Let’s be clear, OLED is the best TV tech available today. And LG is the source of OLED. The LG OLED65C8 is the first of LG’s 2018 TV range that we’ve gotten our hands on.
OLED means thin, and OLED means black. Let me explain what I mean by thin. This is a 65 inch TV, which means 163.9cm, measured on the diagonal. And that means a picture that’s 142.9cm wide and 80.0cm tall. The panel has a very thin bezel, such as it is. It’s just an extension of the glass by 10mm beyond the end of the picture on each side and the top, and by 12.5mm on the bottom. So the whole panel is 826mm tall. Of that, the top 484mm, or the top 59% is just sheet-of-glass thick. I measured it at a mere 3.5mm.
This thing is gorgeous, in part at least for that very thinness. The bottom section is thicker. The electronics and connections do have to go somewhere, after all.
And black? OLED is a technology that ramps smoothly all the way to back at the individual pixel level. There is no backlight. If one pixel is supposed to be fully black, and the one next to it is supposed to be fully white, no problem.
The LG OLED65C8 TV is the middle model of LG’s entry-level OLED range. As with all current LG OLED models, it features UltraHD (3840 by 2160 pixel) resolution. The panel is the same as that of the two higher ranges, as is the picture processing. Go higher if you want even more style or perhaps better sound.
Smaller in the same range is a 55-inch model, priced at $4,099. If you want to go bigger, yes, there’s a 77-inch model for $14,999.
There are the usual HDMI inputs and USB connections. The TV has a single HD tuner. You can plug a hard disk drive into one of the USB sockets and record Live TV or time shift it. Also included is Freeview Plus, so you can use catchup TV services and the improved EPG available from most capital city TV stations, and ABC and SBS throughout Australia. See here for details of Freeview Plus.
The LG OLED65C8 is, of course, a smart TV. For years I’ve been much taken with LG’s smart interface. LG must hold some important patents because surely others would have adopted something like its Magic Remote. This controls a pointer on the screen. You move the remote, the pointer movies. You put the pointer on a button or selection and click. It’s just like a mouse.
The last version of this system was called webOS 3.5. Apparently, numbers are no longer an important thing, for the new version is called webOS Smart TV. It has changed little from the old one. It still offers a ribbon of apps and controls across the bottom of the screen when you press the Home button. You can re-order these to reflect your usage. Have your most commonly used things at the left end, and they’re on the screen when you need them without having to scroll.
Unlike Android TVs, it does not support Google Chromecast, but it does support Miracast. Most Android phones can use that to mirror their screens, photos and videos to the TV. (Exception: Google Pixel phones won’t.)
It also has Netflix built in (complete with a button on the remote). Other streaming services include Google Play, Youtube, Bigpond Movies, Stan and Eros Now.
Huh? Eros Now? It turns out that is not what the name implies to a Westerner. In fact, it’s a long-standing streaming service for Bollywood and other entertainment from the Indian sub-continent.