LG OLED B9 vs OLED C9 Review (OLED55B9 vs OLED55C9, OLED65B9 vs OLED65C9)
The LG OLED B9 or LG B9 is the lowest model of LG’s 2019 4K HDR OLED TV lineup. It is the replacement of the 2018’s LG B8 series. Meanwhile, the LG OLED C9 or LG C9 is also part of LG’s 2019 OLED TV line-up. It is the replacement of 2018’s LG C9 series and in this line-up, it sits between the LG B9 and LG E9. In the market, the LG B9 comes in 2 screen sizes option, which is 55 inches (OLED55B9PUA) and 65 inches (OLED65B9PUA), while the LG C9 comes in one more option than OLED B9, which is 55 inches (OLED55C9PUA), 65 inches (OLED65C9PUA), and 77 inches (OLED77C9PUA). In the market, with the same screen sizes, (OLED55B9 vs OLED55C9, OLED65B9 vs OLED65C9) the LG OLED C9 is priced hundreds dollar more expensive, depending on the screen sizes.
We might already know, all models of OLED TVs have almost similar picture quality, regardless their price. Even if there is a difference in picture quality, it is usually on their peak brightness. Nevertheless, their difference is usually not too significant. So, can be ascertained, the major differences of the LG OLED B9 and OLED C9 are only on their design and additional features. So, what are their differences and which is a better choice between them?
LG OLED B9 vs OLED C9 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||LG OLED C9||LG OLED B9|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Screen Sizes Available||55 Inches (OLED55C9PUA), 65 Inches (OLED65C9PUA), 77 Inches (OLED77C9PUA)||55 Inches (OLED55C8PUA), 65 Inches (OLED65C8PUA), 77 Inches (OLED77C8PUA)|
|Dimming||Pixel Level Dimming||Pixel Level Dimming|
|Picture Engine||Alpha 9 Gen 2 Processor||Alpha 7 Gen 2 Processor|
|HDR Format Supports||Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR, HDR10, HLG||Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR, HDR10, HLG|
|HDR Enhancement||4K Cinema HDR, HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro||4K Cinema HDR, HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro|
|Contrast Enhancement||Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance Pro||Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance Pro|
|Color Enhancement||Intense Color, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer, True Color Accuracy Pro||Intense Color, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer, True Color Accuracy Pro|
|Clarity Enhancement||Quad Step Noise Reduction, Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer||Quad Step Noise Reduction, Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer|
|4K Up-scaling||4K Up-Scaler||4K Up-Scaler|
|Refresh Rate Panel||Native 120 Hz||Native 120 Hz|
|Variable Refresh Rate Support||YES (HDMI Forum VRR)||YES (HDMI Forum VRR)|
|Smart TV Platform||WebOS 4.5||WebOS 4.5|
|Features||LG ThinQ AI, Google Assistant, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Intelligence Voice Recognition||LG ThinQ AI, Google Assistant, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Intelligence Voice Recognition|
|LG Magic Remote||Included (Premium)||Included (Premium )|
|HDMI Supports||HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth (All), HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth (All), HDCP 2.2 (All), ARC (HDMI 2), eARC||HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth (All), HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth (All), HDCP 2.2 (All), ARC (HDMI 2), eARC|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1||1|
|Composite In (AV)||1||1|
|Wi-Fi Built In||802.11ac||802.11ac|
|Total Audio Output||40 Watt(WF : 20 Watts)||40 Watt(WF : 20 Watts)|
|Dolby Atmos Support||Yes||Yes|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the Price on Amazon|
As we have mentioned, one of the main difference between LG OLED B9 and OLED C9 is about their design. They both actually have excellent design. Nevertheless, from the front, they look very different, particularly on their stand. The design of their stand is actually almost the same. However, the stand of the LG OLED C9 is far wider than OLED B9, almost three-quarters of the width of the TV. This stand supports the TV very well, but on the other hand, this requires a fairly large table when you want to place it on the table. On the other hand, the stand of LG OLED B9 is a bit more jutted forward. Its support to the TV might be not as sturdy as the stand of OLED C9, but when you want to place it on the table, you don’t need a large table.
Meanwhile, the back side of them is almost similar where their back is pain. The upper part is made of metal and the bottom part is made of plastic. Meanwhile, all electronics parts and inputs are housed in the bottom part. The inputs are located on the right area where soma input facing sideways while the rests are facing outwards. That differentiates between them is their color where the back side of OLED B9 looks darker than the back side of OLED C9. Additionally, from the back, the design of the stand and cable management are become their difference. The cable management of LG B9 is serviced with the aid of a little clip on the back, while the cable management of LG C9 is through the stand.
