In addition to the excellent C9 series LG also has an OLED TV with a more premium design and better sound quality. Does the E9 series have other advantages, and is it worth its price? We put the device on our test bench.
LG OLED55E9PLA (E9 series) – specifications
- What: Ultra HD OLED TV
- Screen size: 55 inch (139 cm), flat
- Connections: 4x HDMI (v2.1, eARC, ALLM, VRR, HFR), 1x optical digital out, 3x USB, 1x headphones, 2x antenna, Bluetooth, WiSA, AirPlay 2
- Extras: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Technicolor, WiFi ( 802.11ac) built-in, WebOS 4.5, USB / DLNA media player, DVB-T2 / C / S2, CI + slot, Alpha9 2nd gen processor, auto calibration
- Dimensions: 1,226 x 753 x 220 mm (incl. Base)  Weight: 25.8 kg (incl. Foot)
- Consumption: 111 / 0.3 watt (Energy rating B)
- Recommended price: 2,499 euros
LG OLED55E9PLA – design
OLED technology works with an ultra-slim screen, which creates options for very striking designs. The E9 series definitely belongs to that category. The millimeters thin screen is bordered with a metal edge and the whole is mounted on a glass plate. It extends to your TV furniture. The screen changes into a speaker grille at the bottom.
Connections and electronics are, as usual, in a bulge that is relatively deep behind the screen, so that the illusion of the slim touch is preserved.
Behind the screen of the E9 series hides the very heavy foot, rather a counterweight / support. Mounting and moving is no easy task, just because the majority of the weight is so located behind the screen and not perfectly below it. But once it is in place, the device is stable.
LG OLED55E9PLA – Connections
The list of connections seems identical to that of the C9. That means four v2.1 HDMI connections, which support eARC, ALLM, VRR and HFR 4K. ( read here for some background in all these functions). Those who want to be ready for the future are in the right place. Three of the four HDMI connections are set aside, along with a USB connection. The fourth HDMI is at the back, along with twice USB, the antenna connections, ethernet, optical digital out and the headphone output. The rear connections point to the rear wall, which can be difficult with very tight wall mounting.
The headphone connection is very deep behind the device, and is therefore difficult to reach. The device does have Bluetooth, if you use a wireless headset. You can also use the TV as a Bluetooth speaker for your smartphone.
Finally, the OLED55E9PLA is also equipped with WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Audio Association). That means that you can connect WiSA compatible speakers completely wireless, and configure them from the menus of the LG. Very useful if you want real surround and no hassle with cables, but the WiSA offer is relatively small for the time being.
LG OLED55E9PLA / 12 – ease of use and smart TV
LG’s WebOS is at the bottom version 4.5. The Home screen with its slim ribbon at the bottom, clear tiles and smooth navigation is one of our favorites when it comes to ease of use. The new “Home Dashboard” groups all external inputs, and you can also add smart (IoT) devices. A second ribbon of content or options now appears above the ribbon with tiles, making navigation even simpler.
For a complete overview of the possibilities of WebOS 4.5, refer to our WebOS overview article .
The remote control is the same Magic Remote as with the C9 series. You control the cursor on the screen with small movements of the remote, you just point to what you want. There are enough keys to operate the TV in the traditional way, if you prefer. Via the Quick menu you can quickly adjust the image and sound mode, among other things.
The remote can now also be configured to use other connected devices, such as your set-top box for digital television or Blu-ray -player. To set this up, go to the “Home Dashboard” and click on “Settings, Device Connection”. Or alternatively, via the general menu, “Connection, Device Connection”. The most functions can be reached via the ‘more actions’ button, which can be recognized by the three dots, it is at the bottom right of the numeric block.
CI + slot. Recording to a USB hard disk is possible, but watching something else at the same time is not possible. Time shifting is possible. You can view HDR10 content via the Amazon app, via Netflix Dolby Vision, and via YouTube HLG and HDR10. The TV supports Airplay2, and recently Dutch viewers also find the app for Disney + in the apps store.
LG OLED55E9PLA – Image processing
The LG E9 series is also equipped with the second generation Alpha9 processor, and the results are therefore completely in line with those of the C9 . Film and video frame rates are correctly and quickly identified and good deinterlacing ensures that the jagged edges and moire effects are exceptional.
The E9 series processor eliminates random noise, but compression noise (block formation) remains partially visible. So there is still room for improvement. “Smooth gradations” is the setting that should eliminate color bands. That works fine with subtle color bands, but as soon as the color bands are quite serious, the result is limited. We clearly noticed this in our Game of Thrones test scene. It also turned out that the OLED55E9PLA still shows a little flicker in very dark detail. The OLEDs from Panasonic and Philips are doing a little better there. If you are looking for a universal setting, set the three settings for noise and color bands to low. The potential loss of detail is then extremely small.
The Alpha9 gen2 claims to provide a form of AI upscaling (via “AI Image”) but we could not actually detect any effect. Yet you do not have to worry about the upscaling, which is excellent. OLED screens also provide very good motion sharpness and TruMotion delivers great results if you want smooth images. Be sure to leave the “Clear” mode activated, otherwise you will lose detail. “Fluent” still creates too many visible problems. Anyone who likes to see pan images in films free from shocks should choose a personal attitude. Let deblur stand at 10 and use dejudder to taste, we personally found 7-8 a good solution. The Black Frame Insertion technique (OLED Motion) leaves you best off, it creates visible flickering, and produces little extra detail.
