LG 65EF950V review

We've seen many excellent TVs recently, but this 4K OLED might just be the finest yet... Tested at £4000

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

LG’s (and the world’s) first flat 4K OLED TV is a resounding success in almost every way

For

  • Superb contrast
  • Punchy yet subtle colours
  • Wonderfully crisp
  • Classy design
  • Good upscaler
  • Exemplary viewing angles

Against

  • No ITV Player or All4

LG has finally taken the iron to its OLED TVs. The panel technology has up until now been exclusive to a handful of curved screens, and the 65EF950V is the world’s first flat 4K OLED (alongside the £2500 55in version).

As a caveat of curved tellies is their less-than-ideal viewing angles, the news of the EF950V range should not only please general curve-haters but those who regularly miss out on the centre seat of the sofa too.

It’s also one of LG’s newest, priciest TVs – and makes a strong case for being the king of OLEDs (so far).

MORE: OLED TV - everything you need to know

Features

Like some of Samsung’s SUHD line-up, the LG 65EF950V (alongside its 55in sibling and the 55EG9200) claims to support HDR (High Dynamic Range). While 4K is purely about resolution – how many pixels make up the picture – HDR deals with how dark and bright those pixels can go, promising whiter whites, darker blacks and more variation in the colours in between.

Official standards for HDR aren’t yet set in stone, but Amazon has chosen to support the HDR 10 version in its Instant Video streaming service. LG supports this and is hoping that Netflix adheres to the same one too).

What this means is that when you watch a show in HDR on Amazon – Bosch or Transparent, for example – the TV will detect the format and play it. A notification pops up on-screen so you don’t even have to press any buttons to active it.

All of the 65EF950V’s three HDMI inputs meet the latest 2.0a HDMI specification, which allows HDR support for external sources such as forthcoming Ultra HD Blu-ray players and discs.

MORE: 2015 TV tech explained: HDR, Quantum Dot, Dolby Vision

Picture

We roll with the pilot of Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon Instant Video (in HDR). The opening sequence is a concert, and we’re impressed with how black suits in the orchestration don’t all look one tone.

At one point we can count over five in one frame, and you can see where light hits certain areas. We like how diamond earrings sparkle in different intensities and that stage lights show variation in intensity.

Something to bear in mind: the LG automatically enters a special HDR picture mode when it detects that content, which can be toyed with – just not during viewing.

It may be tempting to jump straight into your current boxset, but taking time to tweak picture settings across your content sources is hugely rewarding. Toning down brightness is advised, as is bumping up motion settings or activating ‘smooth’ processing for a cleaner, more stable picture.

What you should be left with is a stonkingly crisp, smooth and squeaky-clean picture that harmonises a pleasant richness with convincing realism and subtlety.

When required, blacks are very black indeed, so when a room’s lights are out and the TV screen goes black, you’re left sitting in pitch blackness. OLEDs don’t have a backlight consistently shining through the panel as LCD sets do, after all.

Whites are appropriately vivid with pleasing variation. Needless to say, it’s two thumbs up for contrast.

Its colour reproduction deserves kudos too. Load up Mad Max: Fury Road on Blu-ray and the film’s splashy, saturated colours pop on the LG’s screen, looking truly inviting and, more importantly, a great deal more accurate and subtle than through the 65EC970V. Dirt and paint on faces and damage to cars is profound, and textures of rocks, sand and machinery are realised.

Skin tones are natural, and motion is nicely done car chase after car chase.

Although a HD Netflix stream of Scream loses a little crispness compared to Blu-ray playback (as to be expected), the LG sticks to its informative guns and provides a perfectly good watch… providing you don’t mind masked killers and buckets of blood.

While the LG upscales DVDs well enough for you to keep your collection at arm’s length, SD channels are worth avoiding where possible. Like with nearly all big 4K TVs, the picture looks a tad too soft and blurry compared to higher resolution. With HD channels it’s much better.

It’s easy to forget you’re watching 3D through the 65EF950V too, and not just because the supplied passive glasses (there’s two pairs in the box) are so lightweight. The picture is not only stable and poised, but impressively bright and coherent, so even the murky broomstick chase scene in Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 1 isn’t consumed by shadows.

