Which manufacturer makes the best overall OLEDs?

  • LG

    Votes: 72 55.4%
  • Panasonic

    Votes: 35 26.9%
  • Sony

    Votes: 21 16.2%
  • Philips

    Votes: 2 1.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    130

Dodgexander

Moderator
A comparison of OLEDs
First thing to remember when shopping for an OLED is that unlike LCD TVs, all OLED TVs are remarkably similar. This is because they use the same panel made by LG, and thus have similar picture quality traits. Even an OLED sold today will compare in picture quality to an OLED sold in 2017. There's practically no difference in picture quality.

Side by side, you'd struggle to notice much of a difference between one OLED and another, even if the latter costs 2, 3 times the price.

The difference therefore comes down to other aspects. Picture processing of each manufacturer is different and sometimes there's small differences between each model too. Sound is also different, with the basic OLED TVs having your typical poor built in sound, and the more premium priced models having dedicated soundbars or speakers to boost built in sound quality.

Here's a brief summary of what the small differences are between each brand. Don't get so hung up about them though, as each TV is very similar.

Pros
  • Smart TV is fast and intuitive.
  • Very good Dolby Vision support.
  • Largest set of HDMI v2.1 features, including eARC, VRR and ALLM.
  • Logo dimming feature to help prevent burn in.
  • Freesync, VRR and Gsync supported for gaming.
  • Upscaling is very good.
Cons
  • Some people prefer motion of other brands.
  • UK catch up apps are missing apart from iPlayer.
  • Known picture quality problems with VRR and Freesync.
BX
Entry model with the same picture processor as last years B9, 2018's B8 and the 2017 B7 and C7 models before that.

CX
The first TV in the lineup to have a more powerful processor for better picture processing. Smoother transition of one gradient of colour to the next, better near to black handling and circa 100 nits brighter with HDR.

GX
The same as the CX but with a more premium design and better built in speakers. Sound is a little better, but doesn't rival the WX or other OLEDs with designated soundbars. The appeal is a cleaner wall mount.

WX
The same as the GX but the Soundbar is integrated with the connections and the TV is thinner so it can be wall mounted flat above.
Pros
  • Out of the box picture accuracy is very good.
  • Picture processing and motion are good.
  • HDR10+ & Dolby Vision HDR support.
  • ALLM is supported.
  • eARC is supported.
Cons
  • Panasonic's smart TV isn't fantastic but its not bad either, most criticised for lack of updates.
  • No HDMI 2.1 VRR

HZ980
  • Entry model.
HZ1000
  • Same picture quality as the HZ980, different design.
  • Auto calibration supported.
  • Supports tweaking of motion interpolation and BFI further than the entry level model. This is only useful if you are watching sport, and you know you'll use this feature.
HZ1500
  • Auto Calibration supported.
  • Better built in sound with designated soundbar.

HZ2000
  • Auto Calibration supported.
  • Better built in sound with designated soundbar. Improves on the HZ1500 with upward firing speakers for sound.
  • Better power deliver to the TV and panel customisation makes for the brightest and most striking OLED image.
Pros
  • Excellent picture processing and motion.
  • 120hz support at 1080p/1440p.
  • Great built in sound.
  • Good out of the box picture accuracy.
  • Apple TV app is coming.
  • Dolby Vision HDR support.
  • eARC supported
Cons

  • Sony's Android TV is featureful, but compared to LG less intuitive to use.
  • Missing TV led Dolby Vision means only certain Dolby Vision UHD Blu-Ray players/sources may with a Dolby Vision signal.
  • No HDR10+ support.
  • No HDMI v2.1 ALLM or VRR.

