What is the LG G7?
Connections & Control
Features & Specs
Picture Settings – Out-of-the-Box
All our measurements were done with a Klein K-10A colour meter, a Murideo Fresco Six-G pattern generator and CalMAN Ultimate calibration software. You can find our suggested settings here or alternatively you can follow the simple steps in our PicturePerfect Guide.
Picture Settings – Calibrated
Picture Settings – High Dynamic Range
Colour Volume MeasurementsHere at AVForums we use two approaches to measure colour volume, the first is the Relative Colour Volume, which takes the display's own peak brightness and measures the colour volume relative to that peak brightness based on the CIE L*a*b* colour graph and 140 data points. For the G7 we got measurements of 110% against Rec. 709, 74% against DCI-P3 and 50% against Rec. 2020 but these measurements aren't taking into account the maximum nits used when content is graded.
Thus a better approach is to measure the Perceptual Colour Volume, which uses the PQ EOTF out to 10,000nits and the Rec. 2020 colour gamut measured using the ICtCp colour graph which takes into account human visual perception. This measurement uses 393 data points and delivers a number expressed in Millions of Distinguishable Colours (MDC). The G7 produced an MDC number of 347 and, given how similar all the measurements have been up until now, it shouldn't come as a surprise to discover that these results mirror the performance of the E7 as well.
Dolby Vision CalibrationThe latest version of CalMAN now includes a new workflow for calibrating the Dolby Vision performance of LG's 2017 OLED TVs, so we took this opportunity to try it out on the G7. According to CalMAN current HDR compatible TVs are still based on a 2.2 gamma at the panel level and the PQ EOTF (ST2084) is then mapped on to this native panel gamma response of 2.2. The new workflow, which was developed in conjunction with LG and Dolby, puts the TV's Dolby Vision engine into passthrough mode via special Dolby Vision 'Relative Mode' metadata. You then calibrate the Dolby Vision Cinema mode's greyscale to the D65 white point and a 2.2 gamma using the 2- and 20-point white balance controls.
Once you have done this you then use CalMAN to create a custom Dolby Vision configuration file, consisting of readings for the white, black, red, green and blue measurements. You then save the Dolby Vision config file to a USB stick, plug it into your 2017 LG OLED TV and play a piece of Dolby Vision content. The TV will display an onscreen message asking if you want to load the new custom Dolby Vision config file, to which you say yes. To verify the results of the calibration, you then set your pattern generator's Dolby Vision metadata to 'Absolute Mode' and measure the results against D65, the DCI-P3 primaries and the ST2084 PQ EOTF. It's a simple and highly effective process and another example of the benefits of the Dolby Vision ecosystem.
Black Levels and Contrast RatiosThe G7 is the fourth 2017 LG OLED that we've tested, so we had a good idea of what to expect and we weren't disappointed. We measured the black level at zero and the G7 could easily hit our SDR target of 120nits, which equates to an on/off contrast ratio of infinity, whilst the same was true with the ANSI contrast ratio. As with LG's other 2017 OLEDs the G7 revealed improvements in areas just above black and using test scenes we could see that the detail in shadows was more defined and although this applied to both SDR and HDR it was more noticeable with the latter.
Screen UniformityWe were pleased to find that the screen uniformity of the G7 was also excellent and using 1 to 5% full-field grey test patterns we could see the panel was free of vignetting (dark edges), as well as any discolouration or DSE (dirty screen effect). There was also none of the macro-blocking that was visible on last year's OLED TVs, unless it happens to be in the actual source material. As with all OLED panels there was some very minor vertical banding just above black that we could see with dedicated test patterns but this wasn't apparent when watching normal content. As a result the G7 handled football extremely well and we were never aware of any banding as the camera panned quickly across the pitch. This performance mirrors that of the B7 and E7 that we've tested and was actually slightly better than both the Sony A1 and the Panasonic EZ1002.
Motion HandlingThe motion handling on the G7 was typical for an OLED TV with around 300 lines of motion resolution with TruMotion turned off. In general we were happy to watch most content including fast-paced sports without the TruMotion engaged and we were never distracted by the motion handling. However we do appreciate that perception of motion differs from person to person and thus some will want to use the TruMotion feature. The motion resolution will increase to nearer 1000 lines once you engage either the Clear or Smooth settings but this will introduce excessive smoothing and the dreaded 'soap opera effect'.
