LG SJ9500 TV Review

Updated Nov 13, 2017 at 09:10 am
LG SJ9500 Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
7.7
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
6.7
Movies
8.2
TV Shows
7.8
Sports
8.2
Video Games
6.7
HDR Movies
7.8
HDR Gaming
8.3
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the LG SK9500
Type LED
Sub-Type
IPS
Resolution 4k

The LG SJ9500 is a high-end 4k LED TV with a wide viewing angle thanks to its use of an IPS-type LCD. Its input lag is low for gaming, and its WebOS smart features are very intuitive. It has a decent overall picture quality and a better than average brightness, but its low contrast and non-uniform blacks make it less suitable in a dark room.

Our Verdict

7.7 Mixed Usage

The LG SJ9500 is a good TV for a mixed usage. It has a decent picture quality in most environments, and its wide viewing angle makes it easy to find a good viewing position. Unfortunately, its poor blacks cause its picture quality to be less than stellar in a dark room.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
6.7 Movies

Average TV for watching movies in a dark room. The LJ SJ9500's picture quality in a darker environment is negatively impacted by its low contrast and uneven blacks that can show distracting clouding in letterboxes and make the image look a bit flat. Its local dimming is also better kept off as it.

See our Movies recommendations
8.2 TV Shows

The LG SJ9500 is a very good choice for watching TV shows in a bright room. It gets bright enough to combat most reflections, and its smart features are some of the best available today making it easy to access streaming services.

See our TV Shows recommendations
7.8 Sports

Decent TV for watching Sport. The SJ9500's wide viewing angle makes it easy to share with a larger group of friends. Its screen, however, isn't the most uniform, and some uniformly colored sports fields might show banding or other blotches.

See our Sports recommendations
8.2 Video Games

Great TV for playing video games. The SJ9500's impressively low input lag makes it very responsive to button presses keeping the experience seamless. It also produces a low amount of motion blur, so fast-paced games with lots of movement on screen looks clear and sharp.

See our Video Games recommendations
6.7 HDR Movies

Average HDR performance. While the SJ9500 is capable of reproducing a wide gamut of colors and 10 bits of color depth, its mediocre contrast and low HDR peak brightness mean it won't offer a significant visual benefit over normal SDR content.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
7.8 HDR Gaming

Good HDR gaming TV. While its HDR capabilities are somewhat lackluster, the SJ9500's input lag and overall gaming performance aren't hindered by an HDR input.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
8.3 PC Monitor

Great TV to use as a PC monitor. The SJ9500 supports all the essential resolutions, including Chroma 4:4:4, but it's also one of the rare TVs to also support a 1080p@120hz input. Combined with a very low input lag and low motion blur, it makes for a very suitable monitor. Some users, however, might find horizontally alternating stripes of the screen to be a little distracting.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 7.7 Mixed Usage
  • 6.7 Movies
  • 8.2 TV Shows
  • 7.8 Sports
  • 8.2 Video Games
  • 6.7 HDR Movies
  • 7.8 HDR Gaming
  • 8.3 PC Monitor
Pros
  • Wide viewing angle
  • Great input lag for gaming
Cons
  • Poor black uniformity
  • Mediocre contrast ratio
  1. Update 3/12/2018: 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 SJ9500 is excellent. The TV looks great, with an interesting curved stand and premium feel. The TV is thin, so looks good when wall mounted. There is some basic cable management down the rear of the stand, and most of the inputs are easy to access if placed close to a wall.

Design
Stand

The stand is curved and looks good. It is made of metal and feels high quality. It also supports the TV well and feels stable.

Footprint of the 65" TV stand: 11.4" x 31.6"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x200

The rear of the TV is very similar to the UH9500 of 2016, with a brushed metal finish and the same input locations. Most of the inputs are out the side of the TV and easy to access if wall mounted.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.43" (1.1 cm)

The borders of the TV are very thin and look great. They are made of metal and feel high quality.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.17" (5.5 cm)

The TV appears very thin when viewed from the side. The lower third of the TV houses all the components and is the thickest part of the TV. This will stick out slightly if wall mounted, but not significantly.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
109 °F (43 °C)
Average Temperature
95 °F (35 °C)

The TV gets warm to the touch along the bottom edge; fortunately, this is also where most of the vents are, so it shouldn't cause any issues.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the SJ9500 is great. The parts feel high quality and fit together well, and the borders and stand of the TV are made of metal.

