LG OLED65C7P OLED Ultra 4K Display Review

Manufacturer & Model
LG OLED65C7P
MSRP
$4999
Link
http://www.lg.com
Highlights
65 inch 4K HDR OLED Display featuring deep blacks, excellent color tracking, slim design, wide viewing angles and excellent overall performance.
Summary
LG’s OLED Displays are currently the best in the market and there’s a reason for it, excellent performance. If you’re looking for top level video in a panel, look no further.
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LG is the fourth largest multi-national conglomerate in South Korea and they make everything from chemicals to plastics to washer/dryers to displays. LG is separated into a variety of different companies including both LG Display and LG Electronics. LG Display is the world’s leader in the development and production of OLED panels and has the largest global market share for large-size TFT-LCD panels at 23 percent in 2016. They are the manufacturer of the OLED panel in this review - just the panel itself. They also supply the same panel to Sony for their A1E OLED. The company responsible for the C7 OLED is LG Electronics. LG Electronics is the manufacturer of the majority of products most people think of when they think of LG - washers, dryers, phones, tablets, televisions, and the like.

It’s a little-known fact that LG stands for Luck Goldstar and not Life’s Good. Although if you buy this display, life will be good! LG OLEDs have won the prestigious Value Electronics Shootout two years running and for very good reason.

LG has several different models in their 2017 OLED lineup. These include the W7 (available in 65 and 77 inch), G7 (65 and 77 inch), E7 (available in 55 and 65 inch), C7 (55 and 65 inch), and B7 (55 and 65 inch). The W7 model includes a separate box that contains all of the inputs and Dolby Atmos sound bar. The G7 model has the connections and Dolby Atmos sound attached to the display’s stand and is roughly 20-percent cheaper. The E7 model has the same display but less the “Signature” badge and a less powerful speaker unit that’s not mounted within the stand itself. The C7, reviewed here, sports a slight bump out at the back bottom of the display which houses the inputs, connections and the speakers. It also lacks the “Picture-on-Glass” design replaced with what LG calls “Blade Slim”. And the B7 incorporates yet another lessor speaker system and a different stand than the C7. These models are all the same panels with the same video processing. So, if you’re not in the market for a display with sound (i.e. using your own AVR with speakers) any of these displays will fit the bill depending upon the size you’d like.



Aesthetics
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The aesthetics of the OLED65C7P are what you would expect from a 2017 flat panel display. It sports a very thin bezel around the frame with a touch more on the bottom than the top and sides. It lacks a logo of any sort, which one might assume is a bit odd considering most manufacturers love to tout their brand name. There is a slight bump out on the bottom half of the back side of the display. This is where the power supply, inputs, speakers and other assorted necessities lie. If this proves bothersome to you, you can always upgrade to the W7 model that houses these items in a separate box. The included stand is a wedge-shaped silver plinth which does sport the LG logo.


Features
  • The OLED65C7P is a 4K or UltraHD display capable of 3840 X 2160 pixels of resolution at 64.5 inches diagonally.
  • It features HDR10, HLG, Technicolor HDR and Dolby Vision support.
  • LG’s Magic Remote is included with the display offering webOS 3.5 out of the box. webOS is now upgraded to 3.7.
  • Voice Recognition
  • Full Web Browser
  • LG App Store
  • Smart Share - Screen Share in which you can share the screen of your mobile device, tablet or PC on the TV. Content Share in which you can play content from your phone, pc, etc. on your TV. Worth noting that these are not supported by IOS!
  • 2.2 Channel speaker system outputting 40W of power (20W to the subwoofer).
  • Dolby Atmos is supported with an included Dolby Atmos decoder.


SDR Performance
SDR performance will be used to describe a display’s performance utilizing the older (seems weird saying that!) HDTV content. For SDR performance I like to use a variety of content including the Spears and Munsil HD Benchmark Blu-ray, Star Trek: Into Darkness and The Dark Knight as my go-to discs. The signal was fed via an Oppo UDP-205 4K UHD Blu-ray disc player passed-through a Pioneer VSX-LX302 receiver.