This won't necessarily be an issue with sports content but we did sometimes notice artefacts other than smoothing, so don't consider TruMotion to be the ideal solution to all motion handling issues. LG don't include the black frame insertion mode found on the Sony and Panasonic OLEDs, so for movies we would recommend either turning TruMotion off entirely or trying the User setting. This allows you to customise the amount of Deblur and Dejudder, thus increasing the motion resolution without necessarily adding unnatural smoothing that robs a movie of its film-like quality, however you could still introduce unwanted artefacts.
Standard Dynamic Range ContentThe G7 was a very impressive performer with Standard Dynamic Range content, delivering deep blacks, accurate images and excellent video processing. The inherent dynamic range of OLED gives images greater depth and solidity, whilst the viewing angles are very wide. The superb accuracy of the greyscale, gamma and colour gamut, combined with the good motion handling and effective upscaling of lower resolution content, resulted in beautifully rendered images. These benefits were even more apparent in high definition, with dramas and documentaries looking particularly impressive and the pictures delivered deep blacks where necessary but retained fine detail in the shadows.
The processing was able to scale the high definition images to match the 4K panel and shows like Preacher looked suitably colourful and detailed, whilst the snowy landscapes of Fargo retained clean whites that were free of any discolouration. Naturally once we switched to Blu-rays the G7 took full advantage of the superior source material to deliver detailed images that were perfectly rendered with deep blacks and an accurate greyscale and colour gamut that really gave the pictures impact. As a result current favourites like Moana and Rogue One looked marvellous on the G7, showing the full potential of OLED when it comes to standard dynamic range content.
High Dynamic Range – HDR10As we expected, the G7 also didn't disappoint when it came to HDR with all of the factors that we have mentioned earlier in this review coming into play. First of all the TV can deliver nearly 100% of DCI-P3 and track it very precisely, which means colours are saturated but natural in appearance. The 10-bit encoding meant that the images were also free from banding, the 24p was handled well and regular test discs like Passengers and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, both of which used 4K DIs, looked incredibly detailed. The G7 did an excellent job of showing just how good an Ultra Blu-ray can look with a native 4K image, wide colour gamut and HDR10. The LG did a superb job delivering every pixel of detail and all the colours whilst also tone mapping the HDR accurately and rendering the specular highlights with precision.
Another excellent test disc is Planet Earth II, where the nighttime scenes were reproduced very effectively, delivering deep blacks but retaining the details in shadows. The G7 also correctly tone mapped the sun behind the mountain in the 'Arriving in Neverland' scene in Pan, so that the disc of the sun was visible within its glow. It was only during particularly dark sequences such as the nighttime scenes in Patriots Day that LG's approach to tone mapping became apparent. In order to retain the specular highlights the rest of the image could appear rather dark but we would rather that have detail clipped in the highlights. This is essentially a limitation of the static metadata used on HDR10 content but the improved ABL performance certainly helped and we never found the sometimes darker image to be an issue, whilst the deep blacks and improved shadow detail certainly helped.
High Dynamic Range – Dolby VisionAlthough LG have been supporting Dolby Vision on their OLED TVs since last year, it's only recently that the format has started to gain a degree of critical mass in terms of content. Netflix have been using Dolby Vision globally as a method of delivering HDR content for a while now and both Amazon and Vudu have also used the format for streaming HDR content in the US. However the arrival of the first Dolby Vision Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players that support the format means that it has begun to gain greater attention amongst both enthusiasts and general consumers alike. Whilst in the past LG could be accused of box-ticking, that isn't the case now we have four Dolby Vision discs (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, Power Rangers and The Fate of the Furious) along with the Oppo UDP-203 and UDP-205, both of which support Dolby Vision. LG's own 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the UP970, will also be getting a Dolby Vision update.
So after running through the new Dolby Vision calibration workflow in CalMAN, we took the opportunity of watching some Dolby Vision content on the G7's large 65-inch screen, having previously watched Dolby Vision content on our 55-inch B7. The results were certainly impressive and although there isn't a night and day difference between HDR10 and Dolby Vision, the latter is the superior experience. At least it is on LG's OLED TVs but we still need to compare Dolby Vision to a higher-end LCD TV that can deliver HDR content with minimal or even no tone mapping. However based on our limited sample to date, we have been really impressed by Dolby Vision on LG's OLED TVs. The Dolby Vision version delivered saturated colours that were slightly more refined and specular highlights that never clipped and had slightly more impact, whilst darker scenes delivered deep blacks where necessary and also retained shadow detail, never appearing overly dim.
