LG OLED C9PUA 4K HDR TV Review
OLED C9 120Hz Smart TV
Product Name: OLEDC9PUA
Product Description: 4K HDR display | Alpha 9 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor | HDMI 2.1 inputs for high frame rates up to 120 frames per second, variable refresh rates and 48Gbps bandwidth | Dolby Vision | Dolby Atmos | LG ThinQ AI | Google Assistant | Alexa | webOS smart TV platform | self-illuminating OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display panel produces infinite picture contrast and absolute black
See full review below
Model year: 2019
Screen size reviewed: 65”
Bottom Line: If you want one of the finest TVs currently available, offering the best in picture quality, and don’t mind paying more for it, then you must consider LG’s excellent C9PUA. It delivers superb contrast and black levels, intense and very accurate color reproduction, sharp and finely detailed high-resolution images, which all come together for a truly awe-inspiring viewing experience.
- With stand: (W x H x D) 57″ x 33.9″ x 9.9″
- Without stand: (W x H x D) 57″ x 32.7″ x 1.8″
- With stand: 74.7 lbs.
- Without stand: 55.6 lbs.
Warranty: One year parts and labor
- Outstanding overall picture quality
- Infinite contrast and perfect black levels
- Intense color reproduction
- Excellent wide-angle viewing performance
- HDMI 2.1 inputs – future-proofed ports
- Excellent webOS 4.5 smart TV platform
- Low input lag – good gaming TV
- Expensive, especially when compared to premium LED/LCD models of similar size
- Risk of possible image retention and burn-in when static images are left on the screen for long periods of time
OLED TVs have been around for several years now (2013), and ever since hitting the market, they have become my favorite TV technology, and for good reason. Here’s why: It all starts with OLED technology – To create their stunning picture images, OLED’s use self-illuminating diodes that don’t require a backlight like LED/LCD TVs use to illuminate the picture image. Since OLEDs don’t require a backlight, it allows the individual pixels to completely turn on-and-off independently of one another.
This ability allows for infinite contrast and absolute black level capabilities and very intense color reproduction. All of this combined produces the best and most stunning picture images (in my opinion) I have seen to date! But don’t just take my word for it. Check out and compare an OLED TV with an LED/LCD TV and see for yourself.
One such OLED display you should consider is LG’s OLEDC9PUA which is under review in this article. The C9PUA is part of LG’s Ultra-Premium line of 4K OLED TVs. The C9 is available in 55” 65” and 77” screen sizes.
The C9PUA is a very classy and aesthetically pleasing display. One thing that can’t be missed is how thin the screen is when viewed from a side angle. It is almost as thin as your average book cover and measures less than a ¼” thick!
This is made possible due to the OLED pixel structure which uses a series of organic carbon-based thin films that make up the pixel layers. These pixel layers are sandwiched between transparent thin-film transistor layers, that contain the electronic circuitry that supplies the electrical currents that cause the pixels to light up. Sorry for all the technical jargon.
Anyway, it still amazes me that a panel so thin is able to produce such a beautiful picture image.
The TV stand has a thin sloped surface in the front that nearly runs the length of the display panel. The sloped design also helps to disperse the sound from the TV’s down-firing speakers into the room for a wider soundstage presence.
The rear portion of the stand is much thicker in height but narrower in width and is attached to the front piece of the stand. The design provides good support and stability for the TV. Additionally, the sloped design of the stand helps to disperse sound into the room for a wider soundstage presence.
LG’s Magic Remote is one of my favorite remotes to use. Its design and layout is very good and provides a nice and comfortable fit in my hand while in use, and offers very good functionality. I really enjoy using its “point-and-click” feature which uses an on-screen mouse pointer to control certain TV functions. It also uses voice recognition via the remote’s built-in microphone and enables voice command for live TV, internet apps, web browser, input selection, and volume control.
LG Smart TV Features
LG’s smart TV platform uses a new webOS 4.5 version on 2019 TVs which brings a new look and added functions. The on-screen menu has been improved and has added a second contextual row to the app menu that pops up when you select an app. In this second row, you’ll see recently watched content, along with movie recommendations and trending content.
Also, webOS 4.5 uses your content choices and puts together entertainment options that neatly organize your recent viewing history, what’s available on Live TV, what you might like to watch next, in addition to the latest movies, TV shows, apps and games from the LG Content Store.
LG’s webOS 4.5 also supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and will be adding support of Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit with a firmware update.
Additional features include:
- Alpha 9 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor: LG’s most powerful processor ever provides true-to-life images with incredibly rich colors, sharpness, and depth to deliver the ultimate picture quality with more realism. As a result of this new image processor, 2019 LG OLED TVs can display any content at maximum quality for a truly spectacular viewing experience. It also improves noise reduction, sharpness, contrast, and motion.
- High Dynamic Range support for Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG formats for extended picture contrast and peak brightness when viewing HDR content
- As explained above, the self-illuminating OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display panel produces infinite picture contrast and absolute black levels. Pixel-level dimming enables each of the panel’s 8.3 million pixels to brighten, dim, or power off completely, displaying exceptional picture detail, contrast, and color
- 10-bit panel displays more colors with finer steps of gradation for greater color reproduction with HDR sources
- 4K Upscaler upconverts standard-def and high-def video to near 4K quality
- HDMI 2.1 inputs for high frame rates up to 120 frames per second, variable refresh rates and 48Gbps bandwidth
- 4K Cinema HDR w/ Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro: LG’s 4K Cinema HDR supports a variety of HDR formats – including Dolby Vision, as well as Active HDR10 & HLG. Thanks to the TV’s Active HDR technology with Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro, HDR video content is optimized with the correct amount of brightness and contrast, so all types of HDR content can be displayed beautifully.
