Introduction and Features
Though LG’s 4K OLED televisions are probably the best that money can buy at the moment, they also belong to a cost-prohibitive price bracket that many people simply can’t afford. This is why it makes sense for the South Korean manufacturer to also provide some more affordable, non-OLED alternatives.
With high dynamic-range (HDR) advancing as the next evolution in television technology, LG has taken things a step further with an impressive 4K set that supports standard HDR10 content, as well as the technically superior Dolby Vision format.
Add to this LG’s signature ColourPrime technology (in direct competition with Sony’s Triluminos and Samsung’s Active Crystal Color), and the UH950T is able to provide exceptionally vibrant picture quality, whatever the content source.
LG’s 65-inch UH950T is available now for $5,999 – significantly less expensive than anything in LG’s 4K OLED range. Alternatively, you can pick up the smaller (but identically specced-out) 55-inch version for $3,999.
Though it’s unable to boast the infinite contrast ratios of LG’s own OLED range, the UH950T’s edge-lit, quantum-dot display still has the capacity to wow viewers. Its 12-bit colour depth and Dolby Vision support gives the LCD panel the ability to display a staggering 68 billion colours – quite a leap compared to HDR10’s 10-bit depth and one billion colour capacity.
The UH950T is an exceptional-looking television, with a flat, almost borderless design. Along with its classy silver finish and minimalist approach, this is a set that stands above everything else on the market in the looks department. It’s also remarkably thin, with a thickness of only 55mm (aside from its lower middle section, which holds the bulk of its internals). Its slimness and stylish appearance makes LG’s Super UHD set a prime candidate for ‘best television to wall mount’.
Admittedly, the UH950T’s curved stand leaves a lot to be desired, looking like it actually belongs to one of LG’s curved TV sets. Though the stand curves forward quite a bit, it does prove to be a decent place to rest a soundbar, such as LG’s own SH7, which was used during our review period.
Not everyone has (or wants) a soundbar, though, so it’s a good thing that LG’s partnership with Harman Kardon continues to bear fruit, with the UH950T once again sporting the Ultra Surround Sound module seen in LG’s EG960T OLED television, which pumps out sound from a 4-speaker stereo setup that offers 40W of output power.
Connections include three HDMI 2.0a ports and three USB ports on the side of the television, and on the back you’ll find the usual composite/component inputs, as well as a port for optical digital audio output. The UH950T can connect to the internet via its Ethernet port, or using the set’s built-in Wi-Fi, which supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac.
3D capability is also available, with LG ditching Active Shutter technology in favour of its new Cinema 3D FPR technology, which places a thin layer over the screen that provides a similar experience to Active 3D using regular passive glasses.
Usability and Performance
Like all of the manufacturer’s webOS-powered TVs, the UH950T comes with LG’s Magic Remote, which gives users Wii remote-style pointer controls to navigate the television’s settings and apps. It’s also got a mouse-style scroll wheel, which is handy for scrolling through menus, channels and for browsing the internet.
If you don’t have your remote handy, you can control the television using the new LG TV Plus app, which also lets you throw photos and videos from your phone up on the big screen.
The UH950T runs off LG’s updated webOS 3.0 platform, which is where you can access all of your inputs, as well as apps like Netflix, YouTube, ABC iView, SBS On Demand and more. Though it looks the same as previous iterations, with its carousel of colourful tabs across the bottom of the screen, it actually yields some added functionality. You can now save five websites to the carousel for quick and easy access, and there’s a new Multi-View setting that lets you watch two inputs at once.
In my experience, the previous version of webOS would occasionally get stuck while switching between content sources, requiring the TV to be switched off and on again in order to go back to normal. Thankfully, this problem did not occur while navigating around the webOS 3.0 interface, allowing us to effortlessly switch between Netflix, YouTube, a connected Blu-ray player, and more.
Dolby Vision material was the very first thing we tested on LG’s Super UHD set, with a range of colourful movie clips that showcased the TV’s dazzlingly wide colour range. Having extensively tested standard HDR content in the past, including a range of Ultra HD Blu-rays, we can attest to Dolby Vision being the more immediately arresting format based on the (admittedly limited) footage provided.
