LG SK9500 TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
8.1
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
7.4
Movies
8.4
TV Shows
8.2
Sports
8.6
Video Games
7.4
HDR Movies
8.1
HDR Gaming
8.5
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the LG SM9500

Type : LED
Sub-Type
:
IPS
Resolution : 4k

The LG 65SK9500 Super UHD TV is a 4k IPS TV with great performance. The picture quality is good, but the TV is better suited to bright rooms with wide seating as blacks appear gray in dark rooms. The image remains accurate when viewed at an angle and the TV has full-array local dimming but it doesn't work very well and results in blooming. It supports a wide color gamut for HDR and also has very good motion handling with a excellent response time.

Test Results
Design 9.5
Picture Quality 7.8
Motion 7.9
Inputs 9.4
Sound Quality 7.0
Smart Features 8.2
Pros
  • Those with wide seating still get an accurate image
  • Can get very bright
  • Very good motion handling
Cons
  • Dark scenes appear gray and blotchy
  1. Update 2/28/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3. Learn more about our versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

9.5

Design

Curved : No

The design of the LG 65SK9500PUA is excellent. It resembles last year's SJ9500. It comes with a metallic curved stand and premium feel. The back is plain and the inputs are accessible from the side if it is wall mounted. The build quality is great and there are no gaps or loose ends. Unfortunately, there is only very basic cable management and the stand prevents you from placing the soundbar directly in front of the TV.

Stand

The stand of the TV is metallic, curved and sturdy. It supports the TV from the center, and it will wobble when pushed or if your table shakes.

Footprint of the 65" model: 29.9 " x 11.2"

Back
Wall Mount : VESA 300x300

The rear of the LG 65SK9500 is very similar to the SK9000. There is no cable management as seen here.

Borders
Borders : 0.51" (1.3 cm)

The borders of the TV are thin and look great. Similar to the SK9000, the bezel does not surround the LCD panel. The panel is attached on top of the frame and care should be taken when moving the TV, as it could be damaged if knocked, similar to what happened to our SJ8500.

Thickness
Max Thickness : 2.48" (6.3 cm)

The TV is a little thicker than average but looks thin when viewed from the side due to the smooth angles of the back. It does not stick out when wall mounted.

Temperature
Maximum Temperature
:
100 °F (38 °C)
Average Temperature
:
93 °F (34 °C)

The LG 65SK9500PUA stays relatively cool. There are a few warm spots on the back but not warm enough to cause any issues.

8.5 Build Quality

The build quality is great. The TV is solid and there were no obvious gaps or other build issues. Care should be taken when moving the TV as the top is very thin.

7.8

Picture Quality

The LG 65SK9500 has a very good picture quality with decent native contrast ratio. As with most IPS panels, in dark rooms, blacks will look more grayish. It has a full array local dimming that manages to improve contrast a little. It is much brighter than last year's SJ9500, and small highlights are boosted well rather than dimmed like last year. Although it has an IPS panel, the viewing angle is mediocre; it is still better than VA panels, but worse than OLEDs. It also has great reflection handling and thus is a good choice for a variety of room types. The gray uniformity is decent, but there is some dirty screen effect present when watching sports.

6.8 Contrast
Native Contrast
:
1353 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
:
2378 : 1

The native contrast ratio on the LG 65SK9500 is decent, but blacks will look more grey than black when viewed in a dark room. This is less noticeable in a brightly lit room.

Contrast improves when local dimming, is enabled but again blacks will fade in dark environments.

5.0 Local Dimming
Local Dimming
:
Yes
Backlight
:
Full-Array

The local dimming feature of the LG 65SK9500PUA is not very good. It reacts promptly to moving highlights, and dimming zones do turn on and off on time. The dimming algorithm is not too aggressive and thus clouding around highlights is obvious. It is quite similar to the performance of the SK9000 but slightly smoother.

We recommend setting it initially to High, but if the sudden brightness changes become unpleasant then Medium or Low can be a better choice.

8.4 SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
558 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
:
253 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
:
446 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
:
519 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
:
562 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
:
582 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
:
252 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
:
442 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
:
515 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
:
560 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
:
581 cd/m²
SDR ABL
:
0.049

The TV has excellent SDR peak brightness, bright enough for most rooms. Highlights are a little dim, most likely due to the poor local dimming.

This is brighter than the LG SK9000, which is beneficial for those in bright rooms with glare.

8.2 HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
676 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
:
899 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
:
1496 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
:
1148 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
:
875 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
:
691 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
:
374 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
:
535 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
:
597 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
:
661 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
:
687 cd/m²
HDR ABL
:
0.034

Very good HDR peak brightness. Very small highlights are displayed with good brightness and real scenes are quite bright. This is an improvement from last year's SJ9500 and from SK9000 where highlights were dimmed. However, the brightness is still far from the target 1000 cd/m² to fully appreciate HDR content.

6.5 Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
:
4.011 %
50% DSE
:
0.246 %
5% Std. Dev.
:
0.504 %
5% DSE
:
0.100 %

The gray uniformity of the LG 65SK9500PUA is decent and very similar to the SK9000. In brighter scenes, the screen is a little darker on the sides compared to the center. Some dirty screen effect is present when viewing sports. This is not noticeable though on darker scenes.

