The success of OLED has created an interesting problem for LG – at this point, the company is basically competing against itself. That’s because LG Display, the technology research arm of the company sells panels to every manufacturer except Samsung (no surprise there), leaving LG Electronics to face a crowded market place of its own design. So what can the Korean giant do?
Simple, it makes its OLED 4K TVs the most feature-packed that money can buy.
That said, the C9 represents the midrange for LG’s 2019 OLED TVs, adding the superior Alpha9 processor when compared to the cheaper B9, but avoiding the expensive cosmetic features found on models further up the range. As a result the pricing is as competitive as the specs are impressive.
Even better, just like the more expensive OLED TVs in the lineup, the C9 offers a 2nd generation Alpha9 processor with AI enhancements, improved sound with AI processing, and an upgraded smart platform with, you guessed it, added AI.
LG C9 OLED release date and price
No matter where you live in the world, the C9 comes in three screen sizes: a 55-inch , 65-inch (reviewed here) and a 77-inch model.
If you live in the UK, you’ll be able to purchase the 55-inch OLED55C9PLA for £2,499, the 65-inch OLED65C9PLA for £3,299 and the 77-inch OLED77C9PLA for £7,499.
In the US, those models correspond to the OLED55C9PUA ($2,499), OLED65C9PUA ($3,499) and OLED77C9PBA ($6,999), while in Australia you’ll be able to find the OLED55C9PTA (AU$3,899), OLED65C9PTA (AU$6,399) and OLED77C9PTA (AU$15,999).
All sizes of the screens should be available to buy starting in April, but sometimes the larger models don’t arrive to stores for a few weeks.
One area that the LG C9 may not seem like a massive overhaul compared to last year’s C8 is in the design category – but that’s not a bad thing. The C9 OLED retains the same sleek and minimalist appearance, as well as the sloped stand that fires sound at the listener. The bezel-less screen is surrounded by a dark metallic trim, and both the stand and rear of the panel boast an attractive brushed-metal finish.
The connections remain comprehensive and, new for this year, LG has even added HDMI 2.1. The latest version of HDMI can not only handle a staggering 48Gbps, but also supports higher frame rates up to 120Hz, dynamic metadata for HDR, eARC (enhanced audio return channel), variable refresh rates (VRR), and an auto low latency mode (ALLM).
LG is the only manufacturer to include HDMI 2.1 on its 2019 4K TVs, giving them a leg up on the competition that won’t have HDMI 2.1 until 2020. Other manufacturers would likely retort that you can deliver nearly all the same features using HDMI 2.0b, the fact that LG’s new TVs are future-proofed no matter what happens.
In total there are four HDMI inputs: three at the side and one facing the rear. There are also three USB ports, with one at the side and two facing rearwards, along with a terrestrial and satellite tuner, a LAN port, a CI slot, an optical digital output, and a line out that doubles as a headphone jack. On the wireless side of things, there’s built-in WiFi (802.11ac), Bluetooth (5.0) and AirPlay 2.
The LG C9 is a really exceptional 4K OLED TV that takes what was so impressive about last year’s C8 and adds on it. The major difference is the inclusion of the 2nd generation Alpha9 processor, which uses AI enhancements to deliver stellar SDR and HDR images, and helps make the upscaling and processing second-to-none with incredible levels of detail and image fidelity.
In the end, the TV’s smart platform remains state-of-the-art, and now boasts the inclusion of both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. webOS has been tweaked but still includes a comprehensive selection of streaming services, while AI powers the recommendation features. Meanwhile, the new Home Dashboard turns your TV into a hub for your smart home.
The LG C9 represents a clear evolution in the development of OLED, and it not only delivers amazing picture and sound, but is also the smartest 4K TV on the market right now.