In addition to design, image processor becomes the main differences between the LG OLED B9 and OLED C9. The LG OLED C9 is powered by Alpha 9 Gen 2 Processor, while the OLED B9 is powered by the Alpha 7 Gen 2 Processor. According to the LG’s claim, the Alpha Gen 9 Gen 2 is faster and more powerful than the Alpha 7 Gen 2. But unfortunately, there is no explanation in about details the main difference between these chipsets on their official website. But surely, the Alpha 9 Gen 2 and Alpha 7 Gen 2 bring some improvement over the predecessor Alpha 9 and Alpha 7 chipset. If in last year, AI (Artificial Intelligence is only applied on Smart Features, with these new chipsets, this allows AI is now also applied on automatic control for optimizing picture and sound.
Technologies and Features of LG OLED C9 and OLED B9
As we have mentioned above, in addition to their design and image processor that has impact on their performance, the LG OLED B9 and OLED C9 have almost no difference. Nevertheless, compare to their predecessor LG C8 or B8, they both brings some new features, particularly AI based features. This allows you to get the maximum picture quality easily. Below are the new features offered by both which was not found on previous models.
HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth
One of the major new features offered by LG B9 and C9 is the support of HDMI 2.1. Since the HDMI 2.1 has much wider bandwidth than the HDMI 2.0, this allows the have more abilities than their predecessors. With HDMI 2.1 support, the LG OLED C9 and OLED B9 now is able to accept HFR (high frame rate) content like 4K @120 Hz through their HDMI ports. Additionally, the wide bandwidth offered by the HDMI 2.1 is also wide enough to allow their HDMI ports can pass-through Dolby Atmos that is encoded in Dolby TrueHD, not only that is encoded in Dolby Digital Plus.
VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and ALLM (Auto Latency Low Mode)
In addition they both have native 120 Hz Refresh rate panel, both LG OLED B9 and OLED C9 also already support VRR technology that can help to prevent screen tearing when you are playing games. But a bit unfortunate, they both support HDMI Forum VRR technology where there are not many devices that support this format. Currently, there is only X Box One that already supports this VRR Technology. Additionally, this VRR technology is also not compatible with FreeSync or GSync. This means, although they both already support VRR Technology, but not all games consoles can work with this VRR format.
Additionally, to improve their game experience, they both also already support ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). This feature allows both LG B9 and C9 automatically change to game mode once the game signal from a compatible console is detected.
AI Picture, AI Brightness, and AI Sound
Now, both LG OLED B9 and OLED C9 have some AI related features that can automatically adjust the picture setting for optimizing their sound and picture quality. One of their AI-related features is AI Picture menu option. This feature can be used for automatically optimizing the image produced. It works so by analyzing the quality of source and identifying issue like blurred details, image block noise, jagged sedges, and banding. Once the issue is found, the AI-generated algorithm will be used to minimize theses issues. The result, they both can produce images with optimal detail improvement, sharpness enhancement, and noise reduction.
The other AI-related feature offered by them is AI Brightness that can automatically improve the TV’s brightness based on the ambient light and content, particularly with HDR content in a high ambient light environment. Furthermore, they both have AI sound menu option that is able to automatically optimize the sound quality based on the type of content that is playing on the TV. Additionally, the AI-Sound also allows the LG OLED B9 and C9are able to up-mix stereo sources to 5.1-channel virtual surround sound, albeit they both have 2.2 channel speaker system with 40 watts of total sound power output.
They both have “Smooth Gradation” menu option that can be used for optimizing noise reduction. There might be no change in the total number of steps used for noise reduction on the both OLED B9 and OLED B9 over the predecessor OLED B8 and OLED C9. You need to know, just like the predecessor, the image processor of LG OLED C9 and OLED B9 also relies on a quad-step process involving the application of de-contouring filter in two passes and compression artifacts removal also in two passes. The difference, their predecessor applies the two filters simultaneously while both the LG B9 and C9 apply them separately. This means, the LG C9 and B9 are able to remove in-source posterization artifacts without obfuscating fine details in high quality sources by enabling their “Smooth Gradation” feature instead of enabling “MPEG Noise Reduction” menu option. With other words, the “Smooth Gradation” menu options of LG OLED B9 and C9 can be used to remove the noise reduction without result in a loss of fine details. This certainly is different to “MPEG Noise Reduction” found on their predecessor LG C8 and B8. Since the “MPEG Noise Reduction” menu option applies two filters simultaneously, enabling this feature might be able to be used for optimizing noise reduction, but on the other hand, this will result in a loss of fine details.
