The LG OLED C8 is a great 4k OLED TV with excellent picture quality. The emissive technology allows it to produce perfect blacks, which is excellent for dark rooms. The image also remains accurate when viewed at an angle, which is great for those with wide seating. It performs well with HDR content, as it can produce very bright and saturated highlights. The motion handling and input lag are also excellent, so it feels very responsive to gamers or PC users. It isn't perfect though, as the brightness changes depending on the screen content and static images shouldn't be shown for long on the TV due to temporary image retention and the risk of burn-in.
The design of the LG 2018 C8 is excellent. The stand is wide but very sturdy and well built. The frame around the screen and stand are made of aluminum and seem well built. The stand is designed to help direct sound throughout the room, but due to its shape, it is not possible to place a soundbar directly in front of the TV. The TV is more uniform in color (black and dark gray) compared to the black and white design of the B7. Similar to other LG OLED TVs we have reviewed, there is only basic cable management.
The stand is wider than last year's C7, this time taking up nearly the full width of the TV, so it may be hard to fit on some tables. It supports the TV well and is very sturdy. It is made of aluminum with a hard plastic finish.
Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 35.0" x 9.2"
The rear of the LG C8PUA is very similar to the C7. Basic cable management, only a small removable cable guide as seen here. The 4 HDMI inputs face to the side, but the composite input is rear facing and may be difficult to access if the TV is wall mounted. The controls are located on the back to the side, similar to the C7.
The borders of the LG OLED C8 are very thin and look very good. There is almost no gap between the border and the first row of pixels.
The top half of the screen is exceptionally thin, comparable to last year's C7. The bottom half houses the electronics and is thin and it sits flush to a wall when mounted
The TV stays fairly cool across the entire screen. There are a few warm spots on the back but not warm enough to cause any issues.
The overall build quality is excellent. The TV is solid and there were no obvious build issues or gaps. Care should be taken when moving the TV as the top is very thin.
Excellent picture quality on the LG OLED C8. The infinite contrast ratio delivers perfect blacks, making this an excellent TV for watching movies in a dark room. The good wide viewing angle and excellent reflection handling make this an excellent TV even for large, bright rooms. HDR highlights are very bright and stand out. The wide color gamut makes colors pop in HDR, and the pre-calibrated levels are good enough for most viewers. Excellent gray and black uniformity, the OLED C8P is an excellent TV for Sports.
The LG OLED C8 is an OLED panel, and as such has an infinite contrast ratio since individual pixels can be turned off. This results in perfect blacks when viewed in a dark room, great for Horror or Sci-Fi fans.
There is no need for local dimming on an OLED screen like the C8, as there is no backlight. This video is for reference only.
Good SDR peak brightness on the LG OLED C8, almost identical to last year's C7. Real scene brightness is bright enough for most rooms. Highlights do not stand out in SDR. The TV remains consistent at ~350 cd/m² except when showing a large bright scene, like our 100% test window, where the screen dims significantly due to the Automatic Brightness Limiter(ABL).
With an 'OLED Light' setting of 40 or less, the fluctuations between scenes due to ABL drops to 20 cd/m² or less.
Update 05/04/2018: The brightness window tests were retested using our Samsung K8500 Blu-ray player, rather than from a PC as originally published. This was done to keep the test results consistent with the 2017 TVs, because they were all tested using the Blu-ray player. The C8 measures a little brighter from the Blu-ray player, but not majorly.
Update 11/27/2018: We retested with the latest firmware 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.
Good HDR Peak Brightness, slightly brighter than last year's E7P and much brighter than Sony's A1E, especially when showing small highlights. Real scene HDR Brightness is very good, but still short of the 1000-4000 cd/m² HDR is mastered for. Large bright scenes are very dim due to the Automatic Brightness Limiter(ABL).
Update 11/27/2018: We retested with the latest firmware and found that the HDR brightness remained generally unchanged. Results found above are updated.
Excellent gray uniformity on the C8. There are some very faint vertical lines visible on our 50% test, these are mostly visible in very dark uniform scenes. Only slight dirty screen effect in the center, which is good for watching sports.