AH8, A8, A9
  • Basic model.
  • Poorer calibration controls if you plan on using professional calibration.
  • Great ABL.
AG9
  • More powerful sound, more premium design.
  • CMS support for pro calibration.
  • 2019 model, panel may be a 2019 LG one.
  • Aggressive ABL.
Pros
  • Very good picture processing and motion.
  • HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR support.
  • HDMI v2.1 ALLM supported.
  • Good out of the box picture accuracy.
Cons
  • Philips Android smart TV is regarded as the worst platform like Sony, although it does have the most app choice and it tends to be slightly faster than Sony.
  • No HDMI v2.1 eARC or VRR.
OLED705/755/805/855/865
  • Latest P5 picture processor.
  • 855 has a swivel stand.
  • 865 has a swivel stand with leather
OLED935
  • Same as the 8 series above with picture quality and stand.
  • Superior soundbar tuned by B and W.
  • Different aesthetic design.
Pros
  • Likely priced well against cheaper LCDs and offer much better overall picture quality.
Cons
  • Questionable picture processing, HDR picture processing.
  • Might use previous year OLED panels.
Please let me know if I have missed anything and I will add it.
 
Last edited:

zeppelino

Distinguished Member
AF9 has CMS and four full fat hdmi ports - may want to add to its section. Sony’s DV is poor even in the built in apps, may be worth a mention.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Just a thought as they're way better than the guide that's currently pinned.
Try telling that to Phil haha ;)

Joking aside, they want to keep the sticky count to a minimum. Previously they had many stickies and felt it cluttered the forum and didn't really help so much (people who are going to post are going to post anyway etc).

So I'm happy just having them linked in my signature in one place.
 

Wayfairing Stranger

Active Member
Ok, cool. You don't seem to have this thread linked in your sig though, but you do have LCD versus OLED listed twice.

Shame the higher ups can't see the value in your guides, they're great.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Ok, cool. You don't seem to have this thread linked in your sig though, but you do have LCD versus OLED listed twice.

Shame the higher ups can't see the value in your guides, they're great.
Thanks buddy.

I have it linked the "my guides" thread that keeps all the guides in one place. Its really the only way I could integrate them all together. I was hoping that people would read more than only the best buy guide. I guess I could also include the best buy guide with it but I'm afraid that people already will just read it and ask questions without doing extra reading.
 

Sarge

Active Member
are you sure the FZ952 has 4 full fat ports? AVforums review says 2 and most other reviews say 2?
 

rgledhill

Member
Would you mind adding which models have support for Dolby Atmos please? Also if there are any differences in screen brightness, that would be useful too.

Thanks as always for very useful information.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Would you mind adding which models have support for Dolby Atmos please? Also if there are any differences in screen brightness, that would be useful too.

Thanks as always for very useful information.
I have added a bit regarding Atmos in the LG section. Screen brightness is more or less the same on all the OLEDs as they all use the same panels. The Sony models are the only exception to this with the over-aggressive ABL..although I believe they have updated their software to reduce this a little more now.
 

40something

Active Member
Great help thanks for this and the help with my question. As I see it....

If I want a better screen than the Panasonic 802 (which I love) it's better to get the LG C8 over the B8. But as the B8 (as its better than the B7) is getting lower to £1k would you pick it over the 802 if both can be purchased for about the same price new?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Great help thanks for this and the help with my question. As I see it....

If I want a better screen than the Panasonic 802 (which I love) it's better to get the LG C8 over the B8. But as the B8 (as its better than the B7) is getting lower to £1k would you pick it over the 802 if both can be purchased for about the same price new?
Each year they all use the same revision of panel, so the only difference is in smart TV, aesthetics, integrated sound, connectivity and how they handle motion.

The B7 is a 2017-18 model so will have a panel and software for that year. It lacks the newer webOS features like auto logo dimming for example.

If by screen you mean the better TV it really depends on you and what you want from a TV. The LGs are the best all-rounders but some people prefer to go with the Panasonic as they like the motion and picture processing.
 

40something

Active Member
Yes I really like 802 but as I've said on my other post all are above my budget. I only wish I could find a great sub £800 55" screen.
 

faidtoblack

Active Member
Yes I really like 802 but as I've said on my other post all are above my budget. I only wish I could find a great sub £800 55" screen.

Not sub £800 but the 55fz802 is £899 on the Panasonic official eBay refurb store. You only get a 1 year warranty but for the price is worth consideration IMHO.
 

zeppelino

Distinguished Member
GZ2000 has upwards firing speakers alongside the soundbar.