Control over Peak brightness
Actually, this is not new feature since the predecessor also allows you to adjust the white sub-pixel boosting. The difference, on their predecessor, you must go through service menu to adjust the white sub-pixel boosting. Now, on LG C9 and B9, this menu option is available on user menu. This means, to adjust the white sub-pixel boosting of both, you can do via user menu, so you don’t need go through service menu.
Smart TV Platform
As their smart TV platform, LG OLED C9 and OLED B9 run WebOS 4.5, the latest version of WebOS. There is no major change in their interface brought by this version from the 4.0 version. Its interface is fast, smooth, and easy to use without any major issue detected. Additionally, it also has a great selection of built-in apps. There are VoD Service like YouTube Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, Web Browser, Live TV, Games, and more. Nevertheless, even though it already has great selections of pre-installed apps, you can still download tons of apps, games, and content provided by its apps store called LG’s apps store. Additionally, the 4.5 version also brings some new smart features like” Home Dashboard” that allows them can interact with loT devices, AirPlay 2 Support, and others. And just like the previous version, to support voice navigation, it works with LG ThinQ AI. It also supports Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
As their controller, both LG OLED B9 and C9 come with the 2019 model of LG’s magic remote. Their remote is identical to the previous model and also has the same button layout. Nevertheless, on this 2019 model, there is change in function of some buttons from previous model. Just like previous model, their remote also has a built-in microphone for voice navigation where they both have great voice control. Additionally, this remote also has “point and click” feature that has functionality like a mouse on pc. On the center of the remote, there is clickable scroll wheel to support its “point and click” feature. The other improvement offered by the 2019 model from the previous model, it now can control other devices over IR. This means, not only HDMI CEC supported devices that can be controlled by this remote, but also other device doesn’t support HDMI-CEC. This feature is similar to OneRemote feature found on Samsung’s TV.
LG OLED B9 vs OLED C9 Performance
Black Level and Contrast
Just like other models of OLED TV, both LG OLED B9 and OLED C9 also have infinite native contrast ratio and nearly-prefect black level. This is due to each of each of its pixel can switch on/off/ dim individually. This means, each pixel of OLED panel can emits its own light without the help of backlight. When they are showing blacks, the pixels on the black area will totally switch off. So, there is no light at all emitted from the pixels in black area. The result, black produced by them is nearly-perfect, even when the pixels rest around black area are very bright. Indirectly, nearly perfect black produced also makes them can produce dark colors fairly well. Additionally, their individual self lighting pixels also make the OLED panel has pixel dimming level. This is equivalent to Full Array Local Dimming on LED TV with the number of dimming zone is equal to the number of pixel. This makes its black uniformity is also excellent. Combination of nearly-perfect black level and excellent black uniformity certainly makes dark scene looks really excellent on their screen, even when they are set in a pitch dark environment.
SDR Peak Brightness
With SDR Content, The LG OLED C9 and OLED B9 have similar peak brightness and overall, their peak brightness is good. With real content, they both can hit brighter than 300 nits. This means, their peak brightness is bright enough to overcome the glare in fairly bright room. Nevertheless, with window test, their peak brightness is depending on the content. The brightest peak brightness is hit on 2% and 105 window (2% or 10% of screen is white while the rest is black) where they both can hit brighter than 400 nits. But just like other models of OLED TVS, when they are showing entire screen is white (100% window), their peak brightness is dimmed by their ABL system down to below 200 nits. For OLED C9, its peak brightness is even dropped down to around 150 nits. This is actually is natural thing to prevent excessive power consumption. Overall, their peak brightness is good and combined to their excellent reflection handling, makes the picture displayed on their screen looks excellent in a fairly bright room.
As we have mentioned above, both LG OLED B9 and OLED C9 have “Peak brightness” menu feature that allows you to control the white sub-pixel boosting. Set this feature to off result in most scenes being displayed at around 300 nits for OLED C9 and 250 nits for OLED B8. Increasing this setting to “Low”, “Med”, or “High” will increase the peak brightness of small highlight. Meanwhile, all result above is hit by setting the “Picture Mode” to “Expert (Dark Room)”, “OLED Light” to “100”, “Contrast” to “90”, and “Peak Brightness” to “90”. The different setting might get the different result.
