Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review OLED65E7P vs OLED65G7P

The only major difference between the LG OLED65E7P and OLED65G7P is that the integrated sound bar serves a multi-purpose role on the OLED65G7P whereas with the OLED65E7P, it is only intended for housing the 4.2 channel speakers. The reason being is the OLED65E7P has a dedicated stand, and the terminals are placed on the back of the TV. In contrast, the sound bar on the OLED65G7P houses the inputs and functions as a stand when the TV is mounted on a table-top surface. The integrated sound bar is not detachable in either the OLED65E7P or OLED65G7P. That being said, when mounting the OLED65G7P on a wall the sound bar folds back, so the speakers are no longer front-facing. The implication being that voices and dialogues might not be as clear on the OLED65G7P (when wall-mounted) as on the OLED65E7P, but this also depends on the acoustics of your environment.

Other than that, the speaker system is identical on the OLED65E7P and OLED65G7P. The integrated sound bar on both models has 60 Watts of amplification over 4.2 channels (20 Watts are allocated for the subwoofers). The OLED65E7P and OLED65G7P have a Dolby Atmos decoder. You can listen to soundtracks in this object-based audio format through the TV's integrated sound bar, or pass-through the bitstream output to a compatible receiver. It needs to be said that in order to pass-through Dolby Atmos tracks coming from a Blu-ray disc player, you'll have to update the firmware on your TV first because neither the OLED65E7P nor the OLED65G7P has a built-in support for Dolby TrueHD.

Design / Stand
Both the OLED65E7P and OLED65G7P use the Picture-on-Glass design. Therefore, they have the ultra-thin OLED module directly applied to a glass back panel. Owing to the fact that the OLED65E7P has a dedicated stand, there is a clearance of approximately 1.1 inches between the sound bar on the OLED65E7P and the table-top surface it's placed on. The OLED65G7P, on the other hand, doesn't have a separate stand, so there is no clearance beneath its soundbar. Both of them, however, can be mounted on a wall. The OLED65G7P supports the VESA 400x200 standard while the OLED65E7P is compatible with VESA 300x200 brackets.

As previously mentioned, there are no inputs on the back of the OLED65G7P - instead they are located inside the sound bar but are nonetheless rear-facing when the TV is placed on a table-top surface, and upward-facing when the OLED65G7P is mounted on a wall (respectively: the sound bar is folded). In comparison, the terminals on the OLED65E7P are either side- or rear-facing, and are located at the back of the TV. Specifically, 3 HDMI and 1 USB ports on the OLED65E7P are side-facing, while the remaining inputs, including 1 HDMI and 2 USB ports are rear-facing. All 4 HDMI inputs on the OLED65G7P and OLED65E7P are HDCP 2.2 compatible.

Picture Quality
It's no secret that OLED TVs have self-illuminating pixels. When individual pixels are turned off, no light is emitted, hence the perfect black level. What's more interesting, though, is how bright the OLED65E7P and OLED65G7P can get. On a full-filed white (100% window size), they can reach around 150cd/m2. This may not seem much by itself but it's significant in the context of SDR content, which is typically mastered to 100cd/m2. The OLED65E7P and OLED65G7P hence are able to cover the entire brightness range of DVDs, regular Blu-ray discs, TV broadcasts, etc.

It should be said, though, that most SDR content doesn't have a high average picture level (i.e. a preponderance of bright elements). Instead, low-to-mid APL (average picture level) is most common. Which is why the luminance output for 25% and 50% window sizes is more relevant, especially if you plan on using your TV in bright environments since it'd give you a good indication of how much extra brightness they can output in case an overall brighter picture is needed. The OLED65E7P and OLED65G7P can reach about 320cd/m2 (50% window size), and approximately 430cd/m2 (25% window size), meaning that you can watch them under high ambient light conditions without them appearing too dim. That being said, they have an auto brightness limiter, which explains why the nit count is lower when the window size is bigger (i.e. high Average Picture Level), and vice versa.

As expected, both models have considerably higher brightness in small specular highlights. This only concerns HDR (High Dynamic range) content, though. For example, the OLED65E7P and OLED65G7P are capable of circa 720cd/m2 (10% window size), and approximately 900cd/m2 (5% window size) when in HDR Vivid mode. Evidently HDR doesn't make the entire picture brighter but only small areas of it, so that the dynamic range can be enhanced. HDR content in the HDR10 format is usually mastered to either 1,000cd/m2 or 4,000cd/m2.

Although the OLED65E7P and OLED65G7P cannot reach 4,000cd/m2 of peak luminance, it should be said that the authoring guideline for Ultra HD Blu-ray discs says that only specular highlights can be over 1,000cd/m2. Furthermore, approximately half of the code words in the 10-bit HDR10 signal correspond to 0-100 nit range. This means that both models don't have problems reproducing the shadows and most mid-tones in HDR10 content, even if it is mastered to 4,000cd/m2. Although some mid-tones may be above 100cd/m2 (depending on the creative intent), only specular highlights that exceed the peak brightness capability of both models are compressed.

In order to avoid unnecessary compression, the OLED65E7P and OLED65G7P utilize Active HDR processing. HDR10 content is analyzed on a frame-by-frame basis, and dynamic metadata is generated as needed. HDR10's static metadata defines maximum content light level for the entire content. Based on the maxCLL value, the dynamic range is compressed regardless if the scene has highlights or not. By applying dynamic metadata, the OLED65E7P and OLED65G7P can perform scene-by-scene optimization, meaning that they no longer need to compress the dynamic range in scenes with no highlights.

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