LG OLED65C1 review: a TV tailored for movies and video games

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The LG OLED65C1 4K UHD OLED TV (164cm) is built for cinema and gaming. HDR-10, HLG and Dolby Vision IQ compatible, this TV also supports 4K content up to 120 FPS as well as VRR G-Sync and FreeSync via its HDMI 2.1 connectors with ALLM (automatic low latency mode) and eARC (audio return channel with support for HD and Atmos audio streams) features.

Sold for €2,990, can the LG OLED65C1 do better than it’s best-selling predecessor, the LG OLED65CX?

The LG OLED65C1 TV’s OLED display offers impressive contrast and very rich colors.

LG OLED65C1: packaging & accessories

The LG OLED65C1 TV is delivered on a pallet inside a box weighing just over 40kg and measuring almost 168cm in length and 95cm in height. Inside the box, the screen is well protected by thick polystyrene wedges. It is delivered with the base as well as the screws and instructions necessary for its assembly. The rear part of the base is fixed to the back of the television. The front part, which forms a sort of blade under the screen, is made of an aluminum alloy. It acts as a sound wave guide for the down-firing drivers placed under the screen. The manufacturer also provides a new generation Magic Remote with 2 batteries and a cable tie to be fixed behind the screen.

LG OLED65C1: presentation

The LG OLED65C1 TV features a 65” (164cm) 4K Ultra High Definition OLED screen. It is equipped with the LG α9 Gen4 AI Processor 4K video processor that detects the type of content being viewed to adjust the picture settings. Filmmaker Mode is also included to provide a cinematographic image that is as true to the director’s intentions as possible with certified movies and without any intervention from the viewer.

The first images viewed on the LG OLED65C1 (TNT HD) are promising, with natural colors and a very good contrast.

The LG OLED65C1 is compatible with HDR-10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ (automatic adjustment to ambient light) and HGiG (for gaming). The new 2021 LG OLED TV also benefits from a higher brightness to improve HDR rendering on the brightest images. The dynamic color management with the HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro technology that we appreciated during our review of the LG OLED65E9 is also included.

This LG 4K OLED TV is also compatible with 120 fps 4K, G-Sync and FreeSync (VRR – variable refresh rate) for video games. The ALLM (Automatic Low Latency Mode) feature also allows it to automatically switch to the “Game” picture mode offering the lowest latency when a video game console is detected on one of its 4 HDMI 2.1 inputs.

The LG OLED65C1 features the same Dolby Atmos-compatible 2.2-channel audio section (decoding and virtual spatialization) as its predecessor, with 40 watts of amplification power in total (2 x 10 watts for the main drivers and 20 watts for the bass). A Bluetooth controller is also present for wireless listening with Bluetooth headphones.

The Smart TV section of this LG TV is managed by the new 6.0 version of the proprietary webOS interface. The home screen now puts more emphasis on content with personalized recommendations, in addition to offering direct access to many online services via a dedicated and customizable menu (Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, Rakuten TV…). Finally, the LG 2021 OLED TV integrates Alexa and Google Assistant and can therefore be controlled vocally via its directly integrated and switchable microphone.

LG OLED65C1: key specifications

Picture

  • Screen size (diagonal): 65″ (164cm)
  • Definition: 3840 x 2160 pixels (4K UHD)
  • Screen technology: OLED
  • HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ and HGiG compatible
  • HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro

Gaming mode

  • Low Input Lag
  • G-Sync / FreeSync VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)
  • ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)
  • 4K 120 FPS (HDMI 2.1)

Smart TV

  • Smart TV platform: webOS 6.0
  • Google Assistant & Amazon Alexa integrated/works with
  • Apple AirPlay 2 and Miracast compatibility
  • Universal Magic Remote

Audio

  • Dolby Atmos compatible 2.2 channel audio system
  • Total output power: 40W (2 x 10W / Lows: 20W)

Connectivity

  • 4 x HDMI 2.1 inputs (ARC/eARC on HDMI 2)
  • 3 x USB ports
  • Toslink optical digital audio output
  • 3.5mm mini-jack line/headphone output
  • Bluetooth (V5.0)
  • Ethernet RJ45 port (LAN)
  • WiFi (802.11ac)

General

  • Weight without base: 18.9kg
  • Weight with base: 23kg
  • Dimensions without base (LxWxH) : 1228 / 46.9 / 706mm
  • Dimensions TV avec pied (LxWxH) : 1228 / 251 / 738mm

LG OLED65C1: configuration

It’s best for there to be two people to safely remove the panel from the box before placing it on a flat surface to mount the LG OLED65C1’s base and place it on a TV cabinet. You can also install this LG TV on a VESA 300×200 compatible TV mount such as the NorStone Skye F3770-GC, for example.