HDR Peak brightness
With HDR content, the LG OLED C9 can get brighter than OLED B9. With real content, the LG OLED B9 hit around 500 nits, while the LG C9 can get around 700 nits. Meanwhile on 2% and 10% window (the window size where they can hit the brightest peak brightness), the LG C9 can hit around 800 nits while the LG B9 hit around 580 nits. But just like with HDR content, when show the entire screen is bright, their peak brightness is dropped to below 150 nits by their ABL System. This means, the LG OLED C9 can show HDR images brighter than the OLED B9. Small highlights even look outstanding the way they should in HDR. On the other hand, even though not as bright as OLED C9, for OLED TV, peak brightness of LG OLED B9 is still bright enough to show HDR images as bright as they should be. But unfortunately, even though they both can show HDR images as bright they should be, they both cannot show small highlight at 1000-4000 nits of brightness range intended by content creator. But even so, for OLED TVS, their HDR peak brightness is great, especially for LG C9.
Keep in mind, all results above is hit by setting the “Picture Mode” to “Cinema Mode”, “OLED Light” to “100”, and “Peak Brightness” to “High”. The different setting might get the different result, even in “Vivid Mode” they both can get brighter. But on the other hand, this will make the picture lose their accuracy.
Winner: LG C9
Both LG OLED B9 and OLED C9 have outstanding color gamut. In DCI P3, the LG OLED C9 can cover more than 98% of color space, while the OLED B9 can cover around 97% of color space. Meanwhile, in Rec.2020, the color coverage of LG OLED B9 is around 74% while the OLED C9 is around 75%. LG C9 might be able to deliver a bit wider color gamut than LG B9, but their difference doesn’t have a significant impact on normal content and this might be due to panel variance. Regardless their difference, their color gamut is equally wide enough to show HDR images with vivid colors, even for Dolby Vision content that mastered in Rec.2020. Furthermore, they both also have good color gamut. Except very bright saturated colors, they both can show their wide color gamut at their entire brightness fairly well, even for dark deep colors. But even so, the use white sub-pixel in the pixel structure of their pane might be able to boost their peak brightness, but at the same time, this will de-saturate very bright colors, make them cannot deliver bright saturated colors. But even so, in general, their color reproduction is really excellent.
Meanwhile, discussing about their color gradient, the LG OLED C9 has smoother color gradient than OLED B9. On the screen of LG C9, color gradient of HDR images looks very smooth with almost no major banding visible. Even if there is banding some certain colors, this should not be noticeable. Nevertheless, if you still feel bothered with banding that might be visible, you can remove the banding by enabling “Smooth Gradation” menu option. On the other hand, the LG OLED B9 actually also has good color gradient. But its color gradient is not on par with the other models of LG’s OLED TVs. The banding appears evidently, even in normal content. Just like the LG C9, the LG B9 also has “Smooth Gradation” menu option, but even so, it can do much. Set this menu option to “High” might be able to reduce color banding, but on the other hand, this will cause the picture lose some fine details. What performed by the LG B9 certainly is not usual for LG OLED TVs.
Winner: LG C9
Side Viewing Angle
As we know, in addition to nearly-perfect black, side viewing angle becomes the major advantage offered by OLED TV. Their panel can maintain their black level and brightness level at up to extremely wide angle, which is around 70 degrees. This certainly is far better than LED TV with VA panel where their black level usually will start to rise at around 15 degrees and their brightness level will start to drop at around 30 degrees off center and front. Color might be still shift and washed-out at certain angle, but it can still maintain their color accuracy at wider angle than LED TV. The result, even though you watch TV from the side, the picture displayed on their screen will look remains accurate. So, if you have a room with a wide seating arrangement for watching TV, they both are great choice for you.
The instantaneous pixel response time also becomes the other advantage of OLED TV including the LG OLED C9 and OLED B9. Their pixel response time is around 2 ms, much faster than the fastest pixel response time reached by LED TV. The result, when they are showing fast moving images like sports or fast movies, motion looks very smooth and clear with almost no visible trail following fast moving object. The instantaneous pixel response time might make motion appears smoothly on their screen, but at the same time, this will cause the image appears to stutter, particularly when they are playing low frame rate content like 24p content. But even so, this can be minimized by enabling BFI mode or Motion Interpolation.
Since they don’t have backlight, to dim their screen, they both don’t use PWM Dimming System. This makes their screen is almost flicker-free that means it is great. Nevertheless, this will cause some persistence blur that might bother some people. But, just we have mentioned above, both LG OLED C9 and B9 have an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode. Enabling this mode will cause their screen flickers at 60 Hz. This will makes motion looks crisper, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content, but on the other hand, this will cause the screen’s flicker is noticeable for some people.
Meanwhile, when they are playing 24p movies, they both can do a great job. Regardless the type of source, they both can show them with judder-free. This means, whether it is native 24p content like DVD or Blu-Ray’s movies, 24p content via 60p signals like movies from streaming devices, 24p content via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, or 24p movies from native apps like Netflix, YouTube, and others, all of them can be shown clearly with judder-free. To remove the judder without “Soap Opera Effect”, you just need simply enable the “Real Cinema”.