Update 04/27/2018: When the TV shows very dark gray shades, like our 5% gray uniformity test, vertical and sometimes horizontal bands are very visible across the screen. This was also an issue with all 2017 and 2016 OLED TVs we tested, including the Sony A1E. It shouldn't be an issue in most normal content, but in some very dark scenes it can be visible.
Very good viewing angle on the LG C8PUA, as is typical of OLED screens. Black levels remain perfect regardless of viewing angle. Colors shift when viewing off access, but the shift is not as severe as other TVs like the Samsung Q8C. This TV is a great fit for a large room with side seating.
The OLED55C8PUA has perfect black uniformity, with no clouding due to its ability to turn off black pixels. This TV is especially well suited to watching movies in a dark room.
The OLED C8 has excellent reflection handling. The glossy screen results in very defined reflections, but at a very low intensity. The anti-reflective coating gives reflections a purple tint, similar to other high-end TVs like the E7 and Q8C. The results are excellent and there should be no issues using this TV in a bright room.
The most accurate results before calibration were on the 'Expert (Dark Room)' picture mode, with the Gamma setting changed to 2.2. Out of the box, the color accuracy and white balance are good, although the temperature is a bit warm so the colors are shifted a bit yellow.
The C8 upscales older 480p content well. The resulting image quality is not overly sharp.
The LG OLED C8 upscales 1080p content played from a Blu-ray or game console well. There were no obvious issues.
The HDR EOTF in the 'Technicolor Expert' picture mode follows our target PQ curve very well until it rolls off at the TV's peak brightness. The EOTF in 'PC' and in 'Game' are very similar to that of 'Technicolor Expert', although 'Game' is brighter than the other two.
When displaying HDR content in 'PC Mode' colors appear washed, the C8PUA does not detect the wide color gamut and the setting cannot be changed.
Update 05/02/2018: The color gamut was erroneously measured at a 50% stimulus. It has been remeasured at 75% stimulus to be in line with our other TVs. The results remain almost identical.
Update 11/27/2018: We retested with the latest firmware update (04.10.06), and the PC Mode issue has been corrected.
The LG OLED C8 displays our test gradient smoothly with no significant banding. In certain scenes there is some banding noticeable in large areas of similar color. This can be reduced by enabling 'MPEG Noise Reduction', which toggles the gradient smoothing feature of the C8. This reduces the visible banding but also results in a loss of fine detail.
The TV shows some signs of image retention even after 4 minutes of recovery time.
This test is only indicative of short term image retention and not the permanent burn-in that may occur with a longer exposure to static images. We are currently running a test to help us better understand permanent burn-in. You can read about our investigation into this here.
Note: There is some variation between panels even of the same model. Some panels may be more or less prone to image retention.
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 C8 do have the possibility of experiencing burn in.
The LG C8 has three features to help mitigate burn-in. We recommend enabling the 'Pixel Refresh' and 'Screen Shift' options and setting 'Logo Luminance Adjustment' to 'Low'
You can read about our investigation into this here
With WRGB OLEDs all four subpixels are never on at the same time, so we have two photos.
Alternative pixel picture.
The 2018 LG OLED C8 handles motion extremely well. The near instantaneous response time is excellent for watching sports or playing video games, as there is no ghosting or trailing during fast motion. Also, there is no visible flicker since there is no traditional backlight on OLED TVs, unlike Samsung's QLED technology. One downside to OLED technology is that there is some stutter when playing low frame rate content, especially when watching movies or TV Shows.
Like all OLED TVs, the response time is nearly perfect. There is some slight overshoot when transitioning from a black frame, such as in the 0-20% and 0-80% transition, but this should not be noticeable. The response time is excellent when watching fast-paced movies or sports, as the TV has no ghosting/movement trails during fast motion.
The LG OLED C8 has an optional BFI mode to help reduce blur. This is new this year for LG OLEDs, although Sony did implement it on last year's A1E. On the C8 this is enabled by setting 'Motion Pro' to 'On'. With 120 fps content the C8 drops every other frame.
