- Stunning, contrast-rich, big-screen picture quality
- Beautiful, super-thin design
- Fair value for such a big OLED TV
- Slight picture noise at times
- Will be beyond the financial reach of most households
- Not as bright as the best LCDs
- Review Price: £7499
- 77-inch OLED TV
- Native 4K resolution
- HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision HDR support
- Dolby Atmos sound decoding built in
- webOS and ThinQ AI smart features
What is the LG OLED77C8?
The LG OLED77C8 represents the first time LG has sold a 77-inch version of its ‘B’ and ‘C’ OLED series. This makes it comfortably the cheapest 77-inch LG OLED TV there’s ever been. Despite the fact that it still uses LG’s latest, impressive Alpha 9 chipset. If you’re thinking this is starting to sound like a home cinema dream-come-true, you’d be right.
If that’s a bit big for you, check out the LG OLED55C8PLA, the 55-inch version of the LG C8 OLED.
Related: Best TVs 2018
LG OLED77C8 – Design and build
The LG OLED77C8 is a truly gorgeous TV. The slenderness of most of its rear, for instance, is unfathomable considering there’s a huge 77-inch screen hanging off it. There’s minimal frame width around the screen, making it easier to focus on the TV’s pictures.
Despite its slimness, the screen feels beautifully and robustly built. I also like the curved desktop mount on which the screen sits. Yes, it’s pretty chunky versus the screen. And yes, its width means it needs mounting on a pretty wide bit of furniture. But it’s very well built and, cleverly, ensures that the sound from the TV’s speakers deflect out towards you.
The single greatest thing about the OLED77C8’s design, however, is the sheer size of that screen. I’ve long felt that going from 65 to 77 inches shifts the balance from watching TV to a home cinema experience, and the LG OLED77C8 does nothing to shake that conviction.
You control the OLED77C8 via one of LG’s ‘magic’ remotes. This polished, comfortably sculpted handset is one of the most innovative in the TV world. For instance, it lets you just point at the screen and hit enter to select an on-screen option. It also has a rotating wheel at its heart to speed up the process of scrolling up and down menus.
Crucially, all of its different control options gel together effectively, rather than clashing with each other.
LG OLED77C8 – Features
The LG OLED77C8’s most instant attractions are its combination of a colossal 77-inch screen and OLED technology. After all, the way OLED panels let every pixel produce its own light seems perfectly suited to such large screens. LCD panels, by comparison, have to share their external light sources across a larger area, reducing their light precision. This increases their potential for suffering backlight clouding or ‘haloing’.
Also important to the OLED77C8 is LG’s new Alpha 9 processor. This is far more powerful than anything LG has provided before – and its effects are far-ranging. For instance, pictures benefit from reduced colour noise, better light control and enhanced motion.
The Game HDR mode can now look brighter than on previous LG OLEDs, due to superior HDR tone mapping. Gamers also benefit from (HD only) 120Hz support, plus sub-20ms of input lag in the TV’s Game mode.
It also introduces a powerful new voice-recognition and control system that works extremely well. So well, in fact, that it at least rivals Samsung’s latest voice control system. When it comes to presenting the results of voice searches, I prefer the LG’s approach of clearly dividing the results into different categories (online, in app, broadcast and so on).
The LG OLED77C8 continues LG’s support for the ‘premium’ Dolby Vision HDR format. This is provided alongside the now near-universal HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) broadcast HDR and industry standard HDR10 formats. Plus, there’s an HDR picture preset that’s been specially calibrated by the movie and TV colour gurus at Technicolor.
The one HDR format the OLED77C8 doesn’t support is the Samsung-originated HDR10+ format. Currently only Amazon Video supports HDR10+, but 20th Century Fox is releasing HDR10+ 4K Blu-rays later this year.
LG’s smart TV system is powered by the webOS interface. This continues to be slick, attractive and extremely easy to customise and navigate. It also carries a strong set of video-streaming apps including Now TV, Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video. The latter three all support 4K HDR streams.
The catch-up TV services for the UK’s main broadcasters, meanwhile, are provided within a Freeview Play app. This provides electronic programme guide access to shows you may have missed.
The OLED77C8’s connections are all built into the TV; there’s no external connections box. They include four full-bandwidth HDMI 2.0 ports, three USBs, and wired/Wi-Fi network options.
Finally, the OLED77C8 carries built-in Dolby Atmos sound decoding, delivered via a 40W, 2.2-channel speaker configuration.
LG OLED77C8 – Performance
Watching the LG OLED77C8’s 77-inch screen is a mesmerising experience, partly because the screen’s sheer size makes you feel like you’re at the movies, but also because the pictures produced by that monster screen are so barnstormingly good.
The LG C8 OLED series uses the same OLED panel generation and processing as the previously reviewed LG E8 OLED. So with the OLED77C8, you essentially get the same stunning picture quality provided by the step-up E8s, only bigger.
Happily, this picture equality extends to the LG OLED77C8’s brightness with HDR content, especially if you use LG’s new Dynamic Tone Mapping feature. This calculates – brilliantly – the optimum picture settings required to provide the maximum impact from an HDR scene.
Particularly impressively, HDR pictures’ average brightness levels are raised beyond anything OLED has delivered before. This makes HDR viewing feel much more fulfilling and impactful – as well as making HDR more watchable in bright rooms.
