LG 55EC9300

on Sunday, October 19, 2014
The Good The LG 55EC9300 OLED TV's picture betters that of any LCD or plasma TV, with perfect black levels and exceedingly bright whites. It's equally adept in bright and dark rooms, showed accurate color, and looks better from off-angle than any LED LCD. Its 1080p resolution is plenty for a 55-inch screen. The TV looks striking in person, with organic curves and an insane 0.25-inch depth on most of its body.
The Bad Albeit the most-affordable OLED TV yet, the 55EC9300 is still very expensive for a 55-inch TV. Its video processing and color accuracy don't measure up to that of the best TVs, and the curved screen introduces some artifacts.
The Bottom Line The LG 55EC9300 lives up to the promise of OLED with the best picture quality of any TV we've ever reviewed.
Videophiles who mourn the loss of plasma, take heart: OLED is better, andthanks to LG it's finally getting cheaper.

The LG 55EC9300 is the cheapest OLED TV yet--the 11-inch Sony XEL-1from 2008 doesn't count--but $3K for 55 inches is still really expensive. On the other hand, considering that its 2013 predecessor launched for five times as much, it's great progress in a year, and just a few hundred more than some other flagship 55-inchers. And if you're curious, the 4K versions start at 10 grand, and anyway that resolution would be a waste at this screen size.
Even before you turn it on, no other TV looks like an OLED. Weighing just over 30 pounds, the panel is thinner than even the slimmest LED LCD, and the curved screen sits easily atop the equally graceful stand. Even the slimmest plasma looks chunky next to this airy OLED TV.
And about that picture quality. Last year I called the Panasonic ZT60 plasma TV "the best-performing TV we've ever reviewed." That's no longer the case, because the LG 55EC9300 is better. It reproduces darker blacks and brighter whites, for sumptuous images (and I don't say this lightly) you have to see to believe. LG bobbled the color accuracy and video processing somewhat, and yes, I wish it was flat, but none of those problems spoil OLED's supremacy. As long as I wasn't seated too far away, I'd rather watch an LG 55EC9300 than any plasma, any day of the week.
Of course the ZT60 is gone, never to be replaced, and the best current plasma TV is also not long for this world. The next picture quality battle will be fought between LED LCD and OLED. For this review I compared two of the best new 4K-resolution LED LCD TVs to LG's OLED, and the outcome was never in question. The LG 55EC9300 is easily the best-performing TV you can buy today, and I'd be surprised ifany future LCD surpassed it.


People like me gush about the picture quality of OLED TVs, but their futuristic razor-thin design will appeal to many TV shoppers even more strongly. This is easily the best-looking TV I've seen this year, and one of the best designs I've ever reviewed.
Unlike the chunky Samsung KN55S9C, the LG 55EC9300 takes full advantage of OLED's ability to shrink the depth of the panel to a fraction of an inch. Most of the LG TV measures an incredible quarter-inch thick.
Spoiling the pencil-thin profile is the need for stuff like speakers, a power supply, and, you know, enough body to house the HDMI ports and other connections. All of that lives in a central section that bulges the rear out to a thickness of about an inch and a half.Like every other OLED TV save one, and like many newfangled LCD TVs, the LG 55EC9300 is curved. In person the curve appears slightly less drastic than that of the Samsung UNHU9000 but it's still obvious, especially when seen from off-angle.
LG complemented the curve with a graceful, organically curved stand in matte silver that really adds to the TV's gorgeous looks. It provides the requisite floating quality yet still gives the lightweight TV plenty of stability. It doesn't swivel. You can also remove the stand to wall-mount the TV using a special hanger, model OSW100, and a VESA standard wall-mount.
The remote is a smaller version of the motion clicker I liked so much on sets like the LA8600 from 2013. The new wand is even more compact and button-averse, and unfortunately now lacks backlighting, but I still like it a lot. It fits comfortably in the hand and places all keys, including the brilliant scroll wheel, within easy thumb access. The organic shape still naturally upright on a coffee table, and the clicker doesn't need to be pointed at the TV to function.
The motion-control aspect, where you wave the wand to move a cursor around the screen much like aNintendo Wii game controller, simply works. It makes for substantially quicker navigation than a standard remote, especially when dealing with lots of items on-screen at once. Control was pleasingly precise after I chose the "slow" pointer speed, and I loved the scroll wheel for whizzing through long menus.
I'm still annoyed that the "select/OK" action, the most commonly used function on any remote, is a down-press on the scroll wheel. The click is too stiff, and worse, I often scrolled accidentally when trying to simply click. Another annoyance is that the cursor seemed to disappear too frequently, necessitating a button-press or vigorous shake to bring back up. These issues, as well as the LG's reliance on menus instead of buttons for functions like Play and Fast-Forward, and are the main reasons I like Samsung's 2014 remote better.


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