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LG OLED77C8 (C8 OLED) review: Another world-beating OLED from LG

Vincent Teoh
29 May 2018
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
7,999
inc VAT

It’s a stretch to call it affordable, but this is a truly amazing 77-inch OLED TV

Pros 
True blacks, vibrant colours & wide viewing angles
Multi-format HDR support (HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Technicolor)
Cons 
HDR not as impactful as the brightest LED LCDs
Mild vertical banding in very dark content
Small risk of permanent burn-in with static logos
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Having conquered the TV world with last year’s OLED range, LG is back to put more hurt upon its rivals with the new OLED C8 series. The C8 series is particularly interesting because it’s LG’s most affordable OLED to feature the new Alpha 9 processor, which is designed to bring improvements in noise reduction, decontouring, sharpness enhancement and colour mapping. The OLED77C8 we’re looking at today is the supersized 77-inch model – and it’s not going to hurt LG’s supremacy one bit.

LG OLED77C8 (C8 OLED): What you need to know

The LG 77C8 is an OLED TV, and as such self-emissive, meaning that every pixel can be turned on and off independently of one another to achieve true blacks and precise light control. Currently, this is the best display technology going.

As you’d expect from a modern high-end TV, the screen resolution is 4K UHD (ultra high-definition). And as for HDR, LG continues to support the widest variety of formats on the market, namely the open-standard HDR10, the broadcast-friendly HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), the proprietary Dolby Vision and even Technicolor HDR. As a result, there’s practically zero reason to worry that you’ll be locked out of any sources of HDR content – at least for the foreseeable future.

The onboard Smart TV platform is still underpinned by WebOS, which remains the most intuitive smart TV system on the market. What’s more, 2018 has seen LG adding an AI component through integration with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. You can use the former through the remote, controlling various TV functions and searching for for films and programmes in the EPG and any streaming services - and with a Google Home speaker you can issue commands hands-free. The Alexa support isn’t so comprehensive, but you can still control the basic functions and some streaming services through your Echo or Echo Dot.

LG OLED77C8 (C8 OLED): Price and competition

While still relatively expensive at £7,999, the LG OLED77C8 is actually the most affordable 77-inch OLED television on the market. The firm's 2018 flagship OLED77W8 comes in at £14,999, boasting a stunning wallpaper design. Panasonic and Sony are carrying over their 77in OLED TVs from last year, priced at £11,999 (Panasonic TX-77EZ1002B) and £12,999 (Sony KD-77A1) respectively.

Still wincing from those prices? Then you'll be pleased to know that you can buy the LG C8 OLED in both 55in (£2,999) and 65in (£3,995) screen sizes for a fraction of the 77in model's RRP. 

And if you're put off by the risk of permanent burn-in on OLED TVs (however small it may be) but still want an absolutely huge TV, then Samsung's 75-inch Q9FN QLED TV (£5,999) is worth considering. Just be aware that, despite its QLED moniker, the Q9FN is still an LED LCD TV at heart, and so won't provide the wide viewing angles and pixel-level illumination control of an OLED set.

LG OLED77C8 (C8 OLED): Design and connections

The LG C8 differs in styling from other OLEDs on the market through a stand that curves forwards, partly to redirect audio from the solid-sounding downfiring speakers. The stand is wide, measuring about 104cm in width on the 77C8, and if you wish to place a soundbar in front of the TV, the clearance from the bottom of the screen to the base of the stand is around 6cm. Our review unit exhibited a slight tilt backwards, but otherwise the build quality is rock-solid.

The connections are located on the rear of the TV at the left, and include four HDMI ports, all compatible with the HDMI 2.0b and HDCP 2.2 standards. There's a slight buzz from the power supply of our review unit at certain brightness levels, but the buzz is fairly soft and only audible if you mute the TV sound in a quiet room.

LG OLED77C8 (C8 OLED): Picture quality & HDR performance

The OLED77C8’s panel is capable of absolute blacks, injecting prodigious amount of depth and dynamic range to all types of content, making even SDR material look HDR-like. And just like 2017 models, the ABL or Auto Brightness Limiter on the LG C8 is less aggressive than that found in OLEDs from other brands, which means bright scenes will generally look brighter than on the competition.

Uniformity is as good as we've seen from a consumer OLED TV, which is particularly impressive given the 77-inch screen size. In a pitch-black room, we saw no vignetting (where the screen is darker in the frames or corners) or reverse vignetting (where the screen is lighter). The latter problem often affected previous generations of OLED, but not here, though we spotted some thin vertical streaks. Brightness uniformity is excellent: we saw no dirty screen effect or colour tinting in either our test slides or any real-world content.

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We obtained stunning colour accuracy after calibration, ensuring memory colours such as skin tones and foliage look supremely realistic. We're happy with the LG C8's motion performance, too, though the trained eye might spot the TruMotion frame interpolation technology glitching from time to time. The main upgrade over 2017 models is the addition of black frame insertion on the LG C8, and when paired with 60fps games, the result is lucid and just beautiful as long as you don't mind the drop in brightness and a very mild increase in flicker.

HDR performance is just as impressive. Peak brightness measures 700 nits on a 10% window after calibration, and DCI-P3 colour gamut coverage comes in at 98%, giving HDR content the brightness, contrast and rich colour depth to shine. Full-screen maximum brightness, with the whole screen white, was only 117 nits rather than the 150 nits we normally expect from a consumer OLED TV, but that’s something we’d put down to the larger 77” screen size.

To enhance HDR performance further, LG has included a Dynamic Tone Mapping function, which works similarly to the Dynamic Contrast “Low” setting on 2017 LG OLEDs, and kicks into action most in films and games that have been mastered to 4000 nits. Here, the feature either retains specular highlight detail or brightens the overall Average Picture Level as necessary, depending on analysis of the levels of the incoming picture.

While not as punchy as the brightest LED LCDs, the OLED77C8's pinpoint light control allows for a very polished HDR rendition, delivering inky blacks and no blooming artefacts, which some quarters will prefer. From blockbuster movies through to high-impact action games, there’s nothing you can throw at the OLED77C8 that it isn’t going to make look stunning.

LG OLED77C8 (C8 OLED): Input lag and gaming responsiveness

As with last year’s sets, input lag measures 21ms in 4K HDR and 1080p SDR Game Modes, and engaging black frame insertion to reduce motion blur won't increase the input lag. One big improvement over 2017 models is the availability of Dynamic Tone-Mapping in the HDR Game Mode, boosting the brightness of HDR games that are mastered to 4000 nits (for example Assassin's Creed: Origins) and 10000 nits (e.g. Battlefield 1). In our opinion, this is the single biggest reason to buy the C8 over the B7 or C7, and unfortunately we've been informed by LG that it's not possible to add the same feature to 2017 OLED TVs due to hardware limitations.

LG OLED77C8 (C8 OLED): Verdict

The OLED77C8 is an evolution of 2017's already excellent LG OLEDs, and delivers some of the best picture quality on the market this year. With key strengths such as excellent colour accuracy after calibration, a less aggressive Auto Brightness Limiter than OLEDs from other brands, multi-format HDR support, low input lag for gaming, and last but not least, an immersive viewing experience, this is a truly spectacular 77-inch TV.

In short, LG’s world domination continues - and it’ll take a great OLED TV to beat this one at this price.

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