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LG SK9500 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Jun 26, 2018 at 11:21 am
LG SK9500 Picture
Test Methodology v1.4
8.0
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
7.3
Movies
8.2
TV Shows
8.1
Sports
8.6
Video Games
7.3
HDR Movies
8.1
HDR Gaming
8.7
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.

Our Verdict

8.0 Mixed Usage

Very good mixed usage performance for the LG SK9500. The TV has excellent reflections, and excellent brightness, making a good choice for a variety of usages in bright environments. The gray uniformity is ordinary and that might annoy some sports fans but it has a great response time which is good for games and an ok viewing angle so that it can be placed in moderately wide rooms.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
7.3 Movies

Decent performance of the LG 65SK9500PUA when watching movies. Contrast is ok and blacks cannot get very deep especially in a dark room and the local dimming cannot help improve the situation. This is somewhat expected on IPS panels. Although the black uniformity is not great, it does a great job upscaling content from Blu-ray.

See our Movies recommendations
8.2 TV Shows

Very good performance when watching TV shows. The TV gets quite bright to overcome glare and has excellent reflection handling, making it a good choice for bright rooms around the house. Viewing angles are ok. It is good at upscaling 720p and cable content so TV shows look great.

See our TV Shows recommendations
8.1 Sports

The LG 65SK9500 is very good for sports watching. It has the great response time to catch all the action. It handles reflections well and gets bright enough suitable for bright rooms. Also, the viewing angle is not bad so you can watch a game with a few friends, although you might notice some gray uniformity issues on panning shots.

See our Sports recommendations
8.6 Video Games

Playing video games on this LG SK9500 is impressive. It has an amazing low input lag and excellent response time, providing an immersive gaming experience. It handles great a variety of input resolutions and although the contrast does not allow it to produce deep blacks, it will make most people happy.

See our Video Games recommendations
7.3 HDR Movies

This TV is okay for watching HDR movies. The contrast ratio is not so great and local dimming cannot help the TV display deep blacks in dark environments. Small highlights in HDR content are boosted and shown well. Colors are saturated and accurate, however, some clouding is visible in very dark scenes and that might bother some people.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
8.1 HDR Gaming

This TV is impressive for playing HDR games. Colors are accurate and rich, input lag is low and response time is great so that the SK9500 can handle fast action well. There is a variety of inputs including the 4k @ 60Hz + HDR allowing you to have a nice HDR gaming experience.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
8.7 PC Monitor

Very good performance for this LG 65SK9500PUA as a PC monitor. It has excellent low input lag and feels very responsive to mouse movements. It does not have a permanent burn-in risk so one should not be afraid to use it as a monitor. Colors on the edges might look a little washed out when sitting too close to the screen due to average viewing angle performance.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 8.0 Mixed Usage
  • 7.3 Movies
  • 8.2 TV Shows
  • 8.1 Sports
  • 8.6 Video Games
  • 7.3 HDR Movies
  • 8.1 HDR Gaming
  • 8.7 PC Monitor
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 2/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 2/28/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3. Learn more about our versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
9.5
Design
Style
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.

Design
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"

Design
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.

Design
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.

Design
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.

8.5
Design
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.

Picture Quality
6.8
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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.

8.2
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
3.5 %
Indirect Reflections
0.5 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
3.0 %

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.

8.2
Picture Quality
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.

9.3
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
480p Input

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

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

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

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

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

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Native 4k content is clear and sharp.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input
Picture Quality
Pixels
8.0
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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.

Motion
8.9
Motion
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
Motion
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
Motion
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.

Motion
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
Motion
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
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 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
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
HDMI Forum VRR
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1440p VRR Maximum
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
VRR Supported Connectors
No VRR support

The LG 65SK9500PUA doesn't support any variable refresh rate features.

Inputs
9.5
Inputs
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
Inputs
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.

Inputs
Input Photos

Similar inputs to the LG SK9000.

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
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)
Inputs
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.

Sound Quality
6.9
Sound Quality
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