LG’s C-series mannequin has been the go-to decide of its OLED vary for a number of years. It has at all times been probably the most inexpensive mannequin with the corporate’s finest panel and movie processing wizardry. Spending extra would get you a fancier design and doubtlessly higher sound, however the image can be no totally different.
That’s not the case in 2021. LG has launched a brand new, brighter and sharper ‘OLED Evo’ panel, and the C1 doesn’t have it.
With a lot of the give attention to the upgraded G1, it’s maybe predictable that the C1 isn’t an enormous step up over its predecessor. That’s not essentially a foul factor, although, as its predecessor was probably the greatest TVs of 2020, and the C1 advantages from a number of refined efficiency nips and tucks in addition to a decrease launch value.
The OLED65C1 value at launch is £2499 ($2500). That’s £300 ($300) decrease than the worth at which final yr’s 65-inch CX mannequin launched. It’s additionally £500 ($500) cheaper than the 65-inch G1, which has the brand new OLED Evo panel and is designed particularly to be wall-mounted (you don’t even get a pedestal or ft within the field, though you should buy these individually).
In the event you’re after a smaller OLED, the C1 can also be accessible in 48-inch and 55-inch sizes, and if you wish to go greater, there are 77-inch and even 83-inch variations accessible.
The complete mannequin quantity consists of three alphanumerics after ‘C1’. These confer with the area through which the set is being bought and doubtlessly the color of its pedestal, bezels and rear panel, with some variations unique to specific retailers. The efficiency ought to be an identical.
Our evaluation pattern is the OLED65C16LA, which has a pedestal stand that’s a lighter shade of silver than the ‘4LB’ and ‘PUB’ model. It additionally has a quite uncommon white rear panel that would make it barely simpler to seek out the connection you’re on the lookout for.
In any other case, this 6LA is an identical in design to the opposite C1 fashions – and final yr’s CX, which was virtually an identical to the C9 of 2019. Enticing although it’s, sticking with the identical design for 3 generations appears a little bit unambitious, notably as there are issues that we might change. For instance, whereas the pedestal stand seems to be elegant, it is also very heavy, provides the TV a quite huge footprint of about 92cm (36 inches) and sits the TV fairly low, which could possibly be a problem for individuals who wish to add a soundbar.
LG OLED65C1 tech specs
Display screen sort OLED
Working system webOS 6.0
HDR codecs HDR10, Dolby Imaginative and prescient, HLG
HDMI x4 (all HDMI 2.1)
Optical out Sure
With the stand eliminated for wall-mounting, the C1 seems to be very like every other OLED TV when seen straight on: a big display screen with a skinny, flush bezel and no branding. There’s a small protrusion on the centre of the underside edge that homes the IR sensor and standby mild, however that’s about it. Seen from the aspect, the set has that typical mixture of a skinny panel part (about 3mm) and a thicker plastic part that homes the electronics, connections and audio system. This provides the C1 an general depth measurement of 4.7cm (1.eight inches), which makes it a lot thicker than the G1 (2cm / 0.eight inches) and even the backlit Samsung QN95A (2.6cm / 1 inch).
Just like the G1, the C1 comes with the brand new model of LG’s Magic Distant. The brand new mannequin arguably seems to be much less fascinating than its predecessor, however it’s barely thinner and feels even higher within the hand. The buttons additionally really feel nicer and are higher spaced and there are extra shortcut buttons to take you on to particular streaming companies. And the much-loved pointer performance stays.
The C1’s design is an identical to that of the CX and so is the choice and structure of its connections. There are each aerial and satellite tv for pc sockets (Freesat assist for the UK), an ethernet port, optical and headphone outputs, three USBs and 4 HDMIs. All 4 of these HDMIs are 2.1-spec, rated to 40gbps. One among these helps eARC, and all 4 assist 4K@120Hz, VRR (in all present codecs) and ALLM. Add a low enter lag of below 13ms and there’s no better-specified TV for gaming proper now.
