Which OLED TV should you buy right now? – CNET

If you’ve had your eye on a brand-new OLED TV, it may surprise you to see I’m still recommending the brand-old OLED TV instead.

OLED TVs still provide the best picture quality I’ve ever tested, and I just reviewed the latest model from LG, the C7P. And indeed, it takes the picture quality crown from its 2016 brother, the B6P.

The problem? It costs $1,000 more. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s definitely not $1000 better.

Here’s how I summed it up in my side-by-side comparison review:

Compared to the 2016 OLED B6, which earned the same picture quality score of 10, the 2017 C7 delivers slightly more light output and looks better with some high dynamic range (HDR) content, but all told the overall differences are minor.

In terms of image quality differences, that’s it. And unless that’s worth $1000 to you, don’t buy the C7 now.

New vs. Old OLED today

Here’s the nitty gritty in table form.

2016 LG B6 vs. 2017 LG C7

Model Year Size Price (April 2017)
OLED55B6P 2016 55-inch $2,000
OLED55C7P 2017 55-inch $3,000
OLED65B6P 2016 65-inch $3,500
OLED65C7P 2017 65-inch $4,500

Suffice to say: if you have to buy a new OLED TV today, and $1,000 is a lot of money to you, the B6 is still your best bet.

But what about tomorrow?

By the time you read this a couple of things may have happened that could change my advice.

Maybe the B6 will have sold out, or perhaps even become more expensive as it begins selling out. At the same time, the C7 may have dropped in price, something I expect to happen periodically throughout the year as it approaches a low point around Black Friday 2017.

Maybe the B7 — a version of the C7 exclusive to Costco and other big box merchants and has the exact same image quality and features — will get cheaper too. It’s currently just $50 less than the C7, but that could change.

And then there’s the Sony XBR-A1E OLED, a competing OLED TV that could very well outperform LG’s own (I haven’t reviewed it yet so I don’t know). If Sony’s TV turns out to be better, the question becomes “is it worth the extra money Sony is charging?” Right now the A1E costs another $1,000 more than the C7: $4,000 and $5,500 at 55 and 65 inches, respectively.

And then there’s competing non-OLED (aka, LED LCD) models from the likes of Sony, Samsung and Vizio. The best ones might challenge the OLEDs for overall image quality supremacy.

If any of those unknowns worry you, and you can afford to wait, you should. I’ll know more once I review more 2017 TVs and compare them to the C7.

Until then, an “old” OLED is still a good OLED.

LG OLED TVs give great picture and look gorgeous doing it

The ultraslim C7 and E7 OLED TVs from LG are two of the best-performing, most expensive TVs you can buy today.

by David Katzmaier


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