LG remains the only one that offers a relatively wide range of OLED models, even though the sizes are limited to 55 inches and larger. It is therefore not surprising that LG claims a large part of the market in this more expensive segment. What improvements have been made in the 2017 models? We put the LG OLED65E7V on the test bench.
LG OLED65E7V – specifications
- What: Ultra HD OLED TV
- Screen size: 65 inches (165 cm), flat
- Connections: 4x HDMI (1x ARC 4x v2.0a), 1x optical digital out, 3x USB (1x 3.0), 1x headphones, 3x antenna, Bluetooth
- Extras: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Active HDR, WiFi (802.11ac) built in, WebOS 3.5, USB / DLNA media player, DVB-T2 / C / S2, CI + lock
- Dimensions: 1.461 x 904 x 195 mm (including foot)
- Weight: 23.1 kg (including foot)
- Consumption: 154 / 0.3 watt (Energy Label A)
- OLED65E7V (65-inch): 5,999 euros
- OLED55E7V (55-inch): nnb
LG OLED65E7V – design
LG continues this year with its ‘Picture on glass’ design. The OLED panel is mounted on a glass plate that is slightly larger than the panel, creating a transparent edge around the screen. At the bottom of the image is the soundbar, which emphasizes the image with its horizontal grille. The base is a central, aluminum bottom plate that slopes slightly upwards, yet looks somewhat dull.
The device has a very slim profile. The screen and the glass plate are barely eight millimeters thick. At the back the glass plate was given a nice geometric design. The bottom third of the device is somewhat thicker, but that is still only six centimeters. The whole design is not a big innovation, such as the Sony A1, before LG has its Wallpaper W7 model. But it remains a very nice illustration of what is possible with oled.
LG has removed all analogue picture connections on the OLED65E7V. Not a bad decision, because on this big screen you will see absolutely every mistake in your source material.
On the side you have three HDMI connections, and a USB connection. At the back you will find HDMI, two USB, a digital optical audio output, a headphone connection, RS-232 for control, and the wired network connection. All connections at the back are directed towards the rear wall, so require some extra attention when wall mounting. The headphone jack is fairly difficult to reach, but the E7 is equipped with Bluetooth, so you can also choose a wireless headset.
LG OLED65E7V – ease of use
During the installation of your television, ‘Bean Bird’ will still guide you through the most important steps (network connection, search for stations).
The menus for all settings are available in two steps. The press of a button gives you a number of quick choices on the right side of the screen (image mode, sound mode, …). An option leads you to the full menu where you can tinker with all settings.
The Magic Remote has been a regular part of WebOS for years. Not only does he function like a traditional zapper, but by directing him to the screen you also control a cursor with it. That makes it very convenient to select things in the interface.
But that does not mean that you are always dependent on the use of the cursor. The remote itself is very complete, with numeric keys, d-pad, volume and channel keys, and two dedicated keys for Netflix and Amazon Video. You can use the built-in microphone to enter searches. The results come from YouTube and Netflix or you can search further on the internet.
LG OLED65E7V – features
Smart TV platform
WebOS, the smart TV system from LG is now in version 3.5. The playful but very handy interface remains one of our favorites. In daily use you will find everything on the Home screen that takes the form of a ribbon at the bottom of the screen with icons for all sources on the device, from live TV, to external inputs and internet applications.
One of the best new features in WebOS 3.5 is ‘Quick Access’. This allows you to select a specific source, regardless of whether it is an external input or internet application, by pressing one of the number keys for a long time. Long press ‘0’ to see the menu with all the quick selections, and of course you can easily adjust them.
LG’s built-in music player now displays synchronized song lyrics as they are in your files, and the video player can now also handle 360 ° video. Looking around in the video you do with the help of the Magic Remote. Unfortunately, that does not work with YouTube 360 videos yet. If you do not watch TV, you do not have to leave the screen black. To fully enjoy your screen there is the built-in OLED gallery. Thanks to this function you can see a selection of artworks, or enjoy the view on a rainy or sunny day. Of course you can also select your own photos, and turn the E7 into a huge photo frame.
The media player plays all known music formats, including ALAC and FLAC. He is also extremely versatile for video, where he plays all of our test formats, both in SDR and HDR and with all subtitles.
LG OLED65E7V – Image quality
As the main differences with last year, LG highlights a better black detail, neutral black filter and higher peak brightness. We can also expect improvement in the field of image processing. An important detail is that all 2017 models (W7, G7, E7, C7 and B7) use the same panel and image processing and thus provide identical performance. They differ only in terms of design and sound installation.
|General||Advanced operation||Image Options|
|Picture mode: Cinema
Setting end aspect ratio: Original
Energy saving: Off
OLED Light: 80
|Dynamic Contrast: Off
Color range: Auto
Improve edge: On
Color filter: Off
White balance: Warm2
|Noise reduction: Off
MPEG noise reduction: Off
Black level: Low
Real Cinema: On
Motion Eye Care: Off
TruMotion: Clear (or customized)
Explanation of main settings;
- The Cinema setting delivers the best start. The ISF preset is an alternative for those who want day and night versions.
