Ironically, LG OLED televisions have traditionally struggled in the area just above black – transitioning smoothly from zero black to various gradations of dark grey hasn’t proved to be the easiest thing to achieve. To clarify, there are three separate issues:
Vignetting: The sides appearing darker than the centre;
Banding: Vertical darker streaks (mostly thin, somethings thick) running up and down the screen; and
Sub-8-bit gradation: Lack of finesse in handling video signal just above black, resulting in increased blockiness and noise in dark sequences.
The Korean manufacturer has systematically addressed the shortcomings of the company’s previous OLEDs, culminating in the exemplary display sitting right in front of us today. Undefeatable noise reduction? Rectified. Near-black vignetting? Gone. Uneven colour tinting? No longer an issue. Dark-scene hue errors? Corrected.
With that being said we did notice some issues, mostly visibly in that the most saturated reds were not quite as intense as on some of the other high-end HDR-capable TVs that we have tested. It has been pointed out by others that LG’s 2016 OLED TVs mistakenly track content encoded in the HDR10 format to the DCI-P3 color coordinates instead of Rec.2020 coordinates, which might explain why we saw this. It means that the TV reproduces somewhat inaccurate colors in HDR10 compared to for example Panasonic DX900. We were not able to confirm that this is indeed the case because we do not have a way to trigger HDR mode yet but it sounds plausible. To be clear, this does not mean that UHD Blu-ray movies look unimpressive but that colors are inaccurate in HDR10 mode. LG says that they are aware of the issue that relates to a HDMI handshake problem between the current UHD Blu-ray players from Panasonic and Samsung and LG’s TVs. It will be fixed in a future software update.