LG B8 OLED TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
8.8
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: LG C9 OLED
9.3
Movies
8.5
TV Shows
8.7
Sports
9.0
Video Games
9.0
HDR Movies
8.8
HDR Gaming
8.4
PC Monitor
Type : OLED
Sub-Type
:
WRGB
Resolution : 4k

The LG B8 is a 4k OLED TV with excellent picture quality, especially when viewed in a dark room. It can produce perfectly deep blacks due to the emissive technology, and has excellent motion handling with an instantaneous response time. The image also remains accurate when viewed at an angle, which is good for those who have wide seating. It isn't without downsides though, as the screen brightness changes depending on the content which can be distracting, and there may be a risk of permanent burn-in if you watch long periods with static content.

Test Results
Design 9.5
Picture Quality 8.6
Motion 8.8
Inputs 9.0
Sound Quality 7.2
Smart Features 8.2
Pros
  • Perfect deep blacks
  • Almost no motion blur in sports and video games
  • Very good picture quality when viewed at an angle
Cons
  • Brightness depends on screen content due to Automatic Backlight Limiter (ABL)
  • Risk of permanent burn-in with long periods of static content
  1. Update 2/28/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3. Learn more about our versioned test bench system here.
  2. Update 12/10/2018: We have retested the B8 on firmware 04.10.06, and have updated the peak brightness and input lag.

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55" OLED55B8
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9.5

Design

Curved : No

The design of the LG OLED B8 is excellent. It has a feel of premium both due to the build quality and the sleek design. The design is almost identical to the C8 but with a different stand. On the B8, the stand that supports the TV is not very wide and will fit in most tables. If you choose to wall mount the TV most inputs will be easily accessible. The operating temperature of the TV is good and you should have no issues with it. Care should be taken when handling the TV as the panel is extremely thin and can be easily damaged if not handled properly.

Stand

The stand is metallic and provides a steady support to the TV. It is quite narrow and will fit in most tables. It resembles the stand of last years' C7.

Footprint of the 65" TV stand: 21.7" x 8.9"

Back
Wall Mount : VESA 300x200

The back of the TV is plain and resembles a lot the back of previous OLED LG TVs. There is only basic cable management as you can see here. The HDMI inputs are facing to the side and would be easily accessible if wall mounted, but there are a few secondary ones on the back that are facing outwards and may be difficult to access. The control button is located on the back to the side, similar to the C8.

Borders
Borders : 0.39" (1.0 cm)

The borders of the LG B8PUA are very thin and look great and look very similar to the LG C8.

Thickness
Max Thickness : 1.93" (4.9 cm)

The TV panel is extremely thin like most latest LG OLEDs. The thickness of the TV, which is still quite thin, is only due to the electronics compartment.

Temperature
Maximum Temperature
:
99 °F (37 °C)
Average Temperature
:
90 °F (32 °C)

The TV runs fairly cool, and will not cause any issues.

9.0 Build Quality

The build quality of the LG OLED B8 is excellent. There are no obvious build issues or gaps and the TV feels solid. You should be careful when moving the TV because of the thin screen.

8.6

Picture Quality

The picture quality of the LG OLED B8 is remarkable. It has an infinite contrast ratio that delivers perfect blacks and thus it is great for watching movies in a dark room.  It has good viewing angles that allow viewing from the side without compromising the picture quality, and it has excellent reflection handling. These features make it a good choice for large bright rooms. When viewing HDR content, the highlights are bright and the colors are rich. Gray uniformity is also very good and will please sports fans.

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

The LG B8 has an infinite contrast ratio as it can switch off individual pixels and thus create perfect blacks when viewed in dim environments. This is great for movies enthusiasts.

10 Local Dimming
Local Dimming
:
No
Backlight
:
N/A

Just like all OLEDs, the B8 has no need for local dimming as it can switch off each pixel individually. The video is for reference only.

