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LG 55EC9300 review: OLED TV: Best. Picture. Ever.

With its bright whites and perfect black levels, the LG 55EC9300 lives up to the promise of OLED with the best picture quality of any TV we've ever reviewed.

David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials
  • Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
David Katzmaier
21 min read

Note: A newer version of this product, model 55EG9100, is available.


LG 55EC9300

The Good

The LG 55EC9300 OLED TV's picture betters that of any LCD or plasma TV, with perfect black levels and exceedingly bright whites. It's equally adept in bright and dark rooms, showed accurate color, and looks better from off-angle than any LED LCD. Its 1080p resolution is plenty for a 55-inch screen. The TV looks striking in person, with organic curves and an insane 0.25-inch depth on most of its body.

The Bad

Albeit the most-affordable OLED TV yet, the 55EC9300 is still very expensive for a 55-inch TV. Its video processing and color accuracy don't measure up to that of the best TVs, and the curved screen introduces some artifacts.

The Bottom Line

The 55-inch LG 55EC9300 offers the world-beating picture quality of OLED TV for the lowest price yet.

Videophiles who mourn the loss of plasma, take heart: OLED is better, and thanks to LG it's finally getting cheaper.

The LG 55EC9300 is the cheapest OLED TV yet--the 11-inch Sony XEL-1 from 2008 doesn't count--but $2,500 for 55 inches is still really expensive. (In Australia it's AU$3999 and the model is the EC930T.) On the other hand, considering that its 2013 predecessor launched for five times as much, it's great progress and around the same price as other flagship-level 55-inch TVs, like Samsung's JS9000 SUHD.

But what about 4K, you ask? First off, that resolution is a waste at this screen size unless you're sitting very close, like 4 feet from the screen. Second, the 4K version of this TV costs almost twice as much. Sadly, there's no larger, non-4K version available now, and there might never be one, according to LG. For "bargain" 1080p OLED, it's 55 inches or nothing.

If you want a 55-inch TV, however, the 55EC9300 is my top recommendation. It reproduces darker blacks and brighter whites than any non-OLED TV, for sumptuous images (and I don't say this lightly) you have to see to believe. LG bobbled the color accuracy and video processing somewhat, and yes, I wish it was flat, but none of those problems spoil OLED's supremacy.

The next picture quality battle will be fought between LED LCD and OLED. For this review I compared two of the best new 4K-resolution LED LCD TVs to LG's OLED, and the outcome was never in question. OLED delivers the best picture you can buy today, and the 55EC9300 is the most affordable way to get it into your home.

Editors' Note, October 9, 2015: The TV reviewed here has been discontinued and replaced by the LG 55EG9100 . That model -- new for 2015 -- is nearly identical except for some cosmetic differences in the stand, an updated remote and a newer version of the Smart TV interface.

Editors' Note, June 29, 2015: This review has been updated due to recent price changes and further testing as part of the EG9600 review. Its value rating has been increased from "5" to "6." Note that LG says the official price (or UPP) is still $3500, but its selling price is regularly around $2500 in the U.S.

Sarah Tew/CNET


People like me gush about the picture quality of OLED TVs, but their futuristic razor-thin design will appeal to many TV shoppers even more strongly. This is easily the best-looking TV I've seen this year, and one of the best designs I've ever reviewed.

Unlike the chunky Samsung KN55S9C (which was only on sale briefly in 2013), the LG 55EC9300 takes full advantage of OLED's ability to shrink the depth of the panel to a fraction of an inch. Most of the LG TV measures an incredible quarter-inch thick.

Spoiling the pencil-thin profile is the need for stuff like speakers, a power supply, and, you know, enough body to house the HDMI ports and other connections. All of that lives in a central section that bulges the rear out to a thickness of about an inch and a half.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Like many newfangled LCD TVs, the LG 55EC9300 is curved. In person the curve appears slightly less drastic than that of the Samsung UNHU9000 but it's still obvious, especially when seen from off-angle. LG will release a series of flat OLED sets later in 2015, but since they're 4K they'll be a lot more expensive than this one.

