Note: This article was first published on 6th November 2016.
It’s clear that most TV manufacturers have by now pivoted their resources toward developing and marketing 4K TVs. Sure, many still make 1080p sets; but because of their comparatively lower prices (and hence, profits), the latest advancements in TV tech usually won’t find their way into these TVs.
Even the 4K TV segment is getting fragmented. Generally speaking, most 4K LCD TVs today can be separated into two groups: entry and high-end. The former, usually available in smaller sizes fitted with regular 4K LCD panels, is for consumers dipping their toes into the format for the first time and thus are holding their purse strings a little tighter. The latter, crammed with the latest display tech and all sorts of bells and whistles, basically targets early adopters and enthusiasts or those who can afford to splurge. Case in point: Samsung’s excellent, quantum-dot-driven KS range for the high-end vs. its non-QD KU series on the other end, and Sony’s innovative and expensive Z9D and X93D vs. the company’s X80D and below models.
That said, there is but one TV manufacturer that’s a bit different from the others, and that’s LG. How so? While I can roughly group other brands’ TVs into good vs. very good or entry vs. high-end pools, I feel that “good”, “better”, and “best” are more appropriate descriptors of LG’s TV offerings. And that’s because LG makes and sells both regular 4K LCD TVs (e.g. its UH650T) and premium 4K LCD TVs (e.g., its "Super UHD TV" range), as well as 4K OLED TVs - the last of which are marketed and priced to compete with…well, no one.
I’ve talked about LG’s 2016 OLED TV lineup before, so I’ll just recap the highlights here. In broad strokes, even though all of LG’s OLED (or Organic Light Emitting Diodes) TVs rely on the same underlying emissive tech, by varying the design and feature set, the company is able to churn out four series this year: the OLED G6T, E6T, C6T (the only curved model), and B6T.
What I’ve here today is the flagship of the bunch: the 65-inch OLED G6T. A member of LG’s Signature Series, which also consists of a fridge, washer, and air purifier, the G6T has the most striking design compared to its OLED brethren in other series.
For one, to achieve an impossibly thin profile, the G6 uses a picture-on-glass treatment, whereby its ultra-thin 2.57mm OLED panel is applied directly onto a translucent glass back. When mounted on the equally striking looking 60 or 80W (latter if you get the 77-inch G6T), 4.2-channel, front-firing sound bar/base developed by Harman Kardon, the Signature G6 is truly a sight to behold. Because the ports, circuitry, and speakers are all in this stand, to accommodate it when you’re wall-mounting the TV, you’ve to flip it backwards so that it fits behind the screen. Don’t worry, the audio still sounds loud and clear in this config.
Of course, you can expect the flagship G6T to be stuffed with high-end specs and features. A sharp 3,840 x 2,160-pixel flat OLED panel aside, it supports high dynamic range (HDR), which means its already gorgeous pictures will deliver even richer color and contrast. For techies, the G6T sports a 10-bit panel, and supports 10-bit processing. And yes, it fully supports the new Ultra HD Premium spec, which for OLED means at least 540 nits peak brightness and less than 0.0005 nits black level. It also supports HDR10, a base layer HDR format that all 4K HDR TVs, 4K HDR streaming services, and 4K HDR Blu-rays support.
If that isn’t enough, the G6T is also one of a handful of 4K TVs to support Dolby Vision, a competing HDR flavor from Dolby. In fact, all 2016 LG OLED 4K TVs and Super UHD LCD TVs support both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. An end-to-end solution, Dolby Vision works from content creation to distribution, and Dolby is aiming to make it a universal playback solution. Dolby Vision has already received support from most major Hollywood studios, including Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and MGM, all of whom have already announced their commitment to deliver Dolby Vision content for home distribution.
And since we’re talking about the highest-end consumer TV one can buy, let me just get the pricing out of the way. The 65-inch G6T has a sticker price of S$12,999. If you want something bigger, there’s a 77-inch version, but that will set you back a good S$36,888. LG probably knows both are priced out of reach for most people, which is why it also makes a step-down E6T, which is available in 65-inch (S$9,999) and 55-inch (S$7,499) screen sizes.
Like the G6T, the E6T sports a picture-on-glass design and a similar-looking (but works differently and lower-powered) sound bar, WebOS 3.0 smart TV interface, four HDMI and three USB ports, and the aforementioned HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR format support. The E6T shares the same remote controls as the G6T too; just that the latter’s have the words ‘LG Signature’ on them.
The cheaper (ahem!) E6T does one-up the G6T in one crucial area: all its four HDMI ports support HDMI 2.0a with HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color, vs. two of four on the G6T.