PC mode, but it's usually only relevant for PC use anyways. Overall, the input lag is very similar to the LG C7 and most Samsung TVs, and better than most Sony TVs, but not quite as good as the LG SJ9500 and TCL P607.

8.3
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60Hz
No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
No

All common resolutions are supported. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 color is only supported when 'HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color' is enabled. 4:4:4 color is only shown properly when the input's icon is set to 'PC' (aka PC mode). 1080p @ 120 Hz is an officially supported resolution, and thus doesn't need a custom resolution like on Sony TVs.

Inputs
Side Inputs
Inputs
Rear Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 3
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 0
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 0
Composite In 1
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 0
SD/SDHC 0
Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
Dolby Vision
Yes
HLG
Yes
3D
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth
No
ARC
Yes (HDMI 2)
USB 3.0
Yes (1)
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
CEC Yes
MHL No
Variable Analog Audio Out No
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)
Sound Quality
6.4
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
100.79 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
3.01 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
3.10 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
5.55 dB
Max
84.7 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
4.06 dB

Passable frequency response. The LG's room correction feature helps the TV track our target quite well, but it does have a slight overemphasis in the treble range that makes the TV sound a little bright. However, the TV uses a significant amount of dynamic range compression to reach higher volume settings, and it doesn't make it very loud.

6.2
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.587
Weighted THD @ Max
0.938
IMD @ 80
1.37 %
IMD @ Max
21.47 %

Average distortion performance. The LG B7's THD levels are relatively low at most volumes, but IMD rises significantly when the volume is increased. Since minor aliasing appears at higher levels for very little actual volume gain, it is better to keep the slider under the 50% mark.

Smart Features
8.5
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS WebOS
Version 3.7
Ease of Use
Easy
Smoothness
Average
Time Taken to Select YouTube
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
7 s
Advanced Options
Many

The WebOS interface is divided into three parts; apps, settings and inputs; each with its own button on the remote, quick menu and full menu. The quick menus list many common items to save time, while the full menus give a wealth of deeper options. This split structure saves time but may be confusing for first-time users.

0
Smart Features
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