The TV uses motion interpolation (commonly known as the Soap Opera Effect) to artificially increase the frame rate of lower fps content up to a much smoother 120 fps. Motion Interpolation can look strange to many people, and it creates artifacts. In scenes with a lot of motion, the C8 stops interpolating the extra frames to avoid creating artifacts, preferring accuracy over smooth motion.
To enable this feature when watching lower frame rate content, set 'TrueMotion' to 'User' and adjust the 'De-Judder' slider for low frame rate content (such as 30 fps), and the 'De-Blur' sliders for 60 fps content.
The C8, like all OLED TVs, has a near instantaneous response time. This results in each frame remaining static for nearly 40ms when watching 24 fps content which creates noticeable stutter. The stutter can be reduced by enabling motion interpolation to increase the frame rate.
Update 05/13/2019: The settings required to remove Judder have changed. We've updated our text below.
Update 05/10/2018: We retested 24p playback on the C8 with firmware version 04.10.05, and it is now able to remove Judder from all sources, except when BFI is enabled(Motion Pro set to 'On').
The TV is consistently able to remove judder from native 24 fps content, whether that content is played from the native apps or external sources such as a Blu-ray player. It can also remove judder consistently from 60 fps content.
To enable this feature when playing 24p content from an external player, the 'Real Cinema' option must be turned on. Previously, it was required to set the TruMotion sliders to '0' as well.
The LG C8PU does not support any of the variable refresh rates technologies such as G-Sync, FreeSync, or the native VRR which will be available in HDMI 2.1.
The LG C8P supports all the most common input signals including HDR. It has very good low input lag that is consistent regardless of input format, so there should be no issues for most gamers. Input lag at 4k @ 60Hz outside of game mode is among the lowest we have ever tested. It supports chroma 4:4:4 and 1080p @ 120 Hz, which is good for use as a monitor.
Very good low input lag, similar to the C7P. In game mode, the input lag is very low regardless of resolution, and outside of game mode the input lag is lower at 4k than the C7, and is one of the lowest we have ever tested.
The input lag was slightly higher in 4k @ 60 Hz + HDR. This result is highly unusual and has been retested to verify the results. The input lag is still low, and should feel very responsive.
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.
Most of the common input resolutions are displayed properly without any issues. The TV does not support 1440p resolution. When connecting to a PC, the HDMI input must have its icon changed to 'PC'. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color is only supported when 'HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color' is enabled in the 'Picture/Additional Settings/' menu for the chosen input.
The new α9 processor also supports 120 fps files in 1080p when played from a USB drive.
Update 11/27/2018: We retested with the latest firmware update (04.10.06) and 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR is now displayed properly.
The C8 does not have a component input. It does support composite input via the included adapter. Surprisingly, the TV has 3 USB 2.0 ports, and no 3.0 ports unlike the 2017 C7.
Like the 2017 OLEDs, the OLED C8 does not have an analog audio output. To connect a wireless headphones you will need a digital to analog converter like this one.
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.
The LG C8 has an above-average sound quality. This TV gets pretty loud and has a bass with a good amount of punch and body. It has the One Touch Sound Tuning self-calibrating system for room correction, and also has a pretty well-balanced mid and treble ranges, which is important for producing clear dialogs. However, its bass is not extended enough to produce the thump and rumble common to film scores and sound effects. It also produces a bit of pumping and compression artifacts under maximum load. For a better sound, dedicated sound bars are recommended.
Update 07/30/2018: There was an error in the text which stated there isn't a self calibration system. There is a self calibration system, and this text has been updated. The results were taken with One Touch Sound Tuning enabled, and these have remained the same.
The LG C8 has an above-average frequency response. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 64Hz, which is also above-average and much improved over last year's model, the C7. This means that the bass won't be able to produce any thump or rumble, but it'll have a decent amount of punch and body to it. The frequency response above the TV's LFE is well-balanced, and it has a self-calibrating system, but this doesn't completely correct the modes of our test room (the bumps between 200Hz and 300Hz). Additionally, this TV does pretty loud, and doesn't produce too much pumping and compression artifacts under maximum load.
The C8 has a decent distortion performance. The THD response is rather elevated, which is typical of most TVs and doesn't increase too much under maximum load either.