The LG SK8000 is a good TV for mixed usage, with only decent picture quality but very good motion handling. When viewed in the dark, the low contrast ratio results in blacks that appear gray and the local dimming is ineffective at improving dark scene performance. In a bright room though, this isn't noticeable and the image also remains accurate when viewed at an angle which is good for those with wide seating. Motion handling is also very good and the TV has excellent low input lag which is great for gamers.
The design of the LG 55SK8000PUA / LG 65SK8000PUA is excellent. It resembles a lot the SK9000 and esteems a slight premium feel. Although the TV is thin and looks good, when wall mounted, you might find it difficult to reach some of the inputs that are facing outwards. There is some basic cable management down the rear of the stand, but when the TV is wall mounted, there is practically no cable management. The build quality is good.
The LG 55SK8000PUA stand is curved and made of metal. It's almost identical to the SK9000 and provides a good and sturdy support to the TV. This won't prevent the TV from wobbling a little if knocked on the side.
The footprint of the 55" TV stand: 32.6" x 9.8"
The back of the TV is very thin metal and quite plain. Cable management is done through a single hook just like the LG SK9000. However, in this TV, many of the inputs are pointing outwards and are difficult to access when placed close to a wall.
The borders are thin and look good. They are similar in width to the SJ8500, and are made of metal and feel high quality.
The LG SK8000 is very thin at the top but slightly wider at the bottom where the LEDs are located.
The TV gets slightly warm at the bottom edge of where the LEDs are encased. This should not cause any trouble though.
The build quality of the LG SK8000PUA is good. There are no gaps and everything seems to fall well into place. The metal back is very thin and shows bumps and nicks very easily.
The LG SK8000 has a decent picture quality. With a mediocre contrast ratio, blacks will show grayish in dark rooms and the TVs local dimming capability is unable to help due to its vertical local dimming zones. We recommend keeping it 'Off'. It is not as bright as the SK9000, and small highlights are easily missed. As with most IPS panels the viewing angle is mediocre. Although it is better than most VA panel TVs like the X900F, it still falls behind OLED TVs. The reflection handling is great, making it a good choice for wide viewing environments, but there is some noticeable dirty screen effect which will not please sports fans.
The native contrast of the LG SK8000 is mediocre and towards the lower end of IPS panel contrasts we tested in the last two years.
If watched in a dark room, blacks will look grayish, but in bright environments, this will not be so obvious.
When local dimming is on there is not much improvement in contrast and this is due to poor local dimming performance.
Local dimming performance is poor. This is due to the way local dimming is performed on this TV. The zones are vertical and thus it can not work effectively with images that interchange bright dark areas vertically.
We recommend that you leave the local dimming setting to medium and if you find that the screen brightness changes are bothering you, then you should turn it to off.
The SDR peak brightness is okay. The LG SK8000 like other IPS panels might appear dim in bright rooms. The brightness rises slightly as the bright area increases but is low in very dark scenes.
The real scene brightness is measured near the edge of the screen, which isn't as bright as the center.
HDR peak brightness is mediocre and falls short from the target of 1000 cd/m² throughout the whole range of window sizes. Again the real scene is dimmer than the 100% window mostly due to the edge of the screen being dimmer than the center.
The gray uniformity of the LG SK8000PUA is decent. In the 50% gray image, some clouding and uniformity issues are visible even to the untrained eye. And some dirty screen effect is expected when watching sports.
Things are better in the 5% gray image where the image is much more uniform except some hardly noticeable clouding at the center.
The LG SK8000 has an almost identical performance to SK9000 with regards to the viewing angle. It is not bad since it performs better than most VA panels, but falls short of OLEDs. Colors and brightness shift as the angle increases so it is not the best choice for viewing at an angles.
Black uniformity is poor with clouding being apparent all over the screen. The situation remains similarly bad when local dimming is 'on'. This is again due to the local dimming zones. There are only vertical local dimming zones and thus they fail to dim the areas above and below the test cross.
The reflection handling is excellent and almost identical to the SK9000. The semi-gloss finish diffuses reflections, reducing their overall intensity resulting in a comfortable viewing experience in most rooms.
Remarkable pre-calibration out of the box, the best results were obtained with the 'Expert (Dark Room)' picture mode. Color and White Balance dE were good, and the color temperature was almost spot on 6500K. The color and white balance delta is low enough that most people won't notice.
After calibration, the LG SK8000 is almost perfect as it achieves excellent white balance, excellent color temperature small color dE and a gamma almost 2.2. It's only at very low brightness that the TV can not follow the PQ line, but this will not be noticed by many people.
You can see our recommended settings here.
There were no obvious issues upscaling older 480p content like DVDs on the LG 55SK8000PUA / LG 65SK8000PUA.
720p content is scaled well with no obvious over softening or artifacts on the SK9000.
1080p content such as Blu-rays are upscaled well. Details look good and the image is sharp.
The TV has a good color coverage. Its coverage of the DCI P3 color space is similar to last years SJ8500 both when measured at the CIE 1931 xy space and at the CIE 1976 u' v'.
Its coverage of the Rec 2020 color space falls just short of our threshold of 67% to call it a wide color gamut support. It is able to produce more saturated colors than SDR TVs, but it isn't as wide as many other HDR TVs.
The TV's EOTF follows the HDR PQ well up to the 60% input signal. At higher levels of input signal some compression is present but this should not be a problem for most people.This EOTF was measured in the Cinema picture mode, the EOTFs for Game mode and PC mode are here and here and are almost identical so similar results should be expected.