After their yr aside in 2020, LG and Freeview Play have reunited for 2021, which implies UK patrons of the C1 and its siblings get entry to the total suite of core catch-up apps, together with BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All Four and My5. These weren’t reside once we examined our early pattern of the G1, however they’re current on the C1.
They full a powerful general app choice that features Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV, all with full assist for 4K, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos; Rakuten is accessible in HDR10 and Dolby Atmos; Google Play Motion pictures & TV is current (for now) with HDR10 and 5.1; Now TV (or ‘Now’, because it has been recently rebranded) provides you contract- and dish-free entry to Sky content material; and Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, Deezer and BBC Sounds make for an intensive music providing. The one disappointments are that BT Sport, Apple Music and TuneIn are lacking, all of which function on Samsung units.
This yr’s LGs include webOS 6.Zero put in, and this new model of the corporate’s working system is a significant departure. Most notably, urgent the Dwelling button not brings up a row of apps that overlays no matter you’re watching, however as a substitute takes you to a fullscreen Dwelling menu dominated by content material suggestions from varied streaming companies. The concept is that it’s much less about hovering over or clicking on a particular app to seek out one thing to observe, and extra concerning the content material being entrance and centre.
Sadly, Netflix is lacking from this aggregation, as it’s from many related programs, and that quite hampers its usefulness. The intelligence of the suggestions is considerably questionable, too, with exhibits for youths typically being promoted lengthy after most kids can be in mattress, for instance. In fact, a set can solely study a lot over our evaluation interval and also you would possibly discover that the standard of the suggestions improves over time.
We quite like the brand new dwelling menu general, though we’re a little bit upset to see that LG has deemed it obligatory to incorporate adverts for its soundbars within the home windows on the high of the display screen.
On the plus aspect, LG has additionally lastly overhauled its settings menus. The quite ugly and convoluted menus have been changed by a system with bigger fonts, a much less extreme white-on-grey color scheme and a much more logical structure, all with out sacrificing alternatives for tweaking efficiency.
For most individuals, although, little tweaking can be obligatory. Dolby Imaginative and prescient content material will by default activate the Dolby Imaginative and prescient Cinema Dwelling preset and AI Brightness Setting, and that equates to a Dolby Vision IQ efficiency. It’s value leaving these settings as they’re, because the efficiency is consistent with our expectations of Dolby Imaginative and prescient, and the IQ factor improves darkish element when viewing in a well-lit room with out tampering with the efficiency below very best circumstances.
We go away the set’s AI Image Professional and AI Sound Professional settings (which you are inspired to allow throughout preliminary set-up) on when viewing all non-Dolby Imaginative and prescient content material. These options have been improved by the brand new AI Processor Gen4.
The AI Upscaling, Clearer Textual content and Auto Style Choice options are unchanged, however Object Enhancement has been upgraded. There’s additionally a model new Scene Detection function. The Gen4 processor additionally brings with it enhancements to de-contouring, which ought to lead to much less banding of colors, and to the dynamic tone mapping algorithm, which LG says ends in higher distinction and fewer haloing round shiny objects.
When it comes to sound, AI Sound Enhancement now has top virtualisation. The brand new Auto Quantity Levelling function is designed to cut back jarring quantity variations as you turn between totally different apps and sources.
In the end, AI Image Professional and AI Sound Professional do plenty of the exhausting work and whereas some will nonetheless really feel the necessity to tweak, the out-of-the-box efficiency ought to swimsuit most individuals. As with the G1, for HDR10 content material we go for the Normal preset and solely really feel the necessity to change the Auto Dynamic Distinction setting from Low to Excessive. For SDR, we stick to Normal and marginally scale back Distinction, Display screen Brightness and Sharpness. Be sure to additionally flip off the Power Saving function, which you may discover within the Help menu. You’ll additionally wish to experiment with the TruMotion settings, extra on which under.
Beginning with Rogue One in Dolby Imaginative and prescient from the Disney+ app, it turns into clear that little has modified from the CX. With each units side-by-side, it’s exhausting to identify any variations – the C1 is just a bit richer in its reds and purer in its whites, however that would simply as simply be all the way down to panel variation as to a change in TV mannequin.
