- Table of Contents
- Picture Quality
- Sound Quality
- Smart Features
It was replaced by the LG EG9100
The LG 55EC9300 OLED TV provides excellent picture quality and overall performance. The blacks and response time are perfect, but the uniformity of the colors could be improved. There is temporary image retention, but this should not be a problem for most people.
- Perfect blacks
- Perfect motion (although flicker free)
- Great viewing angle (but with a yellow tint)
- Not ideal in a bright room (purple reflections and doesn't get very bright)
- Varying luminosity depending on the scene (ABL)
- Poor dark colors uniformity
- Prone to temporary image retention after displaying static images
The LG EC9300 OLED TV has a curved screen. The borders are very small, and the stand is stable, with a small footprint.
- 11% Contrast
- 6% Local Dimming
- 6% SDR Peak Brightness
- 6% HDR Peak Brightness
- 6% Gray Uniformity
- 7% Viewing Angle
- 4% Black Uniformity
- 2% Gradient
- 4% Pre Calibration
- 1% Post Calibration
- 6% 480p Input
- 9% 720p Input
- 11% 1080p Input
- 6% 4k Input
- 4% Color Gamut
- 4% Color Volume
- 1% Image Retention
- 6% Reflections
- 1% 3D
With its perfect blacks, the LG 55EC9300 provides really good picture quality. You will need to play with the settings a little bit though, because by default it crushes shadows a bit too much. The uniformity is very good, and the picture quality remains good even when viewed at an angle. It supports a wide color gamut but unfortunately does not get very bright.
It is also only a 1080p TV, but given the 55" size, that's only a big deal if you sit relatively close.
Our luminance meter (Minolta LS-100) gave us a perfect 0.000 cd/m2 reading on a checkboard pattern, resulting in an infinite contrast ratio.
Of course, it doesn't have a backlight, so there is no local dimming. But for the sake of comparison, we ran our local dimming test. As expected, there is no blooming.
When HDR arrives, one of the elements that will distinguish the performance of TVs is how bright it can make the highlights of a picture. Like plasma TVs, OLEDs have an automatic brightness limiter (ABL). The less whites the TV needs to display, the brighter those whites will be. We measured the luminosity of a 2% white window at 342.7 cd/m2, which isn't particularly impressive. Due to the ABL, a white fullscreen is even less, at only a maximum luminosity of 94.6 cd/m2. See the Q&A section of our review for a full table of the luminosity of different window sizes.
The darker the color, the worse the uniformity gets. It is also constantly changing. More details in the Q&A section of the review.
The viewing angle is great, better than every LCD TV. We measured a drop of half the luminosity at 82 °, which is excellent. However, there is a yellow tint at an angle, something that our current test doesn't factor in.
Update 01/06/2017: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results from 2016 TVs.
The blacks are also perfectly uniform. Note that this is only for a pure black. The uniformity isn't perfect for solid colors (more on this later).
You can increase the color gamut by changing 'Color Gamut'.
The glossy finish is very aggressive. It is actually very good at cutting the ambient reflections, but gives everything a purple tint. The curve of the TV also zooms in on the reflections. If you have a window directly behind you (facing the TV), it is really bad.
The maximum brightness of the screen varies depending on the scene you are watching, due to the ABL. At a 50% window, the luminosity is lower than what you would get from an LED TV.
Its passive 3D has no crosstalk issue, but it comes at the cost of half the vertical resolution. This is a bit more noticeable than on LED passive 3D TVs, due to the smaller pixel sizes (see pixel close up picture at the end of the review).
The EC9300 deals with motion very well. It is able to interpolate 30Hz and 60Hz content. The response time is almost perfect, resulting in very clear images with no following trail. Movies from a blu-ray player play smoothly.
That does not mean it is blur free, though. See the Q&A for more details.
It handles a direct 24 fps input without judder, which is good for movies outputted via a Blu-ray player. For 24p via 60i or 60p though, it couldn't consistently do the reverse 3:2 pulldown. Of course, if you enable 'TruMotion' it removes the judder, but at the cost of introducing the soap opera effect.
The input lag is quite good, and should not be an issue for most people. It is a 1080p TV and so doesn't support higher resolutions. It does have a wide range of inputs.
Under game mode, the input lag is 47.5 ms. If you label the HDMI input to PC, you can further reduce it to 40.7 ms.
Update 07/25/2016 We've received a report that the input lag is now 29.6 ms after the firmware update 04.01.00. We don't have that TV anymore to confirm this unfortunately.
- 20% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 1080p @ 120Hz
- 20% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Chroma 4:4:4 is enabled if you set the HDMI input to PC.
The LG 55EC9300 has better sound than the average TV. It doesn't get loud and doesn't have a lot of bass, but at least the distortion is almost nonexistent.
Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.
Good frequency response at all levels and no pumping seems to be present either. However it doesn't produce a lot of bass.
Very good distortion results at all levels, but the TV doesn't get loud.
WebOS is a great smart TV platform and it is very easy to use. The remote can control the on-screen pointer, but it doesn't have a dedicated number pad.