Not 100% on this, but I don’t think the AG8 has eArc.
 

Mr_Maz

Active Member
if you had to choose between the 55GZ1500 for 1500 or the Philips 934 for 1650 (showmodel already calibrated) which one would win?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
if you had to choose between the 55GZ1500 for 1500 or the Philips 934 for 1650 (showmodel already calibrated) which one would win?
Definitely the GZ1500. You don't quite know what's been running on the show model, its more expensive and not any better overall. Picture accuracy out of the box is already very good on the Panasonic.
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
@Dodgexander

The Sony blurb may need an update.
  • Sony's smart TV is regarded as the worst, although it does have the most app choice.
The user interface is rather good and very snappy with latest Android TV. Very easy to use - my wife and kids were comfortable immediately with it. All UK catch-up apps available and Apple TV (new). LG is lacking key UK catch up services in comparison.
  • Aggressive ABL means the TV isn't as bright with HDR and may also dim brightness with SDR content too if the scene is bright
By all accounts and reviews I've seen, LG ABL is more aggressive. The ABL on the A8 is minimal. Perhaps older models had aggressive ABL.

  • Poor Dolby Vision implementation means manufacturers have to work with Sony for it to work compared to LG. This affects built in apps also.

Phil's review rates HDR and DV on the A8 on par with the Panasonic HZ1000, and with less ABL. His overall HDR rating is excellent for this TV.
"HDR comparisons also resulted in an almost neck and neck results and the Sony is certainly not any dimmer that the HZ1000 with HDR10 and Dolby Vision content, with the A8, also exhibiting an ABL performance slightly better than the Panasonic"

Dolby Vision in DV Bright mode is outstanding. I have nothing directly to compare with but if this is poor, I would love to see a great implementation. It is "knock your socks off good" with the right material.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
@Dodgexander

The Sony blurb may need an update.
  • Sony's smart TV is regarded as the worst, although it does have the most app choice.
The user interface is rather good and very snappy with latest Android TV. Very easy to use - my wife and kids were comfortable immediately with it. All UK catch-up apps available and Apple TV (new). LG is lacking key UK catch up services in comparison.
  • Aggressive ABL means the TV isn't as bright with HDR and may also dim brightness with SDR content too if the scene is bright
By all accounts and reviews I've seen, LG ABL is more aggressive. The ABL on the A8 is minimal. Perhaps older models had aggressive ABL.

  • Poor Dolby Vision implementation means manufacturers have to work with Sony for it to work compared to LG. This affects built in apps also.

Phil's review rates HDR and DV on the A8 on par with the Panasonic HZ1000, and with less ABL. His overall HDR rating is excellent for this TV.
"HDR comparisons also resulted in an almost neck and neck results and the Sony is certainly not any dimmer that the HZ1000 with HDR10 and Dolby Vision content, with the A8, also exhibiting an ABL performance slightly better than the Panasonic"

Dolby Vision in DV Bright mode is outstanding. I have nothing directly to compare with but if this is poor, I would love to see a great implementation. It is "knock your socks off good" with the right material.
thanks for the feedback. I have thought about making changes with the smart TV, but I still think people will generally favour WebOS and Tizen. It's certainly very featureful but it still has stupid things like needing to use motion settings to remove 2:3 judder from built in apps (Android limitation).

With ABL they must have made a big change this iteration, Sony OLEDs have typically been the worse in this department. I will update the info.

With Dolby Vision I'm not sure I really have the wording right. It wasn't really supposed to come accross like the TV had poor picture quality with Dolby Vision, its more down to the fact the TV is not 'TV led' with Dolby Vision, it basically means there's no firmware on the TV itself to process the signal, and it instead relies on external sources or software to process it itself. It has some limitations when it comes to using Dolby Vision sources with the TV because they need to be able to pass the data to the display post process, which some do not support.

With built in apps like Netflix, Disney etc that have Dolby Vision the processing is done almost exclusively in the software rather than the TV itself, so results may not be quite up there the same as with Panasonic and LG. I think this is reflected in reviews too, where generally Dolby Vision content is said to be excellent on those TVs, whereas only very good on the Sony models.

