LG 65UF9500 4K UHD TV Review

LG UF9500

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…

Design/Features

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.

UF9500 side view

UF9500 Side View

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.

LG webOS 2.0

webOS 2.0

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.

Remote Control

LG Magic Remote

LG Magic Remote

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.

Connectivity

  • 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
LG UF9500 rear panel

UF9500 Rear Panel

Performance

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.

Conclusion

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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10 comments

  • I just purchased this TV and it arrives in a few days from now. Good review . I will be aware of the black Level issue. And hope for the best. I live in a condo with a balcony door and its bright in the day. Don’t watch much tv in the day but at night seeing a good HD flick everybody wants their image to look good in the dark . So I’ll keep the dimming on high.

    • Hi Andrew,
      Congrats on your new purchase; thanks for your compliment and checking out this review. Just want to assure you that the LG UF9500 is a very good 4K UHD TV. And aside from its black level issues that as you know can be compensated for by using the LED local dimming control, this display will provide you with a very satisfying picture image.

  • Hi any suggestion on which would be the better option between this LG UF9500 or the Samsung JU7500. Thanks

    • Hi BJ,
      The LG UF9500 is LG’s current flagship 4K LED display.In my opinion the UF9500 displays better color reproduction due to its Color Prime color technology. When compared to the JU7500, these differences aren’t night and day, but the UF9500 definitely has the edge in regards to color reproduction.
      The UF9500 also has better side angle viewing performance due to its IPS panel design.I also prefer LG’s webOS smart TV platform vs. Samsung’s offering. The UF9500’s speakers provide much better sound than the JU7500.

      With that said, my personal preference would be to go with the JU7500, however in the non-curved JU7100 version of this display. My primary reason to go with the Samsung model is its much better contrast and black level performance, which in my opinion and experience gives it better overall picture quality. The UF9500 can’t produce the same contrast and deep black levels as the Samsung models due to its IPS display panel. The JU7500 is also about $300 cheaper when comparing the 65″ models.

      Hope this helps.

  • I’m curious why you would recommend the Samsung JU7100 rather than the better featured JS8500 SUHD. Isn’t the flagship LG UF9500 featured closer to Samsung’s SUHD product? To the casual viewer that doesn’t review TV’s for a living, isn’t the wider viewing angle of the IPS equipped LG’s a more desirable feature than slightly darker blacks? As I research the latest TV’s, I am getting more and more perplexed on which to purchase….I appreciate any insight and I enjoy your reviews!!

    • Hey Dave,
      Yes, Samsung’s JS8500 is closer to LG’s UF9500 performance and feature wise. However, I based my response to the readers question/comment on the models that individual was inquiring about which were the JU7500 and UF9500. And as I stated in my response, I prefer the no-curved version of the JU7500 which is the JU7100.

      As far as desirable features, I’m sure there are many casual viewers who would prefer a wider viewing angle over darker blacks, but I’m also sure there are just as many casual viewers who would prefer the deeper blacks. It all comes down to a matter of viewer/consumer preference. I for one as a reviewer and enthusiast desire the best possible picture quality, and in my opinion and experience, wider viewing angles do not equate to better picture quality. However, darker black levels do.

      To help make your TV purchase much easier, continue to do your research and then focus on a TV’s features that are most important to you, and a picture quality image that looks best to your eyes. Because in the end, you have to be satisfied with your purchase and not anyone else.

      Thanks for your comments, much appreciated.

      • Thanks for the response! Regarding viewing angle, we are replacing a Samsung 63″ plasma which has no shortcomings regarding viewing angle. We will be using the same wall mount (Sanus XF228- it’s a beast). The center of the set will be app. 1.5′ above from where we sit (and app. 11 ft away). I always hear about side-to-side viewing angle issues with non-plasma but not much about vertical issues. In your expert opinion, does a non-IPS panel have the same vertical dimming issues as side-by-side?

        • Hi Dave,
          Great question. Vertical picture dimming is present on LED TVs but to a much lesser degree than side-to-side picture dimming. I have found this form of dimming does vary from TV-to-TV (different models and brands).

          Thanks for your comments, much appreciated.

  • Charles Richardson

    I understand that there are no current plans to update LG UF 9500 for HDR. My question is that if that plan changes, is it possible to accomplish with a firmware update or any other manner?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Charles,
      To the best of my knowledge and the info I could gather, LG has no plans to update the UF9500 for HDR capability. However, I believe it would be possible via a firmware update as long as the TV has the proper electronic components built-in. The Dolby Vision HDR format does require the TV to have specific hardware built-in to display this format, which the UF9500 may not have. The HDR10 format is a open platform and does not require specific hardware to display HDR content.

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