LG complemented the curve with a graceful, organically curved stand in matte silver that really adds to the TV's gorgeous looks. It provides the requisite floating quality yet still gives the lightweight TV plenty of stability. It doesn't swivel. You can also remove the stand to wall-mount the TV using a special hanger, model OSW100, and a VESA standard wall-mount.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The remote is a smaller version of the motion clicker I liked so much on sets like the LA8600 from 2013. The new wand is even more compact and button-averse, and unfortunately now lacks backlighting, but I still like it a lot. It fits comfortably in the hand and places all keys, including the brilliant scroll wheel, within easy thumb access. The organic shape still naturally upright on a coffee table, and the clicker doesn't need to be pointed at the TV to function.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The motion-control aspect, where you wave the wand to move a cursor around the screen much like a Nintendo Wii game controller, simply works. It makes for substantially quicker navigation than a standard remote, especially when dealing with lots of items on-screen at once. Control was pleasingly precise after I chose the "slow" pointer speed, and I loved the scroll wheel for whizzing through long menus.

I'm still annoyed that the "select/OK" action, the most commonly used function on any remote, is a down-press on the scroll wheel. The click is too stiff, and worse, I often scrolled accidentally when trying to simply click. Another annoyance is that the cursor seemed to disappear too frequently, necessitating a button-press or vigorous shake to bring back up. These issues, as well as the LG's reliance on menus instead of buttons for functions like Play and Fast-Forward, and are the main reasons I like Samsung's 2014 remote better.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I was initially very impressed by the design of LG's Web OS system, but after living with it and using it for a few days on the EC9300, I discovered some flaws. LG's deep settings menus are tailored for the motion aspect with bigger icons and numerous layers, but they're awkward at times, particularly during calibration. Those settings menus often take a while to load as well, although the actual Smart TV menus seemed responsive enough.

Key TV features
Display technology: OLED LED backlight: N/A
Screen shape: Curved Resolution: 1080p
Smart TV: Yes Remote: Motion
Cable box control: Yes IR blaster: Built-in
3D technology: Passive 3D glasses included: 4 pair
Screen finish: Glossy Refresh rate: 120Hz
DLNA-compliant: Photo/Music/Video USB media: Photo/Music/Video
Screen mirroring: Yes Control via app Yes
Other: Optional Skype camera (AN-VC500, $60), Dual-Play 3D glasses (AV-F400DP, $22 for 2 pair)


As a display technology OLED is much closer to plasma than to LED LCD. Where the latter relies on a backlight shining through an LCD panel to create the picture, with OLED and plasma each individual sub-pixel is responsible for creating illumination. That's why OLED and plasma are known as "emissive" and LED LCD as "transmissive" displays.

There's also more than one type of OLED display. Traditional emissive TVs like Samsung's KN55S9C OLED and most plasmas use three subpixels, one each for RGB (red, green, and blue), to create each actual pixel. LG's WRGB OLED TV system, on the other hand, uses OLED material of all three colors sandwiched together, in combination with four filters (clear [or white], red, green, and blue) for each pixel. The additional white subpixel in the LG design is said to add brightness, helping power efficiency. Check out


For picture quality buffs, OLED is the ultimate display technology, but it's not perfect. In addition to unresolved questions of brightness reduction over time, OLED is more subject to burn-in than LED LCD. The manual reads: "If a fixed image displays on the TV for a long period of time, it will...become a permanent disfigurement on the screen. This...burn-in is not covered by the warranty." It advises owners to avoid displaying 4:3 aspect ratio images and other fixed images for longer than an hour at a time.

Of course, LG's plasma and even its LCD manuals say pretty much the exact same thing, with "long period" defined as "2 or more hours for LCD, 1 or more hour for plasma." In my testing I noticed that the OLED behaved much like a plasma in this regard, retaining certain bright static images, such as test patterns, at about the same rate plasma, but I didn't actually "test" burn-in further than that.