You won’t have to neglect your favourite corner armchair either as viewing angles are pretty spot-on. The 65EF950V is nicely uniform, even at quite extreme angles, and that alone is reason enough to applaud LG’s decision to make a flat OLED.

MORE: Best 4K TVs 2015

Sound

You’ll buy this TV for its picture rather than its sound, but know that it easily trumps the rather low quality you get from bog-standard flatscreen speakers. At least there’s decent weight here for explosions to go off without distortion and for Tom Hardys’ voice in Mad Max sounding suitably deep and gruff.

As TVs go, we’d imagine that only something like the Sony KD-75X9405C, with its two-panel front-facing speakers, is capable of producing a markedly better sound.

Of course, big screen entertainment deserves big-scale home cinema sound, (so a decent speaker package or a soundbar at the very least) shouldn’t be too far down your Christmas list.

Build and design

While the curvature of LG’s other OLEDs gives them an architectural elegance from a design perspective, the 65EF950V is no less handsome. It looks every bit a premium telly.

Its thin panel (we’re talking 5mm here) is classily finished with a barely-there bezel and metal framing, and is backed with a smooth, shiny white aesthetic.

The highlight? A clear acrylic panel joining the metal stand to the frame gives what LG is calling a floating screen effect. Honestly, it’s lovely. Sit a few metres away from the screen and, true to its moniker, it does actually look like it’s floating in mid air.

Half way down, the panel protrudes only a few extra centimetres to house the power supply and connections as neat as possible. Joining the HDMIs are component and three USB inputs (one is 3.0), as well as an optical output and Ethernet socket.

Of course, wi-fi is also onboard to unlock the TV’s smart delights, of which there a many: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, BBC iPlayer and Demand5, as well as a truckload of apps available to download from the LG Store. ITV Player and All4 are the only absentees, so hopefully you can rely on your set-top box or Blu-ray player for them.

MORE: Best TVs to buy 2015

Verdict

It wasn’t long ago that the 65EF950V was breaking hearts with its initial £5000 price tag. You don’t need a maths degree to work out that it’s been significantly reduced since.

OLED is already becoming a more accessible technology (LG has already said its entry-level – probably Full HD – model will drop to £1500 around Christmas), although whether it’ll ever become ‘mainstream’ is less certain.

What we do know is that OLEDs are immensely capable in many respects, and that this one could be the finest yet.

See all our LG news and reviews

See all our TV reviews

Specifications

View All

General Information

Product SeriesEF950V
Product NameLG 65EF950V
Product Model65EF950V
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Brand NameLG
Product TypeOLED TV
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Manufacturer Part Number65EF950V

Interfaces-Ports

HeadphoneYes
HDMIYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
HDMI VersionHDMI 2.0
Component VideoYes
Number of SCART Interfaces1
SCARTYes
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of USB Ports3
CI+Yes
USBYes
Network RJ-45Yes
Composite VideoYes

Energy and Performance

Energy Efficiency ClassA+
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Energy Consumption per Year166 kWh
Maximum Resolution3840 x 2160
Operating Power Consumption114 W

Physical Characteristics

Depth with Stand23.6 cm
Weight with Stand Approximate24.50 kg
Width with Stand145 cm
Weight Approximate19.90 kg
Height with Stand88.3 cm
Width145 cm
Depth5 cm
Height84.2 cm
Dimensions84.2 cm (H): 145 cm (W): 5 cm (D)

Technical Information

Media PlayerYes
FeaturesProgressive Scan, Sport Mode, Film Mode, Noise Reduction, Game Mode, Wall Mountable, Scheduled Recording, Web Browser, Channel Labeling, Teletext, Motion Eye Care, Sleep Timer, Screen Mirroring, Child Lock
Teletext Memory2000
Aspect Ratio16:9
3D Type3D
Internet AccessYes
PC StreamingYes
Electronic Program GuideYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Screen Size165.1 cm (65")

Network and Communication

EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
BluetoothYes

Audio

RMS Output Power20 W
Sound SystemDTS, Dolby Digital, ULTRA Surround
SpeakersYes

Video

Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal Standard4K UHDTV
Scan Format2160p

Miscellaneous

DLNA CertifiedYes
Environmentally FriendlyYes
Package Contents
  • 65" OLED 4K TV
  • Magic Remote Control
Environmental CertificationRoHS

Warranty

Limited Warranty12 Month