What is the OLED55B8PLA from LG?
The LG OLED55B8PLA is the cheapest OLED TV that LG has made. This may be all that many AV fans need to hear before going to stores to buy one.
Before doing so, you should bear in mind that, unlike other basic OL OLED models of recent years, OLED55B8PLA does not. Do not deliver the same image as your more expensive brothers. To keep its price low, it uses a less powerful video processor that affects the quality of the image.
As long as you keep this in mind, the OLED55B8PLA is still good enough for its price of £ 1,500 to look like a bargain.
Related: OLED vs LED LCD – What is the best display technology?
LG OLED55B8PLA – Design and build quality
The LG OLED55B8PLA is ridiculously attractive for the TELEVISION price. As always with OLED TVs, it is extraordinarily thin, at least on its outer edges.
I love the way your frame aligns with the screen, creating a monolithic effect of great beauty. The metallic mounting of the screen is also magnificent, and makes the set much more robust than a TV so thin has the right to be.
The OLED55B8 is available with two different support variations. The "PLA" version I tested places the screen on a metal "sheet" at an angle downward. An OLED55B8SLC version uses a wider and more open "boomerang" style support. Both look attractive, although I prefer the more serious aspect of the PLA approach.
The LG OLED55B8 comes with one of LG's "Magic" remotes. These have a wheel to help you quickly turn up and down in the on-screen menus. However, if it feels traditional, the most standard navigation buttons are also included.
LG OLED55B8PLA – Features
The LG OLED55B8PLA is a 4K OLED TV that you can buy for just £ 1500. This makes it potentially dreamer for AV fans attracted to the quality of OLED image, but are usually dissuaded by its price.
Why are OLED displays so popular with AV fans? Because each pixel OLED creates its own light, unlike LCD TVs, which have to use external light systems. This means that OLED TVs can offer deeper black levels and more local contrast than LCD TVs.
OLED TVs are perfect for managing the black ink levels and the extreme contrast found in many movies. Especially if those films are presented with high dynamic range (HDR) technology.
But, as noted above, the B8 does not present the same image specification as the other models in the LG OLED range. Your Alpha 7 processor does not reach the Alpha 9 processor used in the LG C8 series and higher. I will explain how the processors differ in the Performance section.
The intelligent features of the OLED55B8 are driven by LG's webOS system, which is still skillful, attractive and easy to follow. However, the scroll bar of the & # 39; folders & # 39; selectable at the bottom of the screen is becoming a bit difficult to manage as the amount of TV content sources increases.
The webOS compatible applications include all the key video transmission platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Rakuten, YouTube, Now TV and the update applications for the main terrestrial broadcasters in the United Kingdom. In addition, TV update applications are available within the Freeview Play umbrella application. This makes it much easier to find and search for programs on all the update platforms.
Related: What is Freeview Play? The Connected TV platform explained
The OLED55B8PLA supports the playback of three HDR formats. First, inevitably, there is the industry standard HDR10 system. Then, there is the HLG, which will reach its own level with the next HDR transmission platforms. Finally, Dolby Vision offers high-quality HDR performance from Dolby Vision sources by supporting image data scene by scene.
The image presets of the LG OLED55B8PLA offer a lot of flexibility to adapt to different room environments. There is also an excellent dynamic tone mapping feature for HDR sources that are not Dolby Vision. This uses processing to imitate Dolby Vision's scene-by-scene data to increase contrast and color.
The preset of the game reduces the amount of time it takes for OLED55B8 to render images less than 25 ms. This is a good result that turns the TV into a video game monitor potentially very effective.
The LG OLED55B8's relationship with Dolby does not end with its Dolby Vision HDR support. It also incorporates a built-in Dolby Atmos audio decoder. This works with an external kit connected to HDMI, a 4K or 4K Blu-ray player from Apple TV, as well as internal Dolby Atmos applications such as Netflix.
Either the built-in 2.2 channel TV sound system. However, you can do justice to a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, it's another matter. You can use the audio return channel (ARC) of OLED55B8PLA to pass the audio from Atmos to external sound solutions.
LG OLED55B8PLA connections include all four HDMI, USB and built-in Wi-Fi / Bluetooth support.
Related: What is HDR? Televisions and high dynamic range telephones explained
LG OLED55B8PLA – Configure
The image presets of the OLED55B8PLA are a bit complicated. You will get the most "accurate" colors and tones if you use the Cinema / Cinema Home settings. They also reduce noise to a minimum.
However, to me, they are too dark to do justice to HDR. I would personally recommend the standard mode instead. Although I would suggest reducing the brightness setting a notch to reduce the potential for noise in the dark areas of the image.
Disable the noise reduction for the native display in 4K to prevent the image from softening. For the movement, I would recommend the personalized configuration, with the defocus and chill elements set in three.
