Why this $7699 product is worth every cent
IT'S the weekend and you're armed with your credit card or savings if you're one of those financially responsible people I have read about.
You are ready to drop some serious dosh and your plan is all about keeping up with the Jonses. Can I direct you to some of the finest televisions money can buy?
Meet LG's 2018 OLED collection, in particular the middle-of-the-range $7699 65-inch E8.
Although the top-of-the-range $19,990 W8 or lower-tier $4099 C8 have identical image quality and functionality, they have slightly different levels of sound quality and appearance.
If you're reading this and think spending a minimum of $4099 on a new TV is outrageous, you could be right. But you should also think about how good it would feel when everyone sees your swanky new TV and gets jelly. Here's some more food for thought.
Just like grabbing a copy of the latest Picture magazine from the servo on a drunken walk home, buying a LG E8 OLED is not a purchase you're going to regret.
While it might not be as jaw-dropping as its predecessor, the OLED65E8 is still a premium offering that gives the illusion of floating in midair.
Last year's model saw extended glass protrusions from all four of the screen's edges to exaggerate the incredible slimness of the display, which is achieved because OLEDs don't require the same backlighting as LCD sets with each pixel producing light individually.
With the E8, the screen is wrapped in a thin black frame that takes away some of the amazement that came when your eyes first saw the E7 from the side.
To compensate for the loss of visible glass, LG has extended the amount that emerges from the bottom edges of the display. This is achieved using a strikingly metallic and minimalist stand that attaches using a transparent, full-width glass panel.
It's a little disappointing to see LG didn't follow Samsung's lead and use an external connection box to hide the cabling from the display, especially given the use of a transparent glass panel.
Overall the build is every part as high-quality as you would expect from a premium TV and if you're looking for something thinner than a QLED, this could be your best play.
The 2018 OLED range boast a new A9 processor that promises to have a positive effect on picture quality with benefits including four-step noise reduction - double traditional TV processors - and a picture with seven times the colour accuracy of last year's range.
By including the new processor, LG has also been able to include high dynamic range formats that offer greater detail in the brightest and darkest parts of the picture.
The E8 supports the technicolor HDR format alongside Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG.
Given OLEDs ability to have each pixel produce light individually, the E8 is able to dominate in dark scenes by delivering intense blackness without having to compromise the brightness of neighbouring pixels.
OLEDs are also immune to various backlight flaws LCDs have when trying to present the bright parts of predominantly dark HDR pictures, however the E8 does struggle to resolve some subtle detailing in the very brightest HDR areas - something LCDs do not.
Samsung's QLED also holds up better in a bright room with ambient light.
LG's upscaling was already impressive, but the extra processing power removes almost all trace of noise seen on predecessors.
The new processor also makes the TV capable of handling 120 frame-per-second video without jitter, only High Frame Rate (HFR) compatible content don't exist in Australia just quite yet and HDMI 2.0 can't output at that frame rate either
It's also worth noting gamers will be happy to hear the OLED range supports 120fps gaming at HD resolutions and will no longer dim the picture when running in its low-latency HDR Game mode.
One of thebiggest changes with this year's LG televisions is the addition of the ThinQ smart assistant which uses natural language processing, meaning voice commands can be performed without needing to remember very specific phrases.
Thankfully the smart assistant is not always listening, like with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, rather it is summoned by pressing a button on the remote - although if you're only turning the volume up it might be faster to use the remote already in your hand.
The real benefit of ThinQ can be found when looking for a program to watch, with the assistant able to search free-to-air electronic program guides and multiple streaming services.
ThinQ is also able to answer basic questions like the weather outlook for tomorrow morning and has the ability to switch off the TV after the program has finished.
LG will also be adding Google Assistant to its televisions in the second half of this year, which will put the power of Google Home into your OLED.
The company's proprietary WebOS interface is as simple as ever to navigate, with LG's magic wand remote makes using the television a breeze. Although it must be mentioned the WebOS4.0 smart TV platform doesn't have access to the same breadth of apps as Android TV.
LG removed the built-in sound bar found on last year's E7 for the E8, which sadly removed the powerful, bass-rich experience.
It can't help but feel like the room-filling sound presence from the Dolby Atmos decoding is slightly underwhelming, even if the audio is still better than expected from the TV's physical boundaries.
Buying an LG OLED is never going to leave you with a dirty feeling in your mouth, with the brand being a leader in terms of picture quality and design.
Its 2018 is no exception and a step forward in future proofing your home entertainment experience thanks to a new processor and smart assistant.
For me, Samsung's QLED range and LG's range are both equally impressive, and I feel you should explore the pros and cons of each before making a decision.
In saying that I would have no problem dropping $19,990 on a new OLED - all I have to do is win the lotto.
Of course, if you want the benefits premium TVs have to offer but can't afford one of the 2018 models, there are currently big reductions of up to $2400 on 2017 ranges discounted to make way for this year's collections. Check out a full list of the savings here.
2018 OLED PRICING
• W8 77-inch - $19,990
• W8 65-inch - $9999
• E8 65-inch - $7699
• E8 55-inch - $4999
• C8 77-inch - $14,990
• C8 65-inch - $6399
• C8 55-inch - $4099