- The effect of Superresolution is very limited. You can leave it safely activated.
- Noise reduction and MPEG noise reduction are best activated when you start from a bad source (old DVDs or low quality YouTube). You can also leave it at Minimum to filter out light noise.
- TruMotion: Clear gave the best results. Do not put it out, you lose too much detail. Whoever chooses a personal institution can put deblur between 8 and 10, and the adjudicator between 6 and 9.
General image properties and image processing
LG delivers its OLED TVs with excellent image processing. The television quickly recognizes the right film and video frame rates, so that you rarely or never see moiré or cartel effects. The noise reduction is fine, both for random and mpeg compression noise. Especially in dark scenes there is clear improvement in that area. Since there is a combination of improved black detail and good MPEG noise suppression, the visible block formation is greatly reduced. The LG provides excellent upscaling, although we could hardly detect the effect of the Superresolution setting. In some color gradients color bands remain visible, in that area LG needs to improve its image processing.
In terms of motion sharpness, there is no real change compared to last year. The OLED screen shows a lot of detail in fast scenes, but the motion interpolation that has to make pan scenes smooth, still shows too many image artefacts. Choose the Clear mode so that you still show a maximum of detail without too many image artefacts.
The SDR calibration of this LG is of reference level. In terms of gray scale, color temperature, color range and color rendering, it is as good as perfect. Together with the perfect black rendering of oled, it creates natural and compelling images.
LG has also worked hard on the display of black detail. Where most OLED TVs mask some black details, the E7 succeeds in virtually eliminating that problem. In some cases you see a slight undulating effect during a fade to black (the generic of Black Sails for example) instead of a very gradual transition, but in practice you will rarely see that.
LG remains fully committed to broad support for HDR: next to HDR10 and Dolby Vision there is now also HLG . In addition, LG has implemented ‘Active HDR’, in which they themselves implement the effect of dynamic metadata, also for HDR10 content. The impact of this is unfortunately very difficult to estimate.
The screen provides a peak luminance of approximately 840 nits. For that we had to wait more than twenty minutes and the higher peak luminance caused some green-shift in the gray scale. The panel starts around 650 nits fairly quickly, and in that case the gray scale turned out very well. LG chose to keep as much white detail as possible, and the EOTF tries to map up to 4,000 nits of details. The screen will therefore show a lot of white detail, but it will be slightly darker. With a completely white screen, we did not get the light meter above 130 nits, a typical value for OLED panels, but slightly less than we expected. The color reproduction also counted on very well-known values: about 97% DCI-P3 and 71% Rec.2020.
Who wants to give an existing HDR look to their existing content selects the preset HDR effect in the image settings. With three different strengths you can determine the impact yourself. The lowest position is very modest, but from the middle position we got the impression that the image became cooler. LG can improve in this area.
Reflections and viewing angles
The wide viewing angle of LG OLED65E7V remains a strong asset. LG has this year replaced the light magenta-colored anti-reflection film with a neutral black. That means that your screen no longer gets a red tint in dark areas with a reflection.
In cinema mode we measure a lay of 88.1 ms, quite high, even for a casual gamer. In game mode the lag drops to 21.4 ms which is an excellent result. We also see these two results in HDR mode. The screen is a great choice for gamers.
LG OLED65E7V – Audio quality
The OLED65E7V is equipped with a solid soundbar and 60 watts of music power. The television also supports Dolby Atmos, but to our surprise it only works with content that you stream, or play from a USB stick, not from a Blu-ray player, or Ultra HD-Blu-ray. That is a mistake we find. The Dolby Atmos logo is best done with a grain of salt. Getting a real Atmos experience from this setup may be a bit demanding, although we do not deny that it creates a subtle surround effect. But we can be satisfied with the sound quality. The soundbar delivers powerful and fairly tight basses, and beautifully detailed high. He does an excellent job with soundtracks but also with music.
For the lag measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements we rely on a Spectracal C6 colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, an AVFoundry HDMI Pattern Generator, an HDFury Integral for HDR patterns and the Spectracal Calman for Business software.
LG OLED65E7V – Conclusion
LG offers a wide selection of OLED models, and the E7V series is a typical example of a top class device. The picture-on-glass design is less noticeable this year because other manufacturers are also pushing forward unique designs. But for image and sound, this LG OLED65E7V can easily compete with its competitors. With the improvements in the black detail, the new neutral anti-reflection filter, and the excellent calibration, you can enjoy extreme film fun. The higher peak luminance and ample HDR support make the device extra attractive. Then only the price remains. This is very heavy, especially if you know that models such as the C7 and B7 deliver the same image quality for a softer price, while you only get concessions on sound and design.