LG 65LA9650 UHD TV Review
One of 2013's better UHD TVs
Behind the Screens
The LG 65LA9650 (MSRP $4,999.99) made mincemeat of most our laboratory tests. Exemplifying a well-calibrated machine, the LA9650 boasts very accurate colors, a high peak brightness, smooth motion, and an above-average viewing angle. Unfortunately, it faltered in the all-important black level category, earning it a lower score.
Calibrating the 65LA9650 consisted of making minor white balance adjustments in Cinema mode. The reference level settings (Brightness and Contrast) were already set correctly, and the TV's color was close to perfect right out of the box.
Using LG's two-point grayscale control, I reduced the emphasis on blue within the TV's sub-pixel balance. Evening out the RGB balance fixed a slight error within the white point and reduced the overall error within the grayscale.
The LA9650's adherence to the Rec. 709 color gamut is more or less spot-on. A few minor errors in hue won't be visible to human eyes, so despite the presence of a CMS (Color Management System), the adjustments I made to the grayscale (below) were all that was necessary to fix the TV's white point. Consumers can rest assured that this TV's color performance is already great—unless you're wholly invested in a perfect picture, no calibration is necessary.
Grayscale & RGB Balance
Prior to calibration, the LA9650 tested with a somewhat high DeltaE (error sum) of 4.64, resulting from an imbalance in sub-pixel emphasis. The color meter revealed that the LA9650's grayscale contained too much blue, and not enough green and red. Using the grayscale control, I reduced the blue in the upper half of the IRE spectrum and increased the emphasis on green and red, which resulted in a much more even sub-pixel balance and a DeltaE of 2.63—not perfect, but better.
Contrast ratio—the measure of a TV's peak brightness divided by its minimum luminance—is one area where the LA9650 performed below our expectations. Using an ANSI checkerboard pattern, I tested a black level of 0.22 cd/m2, which is unfortunately quite poor. This LG was plenty bright at 236 cd/m2, but the resulting contrast ratio of 1072:1 is very low for 2013 standards. This may be the LA9650's only weak spot, but it's a big one.
The LA9650 tested with an impressive total viewing angle of 62°, or ±31° from the center to either side of the screen, which is above average for an LCD. This means placement of the LA9650 during initial setup, including the decision of whether to wall-mount it, is easier.
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