My LG 55EG960V review

ZakD

Standard Member
I'm really not sure what to make of this LG 55EG960V TV. I've had it for 6 months now, and have mixed feelings.

My previous TV was a Panasonic Viera Plasma. It was simply amazing. I remember a few years back, I'd been waiting for years to buy the right TV. I went to a specialist TV shop, with all these latest fancy LED TV's which looked stunning. I spoke to the guys asking which was the best … and they said to be honest, whilst plasma's were end of life, the last of plasma range ones we're still better than the LED ones, and all the plasma problems had been corrected. How right were they. The Viera TV I bought was amazing - just effortlessly, natural. Full HD - it was impossible to imagine how the picture could be improved. It was like looking out of a window - literally.

The Viera was that good, the Standard definition TV channels were all upscaled to HD, and you couldn't really tell the difference too much between standard and HD. Certainly for general watching, switching between HD and standard was pretty much seamless (especially for the wife!).

So, like others I suppose, I'd been seeing the 4k TV's in the shops for a while. Improving all the time. I wasn't fooled by the HDR photo-stitched demo's being played out - which looked great just because it was a HDR photo stitch! Then towards the back of 2015 some great 4k TV's came out, and the Blu-ray HD quality started to look really amazing, and of course the 4k demo's being great.

Particularly I was blown away by the 65EG960V - where the guys in John Lewis assured it was the best TV they'd ever seen, and to be fair JL are pretty good a lot of the times. Indeed the uniqueness seemed to be the amazing depth and natural 3D effect given by the curved screen, and of course the blacks.

The 55 version looked nearly as good, perhaps with the smaller curve & resulting 3D effect less prominent, though still good nonetheless. When the price came down, I decided time for a change.

Today I'm liking my new TV, but urghhh.

Out of the box, awful. The standard definition channels nearly unwatchable. Instead of seeing an upgraded picture, I'd say the standard definition picture is far worse than my Viera. This is for all std def channels. Not just a bit worse, but nearly unwatchable. And this is after playing with all the settings. Now for me, I don't watch a huge amount of TV, and the wife is not bothered too much about the picture - so near miss on that one.

Next, HD TV channels. Still not as good as my Viera, a TV at least 5yrs older - ancient technology! I was disappointed. Indeed the picture is pin sharp, every pixel lit and clear, though at the same time the picture is 1) dull, 2) un-natural, 3) unbalanced. Now, the un-natural-ness I kind of get, as Plasma's are so clear being a faster Hz, so accept I'm trading off new OLED tech for the old plasma style natural picture. So being left with 'dull' and 'unbalanced', I sought out configuring the picture settings.

Yep, I used these forums, and got some good tips and improvements. Found a Stuff article, even better. On the Expert 1 setting, I was able to get to a point of satisfaction - which I'll come back to.

Next, Blu-ray. Wow, wow. Whilst TV channels were major disappointment, Blu-rays were a whole new world. Watching films is great, a really big improvement. Salvation! Having loads of Pixar/Disney type discs for the kids, these look even better too than normal style films. Still some improvement required though, as I could see a few issues, so I dug back into the settings.

Firstly, the motion looked rather un-natural. LG have this thing that inserts a made-up / fabricated frame, to improve the natural-ness. On the upside it works. On the downside, when the picture transitions from one scene to another, you can see a 'glitch' - it happens fast, too fast to register on the brain, though you can nearly see it happening, and whether it's consciously or sub consciously it's rather distracting. I'm guessing it's trying to fabricate a frame from Scene A to Scene B, and where there the scenes are totally different it just displays junk. So I switched it off - lost the benefit, though lost the glitch.

Next, the blacks seem to do something weird when the scenes are v dark, or have lots of shadows or differing black levels. I guess this is the 'drop-off' that I've been reading about. It doesn't happen often, though when it does, and when the scene is present for a few mins, it's an awful experience, enough for anyone to say "urghh, what's that".

I got fed up with trying to find a balance that provides a beautiful picture, that works consistently, with no issues. I noticed that with all the picture setting tweaking, I'd actually got back to near enough the factory settings - so I flipped to 'standard', and do you know what, it's not far off the best all-round picture setting after all. Of course, it's not great, though for everyday watching, whilst maintaining a bit of a wow factor, it's the easiest option. I leave it on this mode for wife kids, then I switch to my Expert 1 customised settings when watching a film. Expert 1 is still duller, less brilliant, bit of un-naturalness, though I'm ok with it - content.