The C7 does a wonderful job with SDR content. The opening scene of The Dark Knight is always my go-to scene for SDR performance viewing but even the opening credits showcasing the deep bluish blacks of all of the involved studios, etc. had me enthralled. Chris Nolan’s opening sequence shot with 70mm IMAX cameras is still stunning to look at today – 9 years later. The movie then transitions to the night time aerial shot of Gotham which the C7 showcases as one would expect an OLED to, superbly. In Chapter 3 where Alfred drops into the batcave the screen ends up being absolutely dark and then back to brilliant bright white as the elevator arrives upon its destination. A few moments later the C7 shows off its contrast prowess with Alfred’s coat while he is stitching up Bruce Wayne’s arm. Images such as these, where they test the fortitude of a display's black levels, are what separate higher end displays with the garden variety displays.

Star Trek: Into Darkness begins with the Captain Kirk and Bones running through a jungle of red stalks while being chased by native tribesmen donning a chalky white paste and yellow loin cloths/scarves. When you tell people you’re going to watch a space movie, rarely will they think color. Most people think dark, lonely, inky black space with a few bright dots in the background signifying stars. But the opening scene of Star Trek: Into Darkness exhibits both color and a bit of old time Star Trek fun.

Unlike LCD/LED/QLED technology, off angle viewing for OLED is not a problem. The image looks just as bright off angle as it does front and center. And unlike the other technologies, there are no color shifts or washed out blacks.



HDR Performance
HDR performance is used to describe the newer standards hitting the display shelves, including the expanded color space and 4K UHD. With regards to the color space, current displays are not capable of hitting the full Rec. 2020 standard. They should within the next several years, but for now the standard is DCI P3. DCI P3 is the equivalent of what is being shown in digital cinemas across the country. DCI stands for Digital Cinema Initiatives, which is a joint venture by MGM, Sony Pictures, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Walt Disney and Warner Bros.

For HDR performance review I used Planet Earth 2 and Fantastic Beasts for my content. The signal was fed via an Oppo UDP-205 4K UHD Blu-ray disc player with a Pioneer VSX-LX302 AVR between them.

Planet Earth 2 looks absolutely stunning in HDR on this display. The "Grasslands" chapter opens with blades of grass interconnected with spider webs and glistening with dew. It is shortly followed by the incredible detail of an insect climbing atop a blade grass, the images looked stunning. The colors pop out at you to the point that everything almost seems surreal, from the fuchsia flower that a field mouse stretches out for to the stark contrast of a bronzish red fire ant and the green grass encompassing it. There is also quite a bit of dynamic range to be seen as well. From the opening of this chapter you can see the dark wrinkles on an elephant’s skin like you’re standing next to it at the zoo. At the opening of "Cities," there's an image shot in Hong Kong of a man-made tree city. The blinks of lights coming from within the trees highlight the C7’s incredible dynamic range.

Another test of the C7’s dynamic range is the scene in Fantastic Beasts as Graves questions Newt regarding setting magical creatures loose. Graves’ shirt is a bright white with a black tie and a black vest. The C7 had no issues dealing with this or other scenes like it. Like SDR, HDR contrasting scenes with a large dynamic range are no problem for the C7.


Calibration
Calibration of the C7 is fairly simple for anyone who’s modestly familiar with video calibration. It is even plausible to not calibrate the C7 as Cinema, technicolor Expert and both ISF modes are fairly close to perfect. Selecting any of those modes and balancing white and black levels should be sufficient for most folks. Calibration readings were made using a Colorimetry Research CR-100 colorimeter which has been profiled to a Colorimetry Research CR-250RH spectroradiometer for accuracy. Patterns were fed to the C7 using a Murideo Six-G pattern generator.