Once the TV was in place, we connected it to our wall antenna socket for DTT reception and to a network multiport adapter for LAN and internet access. We also paired it with a 4K UHD Blu-ray player for 4K Blu-ray disc playback and an Android Nvidia Shield box, using two HDMI cables.

We then plugged the TV into one of the filtered outlets of the Taga Harmony PF-1000 v2 power strip before turning it on and starting the installation process. Once the DTT channels were memorized and the terms of use of the connected services were accepted, the LG OLED65C1 was ready to use.

LG OLED65C1: our impressions

Design

The silhouette and aesthetics of the LG OLED65C1 are almost identical to that of its predecessor the LG OLED65CX, but with a slightly thinner frame. The Picture On Metal design with the OLED display mounted on an aluminum alloy chassis remains as striking as ever! The upper part is ultra thin (only 4mm), the lower part that accommodates the electronics and connectors is thicker (48mm).

The Alpine Slim base is still the standard. The rear part of the base features a very convenient cable management system.

The front of the base is made of a very discreet aluminum blade that stabilizes the screen and directs the sound towards the viewers, like a wave guide.

Finally, the LG OLED65C1 is still prone to reflections, even though progress has been made compared to previous generations. So be careful with the placement of this TV and the ambient light if you don’t want to be bothered by glare on the screen.

Image settings

Like its competitors, LG has taken particular care with the calibration of its TVs for several years now, with preset image modes that are very well calibrated, especially the Cinema and Filmmaker modes that are perfectly suited for a movie session in the dark. With an HDR source as well as a source with standard dynamic range, the contrast and brightness in these modes are well calibrated, the colors accurate and realistic.

As for the standard mode, it is ideal for viewing TV shows as well as movies and series during the day or in a bright room.

However, those who want to can adjust the settings by browsing the extensive menus of this LG TV, which offers a more user-friendly interface than previous generations.

4K HDR content

To test the qualities of the LG OLED65C1 with HDR programs, we went through the test DTTV channels in UHD HDR10, but we also watched some 4K HDR movies on Blu-ray, including our reference movie, Ford v Ferrari.

Like its predecessor, the LG OLED65C1 is precise with the smallest details in the dark scenes of the movie, with an excellent contrast. The brightest parts of the image (the headlights of various competitors during the races at night, the very bright sky during the race in California) are managed even better, with more nuances and a more pronounced intensity than on last year’s model.

With the LG OLED65C1, LG manages to retain the advantages of the absolute black of its OLED display while optimizing the rendering in the highlights.

In terms of details, we enjoyed sharp and very rich images.

The close-ups of Christian Bale’s face during the 24 Heures du Mans event are magnificent. Their finesse and realism place us with the driver inside the cockpit. The HDR rendering and colorimetry are very convincing.

The close-ups on the faces displayed by the LG OLED65C1 are very realistic.

DTT & Upscaling

Although the lower definition of the source image is noticeable, the LG OLED65C1 does a good job of upscaling DTT programs. The α9 Gen4 video processor boosted with artificial intelligence is very effective. The Standard mode is well suited, offering fairly well-defined and smooth images, without overdoing it. The contrast is satisfactory, and the colors are natural.

Gaming

For several years, LG has been optimizing its TVs for video games. The LG OLED65C1 is therefore equipped with ALLM and VRR functions and supports 4K 120 FPS content on its 4 HDMI 2.1 inputs. Consequently, it can be connected effectively to a Playstation 5 or Xbox One X, and even a PC.

We connected a Playstation 4 for this test and the result was quite satisfactory: automatic detection of the console to switch to game mode, optimal responsiveness and perfect synchronization of the image with the actions on the controller. Whether it was with a rhythm game like Hatsune Miku or Ghost of Tsushima, the visual result was very rich with vivid colors and very well contrasted images.