OLED has always been great at delivering the dark end of the HDR light spectrum. However, it has traditionally struggled to handle the extended brightness of the lighter end of the HDR spectrum. LG doesn’t rival the brightest LCD TVs in this respect, but its OLEDs are brighter than ever, and that’s a big deal . Especially since the extra brightness yields a number of benefits beyond just making HDR pictures look much punchier.
For instance, it greatly reduces ‘silhouetting’, where dark objects that appear against bright backdrops can lose subtle detailing. Dark and light parts of the picture look more balanced, and shadow details during extremely dark scenes are more visible.
In addition, the extra brightness helps colours look punchier at both the light and dark ends of the colour spectrum. And most gloriously of all, the contrast range between the LG OLED77C8’s darkest and lightest points is spectacularly pronounced.
The ability of OLED to deliver deep black pixels right alongside bright white ones has long helped the technology create beautifully cinematic images. LG takes OLED’s HDR intensity to a whole new level, however. The LG OLED77C8 has a peak brightness of 820 nits on a 10% white HDR window, but it feels quite a bit more.
The OLED77C8 also looks much sharper with both native 4K and upscale HD content than any LG OLED has before. A result, presumably, of the TV’s superior colour handling and noise management.
Every picture strength (but especially contrast and colour balance) of the OLED77C8 looks even better if you’re watching a Dolby Vision source. Add this new contrast intensity, sharpness, and higher average brightness levels to the huge 77-inch screen, and you easily have the most satisfying HDR picture OLED technology has ever produced.
Not surprisingly, the LGOLED77C8 doesn’t magically solve the small issues previously detected with HDR playback on the LG E8 OLED. So, for instance, you’ll still occasionally see traces of noise in areas of subtle colour transition. Extremely dark scenes can look a little grainy, too, especially outside the Standard HDR preset.
Very bright colours can look a little forced, due to OLED TVs’ use of white sub-pixels. While shadow detail in dark scenes is excellent, it can be crushed out slightly with mixed dark and light shots.
Finally, while motion looks better than it has on previous LG OLEDs, it isn’t perfect. Without LG’s TruMotion system in play, motion can look a bit billowy. Yet with TruMotion’s Clear setting active, motion can stutter from time to time. The Smooth setting reduces instances of the twitching, but can cause haloing around fast-moving objects. No amount of tinkering can deliver results to rival the best motion processing, such as that on the Sony AF8 OLED.
But the funny thing is, somehow, this LG C8’s monster 77-inch screen hides rather than emphasises its slight image flaws. All that contrast, all those dazzling colours, and all that per-pixel light precision writ so large delivers such a gloriously cinematic experience that you just can’t take your eyes of it.
In fact, all things (including size) considered, it’s the most all-round gorgeous and satisfying movie experience I’ve had with any television. Truly spectacular.
Less spectacular – although still solid – is the OLED77C8’s sound. Its speakers are loud and clean enough to project the sound into your room with surprising directness. The mid-range is open enough to avoid sounding compressed, and the soundstage has genuine height and width.
However, for me, this doesn’t add up to a proper Dolby Atmos experience. There’s no real sense of sound coming from above or behind you, and bass doesn’t get very deep. Bass can also ‘phut’ a bit when trying to hit extreme depths, while vocals can become a little ‘floaty’.
Nevertheless, the OLED77C8’s sound remains fair to good overall by built-in TV speakers standards.
LG OLED77C8 – Settings
It’s actually fairly easy to get a gorgeous picture out of the OLED77C8. LG’s much-improved picture processing has made it a much better out-of-the-box performer.
Both the Standard and Cinema Home presets deliver beautiful starting points depending on your tastes and, to some extent, the level of brightness in your room.
I’d recommend turning off LG’s noise-reduction systems, however. These can deliver benefits with some content, but most of the time, they’re unnecessary and can soften the picture. I’d also either turn off the set’s motion processing, or choose Custom and set the blur and judder reduction components to no higher than four.
LG also provides a Motion Pro option in its TruMotion settings that introduces black frame insertion. However, while this does make motion look more natural, it also dims the picture too much for comfort.
Personally, I nudged the OLED light and brightness settings up a point or two from the default settings. But frankly, aside from the motion and NR tips, even if you don’t change any settings at all you’ll likely be dazzled by the quality the OLED77C8 can deliver.
Why buy an OLED77C8?
The LG OLED77C8’s £7499 price is clearly going to put it beyond mainstream reach. If you’re on a much tighter budget, 65-inch OLED and LCD TVs can be had for many thousands less. Check out our review of the 55-inch LG C8 OLED – it’s the same quality, but its size and £2700 price tag are a little easier to accommodate.
But you could also argue that £7499 is a ground-breaking price for the genuinely stunning quality and scale of the OLED picture quality it provides. It is, after all, by far the cheapest and best 77-inch OLED TV LG has ever sold.
It’s possible that the 75-inch Samsung Q9FN might give the LG OLED77C8 a run for its money. Although that model apparently only has the same number of dimming zones as its 65-inch sibling – we’ll be finding out soon. Elsewhere, it looks we might be getting a 75-inch successor to the outstanding Sony ZD9 later this year.
At the time of writing, however, the LG OLED77C8 remains hands-down the best king-sized TV I’ve ever tested. So much so that it will take something pretty incredible to beat it.
Buy one on finance. Take out a loan. Remortgage your home. Get a second job. Hell, sell a kidney if you have to – the LG OLED77C8 is in a whole other league to any super-sized TV we’ve tested before it.
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