Sarah Tew/CNET

LG's passive 3D technology makes an appearance on the 55EC9300, complete with two pairs of white glasses and two pairs of clip-ons, designed for glasses-wearing folk like me. If you purchase special glasses (about $22 for two pairs) you can take advantage of the Dual-Play feature that allows you to play split-screen games on the entire screen.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Smart TV: The 55EC9300 enjoys LG's Web OS suite, which offers a refreshingly simple design and all the capabilities you'd expect from a high-end smart system. That said, it could still use some refinement, and while I prefer it overall to Samsung's more crowded 2014 smart TV offering, my favorite is still Roku TV for its dead-simple layout, easy customization, and profusion of apps.

Later this year LG will roll out an unprecedented upgrade to Web OS version 2.0 later this year, promising improved responsiveness and other tweaks. The 55EC9300 will get the update, although LG says that aven afterward it won't be quite as responsive as 2015 models.

LG's interface immediately impressed me with its thoughtful, colorful layout. Hitting the Home button on the remote brings up a band of diagonally aligned, pastel "cards," lying atop but not obscuring whatever program or app you're watching at the moment. That program stays full-screen as opposed to shrinking to an inset window in favor of of icons, menus, and/or ads.

Notably, Vizio and Sharp have been taking the same approach for years with their simpler overlay bands, and in 2014 Samsung's smart interface is also less intrusive than before, with a similar band of app icons as its initial offering. But LG's interface is prettier than any of those, and the icon band seems more natural and organic.

You can customize and reorder the band to populate it with your favorite apps, and like Roku TV, WebOS aims to treats everything equally. So Netflix and Pandora get cards, of course, but HDMI 1 and 2 do as well, along with the Web browser and local media available from USB or DLNA (WebOS also supports Plex). If you set up cable box control, the name of the input changes to that of your cable system.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Many smart TV systems require multiple "pages" to show all of the content, but WebOS takes a novel approach. Click to the left of the main band, which LG envisions as "The Past," and a history of the last few apps and other functions used appears. Conversely, the right of the band is "The Future"(above) where reside the additional apps and functions you can launch and/or add to the main band in the middle.

Another click to the "LG Store" takes you to the fire hose; the many many other smaller apps as well as, confusingly, on-demand and live TV offerings too. That's where the design starts to fall apart. The store is a hodgepodge, grouping together TV shows and movies from cable and streaming services, along with apps, in a confusing muddle of thumbnails seemingly designed to overwhelm. Once you delve in, many items are decently categorized, but the paginated system is much more opaque than Samsung or Roku.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The system has most of major apps covered, with the exception of HBO Go and Showtime Anytime, and in general Samsung and especially Roku offer a wider selection.

The Web browser is also not as polished as Samsung's, but it beats the pathetic offerings found on other smart platforms, and the motion remote greatly eases navigation and typing with the onscreen keyboard easier. Still, you'll want to use your phone, tablet, or PC browser first.

Voice search is accurate enough and does hit your TV listings, but without DVR integration those results are useless. Search also seems to default to opening the browser too often, and wasn't accurate enough to be something I'd want to use regularly. It hits Netflix and Vudu but not Amazon or Hulu Plus, and depending on the term, can surface a crazy-long list of results seemingly unfiltered for relevance, with thumbnails crowded into a tiny side window.

You can also control a cable box with the system. I didn't test that feature this time around, but I was told it's similar to last year; see the LA8600 review if you're curious.