Audio section

The LG OLED65C1 TV uses the same 2.2 channel audio configuration that impressed us on last year’s model. The AI Sound mode is improved with a very wide virtual spatialization that is particularly useful for video games. The sound goes far beyond the limits of the screen, which really accentuates the feeling of immersion.

For movies, we preferred the Cinema mode, which is less exuberant but whose horizontal spatialization is still very effective with realistic lateral effects.

The bass is convincing, with a nice presence in the upper bass / lower midrange register that comes into its own during action scenes. It’s a pity that the LG OLED65C1 doesn’t have a subwoofer output to further improve this aspect.

New remote control

The control interface on the TV is still limited to a single button under the front panel, in the center. A first press activates the context menu, each short press lets you switch from one command to another, a long press validates the desired action. The remote control is clearly more convenient!

The Magic Remote 2021 has a new look and differs from the 2020 model in that its shape is a little more classic, though still slightly curved. The layout of the controls has been redesigned to be more practical for everyday use, with new buttons for direct access to streaming services. The on-screen pointer seems to have disappeared, although it can be set up in the settings menus. Radio frequency control (no need to point the remote at the TV for the command to be transmitted) and the clickable wheel are still used. The latter is a little wider than on the previous model, offering a more precise control. You can also navigate the interface of this LG OLED TV from the circle that surrounds the wheel by pressing one of its four cardinal points.

The LG OLED65C1 remote control has been updated with new direct access buttons for the main streaming services.

The Korean manufacturer hasn’t added key backlighting despite the renewal of its remote control. This is disappointing when you see that the competition is using it more and more, like Sony with the premium remote control of the Sony XR-65A90J, which greatly facilitates its use in the dark.

Fortunately, the Magic Remote’s wheel and control circle are easily identifiable with your thumb when you pick it up, as are the volume and channel change controls.

webOS 6.0

The LG OLED65C1 TV features the all-new LG WebOS 6.0 proprietary software interface. Still smooth and user-friendly, it now features a richer and even more intuitive home page focused on content with personalized recommendations. It is displayed with a simple press of the “Home” button on the remote control (house-shaped pictogram). Of course, the traditional banner displaying all the tabs of the various streaming services and applications is still present.

LG OLED65C1: compared to…

LG OLED65CX 

Compared to its predecessor, there have been no major changes for the LG OLED65C1, but rather some nice developments with HDR rendering that has been further improved, especially in the highlights. The colors are still accurate and natural and the contrast even more significant. The sound has also progressed with an AI mode that offers a wider spatialization of effects. The settings menus have been redesigned with a simpler presentation. Finally, the webOS 6.0 interface and the new remote control offer more convenience.

Sony XR-65A90J 

The Sony TV also uses a last generation LG OLED display with the proprietary image processing provided by the brand new Cognitive Processor XR. Sony’s XR-65A90J seemed to do a little better than the LG OLED65C1, with a colorimetry that is even more accurate and realistic in Cinema mode. Regarding sound, Sony Acoustic Surface Audio technology is unrivalled in giving the impression that voices are coming out of the screen. However, the sound delivered by the LG OLED65C1 is superior in terms of spatialization, both in Cinema mode and AI Sound Pro mode. The diffusion of effects in width and height is impressive.

LG OLED65C1: who is it for?

The LG OLED65C1 TV is aimed at those who love beautiful, rich, high-contrast images for movies as well as gamers who will enjoy a responsive display and HDMI 2.1 connectivity. The sound immersion is great and will delight all those who do not necessarily want to invest in an audio system to accompany this excellent TV.

LG OLED65C1: conclusion

With 4K HDR images as well as video games, TV shows and 1080p HD content, the LG OLED65C1 television always manages to deliver a very pleasing, rich and well-contrasted image. No need to spend hours adjusting the picture, the Cinema mode is perfect for watching movies in the evening, with accurate colors and optimized contrast. The new OLED screen provides excellent contrast with improved highlight management. HDR images are even more contrasted and nuanced, while maintaining a very high level of legibility in night scenes. Its audio section also allows you to enjoy an excellent spatialization of the sound in movies and video games.

We liked

  • The new webOS menu
  • The picture quality with 4K HDR content
  • The improved contrast
  • The rich and natural colors
  • The perfectly calibrated Cinema mode
  • The effective sound spatialization

We would have liked

  • A more effective anti-reflection filter
  • Backlighting on the remote control
  • A subwoofer output

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