Questions & Answers
The size of one of the LG 55EC9300's individual pixels is small. And because it is a 1080p TV, you can see a screen door effect if you sit relatively close. This isn't as bad as the screen door effect on old 720p plasma TVs, but it could bother some people. This is also why all of the pictures in our review have slightly more moiré than usual.
ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter)
OLEDs have an ABL that behaves very similarly to plasma TVs. The more white it needs to display on the screen, the darker it will be. Here is a table for a few measurements we took at varying window size (a white square that covers a certain % of the whole screen).
You can see that the luminosity stays constant up to about a 25% window, then it drops rapidly.
For most content, you can't really see that issue. For watching hockey though, it is quite noticeable because the whole screen gets darker. You can also see it when a bright commercial starts after a dark movie.
Also, it messes up the gamma curve, which makes calibrating more difficult.
It also explains why the brightness of the pictures in our review doesn't match other TVs that we reviewed.
Dark gray uniformity and image retention
While the 50% gray uniformity was good, the darker shades of gray had more problems. Not only that, but they were also changing over the course of a few hours/days. When we first turned on our set, it had very big spots and bands all over the screen (unfortunately, our camera setup wasn't ready to capture it). Fortunately, it cleared up after a few days. Here are a few pictures that were taken after a few days of usage.
The #2 pictures were taken a few hours after the #1. You can see something very interesting in the #2 pictures: image retention of our checkboard pattern. We only displayed the checkboard pattern for a few minutes before taking the picture, but it still produced a little bit of image retention. It went away after about 10 minutes of normal content.
You shouldn't really worry about image retention. We got a similar effect on a lot of plasma TVs that we tested in the past, and even a few LCD ones.
The LG 55EC9300 has an almost instant pixel response time (we measured 0.3ms on average on it, see full measurements). This translates to absolutely no motion blur trail following moving objects, which is great. That doesn't mean you won't perceive motion blur, though.
There are two components of motion blur left:
- Blur inside the footage itself. A lot of movies use a slow shutter speed to give the impression of something moving fast. The TV can't do anything about this.
- The frame time. This is related to the frame rate of the video. The lower the frame rate, the more blur we perceive. This is why motion interpolation works at reducing the perceived blur (it increases the frame rate). But even without increasing the frame rate (if you don't like the soap opera effect), TVs can do something about this kind of blur. Something that the EC9300 can't do, because it uses the sample-and-hold display method, without black frame insertion (BFI) or pulse width modulation (PWM).
The EC9300 is flicker free (see our oscilloscope measurement here, at varying values of 'OLED Light').
This is similar to all 2015 Sony TVs by default:
Sony X930C default
But the Sony TVs can make the screen flicker if you want, which clarifies the movement (at the cost of darker picture and visible flickering).
Samsung does it by default, although via a PWM, and the effect is not as strong as what Sony TVs can do. So the variation depends on your backlight luminosity.
So while the EC9300 has perfect motion from a response time perspective, your perceived blur will depend on the frame rate of the video you are watching. And unfortunately, you cannot make the EC9300 flicker to clarify things further, the way you can with some LED sets.
For lag, you probably won't notice a difference. It's usually only competitive gamers who really need an edge that will be able to notice lag in that range. For your needs, the EC9300 should be perfect.
Update: The review of the EF9500 is up.
Instead, the only blur that appears is due to the pixel latency that all LCD based TVs inherently have. In addition, the sample and hold method that Sony uses by default will give the appearance of blurring or less defined outlines like you correctly note.
However, the OLED TVs do not have inherent pixel latency. They are instant on, instant off. This instant transition time means that even with the sample and hold method they will never show any more blur than what is recorded in the video.
Your test procedure should not move the camera along with the subject. That inherently builds in motion blur that is not realistic for how we watch TV. It masks the motion blur that the Sony TVs have by default and makes it look like all TVs have that when they actually don’t.
Your test procedures and conclusions for motion blur have misled people into thinking that the Sony TVs excel at motion handling when that is not the case. When you enable the BFI in the Sony TVs you drastically reduce the brightness to unacceptable levels and can introduce flicker issues. With most other TVs they use PWM to reduce the inherent motion blur effects by default and they can still achieve close to their maximum brightness in this manner.
All of the Sample and Hold Sony TVs should be rated much lower because there simply is no way to adequately fix the “sample and hold” issues with those TVs without adversely causing other issues. The OLED TVs do not have this issue because they have instant on and instant off pixels. Sample and Hold works perfectly for the OLED TVs without the need for further adjustments.
The response time (what we use to score TVs) is a representation of the blur when your eye stays static. OLEDs excel at this, hence our great motion blur score for them.
We still take the tracking shot to represent the other component of blur: frame persistence (which includes frame rate). This component, while it greatly depends on the framerate of the content, is still affected by the TV. This is useful for games especially, because we often follow moving objects with our eyes. Even for sports it is useful, for example when you follow the ball with your eyes, but the camera stays static (tennis especially). This isn't part of the motion blur score though.
Update: The review of the EF9500 is up.