The system felt quick and responsive most of the time, with few delays in bringing up content and other screens, although again it wasn't quite as nimble as Roku.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Picture settings: LG doesn't stint in this area, with plenty of presets and lots of tweaks for calibrators, particularly in the Expert 1 and Expert 2 settings banks. The main determinant of light output is an OLED LIGHT setting, similar to a backlight control on an LCD TV. The set also offers a few dejudder/smoothing presets and a custom mode that allows you to dial in as much or as little blur and/or soap opera effect as you desire. Two-point and 20-point grayscale, a full color management system, and selectable gamma round out the calibrators' toolbox.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Connectivity: The back panel houses a quartet of HDMI (one ARC, another with MHL), three USB ports, a composite and a component AV input, and an Ethernet port. That's standard in every way for a TV at this level, and I have no complaints.

As with other LG TVs we've tested, the 55EC9300 is incapable of passing full 5.1 audio from HDMI out via its optical digital jack; it dumbs Dolby Digital down to PCM stereo.

Picture quality

The most important component of picture quality is contrast ratio, and in that arena the LG 55EC9300 trounced the best TVs I had on hand for comparison. That's enough to make it the best-performing TV I've ever reviewed, but it doesn't equal picture-quality perfection.

The LG OLED lagged behind in its color accuracy and also fell short of their video processing prowess, showing more excessive judder at times. Uniformity was not perfect, albeit much better than LCD, and LG's passive 3D showed the same sorts of artifacts I've come to expect from non-4K TVs.


And then there's the curve. Videophiles will bemoan the slight distortions and strange reflections caused by the 55EC9300's bowed shape. Yes, the curve of LG's set is slightly more shallow than that of the Samsung LED LCDs, but the issues I complained about are still there, albeit to a slightly lesser extent. I won't go into more detail on that curve here, but suffice to say I still wish for more options in flat ( fat chance for now).

Those other issues aren't deal breakers, however, and all of them could be cured in future generations. In fact, when I re-tested the EC9300 as part of the EG9600 review in June 2015, the video processing seemed a bit better. And of course, these glitches dire enough to threaten the supremacy of OLED's perfect black levels and truly infinite contrast. The 55EC9300, however imperfect, comes closer to TV picture quality perfection than ever--unless you want to spring for the 4K version.

Click the image above right to see the picture settings used in the review and to read more about how this TV's picture controls worked during calibration.

Black level: OLED is everything advertised. Just like the Samsung KN55S9C I tested earlier, the LG 55EC9300 reproduced visually perfect black levels. In a completely dark room with an active screen, I couldn't tell where the black backdrop of my lab wall ended and the TV screen began.

When I was watching the one of the best scenes I've ever seen for demonstrating contrast and black level, Chapter 2 of "Gravity," the LG destroyed the other TVs in my lineup. Beginning at around 16:15, as Stone spins off into space, the shot grows darker and darker until it's just deep space, the thousands of stars of the galaxy and beyond, and the slowly dwindling lights of her helmet. None of the other sets could touch the dead-black void between the stars, the abyss of darkness in the letterbox bars, or the contrasting eye-popping clarity of the brilliant star field and helmet lights.

In this scene the screens of the LCDs appeared cloudy and indistinct next to the OLED, with dimmer stars and brighter space, and while the plasmas were better -- they're the two best TVs I'd ever tested prior to the LG, mind you -- they still didn't compare. In this scene their black areas looked dark gray next to the lightless void of OLED.

Just for fun I turned up the OLED's light output and, as expected, the blacks stayed perfect and the stars got even brighter, for even more sweet, sweet contrast. Meanwhile the LCDs' blacks brightened along with the stars...and the plasmas, particularly the ZT60, stayed the same, because they were already essentially at maximum light output. Advantage, OLED, in a landslide.

Of course, scenes that dark are a rarity, and the vast majority of things I watched didn't show as stark a difference between the OLED and the other TVs. In our completely dark room, with light output equalized at 40 fL, brighter scenes looked very similar between these five excellent TVs in terms of contrast and pop. During a shot of Stone hanging onto the space station above Earth (32:56), for example, contrast on four of the five was visually identical. The exception was the the Samsung, whose letterbox bars still appeared lighter and more washed out than the others however, as they did in many even brighter scenes, such as when she looks out of the porthole at the hurricane (42:15).