7.3 SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
288 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
:
312 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
:
310 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
:
310 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
:
310 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
:
146 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
:
298 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
:
298 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
:
297 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
:
298 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
:
141 cd/m²
SDR ABL
:
0.053

The SDR peak brightness of the LG OLED B8 is very good. The TV gets bright enough to be placed in most rooms. The small highlights look bright in SDR content, but as the whole screen brightness increases the Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) is activated and the screen gets dimmer. This is not an abnormal behavior and is also encountered in other premium models like the LG C8, which has very similar behavior. The difference in brightness between the B8 and C8 may be due to panel variance. The B8 is significantly less bright than the LED Sony X900F or the QLED Samsung Q8FN.

Update 11/27/2018: We retested with the latest firmware (04.10.06) and found that, while the HDR brightness remained generally unchanged, the SDR brightness decreased by 50 cd/m² in all but the 100% window which remained unchanged. Results found above are updated.

7.2 HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
548 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
:
722 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
:
693 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
:
487 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
:
318 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
:
159 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
:
660 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
:
662 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
:
472 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
:
307 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
:
153 cd/m²
HDR ABL
:
0.090

The HDR peak brightness is decent. This is worse than the C8 model which gets about 100 nits brighter in our real scene test pattern. Part of this may be due to panel variance, and part of it may be due to an algorithm change with a firmware update. We will retest our C8 to see if the brightness behavior has changed. Although the TV can display small highlights well, as larger areas of the screen are lit the level of the brightness diminishes due to the Automatic Bright Limiter (ABL) and this is not good. The LG B8 can't get as bright as high-end LED TVs like the Sony X900F or QLED Samsung Q8FN that have excellent HDR brightness.

If you find HDR content too dim, see our recommended settings.

Update 11/27/2018: We retested with the latest firmware (04.10.06) and found that the HDR brightness remained generally unchanged. Results found above are updated.

7.9 Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
:
2.454 %
50% DSE
:
0.131 %
5% Std. Dev.
:
1.490 %
5% DSE
:
0.141 %

The gray uniformity of the LG OLED B8 is very good and most people will not notice any clouding. This makes it a very good TV for sports watching as the great gray uniformity results in very little dirty screen effect during wide panning shots.

However, in the 5% gray uniformity picture there are some vertical bands that are visible when watching dark scenes in a dark room. We've found similar behavior on other 2018 OLED like the C8 and A8F. This is only rarely noticeable in a dark room.

8.8 Viewing Angle
Color Washout
:
48 °
Color Shift
:
29 °
Brightness Loss
:
67 °
Black Level Raise
:
70 °
Gamma Shift
:
69 °

The viewing angles are very good just like most OLEDs. This makes it a great choice for wide rooms since the picture quality remains good even when watching from the side. When viewed at an angle, colors do shift, but less than LCD TVs with a VA or IPS panel.

10 Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
:
0.315 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
:
N/A

The LG B8 has perfect black uniformity since, like all OLEDs, the pixels can completely shut off. This is especially well suited to watching movies in a dark room.

9.4 Reflections
Screen Finish
:
Glossy
Total Reflections
:
1.5 %
Indirect Reflections
:
0.1 %

The LG B8 has excellent reflection handling. There is a glossy finish that makes reflections more well defined but at a very low intensity. There is a slight purple tint to the reflections due to the antireflective coating. This is very common in other high-end TVs like the C8 and or the Q8FN and is not really noticeable. You should have no problem using this TV in a bright room.

6.9 Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
:
3.72
Color dE
:
3.16
Gamma
:
2.17
Color Temperature
:
5868 K
Picture Mode
:
Expert (Dark Room)
Color Temp Setting
:
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
:
2.2

The out-of-the-box color accuracy is decent. The best results were obtained when the Picture Mode was set to Expert(Dark Room). The white dE and the color dE were greater than our threshold of 3 and some people will notice those inaccuracies. Gamma was at 2.38 and thus shadows will look too bright, whereas the color temperature was warm with red and yellow tones dominating the image.