Next 4k - 4k demo's still look good, though they are just demo's. When streaming 4k from Netflix and Amazon, I still don't get any feeling of wow. HD Blu-ray films, especially those shot on IMAX, fair better than the 4k streams I've seen so far. It's probably to do with the camera rather than the 4k bit quality. Sure, the streams are 'clear', 'more detailed' - though it doesn't really make too much difference.

For info, I mainly use Amazon, and have recently been watching Preacher, Mad Dogs and Girlfriend Experience - all very good series. Think Preacher is in HD, though looks better than MD and GE which are in 4k.

I've not yet seen anything in 4k which I'd call 'reference' quality. Something worth looking at, that others could be compared against. It's all a bit meh.

Using my XBox One, it's great. No problems there, much improved experience.

So what else about the TV. The sound is awful. It has a Harman Kardon system. In my car, the HK system is amazing. On my TV, rubbish. Luckily I've got a high end surround system. The in-built TV sound quality is that bad, I've configured the TV to permanently use the amp. By contrast, my old Viera TV sound system was that good, I'd only use the amp for watching blu ray films.

Worth pointing out .. the blacks are so black, you simply cannot tell when the TV is on or off, with a black/null picture being displayed. Seriously. At night, there is zero illumination in the room. Having no illumination LED on the front, it's impossible to tell when the TV is on or off! Of course, you can configure the LG icon to illuminate, though I do prefer it off.

Then there's lots of non-picture, non-sound issues. Perhaps here is where you get the quality and benefits through brands like Sony and Panasonic. The LG mouse pointer from the remote control is incredibly accurate, though from a usability perspective it's awful. A mouse icon just hangs around the screen every time you touch the remote control - and the control is never sturdy of course, and the blumming mouse pointer jiggles about all over the screen. Even worse, sometimes (as you do), run upstairs to sort something out, and the kids are shouting cos I've taken the blinking control upstairs, and all they can see is the mouse all over the screen. Then there's the EPG programme guide - rubbish too. Its very slow to load, and when it does load, it's not very usable. The 'list', which is meant to be a quick list of what's on, is too slow to load and doesn't give any sort of useful info. Going into the full EPG 'Guide' is a bit better, though again it's not quick, and trying to work out how to use programme information, and to select what to watch is not intuitive. The wife hates it. Couple that with the fact that we can only really watch HD channels, and not standard, the Guide is always at 101-105 range (terrestrial), so can't even see what else is on. I'd never for example watch FilmFour anymore due to picture quality as mentioned above anyways.

Oh, and I've got a horrible sound glitch. Sometimes, for no reason, mainly while on HD channels, or Amazon/Netflix, the sound temporarily dips out. It's bizarre, it dips to a low volume, then fades back in to normal volume. It's really annoying, and at some point I'm going to take the TV back just for this reason alone. I'm guessing it's some sort of computer processing issue, as at the same time, the TV is un-responsive i.e. when I try to turn the sound up using the remote control, the usual + icon doesn't appear, as if the command hasn't registered … almost like when you have windows running at 100% CPU/Disk. The TV non-responsiveness happens quite often, sometimes without the sound glitch. It's annoying.

Now that's a lot of negative. The main thing I use the TV for is films, and for that its stunning. Albeit with sometimes having to tone-down the wow-ness picture settings to get rid of some glitches. The verdict is that I feel I have bought a 'panel' - one of the best panels, rather than a TV. The panel is perfect for my home cinema, I do love it, though as a TV it's pretty rubbish. This suits me, though am only just about getting away with it with the wife.

There's going to be far better TV's coming out this 2016/2017, and ideally I'll be going back to Panasonic, once their 4k offering is ripe/ready - maybe in a few years for me now though.

My advice to anyone with a Viera, Kuro or anything similar … stick with it. The technology is just not here yet.
 
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gizlaroc

Distinguished Member
Nice review, nice to see some honesty.

I'll sit back and wait for everyone else who owns one to tell you you're wrong. ;)
 

Berisford

Active Member
A mouse icon just hangs around the screen every time you touch the remote control - and the control is never sturdy of course, and the blumming mouse pointer jiggles about all over the screen

After 10 minutes playing with a E6 and regular Freesat feed in Crampton & Moore last week that mouse became a instant concern for me and also the wife could see motion issues.....to be fair, I couldn't, but then perhaps I didn't want to see 'em.
 
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keylion

Active Member
Nice honest review, thank you for taking the time to post it.

Goes to show that it is the whole experience that counts, not just the picture quality. These glitches can soon spoil the overall experience.
 

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