Equalizing light output is my standard procedure for comparison for many reasons, but it actually handicapped the LG. That's because 40 fL is just half of its potential light output in the Expert mode I used for calibration; it can get to 83 without clipping white. That means you can crank the "OLED LIGHT" setting all the way to 100 without sacrificing detail in white areas or those perfect blacks. I personally find 80 fL much too bright for comfort in a dark room, but OLED is the only display technology among the three that can achieve such incredible contrast, if you want it--which is why it's so good in bright rooms too.

Not everything was perfect on the LG 55EC9300, however. Shadow detail was very good in most scenes; for example, the interior of the derelict shuttle (22:17) was shown with plenty of detail in the walls and bulkheads. Near-black areas appeared brighter than the others, however, making near-black noise, for example on the back of Stone's shadowed pack (17:11) more visible as well. Reducing the brightness control removed this issue but destroyed shadow detail, so it's something I had to live with (and was unable to otherwise fix in calibration). The plasmas, in particular the ZT60, won in this area overall, although the overall look of shadows was still more natural on the LG OLED than on the more washed-out LCDs.

In the darkest of areas, for example the starfield from Chapter 2, there did appear to be some clipping. The dimmest stars weren't visible on the OLED, while they were revealed again on the Kuro and especially the ZT60. I tried turning up the brightness control again, but above a setting of 59 absolute black was spoiled, which wasn't worth the sacrifice. On the other hand, cranking light output did improve the visibility of the star field, but of course made bright scenes uncomfortable to watch in a dark room. Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as too much contrast: when it hurts your eyes.

Color accuracy: For this category I abandoned the color-poor "Gravity" for the lush, spectacular hues of "Samsara," perhaps my favorite overall Blu-ray for picture quality, as well as a few other favorites. As you can see from the charts, the LG measured very well, albeit not perfect. It was the least accurate of this superb bunch in terms of color, which did show up in comparison.

The LG's color held up well during many scenes in "Samsara." The bright tones of the strange dancing women from Chapter 1 looked great, with beautifully saturated jewelry and face paint, and likewise the grays of the volcano smoke and the red lava looked very good. Skin tones were also quite accurate in this film for the most part, for example in the face of the woman and the bloated stomach of the man in the plastic surgery sequence, or the bodies and faces of the dancers under the lights (Chapter 18).

OLED has a reputation for oversaturation but, like all displays in my experience, that's largely an issue with picture settings, not the technology itself. In fact, after calibration the 55EC9300 showed slightly undersaturated color in some scenes. In "Samsara" the Chapter 3 temples in Southeast Asia, for example, revealed a somewhat paler, bluish jungle canopy compared to the brilliant yellow-tinged green of the other sets (5:32), and the golden temples didn't show quite the same glow.

The second issue was the slight reddish tinge, perhaps a result of its uneven grayscale. It was obvious throughout "I Am Legend," particularly in dim areas like Neville's lab. Some paler skin tones also showed it, like face of Jack's Wife in Chapter 3 of "Tree of Life." I also noticed it quite a bit dusing "Skyfall," for example the gray hallway, shadowed room and dimly spotlit face of Bond at the very beginning, and later as he sits chained in the server farm room (Chapter 17).

It would be tough to notice either of these issues in isolation, but in my comparison lineup they were fairly obvious. The LG's calibration issues meant I couldn't do much to clean them up, either.

On the other hand, in many scenes throughout these films the OLED's color kept up well with the others in accuracy. I also appreciated the LG's excellent grayscale linearity, particularly near black, where the LCDs tended toward their typical bluish tinge.

Video processing: Yes, the LG is capable of delivering correct 1080p/24 film cadence, but compared with the other displays in my lineup it actually introduced too much judder in some scenes using the default "Off" TruMotion setting.

Slow-speed pans didn't show the issue but once the camera movement became more rapid, the extra judder and jumpiness became somewhat jarring. My nominal test for film cadence, the medium-speed pan over the Intrepid from "I Am Legend," looked generally fine, although looking closely it was very slightly jerkier than the other displays.