9.5 Post Calibration
White Balance dE
:
0.11
Color dE
:
1.29
Gamma
:
2.20
Color Temperature
:
6513 K
White Balance Calibration
:
20 point
Color Calibration
:
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
:
Yes

The post calibration color accuracy is remarkable. The white dE is almost perfect and the color dE is well below 3. Gamma is spot on 2.2, and the color temperature is very close to the target of 6500K.

8.0 480p Input

Upscaling of DVDs or other 480p content is good, with no obvious artifacts.

8.0 720p Input

There are no issues when upscaling 720p content.

9.0 1080p Input

Upscaling of 1080p content such as Blu-rays looks good. The image is good and there are no obvious issues.

10 4k Input

Native 4k content is displayed well on the LG B8 with no issues.

8.5 Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
:
Yes
DCI P3 xy
:
96.25 %
DCI P3 uv
:
98.00 %
Rec 2020 xy
:
70.64 %
Rec 2020 uv
:
74.77 %

The LG B8 has an excellent wide color gamut as it covers an impressive amount of the DCI P3 color space and also performs very well in Rec 2020. These results are nearly identical to the C8.

In the Cinema HDR picture mode the TV's EOTF follows the target PQ curve fairly closely, until it starts to roll off gradually to the TV's peak brightness. If you find HDR content too dim you can set the Dynamic Contrast setting to High, which raises the EOTF and brightens most HDR scenes. The EOTF in the Game picture mode is nearly identical to that of Cinema, which is good.

In HDR on our unit the black level was raised on the left side of the screen, but could be fixed by lowering the Brightness setting to 49. We don't expect most B8 units to have this issue, as we've seen a few OLEDs with black level issues in the past, and many have fixed themselves over time. We'll recheck the black level after the TV has 100 hours of cumulative use.

Update 11/15/2018: The TV has been now used for 127 hours, and the black level is no longer raised in HDR.

6.8 Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
75.7 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
37.3 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
59.7 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
29.3 %

The color volume coverage is decent. Although the TV is has a wide color gamut it loses volume at the top because of its WRGB pixel structure. It can use the white subpixel to make white very bright, but it can't do the same to produce saturated colors, and thus the colors are not as bright.

8.8 Gradient
Color Depth
:
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
:
0.091 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
:
0.098 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
:
0.076 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
:
0.082 dE

The gradient on this TV is excellent. Although there is some banding in the above test image, in normal content very little or no banding is visible. We trust the full test results as we have seen this with other LG TVs like the SK8000 and the reason is explained well here.

In HDR, setting MPEG Noise Reduction to Low activates a gradient smoothing feature.

9.9 Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
:
0.03 %
IR after 2 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
:
0.00 %

The LG B8 shows almost no signs of image retention except for minor issues less than 2 minutes after recovery time and this is very hopeful.

Note however, that there is some panel variation even within the same model and some panels may be more or less prone to image retention. For example this is the same panel as the LG C8 we tested which shows more signs of image retention.

At the same time this test is only indicative of short-term image retention and not the permanent burn-in that may occur with prolonged exposure to static images. You can read about the test we are currently running to help us better understand permanent burn-in here.

1.0 Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
:
Yes

Update 11/01/2019: Updated text to include our stance on burn-in.

Although we don't expect most people who watch varied content to have any issues, OLED TVs, such as the LG OLED B8 do have the possibility of experiencing burn in. This TV has three features to decrease the risk of burn-in.

We recommend enabling Pixel Refresher and Screen Shift, and setting Logo Luminance Adjustment to Low.

You can see our investigation into this issue here.

Pixels

With WRGB OLEDs all four subpixels are never on at the same time, so we have two photos.

Alternative pixel picture.

8.8

Motion

The LG B8 has an excellent motion handling. It has an almost instantaneous response time which makes it a great choice for fast-moving content and playing video games. However, this can cause stutter on more slow fps content. Fortunately, the LG has an excellent motion interpolation feature that will do a great job at removing it. 

10 Response Time
80% Response Time
:
0.3 ms
100% Response Time
:
1.1 ms

The response time of the LG OLED B8 is instantaneous and this is great for fast moving content.