- True Color Accuracy Pro w/ Intense Color: The LG OLED TV’s True Color Accuracy Pro & Intense Color Technologies deliver a color palette that virtually matches those seen in today’s high-end digital cinemas, thanks to its 4 Color Pixel Technology. LG’s 4 Color Pixel technology adds a white sub-pixel to the conventional 3 color red, green, and blue that enhances both color range and accuracy. This considerably improves the OLED pixels’ ability to express the realistic colors and represents a giant step ahead of conventional flat-panel displays.
- Ultra Luminance Pro w/ High Brightness: Ultra-HD picture quality becomes even more dynamic with an extended range of brightness, thanks to LG’s Ultra Luminance Pro technology. By enabling higher peak brightness and an enhanced contrast ratio, Ultra Luminance Pro makes 4K & HDR images even more striking.
- LG ThinQ AI – ThinQ w/ Voice Control uses voice commands to control TV functions and seamlessly perform functions to discover and play content, control TV settings, manage schedules, access information, and control compatible connected smart home devices such as lighting and home appliances.
- Support for enhanced audio return channel (eARC)
- Built-in 2.2 speaker system (10 watts x 2, plus 10 watts x 2 for woofers)
- WiSA wireless audio support
- 4 HDMI 2.1 inputs (HDCP 2.2 compliant)
- 1 Composite video input (3.5mm A/V minijack – adapter supplied)
- 3 USB inputs – 2.0
- 1 Ethernet input
- 1 RF input for antenna/cable/satellite
- 1 Digital optical audio output
- Bluetooth wireless audio streaming to a compatible speaker or set of headphones
- Dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11ac)
The overall performance of the C9PUA speaks for itself. It produced an absolutely gorgeous picture. It was virtually flawless in execution with most of the content I viewed.
The highlight of this excellent performance was its outstanding contrast range which puts OLED displays in a class of their own. And as stated earlier, this exceptional contrast ratio is possible because of the OLED’s self-illuminating pixels that create its stunning picture.
Images, in general, were very dynamic with such a realistic and life-like presence that goes unmatched by most LED/LCD TVs.
Black levels were a deep and inky black when showing content that required this level of performance, which allowed the images to be seen as the content producers intended.
Furthermore, black screen uniformity on this display also benefited from OLED technology, by presenting a screen that was a deep and uniformly solid black across the entire surface with no presence of light pass-through. This type of performance will play-out well with very dark scenes such as outer-space with a starfield, which will be delivered with intensely deep blacks and brilliance bright stars that will pop from the screen due to such great contrast range.
OLED TVs are known for their robust color reproduction and the C9 was no exception. Its wide color gamut also aided in producing colors that were astonishingly rich and vibrant and beaming with great intensity, that drew me into the picture image. Colors were also very accurate and natural in appearance. The C9 also covers about 97% of the expanded DCI-P3/10-bit color space.
Picture detail and clarity were awesome on this TV with all high-def content, with HDR images making the best showing. Images were crystal clear and very sharp, yet still containing a very natural-looking smoothness that didn’t make images appear soft. Image transparency was also very good, giving objects and landscapes an appealing three-dimensional quality.
Motion handling was great, and the C9 had no trouble processing all the fast-action content that was thrown at it while showing no visible motion artifacts. Input lag is also very good on this TV, measuring approximately 13.0 ms for 1080p and 4K HDR signals, which of course is ideal for video gamers.
OLED TVs don’t suffer from contrast, color saturation and brightness loss like most LED/LCD TVs, so there won’t be any issues with picture degradation when viewing the C9 at wide angles.
The sound quality of the C9’s 2.2 speaker audio system delivered above-average sound quality thanks in part to the One Touch Sound Tuning feature which analyzes the acoustics of the room and sets sound parameters of optimal sound quality output. The C9 delivered spacious and detailed sound with very good clarity, even when played at higher than normal volume levels. Bass output wasn’t bad either, putting out a decent amount of punch which helped to balance the overall sound output.
I’ve awarded just about every performance accolade to the C9, but what about any downsides to its performance? Truthfully there isn’t much in the way of serious negative concerns regarding this TV in my opinion. And none of these so-called issues would be a deal-breaker for me. With that said, here’s a quick rundown:
OLED TVs can have issues with temporary image retention and screen burn-in, which can be caused by leaving static images on the screen for long periods of time, such as channel ID logos and app menus, or video game status bars.
The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to reduce the time these types of images are left on the screen. This TV has a few features that help reduce and clear up possible retention and burn-in issues – Screen Shift, Logo Luminance Adjustment and an automatic pixel refresher.
Another possible downside for some consumers may be the TV’s ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter) which dims the entire screen when there are large bright areas present, such as during a hockey game or ice skating. This adjustment in brightness, however, isn’t extreme.
LG’s OLED C9PUA has the best picture quality of any TV I have reviewed this year. Its overall picture quality is simply stunning, especially with HDR content. Its contrast range and blacks levels are second to none, which allows the C9PUA to deliver outstanding dark room performance. And its breathtaking color reproduction, in addition to its ability to produce the finest in detail and clarity, will make it hard to take your eyes off of this awesome LG OLED display.
HDTVs and More recommended.
Check out this review of LG’s 2018 C8 OLED 4K TV which offers excellent and very similar performance to the C9. The C8 is still available with discounted pricing.