What is the LG UF850?
The model we’re reviewing is the 65-inch 65UF850V which, at the time of writing (June 2015), will set you back £2,199. However there is also the 55-inch 55UF850V which costs around £1,399. Those are some fairly tempting prices but does the UF850 deliver a performance to match?
Connections & Controls
65UF850 Features & Specs
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 65UF850V we reviewed, you’ll find them in this video:
Pre-CalibrationThis year, all the manufacturers have been delivering surprisingly good out-of-the-box performances and whilst the UF850 isn't as impressive as its more expensive sibling, it was still capable of a reasonable level of accuracy. The greyscale was very good, with only a deficit of red in the brightest part of the image resulting in an error over the threshold of three. The gamma was tracking around our target of 2.2, aside from a slight dip at 10IRE.
The colour performance wasn't quite as good, with four of the colours having luminance measurements well below their targets and robbing the image of some of its impact. Aside from the issues with luminance the rest of the colour measurements were actually very good with almost all the saturation and tint errors at or below three. The deficit of red in the greyscale was evidenced by the measurement of white skewing slightly towards blue, although this was only minor.
Post CalibrationThe UF850 comes with a two- and a twenty-point white balance control, so we were able to adjust with the two-point, essentially adding red to the greyscale, and then fine-tune with the twenty-point. Whether a domestic TV really needs a twenty-point white balance control is debatable but at least it works and we were able to calibrate a reference performance. The gamma curve remained the same, with the majority of measurements tracking around 2.2 aside from a slight dip at 10IRE.
We're glad to report that the colour management system (CMS) on this year's LG TVs works much better than on previous models and we were able to calibrate a very accurate colour gamut. It wasn't quite perfect, there was still an error in the luminance of blue and a slight undersaturation of red that we couldn't quite correct. However overall this was an excellent all-round performance and with actual viewing content the UF850 delivered an accurate image.
As a result of this lower input lag the gaming experience on the UF850 was very enjoyable, with a big and punchy image that had been effectively upscaled to the native resolution of the panel itself. We found that the responsiveness of games was certainly quick enough for us and although dedicated gamers may demand a lower input lag, we feel that the UF850 should be fast enough for most people.
LG 65UF850V Video Review
LG UF850V Picture Quality
Video ProcessingAs always, LG remain strong in the area of video processing and the UF850 delivered the kind of performance we have come to expect from the Korean manufacturer. Since the UF850 is an Ultra HD TV, the video processing is essential because the majority of content that you are watching will be upscaled to match the higher resolution of the panel itself. This means that the better the video processing the more impressive the image, not just from high definition content but also from standard definition, which a lot of people still watch.The UF850 delivered a great performance, scaling content effectively without introducing any obvious artefacts. The UF850V passed all of our usual video processing tests and overall the quality of the deinterlacing and scaling was excellent.
Motion HandlingWe test the motion resolution of TVs using the FPD Benchmark test disc and, as we would expect from an LCD TV, the UF850 delivered around 300 lines. This could be improved by turning TruMotion on but the resulting picture looks unnaturally smooth, especially with film content, and we could see artefacts in some of our test material. This was this the case regardless of whether we chose Smooth or Clear and although there is room to experiment with the User settings on something like football, we were perfectly happy watching all of our content with TruMotion turned off.
Black Levels & Contrast RatioSince the UF850 is an LG TV it uses an IPS panel, which means it has a wide viewing angle but does have mediocre native black levels. We measured 0IRE at 0.12cd/m2, so with 100IRE set to our target of 120cd/m2 we got an on/off contrast ratio of 1000:1. This is poor, even for an LCD TV and the ANSI contrast ratio was only 540:1, so you really need to engage the LED local dimming. Once you select the Low setting things immediately improve and we measured 0IRE at 0.005cd/m2. We generally found that using Low was sufficient, delivering a much improved contrast performance without losing detail in shadows or introducing excessive haloing. The UF850 could go very bright, measuring 423cd/m2 with everything maxed out in dynamic mode but this TV doesn't support High Dynamic Range (HDR) and as far we know, LG have no intention of adding HDR to the UF850.