LG OLED B9 and OLED B9 both have excellent input lags. With 60 fps content, regardless the resolution of the source, their input lags is almost similar, which is around 14 ms. This means, regardless the resolution of the source is 1080p, 1440p, 4K, 4K with HDR, 4K @ 4:4:4, their input lags are similar. With 120 fps content, their input lags are even more excellent. Regardless the resolution of the source is 1080p or 1440p, their input lags are around 7 ms. With their excellent input lags, this certainly makes them is very responsive when used for playing games, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes.
For Watching Movies
Both LG OLED C9 and OLED B9 are great TVs for watching movies in a dark room. They both have nearly-perfect black and excellent black uniformity that makes their dark room performance is remarkable. Additionally, their nearly-instantaneous pixel response time also makes fast movies appear smoothly on their screen. And their ability in removing judder from any source makes movies appear smoothly on their screen with judder-free. On the other hand, even though when they are showing 24p movies, the images displayed on their screen might appear to stutter, but this issue can be minimized by enabling “Motion interpolation” or “BFI” mode.
For Watching Sports
Both LG OLED B9 and OLED C9 are also great TVs for watching sports. In addition they both have excellent picture quality, they both also have instantaneous pixel response time, allow you to watch fast sports with crisp and smooth picture quality. Not only that, they both also have an optional 60 Hz BFI mode that can help motion looks crisper, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports. The good gray uniformity offered them also allows you to watch sports without dirty screen effect. Additionally, they both also have good side viewing angle coverage. This ensures all of you to get the best viewing when you are watching a big game with a group of your family or friend. And combination of their good peak brightness and good reflection allows you to place them in fairly bright room without worrying about reflection and glare that might bothersome.
When used for playing video games, both LG OLED C9 and OLED B9 are also able to perform excellently. In addition they both have good picture quality and excellent motion handling, they also have excellent input lags in Game Mode. This allows you to play any game responsively with excellent picture quality and smooth motion. Additionally, they both also already support VRR Technology that can improve their game experience, allow you to play games without screen tearing. Not only that, both LG C9 and B9 also support ALLM (Automatic Low Latency Mode), allow them to change to Game Mode automatically once the signal from game console is detected. But unfortunately, they both have a risk to permanent burn-in when showing static images over long time. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t often play the same game over longtime, this should not be a problem.
They both might not be able to show HDR images as bright as premium LED TVs like Samsung Q90R, Q80R or Sony X950G. Additionally, they both are not also able to show HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of brightness range intended by content creator. But for OLED TV, their HDR peak brightness is really great. They both are still able show HDR images as bright they should be. Meanwhile, on the other hand, their nearly-perfect black allow them to show shadow details of HDR images excellently. Additionally, both of them can also deliver excellent wide color gamut and have good color volume, allow them to show HDR images with vivid images. Furthermore, both LG OLED B9 and OLED C9 also can show color gradient of HDR images fairly well. With their great performance in almost all aspects of HDR, this certainly makes them as a great TV for watching HDR content. Meanwhile, compare between them, LG OLED C9 offer better HDR experience than the LG B9 because it has brighter HDR peak brightness and better color gradient.
Winner: LG C9
|Performance||LG OLED B9||LG OLED C9|
|Smart TV Experience|
Overall, both LG OLED B9 and OLED C9 are great TVs for mixed usage. Regardless you use them for watching movies in a dark room, watching TV shows and sports in a bright room, playing games, HDR experience or smart TV experience, overall, their performance is great. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean they both don’t have any flaw. A risk to permanent burn-in becomes their major flaw, albeit this certainly can be prevented. Additionally, their other flaw, they both cannot get brighter than 1000 nits to show HDR images like the intended by the content creator. Nevertheless, this certainly is not their flaw in real sense because for OLED TV, their HDR peak brightness is fairly good.
Which is a better choice between them? As we have mentioned above, with the same screen (OLED55B9 vs OLED55C9, OLED65B9 vs OLED65C9), the LG C9 is priced hundreds dollar more expensive than the LG B9. Meanwhile, unless their design and images processor, they have almost no difference. But even so, the use higher level processor makes the LG OLED C9 can do a bit better job than LG B9 in certain aspects like color gradient, BFI mode, and others. But even so, in general, their performance is almost similar, except what we have discussed above. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your own preferences. If you have more budgets, the LG OLED C9 certainly is better for you. On the other hand, choose LG B9 can save hundreds dollar your money while its picture quality and performance is not far behind the LG C9.