The amount of light the LG C7 outputs is not the brightest I've measured, but it ranks right up there. Let's face it, OLEDs cannot yet match the output of an LED/QLED at this time. Yet an LED/QLED cannot come anywhere near the 0nits measured on a C7 OLED. Using a 10% window on HDR technicolor mode I measured 586.64nits on a 100IRE pattern.


These are pre-calibration readings from the C7's various preset modes, illustrating how each viewing mode measures out of the box. The RGB Balance chart shows grayscale tracking. Ideally the three lines (red, green and blue) would all track near 100. Most of the preset modes have a push towards blue. Towards the bottom, though, you can see there are at least 3 presets that give favorable results out of the box. The image to the bottom of the grayscale tracking is the CIE gamut snapshot. The dots in the middle represent where 75 and 100 IRE white measure while the dots around the triangles represent 75 IRE measures of the primary and secondary colors. The boxes represent where the dots should reside.

Vivid

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Standard

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APS (this is the Energy Star mode)

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Sports

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Game

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Cinema

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Technicolor Expert

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ISF

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As you can see from the charts, the best modes out of the box are as I stated previously, ISF, Cinema or technicolor Expert. I also took readings from the HDR Effect – Medium mode:

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And my HDR10 readings post SDR calibration:

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Once I had all my pre-calibration readings, four modes stood as being relatively painless to calibrate - ISF (Bright and Dark), technicolor Expert and Cinema. I decided that ISF (Dark) would be the best mode to calibrate using the Warm2 color setting since the majority of my viewing will be done in the evening hours. LG’s OLED displays (as well as most other displays) include a number of controls that should be turned off prior to any calibration. These include Dynamic Contrast, Super Resolution, Edge Enhancer, Noise Reduction, MPEG Noise Reduction, Real Cinema, Motion Eye Care, and TruMotion. Calibrating the grayscale required no more than the 2-point system even though a 20-point system is included as well. There is also a full Color Management System included for dialing in your gamut. It cannot be said enough how nice it is that displays finally include all of the controls necessary to calibrate within the user menu. Normally this would be something to celebrate but there is still a ways to go as the controls for adjusting HDR do nothing. Calibrating HDR for LG OLEDs currently consists of getting everything correct in SDR and hoping that it translates well into HDR.

Here are the post calibration readings:


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Color Volume
One of the things that came out of CES in 2017 was a new twist on the way of measuring the amount of color a display is capable of producing, that new measure is called Color Volume. Look at the CIE chart below. It depicts the amount of color our eyes can see on a two dimensional chart. The triangles within the chart depict the amount of color that display standards call for - Rec709 (SDR), DCI-P3 and BT.2020. You can see that even the future standard of BT.2020 is still not capable of producing every color that our eyes can see. Back to the two dimensional-ness of the chart. A particular color's measure is plotted on the chart via both an X and Y reading - two dimensional. When measuring colors there are also brightness or luminance values as well. This wasn't really an issue with older SDR displays that had content mastered at 100nits. But for HDR10 (mastered at either 1000 or 4000nits) and Dolby Vision (mastered for 4000nits but transitioning to 10,000nits in the future) it is much more relevant.

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The above image displays the two-dimensionalness of the chart - X being the horizontal reading and Y being the vertical reading an there being no luminance value on the chart. Below is an animated gif from Bruce Lindbloom that displays the three dimesional aspect of Color Volume.

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So now that I have explained all of this (hopefully it's a bit more clear than a river of mud), here's how the C7's color volume stacks up:

Percentage of BT.709 - 103%
Percentage of DCI-P3 - 69%
Percentage of BT.2020 - 46%



Calibration Gear
  • Murideo Six-G Pattern Generator
  • Colorimetry Research CR-250 Spectroradiometer
  • Colorimetry Research CR-100 Colorimeter
  • Oppo UDP-205 Blu-ray player
  • CalMAN 2017


Conclusion
To be brief, LG’s OLEDs have won the HDTV Shootout at Value Electronics two years running and there’s a reason. They currently are the best displays on the market. If you're looking for a display with unparalleled performance, look no further. And with CES just wrapping up and newer models coming out, the C7 should be dropping in price very soon.