Picture Quality
6.7
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1547 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
1560 : 1

The LG SJ9500 contrast ratio could be better, but it is fairly decent for an IPS TV, which tends to have a lower contrast ration than VA TVs. With a contrast ratio of around 1500:1, when set in a dark room, blacks won't be very deep and will look grayer than really black and dark scenes will look a bit washed out.

Fortunately, if the TV is set in a room with moderate lighting, the effect of a low contrast ratio is less noticeable, and for this reason, the LG SJ9500 is better suited for this kind of room environment.

1.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Edge

The local dimming on the SJ9500 is bad and is very similar to the local dimming of the 2016 UH9500. The local dimming of the SJ9500 is implemented on vertical zones, and it is clearly visible in our video, as large vertical blooming follow the moving highlight, leaving the rest of the screen darker.

Another issue also shows up in our video, and it is the darkening of the smaller highlight, which is a problem, as the local dimming should not darken the highlight, since this may ruin the HDR effect of movie, where the highlight is supposed to be very bright in comparison to the rest of the screen.

Since the local dimming is really bad, we suggest to turn it off, or at least maybe set it to low or medium instead of the maximum setting, so that the negative effects are less apparent.

7.9
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
348 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
214 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
354 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
377 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
377 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
378 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
214 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
352 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
375 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
375 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
376 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.037

Plot over time

Good SDR peak brightness, good enough even for a bright room. Unfortunately, the TV's local dimming makes dark scenes even darker by dimming everything, including the highlights, because the local dimming isn't granular enough. Overall, the TV isn't quite as bright as last year's UH9500, and falls behind many of its current competitors like the Sony X930E and the Samsung MU9000.

6.8
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
360 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
606 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
980 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
587 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
470 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
394 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
603 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
271 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
363 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
390 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
392 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.042

Plot over time

Decent HDR peak brightness. The TV's crude local dimming still does manage to make highlights brighter in dark scenes, as shown in our smaller window tests, at the cost of noticeable blooming. However, our real scene brightness test shows that highlights in most HDR scenes won't be shown nearly as bright as the intended 1000 or 4000 cd/m². This is in contrast to last year's LG UH9500, which had a much brighter real scene test but actually dimmed highlights in dark scenes. Overall, the brightness is quite behind competing Sony TVs like the X930E and a little behind the Samsung MU9000 and MU8000. If users find HDR content too dim, turning up the 'Dynamic Contrast' setting will make most of the scene brighter, although it won't affect the extreme highlights.

6.6
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.864 %
50% DSE
0.232 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.471 %
5% DSE
0.083 %

The SJ9500 gray uniformity is ordinary. Large vertical bands are visible, with some darker band toward each side of the TV and some brighter near the center. A large warmer spot is also visible on the right lower corner. Sports fan will be a bit disappointed, as dirty screen effect is visible, especially when watching hockey or football.

The 5% gray uniformity is much better than on the 50%, as not much can be noticed at all.

6.4
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Shift
26 °
Brightness
33 °
Black Level
75 °

Mediocre viewing angle; fairly typical for a TV with an IPS panel, far better than most TVs with VA panels, but far worse than TVs with OLED panels. The black level remains constant which is great, but the brightness and colors degrade significantly when the TV is viewed at moderate angles. Still, this TV is a good fit for a room where people often sit to the side of the TV and view it at an angle.

5.0
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.942 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
4.817 %

The black uniformity of the SJ9500 is poor. When the local dimming is completely turned off, some flashlighting can be seen near each corner and some inequality covering the upper part of the screen.

When the local dimming is set to maximum, the black uniformity is greatly affected. Since the local dimming is implemented over vertical zones, covering the totality of the screen, when our black uniformity test image is displayed, a large blooming zone is visible near the center cross of the image, leaving both sides completely dark. This show very well the limitation of the local dimming of the SJ9500.