7.5 Viewing Angle
Color Washout
:
30 °
Color Shift
:
55 °
Brightness Loss
:
33 °
Black Level Raise
:
70 °
Gamma Shift
:
48 °

The viewing angle is decent. It is better than most TVs with VA panels, but worse than TVs with OLED panels. Colors and brightness shift when one moves off of the center. This TV is an okay choice for a wide room where people will frequently be watching from the side.

6.1 Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
:
2.144 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
:
1.207 %

The black uniformity is mediocre for this LG SK9500. There is clouding all over the screen and only the corners look black. However, things are considerably better when local dimming is enabled. The clouding is only apparent around the center of our test cross.

8.6 Reflections
Screen Finish
:
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
:
3.5 %
Indirect Reflections
:
0.5 %

Great reflection handling on the LG 65SK9500PUA. The semi-gloss finish does diffuse reflections slightly and provides a very similar performance to the SK9000. This should be fine for most rooms, but reflections may be distracting in a very bright room or if sunlight falls directly on the TV.

It is bright enough to overcome most glare and it is our best outdoor TV. However, since it isn't meant for outdoor installation, it is important to properly protect it from the elements with a proper enclosure.

8.3 Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
:
2.49
Color dE
:
2.28
Gamma
:
2.10
Color Temperature
:
6412 K
Picture Mode
:
Expert (Dark Room)
Color Temp Setting
:
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
:
2.2

The out-of-the-box color accuracy is very good. The most accurate results were obtained with the Expert (Dark Room) picture mode. Color dE was good, but white balance dE was slightly higher and some people might notice some gray inaccuracy. The color temperature was warmer than our target and, giving everything a slightly red/yellow tint. This was a surprise since it was a change from the out-of-the-box color temperature we measured on the SK9000 which was cold.

Gamma was slightly lower than our target and this might cause some shadows to be darker.

9.4 Post Calibration
White Balance dE
:
0.12
Color dE
:
1.74
Gamma
:
2.19
Color Temperature
:
6499 K
White Balance Calibration
:
20 point
Color Calibration
:
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
:
Yes

The post-calibration colors of the LG SK9500 are excellent. White balance is almost perfect, color dE was good too. Gamma is very close to our target, shifting a little off target at the low end of our inputs, and color temperature is almost spot-on.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0 480p Input

There are no obvious issues or artifacts when upscaling low-quality content like DVDs.

8.0 720p Input

720p content is scaled well on the LG 65SK9500PUA with no obvious artifacts or softening.

9.0 1080p Input

1080p sources such as Blu-rays look great once upscaled on this LG SK9500

10 4k Input

Native 4k content is clear and sharp.

8.0 Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
:
Yes
DCI P3 xy
:
88.12 %
DCI P3 uv
:
93.87 %
Rec 2020 xy
:
65.43 %
Rec 2020 uv
:
73.14 %

The TV is able to display a wide color gamut as it has a very good coverage of the P3 color space.

In the Cinema picture mode the HDR EOTF overshoots the target PQ curve at low stimulus levels, which will cause many shades in HDR scenes to be too bright. If users still find HDR content too dark, setting the TV's Dynamic Contrast setting to Medium raises the EOTF and brightens most HDR scenes. On the other hand, the EOTF in Game mode follows the target PQ curve very well.

6.7 Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
76.1 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
40.2 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
57.1 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
30.3 %

The color volume is decent. However, the LG 65SK9500 is unable to produce deep, dark blacks due to its not so great contrast ratio. Color volume is worse than last year's SJ9500.

8.3 Gradient
Color Depth
:
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
:
0.101 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
:
0.122 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
:
0.085 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
:
0.092 dE

This LG 65SK9500PUA has very good gradient. Some medium banding is evident in many places, and some more major banding can be seen in red and blue.

In HDR, setting the MPEG Noise Reduction to Low reduces banding.

6.8 Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
:
1.15 %
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 SK9500 IPS TV does present some image retention. After the 10 minutes burn-in scene, as we can see on our test picture, the image retention is easily noticeable, but after 2 minutes of recovery, the retention is non-noticeable.

This is result is slightly disappointing and we were not expecting it judging from the results of the SK9000 or the LG SJ9500.

10 Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
:
No

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.

Pixels
7.9

Motion

The LG 65SK9500PUA has very good motion handling. It has an excellent response time, resulting in fluid motion and a short motion trail and low stutter with 24 and 60 fps content. The TV has good black frame insertion, and it can drop flicker frequency to 60Hz, which makes fast paced motion clear when watching sports or playing video games. It has excellent motion interpolation to smooth out low fps content and can display movies without any judder.

8.9 Response Time
80% Response Time
:
4.9 ms
100% Response Time
:
11.4 ms

Very fast pixel response time, great for fast-moving content like sports and video games. Most of the blur in the photo is due to backlight flicker and the trail following the moving logo is fairly short, which is good.