In our article about the professional calibration of a TV you can read all about the possibilities to achieve the best image settings with a professional. Here you will find an explanation of the most important picture settings and tips for setting up your TV. With the basic settings we have arrived at the following settings for this TV:
|General||Advanced operation||Image Options|
|Image Mode: Cinema
Aspect Ratio Setting: Original / Scan: On
Energy Saving: Off
AI Image: Off
OLED Light: 80
|Dynamic Contrast: Off
Dynamic tone mapping: Off / On
Super resolution: Low
Color range: Auto
Gamma: 2.2 / BT.1886
White balance: Warm2
Maximum Brightness: Off
Color filter: Off
|Noise reduction: Low
MPEG noise reduction: Low
Smooth Gradation: Low
Black level: Automatic
Real Cinema: On
Motion Eye Care: Off
TruMotion: Bright (or modified)
LG OLED55E9PLA – Image quality
LG claims that the 2019 OLED pan eel does not provide specific improvements. Possibly the new pixel structure provides better burn-in resistance (read here all about the possible risks of burn-in). The screen had a very good uniformity, and only showed a very slightly clear edge on the top, almost invisible in practice.
The Cinema image mode of the E9 series provides the best calibration, although you can also use the two ISF use modes if you explicitly want different image modes for day and night. Our device showed a perfect calibration. A lot of black detail remains visible, colors are vivid and skin tones natural.
If you mainly look at darkening, you can possibly switch the gamma value to BT.1886 for a somewhat darker look.
LG supports HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision. HDR10 + remains absent for the time being, and the support of Technicolor HDR is still useless since no content uses this format.
The results for peak luminance and color range are neatly in line with other OLED devices. On a 10% window, the E9 reaches about 811 nits peak (785 nits over slightly longer duration). On a completely white screen, it clocked to 155 nits. The color range is 96% DCI-P3 and 70% Rec.2020. In short, excellent values that guarantee a good HDR result.
The screen of the OLED55E9PLA shows all white detail, but you can make white detail even more visible with the help of “Dynamic Tonemapping”. The LG then analyzes each image and imitates the effect of HDR01 +. It results in a slightly darker image, but thanks to an improved algorithm, that effect is less serious than last year. You can also see the impact of Dynamic Tonemapping on content that is very clear and that has very high metadata. Bright images with a peak of 4,000 nits can gain considerably in color and intensity thanks to Dynamic Tonemapping. Personally, we leave the setting activated to give HDR the most impact.
The HDR Cinema image mode is perfectly calibrated. Darkest shades are shown lighter than necessary, so you see a little more black detail. Apart from that, the results are very good.
If you watch a lot of HDR in daylight, use the new setting: “AI Brightness”. You cannot activate this in the Cinema preset, but in Cinema Home for example. The TV then takes the light sensor into account and makes black detail brighter so that you can better see all shade nuances in ambient light. The result is excellent, without changing the style of the scene excessively.
LG OLED55E9PLA – Gaming, Reflections, Viewing Angle
OLED screens have an excellent viewing angle, so that even those who are not directly in front of the image enjoy excellent contrast. and colors. The LG repels reflections well, although attention to the correct lighting remains required. In the cinema image mode, the lag is approximately 100.3 ms, but in game mode it drops to a fantastic 13.3 ms. The E9 series also supports ALLM, VRR and 4K HFR. With that he can certainly seduce a lot of gamers.
LG OLED55E9PLA – Sound quality
The most important difference with the C9 series is the sound installation. The E9 series has a slightly more powerful 60 W 4.2 channel sound solution. Surprisingly strong by the way, given its slim profile. You can optimize the sound with ‘One Touch Sound Tuning. After a test with the Magic Remote, the TV creates a sound profile adapted to room acoustics.
The sound performance of the OLED55E9PLA is excellent, not surprising since that was already the case with the C9. A lot of volume, very clear dialogues and a good solid bass line that guarantees a good underlining of your film pleasure. The Dolby Atmos support is nice and provides a light surround, but cannot really convince, compared to, for example, the Philips OLED934 . In short, excellent performance, but the difference with the C9 series does not seem that impressive to us.
We use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter for lag measurement. For all other measurements, we rely on a Spectracal C6 HDR2000 Colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a VideoForge Pro pattern generator, and the Spectracal Calman for Business software. We use an HDFury Vertex to analyze possible HDR problems.
LG OLED55E9PLA (E9 series) – Conclusion
LG already had a winner with the C9 series, so it seems logical that the E9 series at least equal that performance. The only differences between the two devices? Design and sound performance. The design can absolutely convince us. The sound is very good, but the difference in sound performance seemed to us rather small. And so the price difference with the C9 (soon 400-500 euros, even if you look at the cheaper online prices) is still quite large. Because price is included in our score, we have therefore set the E9 slightly lower than the C9.
That the slim E9 series presents impressive images, there can be little discussion about that. The SDR images lean on with perfect reproduction in terms of color. The Apha9 image processor delivers excellent results. In HDR, too, we really love the E9 series, which, thanks to its Dynamic Tonemapping and AI Brightness, ensures a beautiful and powerful HDR image even in reasonable ambient light. WebOS is an extensive and handy smart TV system and now also supports Airplay2 and in the Netherlands you will also find the Disney + app. Finally, the OLED55E9PLA is also equipped with a full set of HDMI 2.1 connections and excellent gaming functions.