A scene from the recent film Pan, which featured pirates exploding into vibrant clouds of pink, blue, yellow and orange dust, was particularly mind-blowing. The unit’s 12-bit colour depth and dynamic colour contrast allowed the film’s vivid colours to truly pop, especially when set against dark backgrounds.
This is only possible with inclusion of an onboard Dolby Vision microchip, which gives the television the ability to adjust colour and contrast for every single frame of a film, unlike HDR10’s fixed contrast levels. This gives Dolby Vision content a more naturalistic appearance.
Another Dolby Vision scene, this time from the film Jupiter Ascending, was so impressive, it almost made me consider giving that ridiculous film a second chance (hey, I said almost). The scene, in which the film’s two main characters must fly around on hover-rollerblades near a fiery space explosion (or something) really illustrated Dolby Vision’s enhanced contrast levels. Bright orange fire bursted out of the darkness of space (science be damned!) without bleeding into the display’s darker areas.
Up next was Marco Polo on Netflix, which is seemingly still the only show on the streaming service presented in HDR10/Dolby Vision. The show looked expectedly crisp and exquisitely detailed when running at 2160p, though it’s not the kind of show that screams ‘reference quality material’. Much of the series takes place in the shadows, clouded in mystery, with occasional flashes of rich colour.
This led me to the realisation that the lack of Dolby Vision content is currently the format’s biggest stumbling block. Though it’s undeniably stunning, until more material is made readily available, it can be hard to justify the extra cost that comes with the format when compared to televisions that only support regular HDR.
Obviously, there’s a future-proofing aspect that comes with any purchase of a high-end TV, but unlike HDR10, Dolby Vision is not required under the official Ultra HD Blu-ray specifications. This makes it hard to predict how much Dolby Vision material will be made available in the future outside of the more advanced streaming services.
Next, I tested some regular Blu-rays to take advantage of the UH950T 6-step upscaling capability and ColourPrime technology. Prometheus was the first disc tested, and though it was just a normal Blu-ray copy of the film, it looked extremely good. Picture quality was sharp with little noise present, achieving better than expected levels of darkness, especially during the film’s inky-black space cavern sequences.
We then tested a Blu-ray copy of Chappie, which was even more outstanding. This special effects-heavy film is packed with colour, sporting a dayglow-meets-ghetto aesthetic for many of its bright daytime scenes. Quite frankly, without having a side-by-side Ultra HD Blu-ray comparison, it would be easy for many to mistake this ‘mastered in 4K’ disc for an actual Ultra HD presentation. As was alluded to earlier, the UH950T will bring out the best of whatever content is played on it, even from a 1080p source.
The LG Super UHD 65UH950T is a wholly impressive, visually spectacular television set that offers an exceptionally wide range of colours (if you can find content that shows off what it’s capable of).
The TV offers the best of both worlds with its support of the HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats. You’re unlikely to find a more vibrant and impressive colour range on any other television currently on the market.
When it comes to design, the UH950T is phenomenal. With a build that’s on the verge of being borderless, a beautiful silver finish and outstanding thinness, this television is one of the best looking sets currently available.
Its support of both HDR10 and the superior Dolby Vision format gives the UH950T the ability to display a staggeringly wide colour range, and its ColourPrime and 6-step upscaling technologies and ensure that anything you watch on will look magnificent and vibrant as can be.
Also appreciated are the updates made to LG’s webOS interface, such as the ability to bookmark web pages and watch two inputs simultaneously.
Though it delivers exceptional contrast for an LED TV, thanks in large part to its Dolby Vision support, OLED still feels like a more significant technology – one that benefits a much wider range of content.
We also weren’t crazy about its curved stand, which looks strange when coupled with this flat panel screen.
With support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision content, the UH950T is a beautiful television that’s capable of producing some truly sensational and vibrant images. Admittedly, there isn’t a lot of Dolby Vision-supported content currently available, so if you aren’t too interested in future-proofing your home entertainment system, you can save yourself over a thousand bucks by opting for a near-identical HDR set from LG without Dolby Vision support.
That said, Dolby Vision content is undeniably more impressive than standard HDR10 material, boasting truly gorgeous colours, terrific contrast and amazing brightness. If you want a TV that’s at the forefront of the HDR revolution, the LG Super UHD 65UH950T will not disappoint.