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

Just like all OLED TVs, there is no visible backlight flicker. This helps motion appear smoother, but results in some persistence blur. If you want to minimize blur, you can enable the BFI option available in this TV.

8.7 Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
:
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
:
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
:
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
:
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
:
60 Hz

The LG B8P, just like the C8, has an optional BFI mode that can help reduce blur and make the image crisper. It can be enabled by setting 'Motion Pro' to 'On'.

TruMotion (BFI and motion interpolation) is grayed out when displaying 120Hz.

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

The LG B8 has remarkable motion interpolation. It is nearly perfect during slow-moving shots, and it stops if there is too much motion. When fast motion is displayed some people might notice very few artifacts.

To interpolate low fps content to 60Hz, set TruMotion to User and raise the De-Judder slider. To interpolate 60Hz content to 120Hz, raise the De-Blur slider.

If you find the artifacts caused by motion interpolation bothersome, we recommend lowering the interpolation setting to make the algorithm more conservative, but this will also cause motion to look less smooth.

4.7 Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
:
40.6 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
:
15.6 ms

This LG OLED B8 has bad stutter on slow fps content. It has bad stutter on low fps content due to the instantaneous response time. This can result in jarring motion during panning shots on 24p movies. If you find stutter bothersome, you can remove it using the excellent motion interpolation features of the TV.

10 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 LG B8P has excellent handling of judder as it can display 24p movies without judder from the most common sources. To remove judder the Real Cinema option must be turned on.

Update 10/05/2018: We have retested the B8 after firmware 04.10.06, and it is no longer necessary to set TruMotion to 'User' to remove Judder. Simply enabling Real Cinema will remove Judder from all sources on the B8. Like the C8, there is always judder when BFI is enabled.

0 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
1440p VRR Maximum
:
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
:
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors
:
N/A

The LG B8 has a native 120Hz panel but does not support variable refresh rate technology.

9.0

Inputs

The LG B8 has a remarkably low input lag in most input formats. Thus, the TV is very responsive and will please most gamers. It supports most common resolutions including 1080p @ 120Hz and chroma 4:4:4 so it performs very well when used as a PC monitor. However, 1440p is not supported and this might disappoint some hardcore gamers.

9.1 Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
:
21.3 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
41.9 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz
:
21.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
:
21.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
21.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
50.2 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
:
91.9 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
:
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
21.9 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
4k @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
:
N/A
1440p with VRR
:
N/A
4k with VRR
:
N/A
8k with VRR
:
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
:
No

The input lag is excellent.

4:4:4 chroma subsampling is only properly displayed in the PC input mode and when in that input mode, all picture modes have the same low input lag.

In HDR when 4:2:0 chroma is sent there's an extra 120 Hz frame (8.3 ms) of input lag. This bug was also seen on other 2018 LG TVs like the C8 and SK8000, and is explained in more detail in the SK8000 review.

Update 11/27/2018: We retested with the latest firmware update (04.10.06) and found two previous bugs had been fixed. Now 4k in HDR has the same input lag as in SDR and 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR is properly being displayed and has been measured.

8.3 Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
No
1440p @ 120 Hz
:
No
4k @ 60 Hz
:
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
4k @ 120 Hz
:
No
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
:
No
8k @ 60 Hz
:
No

The LG B8 supports most common resolutions without any issue.

4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 or @ 4:2:2 is only supported when HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color is enabled.

4:4:4 Chroma is only properly displayed when the input mode (Input icon) is set to PC.

In PC Mode, Sharpness at 20 means that there is no added sharpness.

Unfortunately, 1440p is not supported on this LG B8.

This TV does not have the new Alpha 9 processor, but it is still able to play our 1080p @ 120Hz test file perfectly at 120Hz without dropping any frames.

HDR in the PC input mode appears to be bugged, as we've seen with many 2018 LG TVs: colors are washed out and have more banding, and 4:4:4 chroma subsampling is not shown properly.

Update 07/24/2018: The PC mode Sharpness setting for no added sharpness was mistakenly written as 0 (The true value is 20). The review has been updated.