8.6
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
3.3 %
Indirect Reflections
0.6 %

The reflection handling of the SJ9500 is good. It has a similar semi-gloss finish to the SJ8500 which helps to reduce the intensity of direct reflections. This is good for an average room, but a better finish such as the one found on the C7 is more suited to bright rooms.

7.3
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Expert (Dark Room)
White Balance dE
3.66
Color dE
2.43
Gamma
2.24
Color Temperature
5779 K

Out of the box, when set on the most accurate picture setting ('ISF Expert Dark Room', 'gamma BT.1886', and 'Warm1' color temperature), the overall accuracy is decent. With a white balance dE of 3.44, most enthusiasts could notice the inaccuracy. The color accuracy is a bit better, as a color dE of 2.43 should only be noticeable by professionals who regularly work with calibrated TV. As for the gamma, 2.24 is not far from our desired target, but the curve is not really flat, with a small dip in the darker and brighter end.

For most people who will not calibrate their TV, those setting should be used, as it is with those settings that we measured the best accuracy, but note that it differs slightly from what we measured before from other LG TVs, on which the gamma 2.2 setting with the Warm2 color temperature usually give us a better result.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Expert (Dark Room)
White Balance dE
0.11
Color dE
1.12
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6504 K

After calibration, the accuracy is excellent. The white balance was corrected to have a dE of only 0.11, which is excellent and almost not noticeable for anyone. The color accuracy was also improved, to have at the end a dE of only 1.12 which is almost at the limit where it becomes not noticeable (1.00). As for the gamma, only the very small errors in the lower IRE could not be corrected, but this is really not a problem, as the rest of the curve is very good and follow our target of 2.2 very closely.

You can find our calibration settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Low-quality content such as DVDs are upscaled well. The image is a bit more jagged than some other TVs, but details remain.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

Sports and other 720p content are upscaled well, with only minor halo artifacts. The image remains clear and detailed.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Full-HD sources look good upscaled. Details are preserved and the image is clear.

9.5
Picture Quality
4k Input

Although not visible in this photo, areas of a single color have visible line artifacts. This is more obvious when using the TV as a PC monitor. It is a result of the pixel dimming algorithm, which results in visible rows as seen in this close-up image.

7.9
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
85.21 %
DCI P3 uv
91.05 %
Rec 2020 xy
64.85 %
Rec 2020 uv
75.47 %

Great wide color gamut, among the best of 2017. Saturated colors in HDR content will be well represented. The TV's accuracy at showing intermediate colors is decent but not the best, as some colors like cyan and magenta don't follow their target lines, and fully saturated cyan turns green.

The TV's HDR EOTF in the Cinema and Technicolor picture modes follows the target PQ curve beautifully when LG's 'Active HDR' is enabled by setting 'Dynamic Contrast' to 'Low'. Turning 'Dynamic Contrast' up higher will make scenes even brighter, at the cost of picture accuracy, though it may be worth the cost when watching HDR in a bright room. The EOTFs in 'Game' mode and 'PC' mode also follow the PQ curve well, although 'Active HDR' isn't available in those modes.

7.3
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
81.2 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
43.7 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
64.1 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
33.9 %

Decent HDR color volume, only really limited by the color gamut. The TV's local dimming helps it show its wide color gamut at a range of brightnesses, though fully saturated red isn't shown as bright as it should be.

8.0
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.111 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.117 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.092 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.113 dE

The SJ9500 gradient performance is excellent, as it can display our image without much banding. Some little irregularities are visible in the darker shade, but we did not notice problematic banding while watching movies.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00 %
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 SJ9500 has an excellent result on our image retention test, which is much better than the 2017 UH9500. Note that on our test picture image, some really faint remnants of the Rtings logos are visible, but it was not enough to trigger a response from our image analysis software. When viewed in person, it was not really visible and it is also good to note that the camera does pick up a bit more detail than the human eyes.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

Although some IPS panels can suffer from temporary image retention, this doesn't appear to be permanent as seen in our long-term test.

Picture Quality
Pixels
Motion
8.4
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
5.3 ms
100% Response Time
15.6 ms

Great pixel response time, good enough for watching fast-moving content. Most of the blur in the picture is due to backlight flicker and persistence. There is still a short trail of response time blur following our moving logo, though, fortunately, it's very faint. There is a tiny bit of overshoot visible in the response time plots but it shouldn't be visible in person.

