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LG UH5500 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Nov 04, 2016 at 09:05 am
LG UH5500 Picture
Test Methodology v1.0
7.5
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.2
Movies
7.3
TV Shows
7.2
Sports
8.1
Video Games
7.4
HDR Movies
8.0
HDR Gaming
6.8
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the LG LJ5500
Type LED
Resolution 4k
Refresh Rate 60 Hz

The LG UH5500 is a budget 4k LED TV with good picture quality, especially in a dark room. It has good motion handling, and deals with reflections well. Unfortunately it isn't all good, as the input lag is considerably higher than the competition and the screen doesn't get very bright.

Our Verdict

7.5 Mixed Usage

Better than average TV for a range of usages. The picture quality is good, especially for watching movies in a dark room. Handles reflections very well, which helps to make up for the low peak brightness in a brighter room. Unfortunately the picture quality degrades when viewed at an angle.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
7.2 Movies

Slightly above average for watching movies in a dark room. Dark scene performance in very good due to high native contrast and great black uniformity. Unfortunately lacks local dimming feature to improve performance further.

See our Movies recommendations
7.3 TV Shows

Above average for watching TV in a brighter room. Picture quality is good, but degrades when viewed at an angle. Can't get very bright to counteract glare, but screen finish is good at dealing with reflections. Smart platform works well for casual viewing.

See our TV Shows recommendations
7.2 Sports

Good for watching sports. Picture quality is good, but degrades when viewed at an angle. Motion handling is good, with only a little motion blur. Some dirty screen effect is visible in panning shots.

See our Sports recommendations
8.1 Video Games

Picture quality is good. Handles fast motion quite well with some blur. Input lag is quite high, which is bad.

See our Video Games recommendations
7.4 HDR Movies

Average for watching HDR movies in a dark room. Picture quality is good, but doesn't support a wider color gamut or high peak brightness to benefit from HDR. Accepts a HDR10 signal. Doesn't feature local dimming to improve dark scene performance.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
8.0 HDR Gaming

Slightly above average for HDR gaming. Accepts a HDR10 signal, but this doesn't improve the picture quality. Doesn't support a high peak brightness of highlights or wide color gamut. Input lag is quite high which is bad. Motion handling is good.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
6.8 PC Monitor

Slightly better than average choice for a PC monitor. Fast motion has a little blur which is good. Supports chroma subsampling at the most demanding resolutions, for clear text. Input lag is quite high which is bad. Picture quality is good but degrades when viewed at an angle.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 7.5 Mixed Usage
  • 7.2 Movies
  • 7.3 TV Shows
  • 7.2 Sports
  • 8.1 Video Games
  • 7.4 HDR Movies
  • 8.0 HDR Gaming
  • 6.8 PC Monitor
Pros
  • Good picture quality
  • Screen finish helps to reduce reflections
Cons
  • Can't get very bright
  • Image loses contrast at an angle

Check Price

50" 50UH5500
Unavailable
B&H
65" 65UH5500
Unavailable
B&H

Test Results

Design
6.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The design of the TV is very basic, with two wide-set feet and relatively thick borders. It appears quite blocky and definitely won't be the centerpiece of any room. 

Design
Stand

The stand is simple, and almost the width of the TV. We had to extend our test table to fit the TV. It supports the TV quite well, but as with any large TV there is some sway.

Footprint of the 65" TV stand: 11.7" x 53.1"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 400x200

To back is very similar to other budget TVs, but provides easy access to all of the inputs even if wall mounted. Note that the 50" model has a VESA 300x200 mount.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.75" (1.9 cm)

The borders are thicker than average. They have a reflective plastic which picks up fingerprints easily. The bottom border of the TV has a textured finish which stands out a bit.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 3.31" (8.4 cm)

The TV appears quite bulky, which may be an issue if wall mounted. The widest part of the TV is near the base.

Picture Quality
8.9
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
5594 : 1

The contrast ratio is very good, providing great dark scene performance. Even in a very dark room the blacks appear deep.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct

There is no local dimming feature to improve the dark scene performance of this TV. This video is only for reference.

