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LG EF950V 4K TV review (65EF950V)

Michael Passingham
27 Nov 2015
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
LG 65EF960V lead image
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
3,999
inc VAT

A stunning 4K HDR TV, but missing catch-up services are a small setback

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Specifications

Screen size: 65in, Native resolution: 3,840x2,160, Video inputs: 3x HDMI, Common Interface, Composite, Conponent, Tuner: Freeview HD, Dimensions: 883x1450x236mm Buy now from Currys

The 65EF950V (part of the EF950V series, available in 55in form as the 55EF950V) is one of the most technologically advanced TVs to have ever graced our Labs, with a dazzling array of features that cinephiles will love. It has a 4K OLED panel, HDR video compatibility, Ultra HD upscaling and LG's vibrant webOS-based Smart TV system.

Even with all that in mind, the first thing you'll notice getting the TV out of its box is the astonishing design. The screen is surrounded by bezels just 1cm thick, with an almost-invisible frame keeping everything upright. The stand is made from transparent plastic, and while it would be an exaggeration to say the TV looks like it's floating, it's certainly stylish. The tiny bezels do an awful lot to draw your eyes into the screen, and with such a large TV, the more immersive the better.

Image quality

The LG65EF950V produces some truly amazing images, too, thanks to its ability to play HDR-enabled video. HDR is produced in a wider colour space, which means colours are more vibrant, yet retain the same inky blacks that OLED panels are capable of. The end result is a more realistic and more detailed image, with darker spots on screen in particular reaping the benefits of a huge range of colours.

The level of detail in LG’s own HDR demo footage was beyond anything we’ve seen on a conventional TV. The difference was pronounced when compared to non-HDR 4K footage; yes, the detail was still there, but the lack of colour depth made the non-HDR footage look almost flat by comparison. Of course, stock footage is designed to highlight the strengths of the TV's technology, so the difference is unlikely to be so stark in the real world.

Sadly, LG doesn't ship its TVs with any HDR content, and the only way to access HDR video in the UK is using Amazon Prime Instant Video, where it's available on a couple of Amazon's original shows including Mozart in the Jungle. Netflix's HDR ambitions are still in the works, while 4K Blu-Ray discs are expected to arrive in 2016. Amazon and Netflix do at least support 4K video on some titles, as long as your internet connection is up to it.

With 4K content so thin on the ground at the moment, Full HD upscaling performance has to be top-notch in order to justify the high cost. Luckily, LG has absolutely nailed it on the 65EF950V. Even 1080i broadcast TV looks good, thanks to well-judged noise reduction and edge sharpening. Faces are surprisingly detailed, with natural-looking skin tones and impressive amounts of detail on freckles and facial blemishes. Even SD content, which is often so eye-punishingly ugly and smudgy on large 4K sets, was acceptable, although where possible you should stick to HD channels.

24fps Blu-ray content looked even better. Interstellar could almost be mistaken for 4K thanks to impressive detail upscaling. Out-of-the-box image settings were great, but it's definitely worth taking the time to adjust the extra image options - especially the colour saturation, OLED light and white balance. Each setting is adjustable to the most minute detail, and you could easily spend hours tweaking.

The standard frame interpolation settings were well-suited to slow-to-medium speed objects moving both horizontally and vertically; Interstellar is very challenging in this regard, but there were few occasions where the spacecraft looked juddery. Even so, some edges look very artificial; when the spacecraft was flying high above a planet, it looked superimposed. This is partly down to edge enhancement, and also down to the fact that it's an upscaled image. 


Equally good is the sound from the built-in speakers. Cranking the volume up to maximum is no problem at all, and both music and movies sound superb. If you want to hook up other speakers, there's an optical S/PDIF connector at the rear, along with three HDMI ports and three USB ports.

The 3D isn't great. LG supplies two sets of 3D glasses, but they're passive, which means the 3D effect is less pronounced and also has a greater degree of crosstalk. It's not a lot of fun to watch, and when you also consider that LG has just dropped its 3D content category from its TVs' online stores, it's not hard to see that LG's heart is elsewhere.

I couldn't get a proper input lag reading from the TV with image enhancements switched on, but turning the TV on to 'Game Mode', where many image enhancements are switched off, I recorded a sky-high input lag figure of 63ms. It's the price you pay for great image quality, but this is too high for fps games, although titles such as FIFA will be fine.

Software

LG's WebOS 2.0 interface is bright, colourful and smooth for the most part, and I particularly enjoyed using the gesture-sensitive remote control to navigate the menus. While the menus are great to look at, they can be a bit confusing at times. You get a menu across the bottom of the screen with buttons taking you to your apps, app store and live TV. You can move your most-used applications so they always show up where you want them, but I encountered a bug where my changes weren't saved, and the apps I'd added to the menu moved back to the end of the list, which was annoying.


There's voice control and universal search, too, although I could only get the universal search controls to find content in the EPG, Wuaki.TV and YouTube.

Slightly worrying is the lack of All4 and ITV Player catch up services. BBC iPlayer and Demand 5 are both present, as is Sky Now TV (which is unique to LG TVs thanks to an exclusivity deal) but missing half of the UK's big catch up players is a big deal. You do at least get Amazon Prime instant video and Netflix, both of which support 4K video streams.

The 65EF950V is a fantastic TV for early adopters; once you've seen the quality of the images it produces it's hard to go back to conventional non-4K, non-HDR content. Living with a few missing catch-up services isn't a huge issue if you're willing to buy a streaming stick such as a Chromecast or Roku, but when you're paying in excess of £3,500 for a TV set, you'd expect it to be the complete package. Buy now from Currys.

After something different? Our Best TVs guide has all the top models

HARDWARE
Screen size65in
Native resolution3,840x2,160
Aspect ratio16:9
3DPassive
Contrast ratioNot stated
BrightnessNot stated
Speakers2x 10W
Video inputs3x HDMI, Common Interface, Composite, Conponent
Audio inputs3.5mm audio
Audio outputsOptical S/PDIF
TunerFreeview HD
Streaming TV servicesBBC iPlayer, Demand 5, Netflix, Wuaki.tv, Amazon Instant, YouTube
Media StreamingDLNA
Dimensions883x1450x236mm
BUYING INFORMATION
Price including VAT£3,999
WarrantyOne year RTB
Suppliercurrys.co.uk
Detailslg.com/uk
Part code65EF950V

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