Of course its not a huge difference and probably isn't worth mentioning in the guide, so I'll re word it so it only mentions the incompatibility with certain players, I don't think anyone buying the A8 will ever think that Dolby Vision isn't anything short of amazing.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
According to reviews, Phillips's newest OLEDs have the best sound from a TV now.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
IMO:
LG: Combination of improved motion processing that still isn't as good as Sony/Panasonic, improved picture processing that struggles in darker lower resolution SDR content, HDMI 2.1 features, TV-led Dolby Vision (with floating blacks only corrected with brightness @49), a HDR experience which seems to be slightly brighter and poppier than Sony's OOTB, probably the best TV OS but lacking DTS features

Sony: Player-led inferior DV which still has its own artifacts and issues, great TV sound-on-glass, best motion processing and great image processing for dark content, the 77'' model isn't upgraded to 2020 spec, no HDMI 2.1/120hz/ALLM/VRR features which makes it a vastly inferior gaming TV, has DTS. Sony's image more filmic, slightly less pop OOTB.

Panasonic: No 77'' size, best-in-class HDR/SDR experience, a undefeatable judder in the otherwise second-best motion processing, no HDMI 2.1/120hz/ALLM/VRR features which makes it a vastly inferior gaming TV, has very bad tint and uniformity issues which for a premium custom heat-sink panel feels VERY counter-productive and oxymoronic, has DTS. Best OOTB picture.

Phillips: No 77'', great image processing and okay motion processing, no HDMI 2.1/120hz/ALLM/VRR features which makes it a vastly inferior gaming TV. , Best in class sound on the newest models according to reviewers and phillips hue lighting system which provides the best possible ambient light based experience.




I'm not a TV reviewer. No vested interests, no one to keep happy.. this is my conclusions of this years TVs from an OLED perspective.



Overall, I'd personally conclude this year's lineup is an absolute total mess from every single manufacturer.

LG could have hit a home-run but decided to let Dolby continue to distribute a gimped chip with an obvious flaw. They excluded DTS hardware decoding chip to cut costs. The VRR-black issue has been resolved via an engineering FW update 6 months after release. They again cut costs on the UK TV-on demand apps. Their motion has improved but needs more improvement. The banding and uniformity issues have been bad this year, alongside a white DSE effect.

Panasonic have neglected to even enter the 77'' panel market which excludes them from the cutting edge enthusiasts. Their lack of panel uniformity which is marketed as as a near-reference display is disgraceful; as its their unique selling point, and the motion judder issue which has been proven by HDTVTest to be there seems strange given again, its marketed as a significantly more expensive but perfect TV. Nail in the coffin is no HDMI 2.1 features which is a clear cost cutting exercise given Panasonic SELL the HDMI 2.1 chipsets to every AVR manufacturer (or at least their close contacts do).

Sony have neglected to refresh the 77'' panel. They haven't upgraded or improved their sound-on-glass design and it sounds as if Phillips have now potentially leapfrogged them in a unique selling point. Their refusal to provide HDMI 2.1 chipsets despite offering it on their mid-range LCDs and their own gaming consoles is mind-boggling. Their player-led DV is worst-in-class and still artefacts but just with different issues.

Phillips, I'd love to include you in this, but you release TVs so late in the year that I can only read about your TVs whilst everyone else's have been out in the wild for ages.

Systemic OLED issues
1. Motion judder on 24p challenging panning content with white colours - still not addressed and won't be addressed. Sony motion does NOT fix this. Its an inherent limitations of the technology.
2. ABL seems to be vastly improved this year.
3. Burn-in seems to be occurring even less frequently this year and burn-in warranties now available
4. Banding, uniformity issues and a now worsened white DSE issue [all inconsistent and open to panel variation] are rearing their ugly head more than ever, likely because LG displays are producing more than ever
5. The price has at last come down to sensible levels for EVERY size-tier and the value is now BEATING high end FALD LCD panels which is nothing short of amazing.
6. We are due a 25% then 50% increase in brightness of OLEDs over the next 4 years as per LG's stakeholder roadmap which was released a couple of years ago
7. No return of 3D. Not surprised but would have been nice to see this happen as when Avatar 2 drops, there will be a rejuvenation of the format. I am going to guess LG will lead the march on this as they did with gaming features.