Ultra HD 4K PerformanceThe UF850 looked great with the 4K content that we currently use for testing and the bright images were simply bursting with detail. You can also watch 4K content on streaming service providers like Netflix and Amazon Prime, assuming you have a fast enough broadband connection. However, like many of the UHD TVs currently available, there are question marks over how the UF850 will handle the proposed new standards for UHD broadcast and UHD Blu-ray. As mentioned in the previous section it doesn’t support HDR nor does it use quantum dot, so it can't produce a wide enough colour space. We believe that the panel does support 10-bit video but LG have been vague on the exact specifications of the HDMI inputs, despite us directly asking them.
Full HD PerformanceWhilst Ultra HD 4K is important, the majority of your viewing will still be Full HD for the foreseeable future and thankfully the UF850 delivered a great performance in this area. The combination of a largely accurate image and excellent video processing that took full advantage of the native resolution of the panel delivered great-looking pictures. The images were bright and although the primary colours could be a little muted at times, the UF850 was still capable of impressing with the best high definition broadcasts. The local dimming also did its job well, improving the perceived black levels but also retaining shadow detail. Whilst watching the BBC drama Stonemouth, there was a difficult scene with fireworks at night, which the UF850 handled very well. The same was true of Blu-rays, with recent purchases like Jupiter Ascending looking absolutely stunning on the LG. It might only be a mid-tier model but it handled the detailed and vibrant images of the Wachowski's bonkers sci-fi epic with ease and proved to be a very competent all-round performer.
3D PerformanceThe UF850's native 4K panel means that it can deliver passive 3D with a full 1080p for each eye, as a result the images it produced were excellent. The 3D was very detailed, extremely bright and free of any flicker or crosstalk. If that wasn't enough, the use of passive 3D means you can use any RealD glasses you might of brought back from the cinema and there's no batteries or recharging involved. The UF850 doesn't quite get a perfect score because there was banding sometimes visible but overall the 3D was fantastic, with images that revealed plenty of depth and pop. The local dimming and video processing also play their part and watching old favourites like Hugo and new purchases like Big Hero 6 revealed superb 3D images that were a pleasure to behold. If you're a fan of 3D then a solid TV like the UF850 is sure to please.
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)||8|
|What do these mean?|
- Accurate picture after calibration
- Excellent video processing
- Effective local dimming
- Wide viewing angles
- Decent sound
- Impressive features
- Superb 3D
- Attractive design
- Good build quality
- Mediocre blacks
- Occasional banding artefacts
- Limited future proofing
LG 65UF850V (UF850) UHD 4K LED TV Review
Should I buy one?The LG UF850V is a mid-range TV that is designed to offer an attractive design, a decent level of build quality and a solid all-round performance. In that sense it is a resounding success, with a classic appearance that uses a reasonably slim panel and a few touches of silver to stand out from the predominantly black colour scheme. The build quality is very good and the 'ribbon' stand looks attractive, although you will need a wide surface on which to install the TV. There are plenty of connections, the features are extensive and WebOS remains as impressive as ever. Thanks to the larger screen size and the 'ribbon' stand, the audio performance is surprisingly good, whilst the input lag will be low enough for most people.
In terms of the image quality, the out-of-the-box accuracy was good but could have been better, although the calibration controls were very effective. The UF850 could have performed better at lower saturation points, so colours sometimes appeared a little muted, but the general level of accuracy and excellent video processing resulted in decent pictures. The black levels were never going to be great but the viewing angles are extremely wide and the local dimming was effective. The panel uniformity was generally very good, although there was occasional banding on camera pans. However the 65UF850V can deliver bright, accurate and detailed images that are sure to please and the passive 3D was superb for those that are still interested.
What are my alternatives?This has been a strange year, with many of the major TV manufacturers only just starting to release their new line-ups. As such we have yet to see anything from Sony or Philips and have only reviewed the flagship CX802 from Panasonic. So if you're not tempted to take a look at LG's flagship UF950V or their superb EG960V OLED TV, then the obvious alternative is Samsung. The JU6400 is a similar price and offers an equally extensive set of features and an impressive level of picture quality. However it doesn't include a local dimming system and has a limited optimal viewing angle so, depending on your needs, the UF850 might be preferable. If you do decide to go for LG's 65UF850V you certainly won't be disappointed and as long as you can accept a limited amount of future-proofing, it's definitely worth putting on your short list.
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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