Buying a new TV can be a big investment, one of the biggest purchases outside of a house and a car. That means the stakes are high when you consider which TV best matches your individual criteria when it comes to features, design and value for money.
For the past two weeks, I’ve been spending time with the new LG OLED EVO 2022, the best of their display technology. Historically, OLEDs weren’t available in larger screen sizes, but that’s no longer an issue with screen sizes up to 83″ now larger than where most consumers buy.
The model I looked at was the 48C2, a very practical size for your home office, bedroom or small apartment. Depending on your desk space, you can actually use this TV as a gaming monitor, although it’s a significant investment compared to regular monitors.
One of the nice attributes of modern TVs, especially OLED, is their thinness. When you unbox this screen, you’ll immediately notice how incredibly thin the top of the screen is, but when you remove the TV from the foam packaging, you’ll probably be a little shocked at how thick the bottom two are. third of the TV is.
The top is ridiculously thin, thinner than your phone, but the base matters, at least 5 times thicker than the top. Although this could be fixed to the wall, it would rest on the wall by some margin.
It’s a spectacular demonstration of the finesse of OLED display technology while appreciating that all modern TVs eventually have a brain that has to fit somewhere.
Eventually when you’re sitting in front of the TV you’ll forget all about it and be lost in the picture quality and after turning on the TV and going through the setup wizard it was only a few minutes later and I never really thought about depth after that.
Another aspect of the design is the stand. This 2-piece design takes a bit of fiddling to attach to the screen, but once bolted down it looks fantastic, with a sleek stainless steel finish and a subtle reminder of the investment you’ve made with the brand. LG OLED positioned bottom right.
This TV is packed with features, so as much as you can attribute some of the price to the OLED display technology and design, a lot of it has to go to R&D to deliver that impressive feature list.
If you’re a gamer, you can’t ask for much more than the TV to respond to every tick of the Xbox Series X check. That includes the all-important 120Hz refresh rate check that deludes so many screens. This means that when playing the fastest games you will have smooth gameplay, so whether your jam is 180 snaps in an FPS, or taking turns at 300 km/h in racing games, the experience will be best possible on a TV.
If you’re connecting the TV to a computer, you’ll get support for Nvidia’s G-Sync and AMD FreeSync technologies that prevent vertical tearing, ensuring that every frame delivered to your eyeballs is perfect every time.
A really nice feature is support for NVIDIA’s GeForce Now cloud gaming service. This lets you connect a controller and play games without a console or computer. These games are rendered on Nvidia’s cloud infrastructure and the frames are sent back to you, while your controller inputs are sent back over the internet to the game running remotely. It requires a decent connection, but it still amazes me that it works with such low latency.
For those who like to control their TV from across the room, you’ve ticked a few very important boxes, with support for Google Voice Assistant and Amazon Alexa allowing it to integrate seamlessly most home configurations.
There are many times when you have friends over and want to show them your phone content. LG makes it easy with support for Apple’s Airplay 2 to mirror your screen in seconds.
Attached to the back of the display is LG’s new A9 4k Gen5 AI processor that runs WebOS. When you use the remote to interact with the TV, you’ll see an on-screen slider to navigate the interface, rather than the typical up, down, left and right system that many others use. It takes a bit of getting used to, but works pretty well.
The user interface provides a personalized set of content based on content you have watched in the past. It works well and is based on your profile. It’s a little fiddly to quickly move between profiles and I’d like to see a simple path, like using the remote app on your phone and having it automatically switch to the profile of the person who turned on the TV.
WebOS also offers access to weather, live TV, entertainment apps, and something called “Home Dashboard.” As someone who also owns an LG washing machine, I was able to get status updates, a great example of what’s possible if you buy from the brand. As much as I love this, I also wish it was an IoT standard that all TVs and devices could leverage.
In terms of connectivity, LG has included 4 HDMI ports supporting 4K at 120Hz, one of which can be used for eARC to newer audio devices like SONOS Arc. There’s also an optical audio output if you’re still rocking that and 3 USB-A ports for accessories like Chromecasts.
Although I never found the need to use it, LG includes an IR blaster in the box that connects to a port on the back of the TV. There’s also a typical wired Ethernet port, but many will take advantage of the included WiFi for easy connectivity.
When it comes to apps, the decision to add dedicated buttons to the remote is always a big gamble. LG has selected Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, MOVIES, Google Assistant and Alexa for their dedicated buttons.
If you’re someone who watches YouTube a lot, that definitely sounds like a weird omission, so you consider there’s also Kayo, Binge. Apple TV+, iView, 9NOW, SBS OnDemand and many more and it really looks like a bigger issue.
While the default control that comes with a TV will probably never be as fancy as a Logitech Harmony, having a digital display where users could customize their buttons would be a much better resolution for its features.
Price and availability
The LG 48C2 (OLED48C2PSA) is available now at all regular retailers (JB HiFi, Good Guys, Bing Lee, Harvey Norman and more, with a choice of screen sizes from 42″ to 83″. The 48″ version ( revised) costs AU$2,995 is certainly a high price for a TV of this size.
When you opt for larger TVs, you can expect to pay a hefty premium, so it should come as no surprise to learn that the 83″ version costs AU$10,995.
At this size and budget, it’s worth remembering that 8K screens are becoming more realistic options, even if content options are a few years away from being readily available.
With TVs at this price you have a serious decision to make, a choice between the best display tech from one of the top OEMs at a smaller size, or going for a bigger screen for less tech (still very close) like QLED. Only you can make that decision, but if you’re limited on space and have the budget, then this is absolutely a TV you should have at the top of your list.
The key ambition for most people buying an OLED TV is ultra-deep black levels and that’s absolutely on offer here. When parts of the image are black, you don’t have to rely on the number of local dimming zones offered, each individual pixel is responsible for emitting or not emitting its own light.
The resulting effect is a stunning image, full of color and shadow detail, all with smooth gradients and it’s really hard to beat that.
I have and love my QLED TVs but there is something special about OLED that said hardly anyone has an OLED and QLED side by side which often means that pretty close may be good enough for many buyers and if this QLED comes at a lower price, it may be the best option for those on a budget.
#Test #bench #OLED #EVO #48C2