LG OLED65C7P Specifications
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  • 3840 X 2160-pixel resolution (4K UHD 2160p)
  • 4 HDMI 2.0a Inputs – HDCP 2.2
  • 3 USB Inputs
  • 1 RF Input (cable/antenna)
  • 1 Composite Input
  • 1 Ethernet Port
  • 1 Optical Port
  • 1 RS232C (mini jack)
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • VESA 300X200 wall mount
  • 57.2 X 32.8 X 1.8 inches without stand
  • 57.2 X 34.4 X 8.5 inches with stand
  • 50.3 pounds without the stand (54.5 pounds with the stand)

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Last edited:

Todd Anderson

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Nice review Steve! Great technical analysis! Pretty incredible how close to spec those specialty modes (ISF, Cinema, etc) are... says a lot about LG and it’s mission.
 

tripplej

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Thanks for the review. Very well written and lots of detail for folks to think about. Definitely a tv worth getting even at that price that is for sure. :)
 

mechman

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Nice review Steve! Great technical analysis! Pretty incredible how close to spec those specialty modes (ISF, Cinema, etc) are... says a lot about LG and it’s mission.
Thanks for all of your help!

Thanks for the review. Very well written and lots of detail for folks to think about. Definitely a tv worth getting even at that price that is for sure. :)
Thanks for the kind words! And you can get this one for around $2700 at this time.
 

Sonnie

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Excellent job Steve... just now getting time to read it. That's a lot of good info there. Not a bad price really. :T
 

mechman

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Nothing but love Sonnie!
 

Matthew J Poes

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I’m considering the 55” in my family room! I really appreciate the review. Just need to convince the wife.
 

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WAF is the most critical A/V hurdles to overcome. :)
 

Robert Zohn

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Excellent review and very nice calibration work!
 

Mark C Flick

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So, I've heard a couple of things about OLED.
1. They are not very reliable
2. They are not very bright and don't do well in a well lit room.

Anyone have enough experience with them to say one way or another? I'm also considering the 55" model to replace my old 42" Sony.
 

Todd Anderson

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Well, I've run a 65" LG B6 for basically 2 years - zero issues. And I run it in a run with lots of windows... zero issues in that department too.
 

Mark C Flick

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Well that's good to know. Now if I could just figure out how to part with the cash when the Sony is still working perfectly fine. Still considering and upgrade to the old Denon 3805 but, it's still working just fine too. What a conundrum...
 

Todd Anderson

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Well that's good to know. Now if I could just figure out how to part with the cash when the Sony is still working perfectly fine. Still considering and upgrade to the old Denon 3805 but, it's still working just fine too. What a conundrum...
Sounds like first world problems!

4K HDR and an OLED panel? It's a winner! ;-)
 

mechman

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OLEDs are not as bright as LCD/LED panels but LCD/LED panels cannot get as black as an OLED display. Brightness isn't something I would use as purchasing option. Measured contrast ratios, not published, would be a better measuring stick to use.
 

Todd Anderson

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As we saw at last year's Flat Panel Shootout, the "brightest" TV on the market (the Sony Z9D which is capable of >1,000 Nits) definitely can explode with detail, even in dark scenes. But its black floor is noticeably elevated as compared to OLED.

Top-end LCDs continue to improve in that realm (and with off-axis viewing)... but the concept of micro-LEDs (introduced by Samsung at CES18) could become a huge rival to OLED. Micro-LED can also deliver infinite blacks...and has superior light output. Perhaps @Robert Zohn would disagree with me, but it micro-LED could be HUGE for the industry!
 
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