As we mentioned in the previous section on HDR10, one of the limitations of this format is that it has a single peak brightness number for the entire film. So regardless of whether the scene is bright or dark the target peak brightness remains 1000 or 4000 nits, depending on how it was graded. One of the big advantages of Dolby Vision is that it uses dynamic metadata that can change the peak brightness target from scene to scene and even on a frame by frame basis. As a result the Dolby Vision versions always looked correct from scene to scene, with no one scene appearing too bright or too dark compared to all the others, thus appearing more consistent throughout the entire film. This was especially true during the nighttime quarry scenes in Power Rangers or the ice-bound submarine sequence in The Fate of the Furious. In Dolby Vision both scenes delivered all their detail, never crushing or clipping, whilst also retaining a consistent experience compared to the scenes before and after. There's no doubt that Dolby Vision certainly shows potential and is able to deliver the full potential of OLED when it comes to HDR.
LG 65G7 Video Review
LG will be adding Dolby Atmos support via a firmware update later in the year, which has been developed to deliver a more immersive experience from the built-in soundbar. We had a demonstration of this technology from Dolby and, much to our surprise, it actually worked, creating a wider soundstage and a more immersive experience from only two speakers. Although this kind of Dolby Atmos support is a nice thing to have, it will never replace a proper Dolby Atmos setup and in reality you could buy one of the cheaper LG OLED TVs and still have plenty left over to invest in a really good Dolby Atmos soundbar like LG's SJ9. Ultimately the sound quality of the G7 is better than most other modern TVs and is certainly good enough for general TV watching but if you're investing in an expensive OLED TV like this, we'd really recommend using a superior outboard audio solution. Of course in doing so, you essentially negate one of the main selling points of the G7, which is the real conundrum when it comes to this model.
MORE: What is Dolby Atmos
Input Lag & Energy Consumption
In terms of the G7’s energy consumption it proved to be almost identical to the E7 that we reviewed recently and using a full window 50% white pattern we measured the Eco picture mode at 142W and our calibrated ISF mode at 88W. Once we moved on to HDR the level of energy consumption obviously increased and the G7 was drawing 170W with our optimal settings.
How future-proof is this TV?
|4K Ultra HD Resolution|
|Colour Space (percentage of Rec.2020 - 100% best)||71%|
|HDMI 2.0a Inputs|
|HDCP 2.2 Support|
|4K Streaming Services|
|Smart TV Platform|
|Picture Accuracy Out-of-the-Box (score out of 10)||9|
|What do these mean?|
- Incredible blacks and contrast ratio
- Superb dynamic range
- Impressive image accuracy
- Improved detail above black
- Excellent video processing
- Dolby Vision support
- Lovely design and build quality
- Very low input lag
- Very minor banding just above black
LG 65G7 4K OLED TV Review
Should I buy one?The G7 is another excellent OLED TV from LG but it does struggle to justify its existence in what is a fairly crowded range from the Korean manufacturer. LG publicly stated that the picture quality and features on their 2017 OLED TVs were the same across the entire range and having now tested the B7, E7, G7 and W7, we can confirm that this is the case. All four models delivered an identical picture performance, allowing for minute panel variations, which means that the main reason choosing one model over another is largely cosmetic. The OLED65G7 is certainly worthy of recommendation based purely on its performance but it's hard to find any real reason to choose this model over the cheaper OLED65E7. Both models use 'Picture-on-Glass' construction and include a built-in soundbar and both have exactly the same feature set and picture performance, so why would you spend an additional £2,200 on the G7? If you want a 'wallpaper' OLED you've got the OLED65W7, if you want a built-in soundbar you've got the E7 and if you want a TV with a normal stand you've got a choice of the OLED65B7 or OLED65C7. So where does that leave the G7 within LG's OLED TV range? The simple answer is that the G7 feels like a model without portfolio.
What are my alternatives?Well, assuming you're not tempted by one of LG's other OLED TVs, there are plenty of other alternatives this year. When you consider the cost of the G7, that puts it in a similar range to Panasonic's TX-65EZ1002 which has recently had a price reduction and can now be picked up for £5,999. If a saving of £1,000 wasn't enough, there's also the EZ1002's semi-professional approach to image accuracy. In reality there is no real difference between the two models in terms of picture quality and they both have soundbars, so the G7 probably edges out the EZ1002 thanks to its support of Dolby Vision. If the latter is important to you then that rules out the otherwise excellent Panasonic TX-65EZ952 but there is the option of Sony's KD-65A1. This OLED TV not only includes Dolby Vision support and delivers a superb picture but it's a gorgeous piece of design and includes Sony's innovative 'acoustic surface'. If that wasn't enough to tempt you, it's also £2,300 cheaper than the G7.
MORE: Read All OLED TV Reviews
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