Update 11/27/2018: We retested with the latest firmware update (04.10.06) and found 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR is properly displayed.

Input Photos
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 (incl. adapter)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 0
SD/SDHC : 0

Update 05/21/2019: Some regions also have a component input, which, like the composite adapter, requires an included adapter.

Update 01/29/2019: We have received reports that the B8 sold in Australia does have an analog audio jack.

Just like the C8, the LG B8PUA does not have a component input. It supports composite input using the included adapter. It has 3 USB 2.0 ports and no USB 3.0 ports, unlike last years' C7.

The TV does not have an analog audio output. so if you want to connect wireless headphones, you will need a digital to analog converter like this one.

Inputs Specifications
HDR10
:
Yes
HDR10+
:
No
Dolby Vision
:
Yes
HLG
:
Yes
3D
:
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
:
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1
:
No
CEC : Yes
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
:
No
Variable Analog Audio Out : No
Wi-Fi Support : Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)
Audio Passthrough
ARC
:
Yes (HDMI 2)
eARC support
:
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
:
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
:
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
:
Yes

Update 02/27/2019: While the TV doesn't support Atmos passthrough via a Dolby TrueHD carrier signal (common in Blu-ray disks), it is advertised as supporting Atmos passthrough via Dolby Digital Plus, which is the Atmos format used by some sources like Netflix; our testing confirmed this passthrough on the LG C8. We expect this to be true for the LG B8.

7.2

Sound Quality

The LG OLED B8 has an above-average sound quality. It gets quite loud, has a decent punch to its bass, and produces clear dialogue. However, it lacks sub-bass so it won't be able to produce any thump or rumble common to movie and video game effects, and its room correction system isn't very effective. For a better sound, dedicated speakers or a soundbar is recommended (see our recommendations for the best soundbars we've tested).

7.1 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
:
67.27 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
:
3.23 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
:
3.61 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
:
6.09 dB
Max
:
88.4 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
:
4.30 dB

The frequency response is decent. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 67Hz, which is above-average. This means this TV will have a good amount of punch to its bass, but won't be able to produce any thump or rumble in the sub-bass region. The response above the LFE point is quite good too, which is important for reproducing clear dialogue. Also, this TV can get pretty loud, but it would produce a bit of compression and pumping artifacts at maximum volume. Additionally, the room correction system of this TV (One Touch Sound Tuning) wasn't able to remove the modes of our test room around 200Hz.

7.4 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
:
0.113
Weighted THD @ Max
:
0.769
IMD @ 80
:
1.11 %
IMD @ Max
:
2.99 %

The distortion performance is above-average. The overall amount of produced THD at 90dB SPL is low, but there's a noticeable rise in THD under heavier loads. This could make the sound a bit impure at higher volumes.

8.2

Smart Features

Smart OS : WebOS
Version : 4.0

The LG B8PUA runs version 4.0 of LG's smart platform, webOS. Several common apps are pre-installed and you can always download more at LG's content store, though not as many as the Google's Play Store found on Sony TVs. The remote is the same as with other 2018 models like the LG C8 and the SK9000 and works very well. Unlike other 2018 LG OLEDs like the C8 that are equipped with the new Alpha 9 processor, the LG B8 still carries the Alpha 7 processor like last year's LG C7. This, however, should not be a problem as the interface is fast and works well with no major issues. The voice control features that have become a standard in modern TVs work very well and can interface with a variety of smart consumer electronics, like Google Assistant. 

8.5 Interface
Ease of Use
:
Easy
Smoothness
:
Average
Time Taken to Select YouTube
:
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
:
8 s
Advanced Options
:
Many

The interface of the LG B8 is excellent. We did experience some frame drops when quickly going through the menus, but the overall experience is smooth and should not trouble anyone. It uses the Alpha 7 processor and so is slightly less smooth than other 2018 LG TVs which use the Alpha 9 processor, but this isn't very noticeable.

0 Ad-Free
Ads
:
Yes
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