LG 65UF9500 4K UHD TV Review
65″ 4K Ultra HD 120Hz (240Hz effective) 3D Smart LED TV
LG’s flagship line of 4K UHD TVs for 2015 is the UF9500 Series and is available in 55, 65 and 79-inch screen sizes. So, does LG’s latest flagship model live up to its premium echelon status? Read on to find out…
The UF9500 is first and foremost a premium class 4K UHD TV. But as you gaze upon its elegant appearance, it could also pass as a beautifully sculptured piece of artwork.
This 65” beauty features a glossy glass screen which in my opinion helps provide a clearer, sharper and more transparent picture image that also allows for the maximum amount of image detail to show through. I prefer this type of screen over the plexiglass (plastic) design that often contains a matte finish that can give the image a somewhat dull appearance. This type of screen, however, is better at reducing screen reflections and glare than its glossy counterpart.
The 9500 has an IPS display panel and uses edge-lit backing lighting technology with LG’s own local dimming technology known as LED Plus that LG claims to provide greater contrast and better black level reproduction. IPS panels are known for their very good off-axis viewing characteristics which is better at reducing picture dimming and color saturation loss when compared to VA type display panels when viewing at wide angles. IPS panels are also known for their inability to produce deep black levels.
The bezel on this display is probably the slimmest I have ever encountered, and is literally razor thin along the top and sides of the panel, and is just a bit bigger along the bottom. The edges are super-thin measuring only one-third (0.33) of an inch deep at its thinnest point.
If you happen to check out the UF9500 at a local electronics store, be sure to have a look at the back of the display panel. It is not your typical black plastic design; instead, it is very sleek and attractive in appearance with a bright white finish, which in my opinion has such a modern and aesthetically pleasing appearance, makes it almost shameful for it to be hidden on the backside of this TV.
The stand on this set is very handsome and features an integrated auditorium design which allows sound from the panels four down firing speakers to reflect and radiate forward into the listening environment for a more enveloping audio experience.
Two of the most prominent features on the UF9500 are its ColorPrime with Nano Spectrum technology and a new webOS 2.0 Smart TV interface. ColorPrime widens the displays color gamut by 25% using different types of phosphor in the LED illumination system; therefore, providing richer, vibrant and more natural and accurate color reproduction.
The new version of webOS 2.0 is faster (quad-core processor) and even more user-friendly than its predecessor, letting users effortlessly switch between content, programs and a number of apps including Netflix, Amazon Instant and many more. Booting time has been reduced by up to 60 percent, and connectivity to external devices is even more effortless than before. I personally spent a lot of time interacting with this new interface and found it simple and easy to use.
Video processing on this TV is handled by LG’s Tru-4K Engine Pro and Tru-4K Upscaler technologies for optimal image processing and upconversion of all non-native 4k sources. This will prove beneficial when viewing your 1080p blu-ray disc collection on this TV, because this content will be upconverted to near 4K quality.
Motion blur control is handled by LG’s TruMotion 240Hz which can be a useful feature while viewing fast action content, especially sporting events. However, leaving this setting on can make movies/film content shot at 24 or 30fps look unnatural, thus rendering the dreaded soap opera effect. To alleviate this problem, the sets motion blur control can be turned off.
This display contains a premium four channel audio system designed by Harmon Kardon and features LG’s Ultra Surround for simulated multi-channel surround sound. I will talk more on sound quality later.
If 3D viewing still interest you, the UF9500 provides this capability using passive technology and includes two pairs of 3D glasses.
The included Magic Remote control has been redesigned. It is much larger than its predecessor, and the size increase is primarily due to the addition of numerical keypad buttons. The remote is still easy to use and provided a comfortable fit in my hand. The remote is still equipped with natural voice recognition capability and can be used as a point-and-click device to operate certain functions of the TV.
I have grown accustomed to using the “point-and-click” feature on LG’s Magic Remote via this TV and other LG TVs I have reviewed. I really enjoy the quick access it allows to execute functions within the TV menus.
