The LG UH8500 4k HDR TV doesn't have revolutionary picture quality, but it is still the best LED TV from LG that we have reviewed so far. It even improved on the already great WebOS smart platform, which is a nice bonus. Like other TVs from LG, it's a good pick for a living room with seating on the sides of the TV. Unfortunately, the picture isn't the best in a dark environment.
The LG UH8500 is a nice looking TV. Its recess glass, shiny metal stand and its completely white back are some of the details that makes it stand out. There is a high end feel to it.
Except for in some dark scenes, the LG UH8500 delivers good picture quality, with rich colors, for a wide variety of content. It is also HDR-ready and looks decent for this specific kind of content. It doesn't have any issues with judder. Lower-resolution content, like DVDs, also look good.
This TV has an IPS panel, and so isn't able to produce deep blacks. Compared to other IPS TVs, it managed to do a little better than average.
We set local dimming to 'High' for this test, but we found that it darkened the dot too much. For most content, the 'Low' or 'Medium' value of 'LED Local Dimming' would appear more useful, in that it will not darken small highlights. Overall though, the dimming performance is really poor.
SDR peak brightness for the LG UH8500 is bad. The UH8500 can't get brighter than 300 cd/m², and the local dimming also dims too much the 2% window, which is a bit disappointing for this LED TV, since it is in the high end of LG LED TV lineup.
Update: Retested with a HDR signal and local dimming 'High'. It got a bit brighter, but it still isn't a very bright TV as far as HDR goes.
As most other LED TVs, gray uniformity is bad. At least, there is no obvious large banding issues so panning shots over playing fields shouldn't be much bothering.
As with other IPS TVs, the TV can maintain good contrast and color saturation when viewed from the sides. Picture still begins to deteriorate at more extreme angles.
The LG UH8500's black uniformity is decent, without any obvious clouding or light bleeding.
The picture above shows the TV fed with a 10 bit input signal. Our 10 bit gradient pattern isn't displayed perfectly, showing some minor color gradation issues, but it is still a lot smoother than when the TV is fed with an 8 bit signal. 10 bit HDR content should then be free from obvious banding.
Very good pre-calibration values. For most people, a professional calibration wouldn't make much noticeable difference.
We were able to obtain great results with relative ease, although it always takes more time with the 20 point values. It does get more precise, though.
The LG UH8500 offers the option to output a wider color gamut in all of its picture modes. It will be set to 'Wide' automatically when in the HDR picture mode. Unfortunately, even with the 'Wide' setting, the range of color doesn't increase much. TVs with higher DCI P3/Rec 2020 numbers are going to be better for HDR.
The UH8500 has good performance for DCI-P3, but at very high and very low luminosity colors lose their saturation.
The UH8500 TV have some image retention and it is a bit worse than what we have see on the UH9500. We can clearly make out the colored logos from the static image of the test video right after the 10 minutes exposure to the burn-in scene, but it was completely gone after 6 minutes of recovery.
A few lights won't be a problem. A small rainbow effect can be seen around bright reflections, though.
As long as the TV is being watched from directly in front, there is no crosstalk to be seen. As with other 3D TVs, slight vertical angles or wide horizontal angles will create crosstalk.
Sports look good on the LG UH8500. Action stays clear even on some of the fastest plays. So do players, balls, or cars, none of which will look blurry while moving at full speed. The color uniformity of the fields is not really good though, which is especially noticeable on panning shots.
The pixels response time is quick, so there isn't a long trail following moving objects. There is a small amount of overshoot that isn't apparent.
Blu-ray movies play smoothly, as do movies played over cable or satellite. Streaming movies might show some judder if you do not enable motion interpolation (TruMotion).
Motion interpolation (TruMotion) has to be enabled to enjoy streaming movies without judder. The 'Smooth' pre-set will add the soap opera effect, but using a low custom value can remove judder without adding noticeable soap opera effect.
The LG UH8500 is a good pick for video games. Low input lag keeps everything snappy and responsive, and games with quick movement, like first person shooters, won't appear too blurry.
The 1080p input lag is low enough for any fast-paced game. The TV's lag even remains at playable levels outside game mode, allowing for more picture options to be enabled. Unfortunately, motion interpolation adds too much lag for games to be properly playable. Those looking for that option for gaming should look for a different TV.
Update 12/08/2016: With the newest firmware update (04.30.19) there has been the addition of a HDR gaming mode. In this mode the HDR input lag is lower, and should be fine for HDR gaming. Note that although the TV accepts a 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + HDR signal, it can't accurately display the chroma subsampling in any HDR mode, even with the 'PC' icon selected.
It supports most standard PC resolutions, except for 1080p @ 120Hz. To enable chroma 4:4:4 for sharper text, go in the input menu and change the icon of the input to 'PC'. For 4k resolutions, you must also enable 'HDMI ULTRA Deep Color,' which you can find in the 'General' menu.
Input lag in PC mode is the same as in game mode.
The sound isn't impressive, but it's decent overall, for a TV. A soundbar would still be a better solution for even better sound, though.
Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.
This TV was tested with "Magic Sound Tuning" enabled. Good low-end extension, especially for a TV. Very good maximum loudness too, however, the TV is likely to pump at higher volumes. The frequency response, after applying Magic Sound Tuning, improves noticeably and becomes flatter and more balanced.
Good distortion results overall; unremarkable performance.
LG has improved its already good WebOS smart platform to version 3.0. The presentation looks great, navigation is quick, and the app selection covers the basics. In terms of usability, WebOS still has the edge when compared with the smart platforms offered by other brands.
Ads can be found in the LG content store, and you can only opt-out of personalized advertising.
We tested the 55" (55UH8500) and expect, for the most part, our review to be valid for the other available sizes.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their LG UH8500 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.
The LG UH8500 is a good choice for a wide living room with seatings on the side of the TV. Unfortunately, when watched from front or in the dark, there is a lot of better performing TVs.