What is the LG UF950?
Connections & Controls
55UF950 Features & Specs
We used a backlight setting of 40, a contrast setting of 80 and left the brightness control at its default setting of 50. We left the sharpness controls at their default settings of 10, the colour control at 50 and the tint control at zero. We chose the standard colour gamut and a gamma of 2.2 but turned off dynamic contrast, super resolution and edge enhancer. We left the black level at low, set LED local dimming to low and turned off the noise reduction and TruMotion features.
Since every TV and viewing environment is different, just copying someone else’s detailed settings doesn't guarantee a better picture and might actually prove detrimental. Instead we would suggest that you follow our PicturePerfect Guide, however if you do want to try our suggested picture settings for the sample of the 55UF950V we reviewed, you’ll find them in this video:
Pre-CalibrationAs has been the case quite often with the TVs we have reviewed this year, the UF950 delivered an excellent performance out-of-the-box. After completing the basic setup we described in the picture settings section above, we measured a very accurate greyscale. There was a slight excess of blue and deficit of red in the brighter part of the image but errors were all below the threshold of three and most were below two. The gamma was also very good, tracking around our 2.2 target.
The colour performance was equally as impressive, with all the colours except blue having overall errors that were well below three. The was an error in the luminance (brightness) of blue and also a slight under-saturation in magenta but neither were apparent with actual viewing material. Overall this was a great out-of-the-box performance and given the extensive calibration controls that LG have included on the UF950V, we would expect to improve on this initial accuracy.
Post CalibrationLG include a two- and a twenty-point white balance control and whilst we applaud their ambition, we would probably be just as happy with a ten-point control, especially as we have to keep going in and out of the menus which is a laborious process. However at least the controls work better this year and we were quickly able to dial in a reference performance for the greyscale, with errors all below one and gamma still tracking at our 2.2 target.
Last year we had problems using LG’s CMS (colour management system) but they appear to have fixed any issues and on the the UF950 we were able to dial in a reference colour performance. There was only a slight under-saturation in magenta that we were unable to correct with the CMS but all the other measurements were excellent and the overall errors were all well below one. This is a great all-round performance and we’re glad to see LG have listened to feedback.
LG 55UF950V Video Review
LG UF950V Picture Quality
Video ProcessingLG have always been strong in this area and the video processing on the UF950 was as impressive as we have come to expect from the manufacturer. Good video processing is more important than ever because the majority of content that you are watching on your Ultra HD 4K TV will be upscaled to match the higher resolution of the panel. As such, the better the video processing, the more impressive the image with high definition and even standard definition content. Overall the LG delivered a fantastic performance, scaling content effectively without introducing any obvious artefacts. The UF950V passed all of our usual video processing tests and overall the quality of the deinterlacing and scaling was excellent.
Motion HandlingWe used our FPD Benchmark test disc to test the motion resolution of the UF950 and, as we would expect from an LCD TV, it was measuring at around 300 lines. This could be improved by turning TruMotion on but the result is a picture that looks unnaturally smooth, especially with film content, and we could see artefacts in some of our test material. This was true regardless of whether we chose Smooth or Clear and although you could experiment with the User TruMotion settings on something like football, we were perfectly happy watching all of our content with TruMotion turned off.
Black Levels & Contrast RatioAs with all LG LCD TVs the UF950 uses an IPS panel, which means a much wider optimal viewing angle than a VA panel but less impressive native blacks. Although the UF950V doesn't currently support High Dynamic Range (HDR) it is very bright and could hit 342cd/m2 with the backlight and contrast maxed out. We measured a native ANSI contrast ratio of 993:1 with local dimming off but thankfully the perceived black levels improved when the local dimming was engaged. We found that the Low setting gave improved blacks, a better contrast ratio and dynamic range and helped to mask any unevenness in the backlight. It also managed to do this without creating too many unwanted artefacts or any banding with camera pans. However the position of the LEDs at the bottom of the panel meant that in certain circumstances you were aware of a column of light. This was especially true with white credits against a black background, although watching most content it wasn't really apparent and the UF950 produced impressive images in the majority of viewing environments.
Ultra HD 4K PerformanceAt present the amount of native Ultra HD 4K content remains limited, although if you have a fast enough broadband connection then there is a growing catalogue of titles on Netflix and Amazon Prime. For our testing we use native 4K content that was captured using a Panasonic GH4 camera and on the UF950 this footage looked superb, with a remarkable level of detail and a lovely natural appearance. As we went through the various clips the images were bright and accurate, there were no signs of artefacts or sharpening and the motion handling was excellent.
