Thursday, November 1, 2018

LG C7 vs C8 (OLED65C7P vs OLED65C8PUA; OLED55C7P vs OLED55C8PUA)

New features on the LG C8 vs C7 are: Black Frame Insertion; Auto calibration via CalMAN software (sold separately); Logo Luminance Adjustment; compatibility with smart speakers such as Amazon Alexa devices (sold separately). The improvements on the LG C7 vs C8 are in the image processor (and the picture enhancements it can perform); HDR peak brightness; high frame rate capabilities; color accuracy; voice control; and the screen sizes the LG C7 and C8 come in.
LG C7 LG C8
Black Frame Insertion No Yes
The black frame insertion reduces the type of motion blur caused by the sample-and-hold principle of rendering and displaying frames (and how the human vision interprets it), thus improving motion clarity. Having a break in the continuous light output allows the retinal persistence to be cleared so that a moving object doesn't appear blurred across subsequent frames. It should be said, though, that a brightness reduction is possible in the event you engage the Motion Pro on the C8 which controls the black frame insertion. Due to the nature of this feature, you may also exhibit some flickering, depending on how susceptible to noticing you are.
C7 C8
Logo Luminance Adjustment No Yes
This feature can be found under OLED Panel settings on the C8. It's useful if you watch TV network broadcasts or other content with a static logo for long periods of time. The overall ability to prevent and correct image retention is identical on the LG C7 and C8 since they both have the Screen Shift and Pixel Refresher options, in addition to automatically running short compensation cycles after accumulating 4 hours of usage. The Pixel Refresher feature triggers an approximately hour long compensation cycle that detects and corrects any irregularities in the voltage supplied to different areas of the panel, thus visible image retention can be cleared more comprehensively but you don't need to use this feature more than once per year. Unless a static image is displayed on the C8 or C7 for prolonged periods of time (e.g. they're exclusively used as a computer monitor), the risk of permanent image burn-in is minimal.
C7 C8
Auto calibration via CalMAN No Yes (CalMAN software is sold separately)
The C8 provides the CalMAN software by SpectraCal (sold separately) with direct access to its internal LUT (Look-up tables) for the purpose of auto calibration (some calibration equipment is also needed for taking measurements off the screen and generating patterns). There are 5 SDR picture presets (including Game mode) on the C8 that can be calibrated using this method. When it comes to HDR, there are 3 modes for Dolby Vision and 3 modes for other HDR formats such as HDR10 and HLG that can be used for auto calibrating. There is a dedicated Dolby Vision Game mode as well as HDR10 Game mode. In addition to the 3D (Cube) LUTs, the CalMAN software can directly address 1D LUTs on the C8 which contain 1024 reference data points, and are used for calibrating grayscale and gamma. The C8 is therefore able to perform all calculations related to lighting in a non-linear space, thus preserving shadow detail. The C7 also allocates more bits for the lower end of the grayscale (in accordance to the non-linear response of human eyes to light intensity) so that it can render near-black gradation in cleaner fashion. That being said, the C7 doesn't provide direct access to its look-up tables, and cannot be auto calibrated.
C7 C8
Smart Speakers Compatibility - Amazon Alexa devices (sold separately); Google Home devices (sold separately)
The LG C8 is compatible with Amazon Alexa devices (sold separately) but you'll have to update the firmware on the LG C8 before you can use it with such devices. You'll also need to install the LG SmartThinQ app on your mobile phone in order to select Alexa skills such as the “LG SmartThinQ – Smart Home” (which would allow Alexa to directly control your TV), or “LG SmartThinQ” (which is a custom skill type with more control features than the first one because in this case Alexa redirects your voice commands to the LG SmartThinQ system). The LG C8 is also compatible with Google Home devices (sold separately).
C7 C8
Image Processor M16P Alpha 9
The C8 is equipped with the new Alpha 9 processor. As a result, according to LG the CPU performance on the C8 is improved by up 35% in comparison to the C7's M16P SoC (system on chip). The GPU performance is also enhanced by up to 35% on the C8 vs C7. Another area of significant improvement for the C8 when compared to C7 is memory. All these enhancements combined are the root cause for most of the remaining differences between the C8 and C7.
C7 C8
MPEG Noise Reduction Process 2-step 4-step
The Alpha 9 chip on the C8 employs a 4-step process that involves temporal noise reduction as well as banding removal. In contrast, the C7 doesn't apply the decontouring or the temporal noise reduction filters twice when the MPEG noise reduction is used, meaning the C7 relies on a two-step process.
C7 C8