7.2
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
298 cd/m2
SDR Peak 2% Window
294 cd/m2
SDR Peak 10% Window
294 cd/m2
SDR Peak 25% Window
294 cd/m2
SDR Peak 50% Window
294 cd/m2
SDR Peak 100% Window
294 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 2% Window
294 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 10% Window
294 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 25% Window
294 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 50% Window
294 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 100% Window
294 cd/m2

The SDR peak brightness is average and is the same as when the TV is in HDR mode. This makes a TV not the best TV when set in a bright room since, at this level of brightness, it will have a hard time fighting glare.

7.1
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
286 cd/m2
HDR Peak 2% Window
294 cd/m2
HDR Peak 10% Window
294 cd/m2
HDR Peak 25% Window
294 cd/m2
HDR Peak 50% Window
294 cd/m2
HDR Peak 100% Window
294 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 2% Window
294 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 10% Window
294 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 25% Window
294 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 50% Window
294 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 100% Window
294 cd/m2

The TV can't get very bright, and doesn't have local dimming to increase the brightness of highlights. The peak brightness remains the same whether it is a HDR or SDR signal, which is good as some other LG TVs offer limited SDR performance. For a very bright room the TV may not be able to counteract all of the glare.

5.8
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
5.429 %
50% DSE
0.244 %

The gray uniformity of the UH5500 is bad. All the sides and corners of the TV are darker. Some lighter horizontal bands and some darker vertical bands can also be seen. Dirty screen effect is visible when watching sports like hockey, football or soccer, where large panning shots over a uniform surface make those darker bands really visible. This is a little less noticeable while watching normal TV shows.

4.3
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
LCD Type
VA
Color Shift
20 °
Brightness
30 °
Black Level
22 °

The picture quality declines rapidly when viewed at an angle. Colors lose accuracy and contrast is lost. Despite this, it is a better result than most other cheap VA TVs.

Update: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results.

9.1
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.920 %

The black uniformity is very good on this LG TV. Some faint clouding can be seen on the lower left corner, but nothing really problematic, since it is only noticeable on our test picture. When looking at normal content, no clouding can be seen.

9.5
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

The TV can display a 10 bit gradient pattern smoothly, without 8 bit gradations. There are some green shade problems in the gray and also in the dark green, but in general the gradation is pretty smooth and without banding.

8.0
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
4.17
Color dE
2.93
Gamma
2.47

Prior to calibration, the results are quite good. The gamma is quite high so there may be some black crush. The colors are quite accurate and should be fine for almost anyone. The white balance is a little off, but without a side by side comparison to a calibrated TV it is hard to tell the difference.

9.7
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.16
Color dE
1.03
Gamma
2.2

Calibration is quickly performed with the 20 point system. It responds well to changes, and results in a very accurate image. All minor issues can be fixed, and the gamma is adjusted to the target if 2.2. The color space is a bit less responsive, but it was still possible to bring down the total color dE.

You can find our calibration settings here

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Low quality content such as DVDs look quite good once upscaled. Some halo artifacts can be seen along edges, but this shouldn't be too much of a problem and is typical of LG TVs.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content such as cable TV appears quite clear. Details are preserved well.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content is upscaled well. The image is clear and sharp.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

High resolution content such as Blu-rays look good. No issues can be seen.

7.1
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
86.92 %
DCI P3 uv
77.33 %
Rec 2020 xy
63.04 %
Rec 2020 uv
55.92 %

The UH5500 doesn't have a wide color gamut, and so is only suitable to display SDR colors. There is an 'Extended' gamut option in the menu, but this is not suitable for HDR content.

5.6
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage
62.970 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage
36.489 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage
45.975 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage
26.606 %

The UH5500 can't produce very saturated colors at low luminance, resulting in a low color volume.

10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.000 %

8.5
Picture Quality
Reflections
Reflection
0.9 %
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss

The UH5500 has one of the lowest reflection numbers, even when compared to high end TVs. This is great for a room with some bright lights. The semi gloss finish works to diffuse reflections, reducing their intensity.

0
Picture Quality
3D
3D
No
3D Type
No
2D to 3D
No

There is no 3D support on this TV.

Picture Quality
Pixels

Motion
7.8
Motion
Motion Blur
Response Time
17.7 ms
Overshoot
0.5 ms

There is some motion blur, but this will only be an issue with fast paced content. There is a little overshoot which can be seen in the brighter areas following the logo. The PWM flickering backlight can be seen in the duplications following the logo.