- 4 HDMI inputs – 2.0/HDCP 2.2
- 1 Component input
- 1 Composite input (shared with component input)
- 1 Digital optical output
- 3 USB inputs – one 3.0/two 2.0
- 1 Ethernet input
- 1 RF input for antenna/cable/satellite
- Built-in Wi-Fi and full web browser capability
- Wi-Fi Direct
I will start with the UF9500’s best performance attributes: Color reproduction on this set was outstanding, which I’m sure had a lot to do with the ColorPrime color enhancing technology used within this display. Colors were well saturated displaying rich and vibrant hues with excellent tonal balance, which allowed the set to rendered picture images with a very realistic presence.
Picture detail: I was very impressed with the amount of fine detail and extreme clarity this TV could produce. Images were so sharp and clear that it seemed to present an extra level of transparency to the picture image.
Image depth was also fantastic on this set, and is a picture quality attribute I enjoy seeing on 4K UHD displays. The UF9500 didn’t disappoint in this crucial area, and allowed me to see very fine detail deep into the on-screen image.
Side angle viewing was very good on this set thanks to its IPS display panel. I experienced less picture dimming and color saturation loss than I would with a non-IPS panel when viewed at any given off-axis viewing angle.
Sound quality of the on-board Hamon Kardon sound system was very good and performed well above average for a flat panel design. The system could play loud and clean without distorting and had a nicely refined stereo image. The midrange and treble output was appropriately detailed and articulate. In addition, the sound output as it was reflected off the auditorium stand was given a more open and spacious presence, which helped maximize audio performance and surround dispersion.
As good as this audio system performed, it was still unable to produce any solid bass output. However, I’m not surprised by this, since it is not possible for such a slim display panel to incorporate speakers that are capable producing any decent low frequency output.
Motion blur: This sets 120Hz refresh rate along with LG’s TruMotion 240Hz technology appeared to be effective as I did not detect any motion blur issues on this display with any of the fast action content I viewed.
Now for the negative issues I encountered with the UF9500: Deep black level reproduction on IPS panels has always been one of its major short comings, and the IPS display panel on this set proved to be no different. Black levels weren’t even close to the deep and inky black levels that can be achieved on the best performing 4K UHD LED TVs on the market.
Instead, they appeared to be moderately dark and black, but were also a tad bit luminous, which added a grayish overtone to the image and caused contrast levels to suffer. These performance issue were most prominent when viewing this display in a dark viewing environment.
However; I should note, when viewing this TV in a brightly lit room, the contrast and black level issues mentioned above are harder to see, and become less of an issue.
If you plan on viewing this display in a dark environment, there is a way to improve on the sets black level performance by using its “LED local dimming” function located in the advanced picture menu settings.
This feature will allow you to adjust the LED light output to Low, Medium or High. I tried all three setting and achieved the best results using the “High” setting. Using this function notably increased black level output making the image appear much darker while increasing contrast and eliminating much of the grayish overtones that where very apparent with the local dimming function turned off.
Shadow detail could have been better on this set, which sometimes had a little too much luminance infiltrating the image when a dark scene was mixed with bright highlights, which caused shadow detail in these images to be obscured. Other than that, shadow detail was generally fine on this set.
LG’s UF9500 is a state-of-the-art 4K Ultra HD TV that for the most part lives up to its top tier status level, but not without a few short comings in its performance that may cause some consumers to steer clear of this otherwise excellent performing ultra high definition display. Contrast and black level issues are its major picture quality deficiencies which hurt its picture performance. So if your intentions are to use this TV in a dark home theater environment, you may want to consider a set with better black level performance.
Although the sets LED local dimming feature does improve black level output to much better levels, it still can’t match the deep blacks of other TV manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony and Vizio’s full-array LED backlighting displays.
However, when viewing the UF9500 in a well lit or bright room setup, this TV will deliver a bright, well balanced and richly colorful image that is full of extreme clarity and detail. Add to that its fine assortment of excellent features including its stellar webOS 2.0 smart TV platform and its great sounding premium audio system, make the UF9500 worthy of its flagship ranking.
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