Smooth Gradation 1-pass 2-pass
It is particularly useful in case of watching content with in-source banding artifacts. The MPEG Noise reduction setting controls whether or not the TV will attempt to remove these contouring artifacts. However, it should be said that some fine detail may be obscured due to the fact that decontouring filters are applied in conjunction with the noise reduction ones which is especially noticeable on the C8, and to a lesser degree on the C7 because the noise reduction filter is only applied once but so is the smooth gradation, meaning the C7 is less effective in banding removal.
C7 C8
Depth Enhancement Edge-based Object-based
The depth enhancement on the C8 is object-based rather than edge-based one. Furthermore, textures and edges on the C8 are separately analyzed and processed accordingly in order for edges to become sharper whereas textures remain clear.
C7 C8
Ultra Luminance Standard Pro
HDR highlights are ~100cd/m2 brighter on the LG C8 in comparison to the C7. SDR luminance levels are identical. ABL (Auto Brightness Limiter) is not used up until about 150cd/m2 on a full-field white (100% APL), meaning there is some headroom for increasing the overall image brightness (relative to a peak white of 100cd/m2 SDR content is usually mastered for) in case of watching high-APL content (such as hockey) under high ambient light conditions, for example. The brightness headroom on the LG C7 and C8 is more significant with low-to-mid APL content, though, since it can reach 4 times the level SDR content is mastered for. In other words, you can comfortably watch most SDR content (such as movies and TV series) even under bright lighting.
C7 C8
HEVC decoder Main10 Profile @ level 5.1 Main10 Profile @ level 5.2
The C8 can decode HEVC files up to 3840×2160 at 120fps (maximum bitrate 60Mbps), whereas the C7 is limited to decoding HEVC files up to 3840×2160 @ 60fps.
4K HFR content No 4K @ 120fps (maximum bitrate 60Mbps); only via USB
The C8 supports 4K HFR (High Frame Rate) content via USB but not via HDMI due to the lack of any HDMI 2.1 ports which are required for transmitting 4K 120fps signal (the HDMI 2.0b inputs on the C8 don't have sufficient bandwidth for carrying 4K @ 120fps).
C7 C8
True Color Accuracy (3D Cube LUT Size) Standard (17x17x17) Pro (33x33x33)
The panel used on the C7 and C8 OLED TVs is capable of 10-bit color depth, meaning they are able to show over a billion colors ("Billion Rich Colors" in LG terminology). In order to be able to calculate and apply correction values to all these colors, the C7 relies on 4,913 color coordinates in each of its 17x17x17 Cube LUTs. The C8, on the other hand, employs 33x33x33 Cube LUTs so there are 35,937 coordinates per look-up table used for calculating all 1.07 billion colors. The approximately seven fold increase in the number of color coordinates reduces the number of calculations the C8 has to perform in comparison to the C7 in order to find the position of a certain color inside the cube that has no predefined reference point that can be looked up, thus there is less chance of any errors that may manifest themselves as color artifacts on the screen.
C7 C8
Smart TV webOS 3.5 webOS 4.0
The C8 comes with the latest version of the webOS Smart TV system. Furthermore, the C8 is equipped with the AI ThinQ system that provides intelligent voice control, and unlike the C7, it allows the C8 to become the IoT hub for other connected smart devices thanks to the built-in Google Assistant. That being said, the LG C7 supports natural voice commands using the built-in microphone in the Magic Remote, albeit more basic ones.
C7 C8
Table top stand Trapezium Streamlined Alpine
The C8 and C7 have a table top stand made of aluminum but the form factor and the finish of the stand is different on the C8 vs C7. The front portion of the C8's stand is significantly wider than the rear support column, meaning the C8 requires a wider table top surface to be placed on than the C7 due to its stand being wider than one included with the C7. Thanks to a cutout in the LG C8's stand (and the alpine form factor), the sound coming from the down-firing speakers is directed towards the front of the TV which provides the C8 with a slight advantage in terms of clarity of voices and dialogues. The C7's stand, on the other hand, is not designed to improve sound. That being said, it has a front and a rear side of identical width, hence the smaller footprint in comparison to the C8's stand. Another difference between the C8 and C7 is the color of the section where the electronics and inputs are located. The bottom half of the rear panel is white on the C7 whereas it's dark gray on the C8.
Pricing/Availability LG C7 LG C8
77-inch class - OLED77C8PUA
65-inch class OLED65C7P OLED65C8PUA
55-inch class OLED55C7P OLED55C8PUA
Check availability and pricing on Amazon.com for the C7 in the 65-inch OLED65C7P and 55-inch OLED55C7P class, as well as the C8 in the 77-inch OLED77C8PUA, 65-inch OLED65C8PUA, and 55-inch OLED55C8PUA class (affiliate links).

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