LG Nano 9 (SM9000) Sequence 4K HDR TV

“The LG SM9000 is an honest TV that does not make sense for most individuals.”

Low enter lag

HDMI 2.1 on all ports

Shiny, vivid colours

Poor black ranges

Poor shadow element

Compromised distinction

Struggles with low bitrate content material

LG makes a number of the greatest TVs you should purchase, however this isn’t considered one of them. Whereas its OLED TVs set the usual for image high quality, LG’s LED/LCD TVs have struggled to face out in opposition to a glut of competing fashions from the likes of Samsung and Sony. Sadly, the Nano 9 collection (which I’ll be referring to by its product code, the SM9000) reviewed right here — LG’s second-best LED TV this 12 months — continues that development.

That isn’t to say the SM9000 is a poor tv — it performs properly sufficient — however it doesn’t make sensible sense when firms like TCL are coming by way of with extremely aggressive choices at a fraction of the fee.

Floor attract

The LG Nano 9 is a mid-range LED tv. Digital Developments / Riley Younger

Should you run throughout the SM9000 at your favourite electronics store, you’ll have lots to have a look at. The TV is attractively constructed with a modest crescent-shaped steel stand, trim bezels, and a typically skinny profile. By all rights, it seems prefer it may match properly into your front room.

The SM9000 sports activities 4 HDMI 2.1 ports that not solely serve to future-proof the TV but in addition allow variable refresh fee (VRR) which, together with low enter lag, may make the TV particularly interesting to avid gamers or anybody else who may need to use the TV as a pc monitor.

Additionally tucked inside is LG’s a7 Gen 2 processor — not as highly effective because the a9 Gen 2 processor present in LG’s OLED TVs — Dolby Imaginative and prescient and Dolby Atmos assist, a full-array native dimming backlight system, and the exceedingly user-friendly webOS sensible TV system paired with LG’s Magic Movement distant, which makes controlling the TV really feel quite a bit like enjoying a Nintendo Wii (keep in mind these?).

LG Nano 9 (SM9000) Series 4K HDR TV The engaging stand takes up some house. Digital Developments / Riley Younger

The specs learn properly, and the SM9000 will seize your consideration below the intense lights of a showroom flooring, too. LG’s Nanocell expertise mixed with the corporate’s IPS-type LCD panel ship sensible coloration and spectacular brightness at very large viewing angles, so it can seemingly look higher than surrounding TVs at first look.

But it surely’s a distinct story while you flip down the lights.

Disappointing Dimming

My single largest gripe with this TV is its surprisingly poor backlighting system. An LCD-based TV depends on LED backlights to supply an image, and the backlight dimming system is answerable for reaching good distinction by enhancing black ranges. It’s right here that this TV suffers most.

Not solely are there fewer dimming zones than I’d anticipate to see in a TV of its class (even at its present value of $1,300 for the 65-inch model), however the processor driving the backlight system seems sluggish to me, dimming down backlights later than it ought to and extra slowly than I’d like. The impact is distracting and for me, that’s a deal-breaker.

LG Nano 9 (SM9000) Series 4K HDR TV Distinction and black ranges go away a lot to be desired. Digital Developments / Riley Younger

LG’s IPS panels already undergo from less-than-optimal black ranges (a tradeoff for improved off-angle efficiency), however the backlight dimming system’s restricted variety of zones (4 vertical, 12 horizontal, for a complete of 48) causes a big quantity of halo round shiny objects on black backgrounds.

It additionally tends to crush peak brightness in some circumstances, robbing the TV of probably wonderful excessive dynamic vary (HDR) spotlight efficiency. As well as, I observed that shadow element takes a big hit when watching customary dynamic vary (SDR) streaming content material by way of apps like Netflix and Hulu.

4K HDR Blu-ray discs fared a bit higher in my testing. However, let’s face it, most of us watch cable or satellite tv for pc and/or stream TV reveals and flicks more often than not and the SM9000 struggles with that low-bitrate, low-resolution content material. The infamous Recreation of Thrones: The Lengthy Evening scene as streamed from HBO, as an example, was nearly unwatchable for a lot of the episode.

Higher for avid gamers?

I can’t suggest the SM9000 for film and TV lovers, however I’d for sure avid gamers. With enter lag clocking in round 14ms at 60Hz and about half that at 7ms for 120Hz content material, the SM9000 makes a compelling large-format gaming show choice.

LG Nano 9 (SM9000) Series 4K HDR TV The LG Nano 9 is at its greatest in gaming. Digital Developments / Riley Younger

That low enter lag is computerized, by the way in which. Due to Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) assist, the TV will mechanically swap to the Recreation image preset when it detects a sport sign from a gaming console or PC. It is not going to mechanically apply this setting simply because it sees an Xbox or PlayStation console linked, nevertheless, so customers can use their consoles to observe Netflix or another streaming app with out giving up priceless image processing present in image modes higher suited to films and TV.

How a lot the image high quality challenges I’ve mentioned will impression whether or not avid gamers ought to select the SM9000 will rely upon how/what you play. Typically the satan is actually within the [shadow] particulars, so for individuals who don’t do a variety of HDR gaming, this TV might make it laborious to see in-game enemies lurking within the shadows.

For individuals who don’t play video games with a variety of darkish scenes, nevertheless, this TV could possibly be an excellent alternative. Few competing fashions can boast such low enter lag whereas additionally providing VRR.

Our Take

Although it’s definitely not a horrible TV, LG SM9000 simply doesn’t make sensible sense for most individuals. Avid gamers will love its low enter lag and different gaming-friendly options, however film and TV buffs will discover themselves misplaced in the dead of night.

Is there a greater different?

Sure. For the $1,300 a 65-inch SM9000 instructions, I’d recommend both the marginally dearer Samsung Q70R (particularly for avid gamers) or maintain out for the brand-new 2019 TCL 6-series. The Samsung is significantly better for films and TV reveals whereas sustaining attraction to avid gamers, and the TCL guarantees to be one of many most interesting TVs of the 12 months (on the again of the 2018 6-series) and is considerably cheaper.

How lengthy will it final?

As the one TV producer supporting full-spec HDMI 2.1 ports this 12 months, LG has a leg up on future-proofing. How lengthy the TV itself will final comes all the way down to manufacturing high quality management and LG has a very good historical past there, too.

Guarantee

One 12 months elements and labor when bought from a licensed retailer.

Do you have to purchase it?

Should you’re a gamer and love the thought of getting a fast, clean gaming expertise on par with what you’d get from a pc monitor in a big, shiny, and way more colourful show, then go for it. In any other case, no.

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