The big question mark that hangs over the UF950V is how it will handle the new standards for UHD broadcast and UHD Blu-ray. The LG currently doesn’t support High Dynamic Range (HDR), although it is very bright and it’s possible that support could be added by way of a firmware update later. The UF950 doesn’t use quantum dot either, so although it has a wider native colour space than Rec.709, it can’t get as wide as the flagship Samsung and Panasonic TVs. We believe that the panel does support 10-bit video but LG have been vague on the exact specifications of the HDMI inputs. Given the importance of future-proofing on a flagship UHD TV, we have asked LG for clarification on all these points.
Full HD PerformanceThanks to the accurate greyscale and colour gamut, along with the excellent video processing, the UF950 produced some very impressive images with Full HD content. We found that since the image is always being upscaled to the higher native resolution of the panel, a bit of sharpening has its advantages, especially with standard definition content. However with high definition broadcasts the UF950V could deliver some very impressive images and this only got better once we moved on to Blu-rays.
The bright picture, the accurate image and excellent local dimming all played their part, resulting in an excellent picture, especially during the day. The LG could also look very good at night but we would definitely recommend some bias lighting in the room or the issue with the LEDs being at the bottom of the panel becomes more obvious. However, overall the 55UF950V delivered an impressive all-round picture that looks great in the majority of viewing environments.
3D PerformanceIf there's one area where LG Ultra HD TVs really excel it's 3D because the combination of passive technology and the 4K panel results in a full 1080p to each eye. As a result the 3D images are very detailed, extremely bright and free of any flicker or crosstalk. If you're a fan of 3D, then buying a passive 4K panel can be reason enough because the results are so good and thanks to the use of passive 3D you can get hold of plenty of glasses for almost nothing. In fact you can just use the RealD glasses from the cinema and the other advantage is that they don't need batteries or recharging.
Once you include the wide viewing angles on the UF950, then you have fantastic 3D that all the family can easily and cheaply enjoy. Just be careful about mounting the TV too high, because the passive filter on the front of the screen does limit effective vertical viewing angles with 3D. However once you've got your UF950 setup you'll be in for a 3D treat with images that reveal plenty of depth and pop. The local dimming and video processing also play their part and watching old favourites like Gravity and Avatar or new purchases like Big Hero 6 revealed superb 3D images that were a pleasure to behold.
How future-proof is this TV?
|4K Ultra HD Resolution|
|Colour Space (percentage of DCI - 100% best)||80%|
|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?|
- Accurate picture
- Excellent video processing
- Great local dimming
- Wide viewing angles
- Decent sound
- Low input lag
- Superb features
- Impressive 3D
- Attractive design
- Good build quality
- Mediocre blacks
- Some artefacts due to position of LEDs
- Limited future proofing
LG 55UF950V (UF950) UHD 4K LED TV Review
Should I buy one?The 55UF950V certainly delivers a very solid all-round performance and there is a lot about this TV that is worthy of recommendation. The design is definitely striking and although you might question the need for an LCD panel this thin, there's no denying that the UF950 is both attractive and well built. It's also decidedly flat, making it a good choice for those who have yet to be convinced by the allure of the curve. The out-of-the-box image accuracy is excellent and we're glad to see that LG have fixed the bugs with the calibration controls, allowing us to get reference measurements from the UF950V. When you combined the accurate and natural images with the Ultra HD panel and excellent video processing the results were impressive. Since this is an IPS panel the native black levels were fairly mediocre but the local dimming worked well and the viewing angles were very wide.
Our only real complaint would be that because the LEDs are positioned at the bottom of the panel, there were occasional columns of light when using the local dimming. In terms of other features, the UF950 has everything you would expect from a flagship model. Since this is an LG TV there's passive 3D included and thanks to the 4K panel it looks superb. There's a surprisingly good level of sound quality thanks to the built-in Harman Kardon audio system and the new 'auditorium' stand. The webOS powered Smart TV platform remains as effective and intuitive as ever and the Magic remote is still a joy to use. LG have made great strides in improving the input lag on their latest TVs and the UF950V delivered their lowest measurement to date, making it great for gaming. In fact for just about any viewing environment the LG 55UF950V makes a great all-rounder with an accurate picture and plenty of features.
What are the alternatives?The majority of TV manufacturers have been slow to release their new models this year which means that, at the moment, the UF950 is primarily going head-to-head with Samsung's JS9000. The latter is a few hundred pounds more expensive but it does deliver a greater degree of future-proofing and it isn't hampered by an ultra-thin panel. Of course it is curved, which won't be to everyone's taste, and the viewing angles are very narrow but the JS9000 can deliver a superb picture and already supports the upcoming UHD standards. Whilst both TVs have their strengths and weaknesses, it's how well they handle these new standards that will ultimately decide their fate. The UF950V doesn't currently support High Dynamic Range (HDR), it doesn't use quantum dot and we have asked LG to clarify the actual specifications of the HDMI inputs. So, as it stands, the Samsung JS9000 has the edge.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
3D Picture Quality
Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box
Picture Quality Calibrated
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
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