But watching "Skyfall," with its more frenetic camera movement, I noticed it more often. As the camera sweeps across the abandoned lot in Chapter 17, for example (1:17:17), the facade of the building judders strongly, and the derelict bicycle and pole in the foreground appear similarly too jumpy. The pan across the stone gate at the entry to Skyfall manor (1:47:30) also appeared a bit jumpier than the other sets, albeit to a lesser extent.

The TruMotion settings provide some relief. Smooth and Clear introduced too much smoothing, but the User setting with its adjustable de-judder worked relatively well. In my initial review I noticed that at "1" and "2" the pan stuttered unevenly, but when I retested it in June 2015 that issue appeared fixed. For that reason, I'd probably use one of those settings for watching film-based (24p) sources on the 55EC9300.

Motion resolution was also lower than any of the other sets, topping off at 600 lines. That's because the 55EC9300, like all current OLED sets, uses sample and hold technology. All of the TruMotion settings showed 600 lines, with the exception of Off (which hit 300) and User with "de-blurring" set to a lower number.

The LG OLED also introduced more noise in than the other displays. I first noticed it during "Gravity," on a scene of the space station above Earth (29:16) where the sunlight was shot through with more roiling motes than the other sets. Later, in "Samsara," a better example was the crawling noise in the smoke of the volcano in Chapter 1 (2:50). It wasn't terrible by any means, but all of the other sets looked cleaner in these areas. As a rule I disable noise reduction on high-quality sources like Blu-ray, but in the LG's case turning Noise Reduction (standard, not MPEG) on to the High or Auto setting did erase most of the noise. The image did seem to lose some fine detail, however, so I I'd probably still leave NR turned Off anyway.

The LG's input lag was on the happy end of Average territory at 46.7ms in Game mode. Engaging the Expert preset caused lag to skyrocket to more than 100ms, however.

Uniformity: Back when there were still plasma TVs to review I used to skip this section entirely since it's basically perfect for that technology. The LG OLED's uniformity isn't perfect, but trounces any LCD, especially from off-angle.

In a completely dark room with a black screen the TV appears to be completely off. There's one tiny exception to that perfect field of black, however. I noticed the faintest of outlines along the very edge of the TV, very slightly brighter on the sides than along the top and bottom. I'm not sure what causes it, but regardless it's invisible unless your eyes are adjusted for total darkness and the screen is nearly or totally dark. It was so faint I never noticed it during even the darkest of program material, only with test patterns.

With full-field test patterns above zero IRE (pure black) I did notice very slight variations in brightness across the screen. They were actually most obvious in very near black, particularly 1 through 10 IRE, and manifested primarily as a brighter center compared to darker edges. This issue seems directly related to the curve, and I'd be surprised if a flat OLED TV showed similar vignetting. The right and left edges also showed slightly shifted color toward blue and red compared with greenish in the middle.

Seen from off-angle the LG's image was worlds better than the LCD sets, with no loss of black-level fidelity. I did notice shifts in color in white fields, however, from both vertical and horizontal off-axis positions.

Moving from test patterns to actual real-life program material, all of the LG's uniformity imperfections became much less obvious, as usual, to the extent that you'd have to actually be looking for them with the right material to notice.

I also checked out a hockey match to evaluate dirty screen effect -- where the movement of the camera over the ice exposes differences in brightness, and again the OLED was plasma-like, and far superior to either LCD. The LCDs did show one advantage however, maintaining a full field of white at higher brightness than the OLED (see the next section).

Bright lighting: The LG OLED was the best TV in my lineup in bright situations. Its screen finish does a great job of maintaining black levels, and among the other glossy screens it actually deadened reflections the most -- although they were still brighter than on any matte screen. It also put out substantially more light than the plasmas.

