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LG 2021 C1 OLED TV review – a stunning way to watch movies, sport and play your games

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  • VERDICT

The LG C1 TV dramatically demonstrates that OLED is still unmatched when it comes to producing stunning black levels, colour and picture quality so your movies, sport and games look amazing.

When it comes to OLED, LG is the undisputed king and the new C1 OLED TV continues that tradition with incredible picture quality and impressive performance whether you’re watching movies, sport or playing games.

OLED is still unrivalled when it comes to achieving superior black levels and stunning natural colour.

With OLED (organic light emitting diode), each pixel – which is self-illuminating and is either on or off – acts like a back light.

That means each of the more than 8 million pixels can be an individual dimming zone.

Other TVs, like LG’s very own QNED range include Mini LED back lighting with microscopic LED lights that can form multiple dimming zones.

Where OLED leads the way is the fact no backlight is required – each self-illuminated pixel can be either on or off.

So, when it comes to producing black, the pixel just turns itself off instead of trying to block a backlight.

And from these deep blacks, excellent colour is produced.

OLED is also a certified flicker-free format and outputs less blue light which means it will put a less strain on your eyes.

For our review we looked at the 65-inch LG C1 OLED TV – but it is also available in 48-inch, 55-inch, 77-inch and 83-inch models as well.

On the design side, the LG C1 OLED TV is super thin – an advantage of not having a backlight.

But there is a slightly thicker section on the lower edge of the rear panel which houses the main circuitry and source inputs.

The good news is it’s still very easy to wall mount and it can sit almost flush to the wall.

It has super thin bezels so all you are seeing is this amazing picture.

The LG TV is powered by the A9 Gen4 AI 4K processor which is smart enough to maintain quality at all times by automatically adjusting for improved picture and sound quality using deep learning algorithms.

And there’s nothing you need to do; the TV is constantly presenting the best version of itself.

Part of that is the AI Picture Pro which accesses a massive visual database that can recognise objects and then optimise how will they look on the screen.

So, for example, if there is a person or an animal or building, the LG TV refers to this visual database and make sure it’s looking as clean and as accurate as possible.

Part of this is also Scene Detection where the TV analyses what you’re watching – whether it’s a movie or sport – and adjusts the settings to provide the best possible result.

LG has also put the same attention to detail into the audio as well with AI Sound Pro which is smart enough to identify voices, sound effects and frequencies from your content and optimise the output based on what you’re watching.

Also on board is a feature called Auto Volume Levelling which means you’re hearing consistent voice levels no matter what type of content you’re watching.

We connected the LG SP11RA Dolby Atmos 770W, 7.1.4 ch soundbar with Meridian audio to the LG C1 OLED TV and this took the sound quality into the stratosphere.

The external subwoofer added remarkable punch while the rear speakers came into play with the atmospheric sounds.

Speaking of atmospheric, the LGSP11RA also has Dolby Atmos so it can create the effect of sound coming from above you as well.

Whether you’re watching a movie, sport or gaming, the sound quality adds incredible quality and completes the experience.

In terms of picture quality, you’re off to a great start for the fact you’re watching an OLED TV with these amazing black levels and highly accurate colour.

But add to that Dolby Vision IQ which delivers intelligently adjusted HDR (high dynamic range) when viewing 4K content.

The LG OLED TV can also handle HDR10 Pro with the built-in dynamic range technology always optimising brightness to improve colour while still offering a high level of detail.

The result is incredibly lifelike picture.

But LG appreciates the art of filmmaking and allows you to enjoy the movies as the director intended with a feature called Filmmaker Mode.

What this does is turn off the motion smoothing to maintain that cinematic 24 frames per second feel so viewers can appreciate the film as it was made.

Motion smoothing does iron out blur and other inconsistencies like a video version of photoshop in real time.

While many may not notice, film purists and the film makers themselves do, which is why LG offers this option in the first place.

Viewers will also appreciate the smoothness offered while viewing sport and action films where there is a lot of movement thanks to the 1ms response time.

But LG caters not only for movie and sports fans but also gamers as well with a set of dedicated features to optimise your playing experience.

LG recognises how popular gaming is around the world and the OLED format is a perfect fit to get the most out of your games.

The Game Optimizer gets rid of stutter, flicker and lag so you can keep your competitive edge thanks to the onboard INVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync.

You’ll also find the latest connections with HDMI 2.1 supporting up to 40Gbps bandwidth so you can play 4K games at 120Hz.

And when you add in VRR (variable refresh rate) and ALLM (auto low latency mode), you get the full level of graphics at higher resolutions, and all played back with smooth and synchronised audio and video.

And don’t forget the LG OLED’s 1ms one response rate – it is the cherry on top for premium game play.

The LG C1 OLED TV is also running the latest version of webOS 6.0 smart TV platform which has a redesigned home screen and offers faster access to your apps and your favourite Streaming services including Netflix, Stan, Apple TV, Foxtel, Disney+, Prime Video and all of the free to air catch up services.

webOS 6.0 is easy to navigate and the suggestions offered make finding something to watch even easier.

Our only gripe was the slight lag when accessing the interface – It sometimes took a few seconds to register.

And hitting the back key to get back to what you’re watching also took a little longer than we expected at times. But this is far from being a deal breaker.

The Magic Remote has also had a slight redesign, but it still offers the on-screen pointer to get where you want faster.

There are shortcut buttons for Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video. Next to these is a Movie button that brings you to a dashboard and links to all the services you’re signed in to showing the latest and trending titles.

You’ll also find Alexa and Google Assistant buttons so the LG OLED TV can be connected to your account so you can find content to watch, play music and control your smart devices using your voice.

But the LG C1 OLED TV also has ThinQ AI which provides a central mission control screen to connect to all the smart devices and connected devices on your network.

We were able to control our lights, access our NAS (network attached storage) to play content and see all the connected sources.

The LG C1 OLED TV is available now and priced at $2,576 (48-inch), $2,877 (55-inch), $4,076 (65-inch), $7,076 (77-inch) and $9,076 (83-inch).

These are recommended retail prices, but pricing is usually cheaper in retail stores.

The LG SP11RA Dolby Atmos 770W, 7.1.4 Ch Soundbar with Meridian audio is priced at $1,749.

VERDICT

The LG C1 TV dramatically demonstrates that OLED is still unmatched when it comes to producing stunning black levels, colour and picture quality so your movies, sport and games look amazing.