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

The LG 65SK9500PUA uses PWM to dim the backlight. This helps clear the motion slightly but also results in duplications following fast-moving objects as seen in the motion blur box photo.

In order to dim the picture the backlight starts flickering at any Backlight setting other than 100. People sensitive to flicker should consider a nearly flicker-free alternative, like the Sony X900F or the LG C8.

10 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
:
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
:
60 Hz

The BFI function of this LGSK9500 is very good. To enable BFI in the Tru Motion menu set Motion Pro to on. This will flicker the backlight at 60Hz and will improve the blur. At the same time, the luminosity will increase so you will not notice any dimming. With 120 Hz content, the BFI options are grayed out as the TV is already flickering at its native frequency.

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

The LG 65SK9500 has excellent motion interpolation. Its native 120Hz panel can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 fps. It is nearly perfect during slow-moving shots, and it has a pretty conservative algorithm as it stops interpolating as soon as there is too much motion. Very few artifacts were seen during testing.

To activate Motion interpolation, in the TruMotion menu, enable De-judder to interpolate 30Hz content to 60Hz. Enable De-Blur to interpolate 60Hz content to 120Hz.

7.0 Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
:
30.3 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
:
5.3 ms

The stutter of this LG SK9500 is decent. The fast response time will create some stutter in slow fps content, but you can always use the motion interpolation to correct this. There is also some persistent motion blur that will reduce stutter.

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 65SK9500PUA is judder free when you set Real Cinema to on, no matter if the 24p signal is native or is coming through 60p or 60i. This is excellent for those who are sensitive to judder when watching 24p movies.

0 Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
:
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
:
No
G-SYNC Compatible
:
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 65SK9500PUA doesn't support any variable refresh rate features.

9.4

Inputs

The LG SK9500 LED TV has excellent low input lag. The input lag is low on any supported resolution even in 4k with HDR enabled that was a problem in some previous models like the SK9000. It supports chroma 4:4:4 and 1080p @ 120 Hz, great for use as a PC Monitor, but there is no support for 1440p resolution. Input lag is slightly higher when chroma 4:2:0 is used in HDR, although this shouldn't be an issue.

9.5 Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
:
14.5 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
34.8 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz
:
14.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
:
22.6 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
14.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
43.2 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
:
93.2 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
:
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
13.8 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

Outstanding low input lag that will keep any gamer happy. In PC mode all picture modes have the same low input lag, so we recommend Expert (Dark Room).

4:4:4 color is only shown properly in PC mode.

When Chroma 4:2:0 is used in HDR there is an extra 120 Hz frame (8.3 ms) of input lag. Please refer to the SK8000 input lag box review for a more detailed explanation.

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 most common resolutions are supported on the LG 65SK9500 although 1440p is not supported.

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

When in PC Mode with HDR enabled, the TV does not properly support 4:4:4 color and colors appear washed out.

In PC Mode, Sharpness at 0 means no added sharpness.

Input Photos

Similar inputs to the LG SK9000.

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 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 SK9500.

7.0

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the LG SK9500 is above-average. This TV gets quite loud, has a decent amount of body and punch to its bass, and is able to produce clear dialogue. However, it doesn't produce any thump or rumble in the sub-bass region, and its room correction system wasn't able to adjust its sound to our test room. For a better sound, dedicated speakers or a soundbar is recommended.

6.9 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
:
75.51 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
:
3.45 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
:
4.13 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
:
6.45 dB
Max
:
90.0 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
:
4.15 dB

The frequency response of the LG 65SK9500 is decent. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 76Hz, which is above-average. This means that this TV won't produce any thump or rumble, but will have a decent amount of body and punch to its bass. The response above the LFE point is quite well-balanced, which is important for producing clear dialogue. Also, this TV can get quite loud, but will produce some pumping and compression artifacts under maximum load. However, its room correction system (Magic Sound Tuning) wasn't able to remove the modes of our test room around 200Hz.

7.4 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
:
0.180
Weighted THD @ Max
:
0.787
IMD @ 80
:
1.83 %
IMD @ Max
:
2.68 %

The distortion performance of the LG 65SK9500PUA is above average. At 80dB SPL, the THD performance is above-average. At maximum volume, although there is a rise in THD, it's still within decent limits, especially since this TV gets quite loud.

8.2

Smart Features

Smart OS : WebOS
Version : 4.0

The LG SK9500 runs the latest version of LG's smart operating system, webOS. It has a good selection of built-in apps, and the LG content store provides access to many more third-party apps. However, it is not as good as the Google Play Store found on Sony TVs. The remote is well equipped and well built, however, the design is not as premium looking as on other high-end TVs, but works well. The voice control functions are very powerful, work nicely, and can interface with many other devices.

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

The webOS interface is very similar to the SK9000, with the improved search functionality. The menu is very fast and responsive.

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

We did not see any ads during testing. However, we have found ads on other 2018 LG TVs as shown here, so we assume all 2018 LG TVs have ads.

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

The LG 65SK9500PUA comes with most of the popular apps preloaded including Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu and YouTube. There is the LG app store where you can get many more.

9.0 Remote