Also for me, the dynamic tone assignment function is essential. Yes, activating this may not give you the most accurate image, "as the director intended." But the dynamism and extra brightness that it introduces with the HDR content is considerable.
Without dynamic tone mapping in play, I would say that OLED55B8PLA strives to deliver a true HDR experience with content other than Dolby Vision.
Finally, word in sound. If you are watching a movie and can turn up the volume, use the Dolby Atmos setting. However, if you can not operate the TV out loud, it is best to turn off Atmos.
Related: Dolby Vision HDR: Everything you need to know
LG OLED55B8PLA – Performance
The images of the LG OLED55B8PLA are not as good as those of the C8 series of the brand. However, they are still really bright for a £ 1,500 TV.
We cover the good news first. Starting with the fact that, as would be expected with any OLED TV, its contrast is immense. Beautiful, deep and natural black colors share the screen space with clean and pure white and beautifully striking colors.
Even better, the brightest highlight of an image can be located just one pixel of its deepest black without compromise between the two. The scenes that contain a bold mixture of light and dark content look spectacularly intense and realistic.
While some LCD TVs may be much brighter than the OLED55B8PLA, no LCD TV can match the purity and touch of the OLED when displaying small bright objects against very dark backdrops It is also lovely to find the OLED55B8PLA free of charge light that "clouds" around the outstanding bright objects you get on almost all LCD TVs.
Standard dynamic range images also look exquisite, and the TV's impressive contrast and color remain intact from wide viewing angles. This wide viewing angle support is another thing that no LCD TV (perhaps the new Sony ZF9 models) can rival.
In summary, the OLED55B8PLA clearly shows all the key benefits of OLED technology, despite its incredibly low price. But if you can get an additional $ 500, there are compelling reasons to consider the LG OLED55C8 in its place.
The OLED55B8 (with its Alpha 7 chip set) does not reach the OLED55C8 (with its Alpha 9 chip set)) in three key ways.
First, the B8 is not so bright. This seems strange, since it would not necessarily associate the brightness with the processing. But while the C8 measures around 800 nits in a white HDR window at 10%, the B8 reaches a maximum of around 680 nits. That's not an important difference and it makes the HDR images look less explosive and, well, HDR.
It also means that there is a less detailed touch and toning information in the brighter parts of the HDR images, and a little less contrast intensity in rich scenes
The reduced processing power of the B8 also means that it is not so good to expand HD sources to 4K. The results seem a bit softer, and subtle color mixtures are handled with less cunning.
As I noted earlier, the movement is not handled as well as in the C8 series. There are distracting and stuttering digital side effects if you use the Smooth or Erase settings respectively. A Motion Pro option uses the insertion of black frames to make the movement look more filmic, but it also makes the image too dark.
The colors of the B8, on the other hand, are not so uniformly balanced and natural Looking at how they are in the C8s. And, finally, the B8 images are more prone to noise, especially in dark areas.
Let me reiterate, however, that while the C8 is unquestionably better, the OLED55B8PLA still has a great performance for its money.
Surprisingly, the OLED55B8PLA manages to associate its stellar images with a more than decent audio. Despite the large part of the body of the TV, its speakers emit a clean, powerful and detailed sound without succumbing to distortions or falls.
The high highs are handled without sharpness and are balanced by some (although not particularly deep) strokes. The middle range is open and balanced, and hosts a rich and complete dialogue.
Most notable of all, the Dolby Atmos tracks are scattered in a surprisingly large area without becoming incoherent. There is even a marginal sound sensation behind you, and some genuine height in the sound stage.
The only downside to all this is that Atmos decoding is only really effective at high volumes. In medium or low volumes, deactivating Atmos can provide a more balanced and convincing result.
Related: Best sound bar 2018
Do I have to buy the LG OLED55B8PLA?
As the cheapest OLED TV yet, the OLED55B8PLA is an easy choice for many AV fans. Yes, you can do better with the LG OLED55C8 for £ 500 more, but £ 500 is a lot of money for most people. Enough, I suspect, to tip the balance for many TV buyers between choosing a high-end LCD TV and choosing this OLED set.
Also, while LG's OLEDs are better, the OLED55B8PLA still offers the key benefits of OLED Technology. In fact, it is more or less on par with the excellent OLED C7 models from last year.
The biggest problem with the LG OLED55B8PLA is that it is not as bright as I would like it to be. If you want to experience more of the positive side of HDR, you can consider a high-quality LCD TV, such as the Sony 55XF9005 from £ 1,299 or the Samsung 55Q9FN from £ 1,999.
Related: The best televisions 2018
If you can afford it, OLED55C8 from LG is a significantly better picture actor. But the LG OLED55B8PLA still retains more than enough OLED quality par excellence to look like a serious bargain.
The LG OLED55B8PLA post appeared first in Trusted Reviews.