The CX’s efficiency with Dolby Imaginative and prescient content material was excellent, and so is the C1’s. It’s a superbly vibrant and stable picture with plenty of element and glorious distinction. The scenes in outer house predictably play to its strengths, with good, pure blacks combining with shiny, white stars to dazzling impact. The G1 produces a fair sharper and brighter image, however to not a level that can have C1 homeowners feeling too unnoticed.
Switching to Blade Runner 2049 in HDR10, the similarities between the C1 and its predecessor proceed. It’s a fabulously punchy and detailed image with a color stability that by no means seems to be something aside from solely appropriate regardless of the numerous challenges that the movie creates, such because the yellow-lit rooms of the Wallace Company and the plush forest of Dr Stelline’s fabricated reminiscence.
This movie exhibits that LG has made some slight enhancements to its movement processing, particularly to its most refined TruMotion possibility, known as Cinematic Motion. This replaces final yr’s Cinema Clear and is designed to cut back stutter with out including shimmer to tough movement. Although not good, it’s a clear improve, sustaining a significantly better grip on Okay’s automobile because it flies previous the skyscrapers on his means into LA, and once more because it crashes to the bottom in a later scene. Some might desire to show TruMotion off solely, however Cinematic Motion is as near a spot-on setting as LG has produced.
Firing up Thor: Ragnarok, additionally in HDR10, we’re capable of respect the enhancements to de-contouring, with the banding within the crimson portion of the Marvel emblem being considerably diminished on the C1, in contrast with the CX.
With SDR content material, the C1 skews barely brighter than the CX and digs up a contact extra darkish element. As Joe recites French phrases within the pre-dawn gloom on the opening of the Looper Blu-ray, the sting of his collar and the feel of his jacket are seen on the C1 however lacking on the CX. As he drives alongside the dust highway in direction of the incinerator, there’s much less noise to the picture, although the CX was already a clear performer. LG’s OLEDs have lengthy been appreciated for his or her upscaling skills, and the C1 makes slight enhancements right here with out introducing any flaws.
Even with standard-def, the picture is as clear and managed as one might hope from a big TV that’s primarily having to make up plenty of the image, and the intense whites and hues of the Pointless studio pop barely extra on the C1 than they do on the CX.
Whereas the speaker system of the C1 is outwardly the identical as that of the CX, the processing has modified and so has the presentation. That’s typically factor. For starters, the horrible flapping that Blade Runner 2049’s soundtrack produced from the CX’s audio system just isn’t current right here, at the least when the Dolby Atmos mode is activated.
The sound is extra open and spacious, too, giving all the things a barely extra cinematic really feel, and there’s a cleanliness and smoothness to proceedings that the CX lacked. However however, the sound is much less punchy and dynamic, and the presentation much less thrilling general. It’s not boring to the identical diploma because the G1, and plenty of would prioritise smoothness over pleasure, however it ought to be attainable to have each.
You may get some punch again by switching off the Dolby Atmos processing (which additionally limits most quantity), however that makes for a far narrower soundstage and brings again the woofer-flap, so isn’t an excellent answer.
In the end, it’s best to price range for a separate sound system to accompany your new TV. A Sonos Beam can be an enormous enchancment on the C1’s audio system, however an Arc is a extra deserving companion if you happen to aren’t able to go for a full dwelling cinema system.
The C1 isn’t a lot of an enchancment on its predecessor, however there wasn’t a lot that wanted enhancing. The image efficiency and have set have been already exemplary, and LG has barely improved the previous with its new Cinematic Motion movement processing and enhanced de-contouring function, and barely improved the latter with a greater menu system and a extra full app choice.
In fact, you will get a greater LG OLED within the type of the G1, however most individuals will battle to justify the additional £500 ($500), notably when the area of interest design and weaker sound are taken under consideration.
Some will nonetheless be upset that LG hasn’t gone additional with the brand new C1, and never having achieved so might show pricey once we evaluate the entire 2021 TVs for our Awards later within the yr. Nevertheless, proper now, it’s probably the greatest TVs you should buy.
- Image 5
- Sound 4
- Options 5
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