2.8
Motion
Image Flicker
PWM Dimming Frequency
120 Hz
BFI
No
BFI Frequency
120 Hz
BFI In Game Mode
No

7.1
Motion
24p Playback
Judder-free 24p
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60p
No
Judder-free 24p via 60i
No

To play movies from a 24p source such as a Blu-ray player without judder, turn 'Real Cinema' on. Some judder is always present when playing movies over a 60Hz source, but this isn't an issue as most people don't notice it.

5.0
Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
No

The UH5500 has a 60Hz panel which is able to interpolate lower refresh rate content. This is good for those who enjoy the soap opera effect.

Inputs
7.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
25.0 ms
1080p With Interpolation
76.7 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
77.5 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
84.4 ms
4k @ 60Hz
24.8 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
80.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
18.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
N/A

The input lag is high, so the TV doesn't feel responsive. It is fairly consistent across different picture modes, resolutions and refresh rates, but varies by up to 10ms with each measurement. This is bad for gamers or those looking to use the TV as a PC monitor. The HDR input lag is the same as the SDR input lag.

Update 01/10/2017: The UH5500 just received a new update (04.30.82) that added a new HDR game mode to this TV. The input lag in HDR Game mode is now at 18.5ms. Note that input lag under gamer mode with a 1080p and 4k resolution also got by half, it is now around 25ms.

8.0
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes

To enable chroma subsampling support, set the input icon to 'PC'. For higher bandwidth signals such as 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4, enable 'HDMI UHD Deep Color' for the HDMI port in 'General' settings. Supports chroma subsampling at a wide range of resolutions for those who are looking to use it as a PC monitor. Like other LG TVs, it doesn't support a 120Hz input.

Inputs
Side Inputs

Inputs
Rear Inputs

Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 3
USB 1
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 0
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 1 (shared)
Composite In 1 (shared)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 0
SD/SDHC 0

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
Dolby Vision
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
ARC Yes (HDMI 2)
USB 3 No
HDCP 2.2 Yes
CEC Yes
MHL No
Variable Analog Audio Out No

Sound Quality
6.9
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Std. Dev. @ 70
2.84 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ 80
2.88 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ Max
5.69 dB SPL
Max
86.6 dB SPL
Low-end Cutoff
113 Hz

Decent performance. Frequency response is good and mostly flat at lower volumes. However, there will be pumping and compression present under heavier loads. Additionally, maximum volume and low-end cutoff of are also close to average.

6.2
Sound Quality
Total Harmonic Distortion
Distortion @ 70
0.012
Distortion @ 80
0.038
Distortion @ Max
0.118

Average harmonic distortion performance. Very good distortion performance at 75dB SPL, however, as the volume increases there is a noticeable rise in harmonic distortion as well.

Smart Features
Smart Features
Apps

The 'LG Content Store' provides access to a growing collection of apps and games. It includes all of the popular streaming apps, such as Netflix, Amazon Vizio, YouTube and Hulu.

8.5
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS WebOS 3.0

The UH5500 comes pre-loaded with WebOS 3.0. This is the same version of the smart platform found in all of the 2016 LG smart TVs. It is definitely an improvement on the previous generation, and provides an easy to use interface with lots of features. It also has access to loads of apps on the 'LG Content Store' for watching Netflix or Amazon Video, or listening to music on Spotify. Plugging a USB drive into the USB 2.0 port allows watching videos or a slideshow of photos straight from the TV.

0
Smart Features
Ads
Ad-free
No
Opt-out
No

Smart Features
TV Controls

There is only a single button on the TV for power, and no controls to adjust inputs or volume.

Smart Features
Remote
Remote Basic

The TV includes a basic remote, which is the same as other low-end LG TVs such as the UH6100. It is quite simple to use.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Manual
  • Batteries
  • Remote

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 75 W
Power Consumption (Max) 171 W
Firmware 04.30.02

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 65" (65UH5500). For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 50" (50UH5500).

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their LG UH5500 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.

Size Model
50" 50UH5500
65" 65UH5500

Compared to other TVs

Comparison picture

Top left: Vizio D Series 4k 2016 (D50u-D1). Bottom left: Hisense H8C (50H8C). Middle: LG UH5500 (65UH5500). Top right: Sony X700D (XBR55X700D). Bottom right: Samsung KU6300 (UN55KU6300).  Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The LG UH5500 is a budget offering with impressive picture quality, especially for the price. It has especially good dark scene performance, so is hard to beat for those with a dark room. Keep that in mind when viewing our recommendations below.

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