LG Electronics OLED65B8PUA 65" 4K OLED TV
Although OLED screens have become commonplace in cell phones and other smaller-scale consumer electronics, this display technology has only begun to mature in the HDTV world sometime within the past couple years. LG has emerged as one of the leaders of OLED technology in the HDTV world, with a full lineup of OLED TVs that are by far some of the best-performing HDTVs ever produced. The B8 is the most affordable offering of the lineup, and earns our recommendation because of its unbeatable picture quality, slick user interface, and relatively reasonable pricing.
Design-wise, the LG B8 is a knockout. The wide, centrally-positioned pedestal stand allows the B8 to fit on just about any TV stand or shelf, and is wide enough to provide wobble-free support. The face of the TV is practically all screen, with very little real estate taken up by the slim bezel. The TV just about disappears when viewed from the side; minus the electronics casing and pedestal stand, the whole TV is about as thick as a typical print magazine. Despite its minimalist dimensions, LG included plenty of flexibility when it comes to inputs. All 4 HDMI inputs carry the latest HDMI 2.0 standard; in addition to the single optical digital audio output, HDMI 2 features ARC support. There are 3 USB ports in total, as well as an Ethernet port if you choose not to utilize the on-board dual-band Wi-Fi instead. The B8 also offers support for an external antenna through its cable jack, but analog support is limited beyond that. There's a single composite video input that requires a 3.5mm adapter, but no support for component video or any type of analog audio out port.
The B8 - as with any OLED display - can inherently switch individual pixels on and off as required, and can generate perfect black levels without any backlight artifacts seen on LCD TVs. Despite not being as able to put out as much light as higher-end LED LCD TVs, this absolute black endows the B8 with a stunning contrast ratio. Combined with its ability to accurately render color and handle motion flawlessly, the B8 stands above the competition when it comes to outright performance and picture quality. Coincidentally (or maybe not - see our buyer's guide for further details on how OLED TVs work), OLED TVs have inherited one drawback that plagued early plasma displays - image retention and permanent burn-in. While this turned out to be an overblown concern by the time consumer plasma TVs were withdrawn from the market, the reputation stuck until the very end. Recent tests have shown that OLED TVs are indeed affected by screen burn-in to some extent, and rtings.com has an excellent series where they document OLED burn-in in real life. To reduce the risk of burn-in, our recommendation is to vary content shown on the screen and avoid displaying static images, score boards, or station icons that can get "stuck" on the screen over time.
The B8 comes loaded with LG's webOS smart TV interface, which is one of the best native smart TV suites found on the market today. The obvious favorites are present and accounted for - Netflix, Amazon/Prime TV, Hulu, and YouTube can be found in the quick links, and LG's Content Store offers a wide selection of add-on apps if your favorites didn't make it into the default selection. Both the included remote as well as the remote app function well with no real drawbacks, and LG's overall presentation effectively makes an external streaming box a redundant purchase.
Given its world-beating performance, sleek design, and slick user interface, the LG B8 should easily have earned our top recommendation - and it does, with one catch. OLED TVs are a relative newcomer to the HDTV marketplace, and LCD TVs are getting easier and cheaper to produce with each passing year. This is reflected in market pricing - though nowhere near as outrageous as the first OLED TVs were, the B8's top competitor (Vizio PQ65-F1) when it comes to picture quality can be brought home for significantly less money. When comparing identical screen sizes between the best OLED TVs and LED LCD TVs, expect to spend at least $1,000 more if you choose to go with OLED.