Like the Samsung UN65HU9000, the curved screen of the LG generally helped reduce reflections compared to flat screens. A flat TV "catches" more of the surrounding reflections, increasing the chance that a particularly bright object -- like a window or a lamp -- is reflected back to the viewer. The curved LG misses more of those reflections. On the other hand it can actually increase the apparent size of reflected objects it does catch, for example a bright shirt worn by a viewer, stretching them into funhouse mirror shape.

If you're keeping track, the OLED demonstrated a maximum light output in Vivid mode of 112 fL (footlamberts). That's extremely bright, albeit not as searing as the brightest LED LCDs. More important, to my mind, is the fact that (just like plasma) the maximum light output changes according to average picture level (APL). So full-field white images, like the hockey game cited above, appear dimmer on the OLEDs and plasmas than they do on the LCDs, which maintain the same light regardless of APL. With a 100 percent test pattern, that 112 fL in Vivid mode measured on a window drops to 29 fL full-screen. That's roughly the same drop as a typical plasma, although the atypical Samsung F8500 does a bit better.

3D: The 3D reproduction of the LG 55EC9300 was similar to what I've seen on other passive 3D systems: virtually free of crosstalk with better brightness and pop than active systems, but marred by lack of resolution that manifested in visible horizontal line structure, particularly with diagonals. If anything, the latter issue was actually worse, and more visible, than on other the 1080p resolution passive LCDs I've tested.

Cue "Hugo," my go-to 3D test for its depth and variety of images. The 55EC9300 was completely free of the ghostly double-image of crosstalk in the tough areas that trip up active sets, for example Hugo's hand as it reached for the mouse (5:01) and the tuning pegs on the guitar (7:49). The tough GK films logo at the beginning of the film was again crosstalk-free, where even the best passive sets -- the Samsung and the Sony -- showed minor ghosting.

Line structure was quite noticeable in many scenes, such as the edge of Hugo's face (13:33) and that of Isabel's (17:06). I also noticed moving lines, typically when the camera moved over a scene that contained a horizontal edge at a shallow angle, like Uncle Claude's bowler hat (22:41) and the edge of a low wall outside the station (22:05). I could also easily discern line structure in high-contrast graphical elements, such as the PS3's menu icons and layover displays. None of the active sets showed these artifacts.

As with 2D, the OLED's high-contrast image was a major asset in 3D, delivering the same perfect black levels and bright highlights, for a more impressive image overall than any of the others.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The weight difference isn't as extreme as it used to be between passive and active 3D glasses, but LG's feather-light specs were still a bit more comfortable than any of the active specs, especially Samsung's. I also liked the clip-on lenses, which fit my glasses fine and were more comfortable by far than wearing glasses over my glasses.

Power consumption: I no longer test TVs for energy use, but I figured with OLED it's worth making an exception. After calibration I measured 88 watts using the standard test, which is much less than a similarly sized plasma (the Panasonic TC-P55ST60 measured 249 watts) but a bit more than a 55-inch LED LCD (around 60-70 watts). As usual that number jumps dramatically when you amp the light output; in Vivid mode the LG drank 208 watts. Even if you watch your 5 hours per day in that mode, however, you'll only use $45/year in electricity.

Geek Box

Test ResultScore
Black luminance (0%) 0Good
Avg. gamma (10-100%) 2.33Good
Avg. grayscale error (10-100%) 2.028Good
Dark gray error (20%) 4.739Average
Bright gray error (70%) 1.712Good
Avg. color error 1.862Good
Red error 0.685Good
Green error 0.369Good
Blue error 6.728Poor
Cyan error 0.982Good
Magenta error 1.576Good
Yellow error 0.832Good
1080p/24 Cadence (IAL) PassGood
1080i De-interlacing (film) PassGood
Motion resolution (max) 600Average
Motion resolution (dejudder off) 300Poor
Input lag (Game mode) 46.7Average

LG 55EC9300 CNET review calibration report

How We Test TVs


LG 55EC9300

Score Breakdown

Design 10Features 8Performance 10Value 6