Sub-par color volume and a little worse than last year's SJ8500. The TV can not accurately display very dark colors, and its black level is negatively affected because of its IPS panel.
The TV shows gradients smoothly in most content, but in certain content like our gradient test photo the gradient is not smooth at all, producing very visible banding in many places. Our gradient test results used in the score are measured by showing one color slide at a time, and in this case the TV has great gradient performance; we also played a scene from the HDR movie The Martian that has gradients in its skies, and the TV showed these smoothly as well. In light of this it seems that the TV can show smooth gradients in most content, but there are rare cases where gradients aren't shown well at all; in these cases setting the TV's MPEG Noise Reduction feature to Low in HDR can help to smooth out gradients, at the cost of losing some small detail in scenes.
The LG 55SK8000 / LG 65SK8000 do have some image retention issues. After the 10 minutes burn-in scene, as we can see on our test picture, the image retention is easily noticeable. This isn't an issue for most content though, and the good news is that after 2 minutes of recovery the retention is gone.
While IPS panels can have some temporary image retention, there doesn't appear to be any risk of permanent burn-in as seen in our long-term test.
The LG SK8000PUA has great motion handling. It has an excellent response time, better than the LG SK9000, and there is very little motion blur. The backlight uses PWM to dim, and there is visible flicker due to the relatively low flicker frequency (120 Hz). There is an optional black frame insertion feature which can help reduce stutter and it can reduce the flicker as low as 60 fps. The TV can interpolate lower refresh rate content up to 120 fps. It does not support VRR or AMD's Freesync 2.
Excellent response time on the LG SK8000. There is some overshoot but it is minor and will cause only some small inverted trails following fast moving objects.
The LG SK8000 uses PWM to dim the backlight at all brightness levels. The PWM frequency is a relatively low 120 Hz, and people sensitive to flicker might notice it more than other TVs like the TCL R617 which uses a higher flicker frequency.
The LG SK8000 has an optional BFI mode which reduces the flicker frequency to 60 Hz. With 120 fps content the flicker frequency can be reduced by reducing the backlight intensity. For 60 fps content, set 'TruMotion' to 'User', and 'Motion Pro' to 'On'
The LG 55SK8000PUA / LG 65SK8000PUA can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 Hz. In scenes with fast motion there are artifacts, and if the motion gets too intense, the TV stops interpolating.
To enable motion interpolation (also called the Soap Opera Effect) set 'TruMotion' to 'User'. For a 30fps source increase the 'De-Judder' slider, and for a 60fps source increase the 'De-Blur' slider.
Update 06/12/2018: The 49" SK8000 has a 60Hz panel, and will only be able to interpolate up to 60 Hz.
The fast response time of the LG SK8000PUA means 24p content is held static on screen for long enough that motion can appear to stutter. This is especially noticeable with wide panning landscape shots.
If this bothers you, motion interpolation can be enabled to increase the frame rate of the content, although this introduces the Soap Opera Effect that some people don't like.
The TV is judder free when playing native 24p content from a Blu-ray player and from other sources (cable/satellite boxes and native streaming apps). To remove judder, the real cinema option must be enabled in the Picture Option Settings menu.
The LG SK8000 does not support any of the Variable Refresh Rate technologies like AMD's Freesync. This is expected as LG has not announced any plans to support these.
The LG SK8000 LED TV has excellent low input lag. Even outside of game mode, the input lag is low enough for most gamers. Input lag is slightly higher when chroma 4:2:0 is used in HDR, this shouldn't be an issue. Most of the common resolutions are supported. It does not support 1440p.
When Chroma 4:2:0 is used in HDR there is an extra 120 Hz frame (8.3 ms) of input lag. The reason for this is unknown but the input lag results are similar to other 2018 LG TVs including the C8 and SK9000.
In PC mode, the input lag is extremely low regardless of picture mode and the SK8000 is very responsive. Outside of Game or PC mode the input lag is a bit higher, but still good enough for most gamers.
The LG SK8000 supports most of the common resolutions without issue. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 is only supported when HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color is enabled for the input used, like most TVs.
Update 06/12/2018: The 49" SK8000 has a 60 Hz panel, and does not support 120 Hz input.
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 SK8000.
The LG SK8000 is has a mediocre sound. This TV doesn't get loud and doesn't have an extended bass, so it doesn't produce any thump or rumble. But its bass does have a decent amount of punch and produces clear dialogs. For a better sound, dedicated speakers or a soundbar is recommended.
The frequency response of the LG SK8000PUA is sub-par. Low-frequency extension (LFE) is at 85Hz, which is above-average. This means that the bass of this TV won't produce any thump or rumble, but will have a decent amount of punch. The frequency response above the LFE point is decent and relatively well-balanced so it produces clear dialogs, but there will be some pumping and compression present at louder volumes, even though this TV doesn't get loud. Also, although this TV comes with a room correction system, it wasn't able to remove the modes of our test room around 200Hz.
The distortion performance is about average. The overall amount of produced THD is a bit elevated, but it doesn't increase significantly under maximum volume. However, this TV doesn't get loud.
The LG SK8000 runs the latest version of LG's webOS smart interface. It has a decent selection of built-in apps covering most of the common uses. The built-in movie, music, and photo viewers play most of the popular formats and are easy to use. The LG Content Store is easy to navigate and has thousands of available apps, but there are ads and suggested content throughout and they can't be disabled.