4.0
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
120 Hz

The TV, unfortunately, only dims the backlight by using PWM, and PWM is even visible when the brightness is at maximum. This means that the TV will always have 120 Hz flicker, and this flicker will become even worse at lower backlight settings. While this flicker does reduce persistence blur, it also adds double image artifacts as seen in the photo in the motion blur section, which is worse than persistence blur.

6.0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps
120 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
No
120 Hz for 120 fps
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
120 Hz

The SJ9500 lacks a black frame insertion setting to reduce the flicker frequency to 60 Hz avoid double image artifacts, although its 120 Hz PWM flicker does help to make motion look more clear.

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

The TV can use the soap opera effect to interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 fps, which makes motion look much smoother. Unfortunately, there are visible artifacts when interpolating <60 Hz content and the backlight isn't synchronized to the panel so blur is even present when interpolating 60 fps content.

7.8
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
26.1 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
1.1 ms

The SJ9500 is good at displaying content without stutter. There is some blur between frames due to the response time, which helps to smooth the transition - even for low frame rate content.

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 SJ9500 can display 24p movies without judder when playing from 24p sources like DVD and Blu-ray players. It can also display 24p movies without judder when playing from 60p/60i source on the SJ9500 also play without judder.

To remove judder from 24p movies from 24p sources, the 'RealCinema' option needs to be turned on and the 'TruMotion' option set to 'User' with both sliders ('De-Judder' and 'De-Blur') set to 0, and it won't add soap opera effect. For 24p movies playing from 60p/60i sources, only the 'RealCinema' need to be turned on 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 SJ9500 doesn't support any variable refresh rate features (like other 2017 TVs) but does have a native 120Hz panel.

Inputs
9.5
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
15.6 ms
1080p @ 60Hz + HDR
15.4 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
40.4 ms
1080p @ 120Hz
14.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz
17.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
17.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
14.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
14.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
58.5 ms
4k With Interpolation
100.1 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
4k with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A

Outstanding low input lag, low enough to please nearly any gamer. Normally, only the 'Game' picture mode has low input lag, but in 'PC' mode all picture modes have low input lag. 4:4:4 color is only shown properly in PC mode, but this is usually only a concern for PC use anyway. Overall, the input lag is one of the best we've tested in 2017; a little better than most Samsung TVs and LG's own OLEDs, and much better than most Sony TVs.

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 for the port used. 4:4:4 color is only shown properly when the input's label is set to 'PC' (aka PC mode). 1080p @ 120 Hz is actually an officially supported mode in the TV's EDID, which is surprising but welcome.

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 (incl. adapter)
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
7.2
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
75.51 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
3.07 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
3.18 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
6.51 dB
Max
93.1 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
5.47 dB

Decent frequency response. The SJ9500 tracks our target quite well and offers a room correction feature that calibrates the TV's sound output to reduce the effects of the room's acoustic properties. Its low-frequency extension is better than average, but it does have a significant amount of dynamic range compression at higher volumes.

5.5
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.066
Weighted THD @ Max
0.840
IMD @ 80
3.97 %
IMD @ Max
85.78 %

Poor distortion performance. While THD is quite low even at maximum volume, the SJ9500 produces a lot of IMD at higher levels, possibly due to the compression algorithms used as well as the aliasing present at higher frequencies. This is notably different from LG SJ8500.

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 split into three parts: settings, inputs, and apps. Each has its own button on the remote, quick menu and full menu. The quick menus list some commonly used items to save time, while the full menus give a wealth of deeper options. This split layout makes the interface quick to navigate, but it can be confusing for first-time users.

0
Smart Features
Ad-Free
Ads
Yes
Opt-out
No
Suggested Content in Home
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
No

The TV has ads in voice search results, and a suggested content tile in the apps quick menu, which can be annoying.

8.0
Smart Features
Apps and Features
App Selection
Many
App Smoothness
Average
Cast Capable
Yes
USB Drive Playback
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
Yes
HDR in Netflix