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REVIEW: LG's new OLED TV is the best you can buy in Australia

If money is no object and you simply just want the best TV available, then waste no more time reading, go to your nearest retailer and walk out with LG’s EF950T 65-inch 4K Ultra HD OLED HDR TV.

Yes I know that’s a stupid name, but that doesn’t mean it’s a stupid product. The contrast levels, the colour, the deep blacks are all leaps and bounds ahead of anything else – for $8,999.

But let’s dive into it with a bit more detail. The range itself starts at $5499 for the smaller 55-inch model, with both having identical specs aside from the screen size. There’s an OLED panel with 4K resolution, plenty of HDMI ports, including HDMI 2.0a compatibility which supports 4K High Dynamic Range at 60 frames per second, which is something we will get to later. And it’s not curved, which is a welcome addition.

The design

The first thing you’ll notice with these TVs is that they’re incredibly thin. To be precise, 51mm thin for the top two-thirds of the TV, with the lower third slightly thicker to house the processor and all the other parts that make it work. This is thanks to the OLED display which doesn’t have a backlight and has a colour-producing stack that’s just half as thick as your standard LCD.

Annoyingly though, if you want to hang it up, you’ll have to use a bespoke LG picture-frame mount, not the existing one you may have used on your old TV.

On the front, it simply looks like a screen. There is virtually no bezel around the edges of the display, again due to the OLED not needing light emitted from the sides like an LED LCD.

The picture

The fancy slim design is all well and good, but what you’re really buying this TV for is that OLED display. To put it simply, OLED’s backlighting is achieved by putting electricity through organic materials that light up as a specific colour. This is something no other technology directly does, and produces significantly better colour, blacks and contrast than other display types. It also allows TVs to be even thinner, as mentioned above.

In viewing terms, it means that OLED is the best picture available. The blacks are actually black, and not just a really dark colour with hints of backlight throughout. And because of that, it means all your other colours appear incredibly vivid and well saturated.

Here’s another advantage – because the background is genuinely black, the other colours don’t need to be as bright, which means that when you’re watching TV at night the picture looks better again than a typical LCD TV.

New on this year’s model is support for 4K HDR which accentuate’s the OLED’s ability, expanding the range for both contrast and colour so everything seems to have more pop and looks more realistic. It’s fairly new technology, so at this stage there’s only a handful of Blu-rays and shows on Netflix with support it.

I watched some demo content and it looked spectacular The colours are head and shoulders above anything else I’ve ever seen.

If you want to see the difference between something with HDR and without, take a picture on your phone with the settings enabled. While it won’t be as pronounced on your phone as it is on this TV, you’ll get an idea of how big the difference is.

Using it

All of LG’s flagship TVs use the WebOS operating system, and in this case, version 2.0 of that. It’s one of the easiest operating systems to navigate, with a bar of icons and apps to chose from down the bottom of the screen which you select with a motion controlled remote – think Nintendo Wii control.

While it’s easy to use, there can be some noticeable lag when you’re swapping between different menus, which can definitely get a little frustrating at time. LG will likely update its firmware to fix parts of this, but when you’re paying close to $10K for a TV, you expect better than this.

If you like your streaming services, you’ll be happy to know that both Netflix and Stan have native apps on the platform, although Presto is a notable absentee.

Should you buy it?

If money is no objection, then yes, buy it right now. But it’s still really expensive at $8999 – at that price you could buy a 70+inch LED TV and have change left over.

But as I’ve been told, size doesn’t count for everything.

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