Overall I give my personal badge (recluctantly, after going through 1 bandy CX, a faulty GX) to LG. Why? Well, they just did the least worst job out of everyone else.

Sony totally neglected their 77'' line for no good reason, they didn't include HDMI 2.1 features and clearly planned for people to have to upgrade AGAIN in a few years and their flaws with DV are system across multiple years.

Panasonic have released the most premium end cinema-phile TV, without HDMI 2.1 gaming features, and sent those phenomenal TVs off to TV reviewers and then distributed variable quality panels to the general public with a clear tint issue on panels (some users have got 3 panels ALL with the tint issue). The motion judder issue is just not acceptable and for the gigantic price tag, neither is a lack of HDMI 2.1 features when the precedent was set last year and Samsung managed to catchup.

Phillips, sorry you were late to the party.

LG dropped DTS, didn't fix their system DV issue BUT they improved their motion, introduced BFI, still provided HDMI 2.1 bandwidth which turned out being the CORRECT amount (40gbps all we indeed need), fixed (LATE) their raised blacks and VRR issues and provided the TV which will simply put get outdated the latest due to these included hardware features. They also pushed the design envelope forwards with the GX.




Overall IMO an absolute mess of a year TV-wise and COVID or not, I feel a lot of the brands just cost-cut knowing demand for TVs will be high enough to get them through making a lot of money with minimal effort. On one hand, I'm completely frustrated.. on the other hand, OLEDs (outside of panasonic's) are now at the lowest prices ever and at last, people who aren't balling can afford to dip into the technology. If it means these cost cuts are needed, fine, I'll accept it.. do a degree... but some of the lack of effort and small changes are despicable.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
My love letters to the big 3 which they'll never read:

LG, if you don't want to pay for DTS, talk to DTS and offer an optional payment users can make to download and activate DTS decoding software on the TV like you can for a windows PC. £10-15 activation, DTS are happy, you are happy.

LG, talk to Dolby and get them to finally fix or comment definitively on the issues involving their DV content. Offer a calibrated brightness @49 setting which is lifted to provide shadow detail as an optional 'DV home mode' and have the 'DV cinema mode' which DV's settings there.

LG, continue to improve your interpolation for motion and picture processing. You did well this year but your smooth gradation filter for dark content was crap and as we are reliant on broadcast and streamed content, this needs to be better. Most users have not noticed that you handle bright content better than Sony because put simply, bright content is not the issue.

Panasonic, you either fix your uniformity issues for a cinemaphile-grade panel OR offer the same features which we expect in 2021 (HDMI 2.1). I feel like I'm being harsh on you but you charge 50% more than everyone else yet don't deliver on the cinema-grade experience AND you are behind the competition.

Panasonic, I hope your interpolation improves to completely remove the judder because really, I'm sorry, but for the price you're selling for everything needs to be perfect.

Sony, I don't think you can continue to rest on your motion and picture processing any longer. You need to keep up to date and spec with your features. Your form factor is now behind the times with the GX, LG have nailed and smoothed out all the HDMI 2.1 bugs which you and your users will encounter and moan about for the next 24 months because you've adopted them late and totally neglecting the 77'' model is ridiculous.

Sony, if you want to sell yourself as a cinema-grade panel rather than an all-round solution then get a custom heat-sink like Panasonic. If you want to be an all-round TV, offer the feature parity with LG.




And to LG displays, improve your freaking uniformity.



Now for some controversy. Every enthusiast who has been around the block will agree with me.. everyone else will think I'm thick.

My REAL winner for this year's OLED WAR is:

JOHN LEWIS
You have provided an OLED burn-in warranty users have wanted for years.
Your return policy and customer service has been second to none you deserve every single OLED purchase in the UK. I know of a few of us who have gone through 2-3 panels and you have been flawless in both price matching and return policies.
 

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