LG OLED C9 vs OLED C8 Review (55OLEDC9 vs 55OLEDC8, 65OLEDC9 vs 65OLEDC8, 77OLEDC9 vs -77OLEDC8)
LG OLED C9 or LG C9 is a part of the LG’s 2019 4K HDR OLED TVs. In this lineup, it sits between the OLED B9 and E9. On the other hand, the LG OLED C8 is a part of LG’s 2018 OLED TV lineup and also the predecessor of the LG C9. In this lineup, it sits between the OLED E8 and B8. As we know, the LG OLED C8 is the one of the best selling product in 2018. Meanwhile, the OLED C9 comes to replace the OLED C8 in the market. The OLED C8 actually has been discontinued by the manufacturers, but in the market, you can still find them in some merchants. In the market, they both are available in 3 screen sizes options, which are 55 inches (55OLEDC9 vs OLED55C8), 65 inches (65OLEDC9 vs 65OLEDC8), and 77 inches (77OLEDC9 vs 77OLEDC8). With the same screen sizes, the LG C9 is priced hundreds dollar more expensive than the LG C8, depending on the screen size. So, what new features offered by OLED C9 over the predecessor OLED C8?
LG OLED C9 vs OLED C8 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||LG OLED C8||LG OLED C9|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Screen Sizes Available||55 Inches (OLED55C8PUA), 65 Inches (OLED65C8PUA), 77 Inches (OLED77C8PUA)||55 Inches (OLED55C9PUA), 65 Inches (OLED65C9PUA), 77 Inches (OLED77C9PUA)|
|Dimming||Pixel Level Dimming||Pixel Level Dimming|
|Picture Engine||Alpha 9 Processor||Alpha 9 Gen 2 Processor|
|HDR Format Supports||Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR, HDR10, HLG||Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR, HDR10, HLG|
|HDR Enhancement||4K Cinema HDR||4K Cinema HDR, HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro|
|Contrast Enhancement||Ultra Luminance Pro||Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance Pro|
|Color Enhancement||Intense Color, Billion Rich Colors, True Color Accuracy Pro, 4 Colors Sub Pixel||Intense Color, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer, True Color Accuracy Pro, 4 Colors Sub Pixel|
|Clarity Enhancement||Quad Step Noise Reduction||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||No||YED (HDMI Forum VRR).|
|Platform||WebOS 4.0||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 2.0 Full bandwidth (All), HDCP 2.2 (All), ARC (HDMI 2)||HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth (All), HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth (All), HDCP 2.2 (All), ARC (HDMI 2)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1||1|
|Composite In (AV)||1||1|
|Wi-Fi Built In||802.11ac||802.11ac|
|Total Audio Output||40 Watt||40 Watt(WF : 20 Watts)|
|Dolby Atmos Support||Yes||Yes|
|Price||See the Price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
The Similarities of LG OLED C9 and OLED C8
LG OLED C9 and OLED C8 both use OLED Panel technology. As we have known, the OLED panel offers some advantages if compared with LED panel like perfect black level, instantaneous pixel response time, and excellent side viewing angle coverage. Meanwhile, the flaws of OLED panel, its peak brightness is not as bright as LED TVs and it also has a risk to permanent burn-in when display static image for long time.
LG OLED C9 and OLED C8 supports most of popular HDR formats which available in the market. In addition to HDR10 format, they both also support HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) the HDR format that developed by BBC and NHK for TV broadcast. Additionally, they both also support Dolby Vision, the proprietary HDR format by Dolby Laboratories that already use dynamic metadata. Nevertheless, both of the LG C9 and C8 don’t support HDR10+, the other dynamic HDR formats that developed by Samsung and their alliance.
In addition they both have instantaneous pixel response time that allows them can deliver smooth motion, they both also have an option Black Frame Insertion (BFI) mode. Enabling this feature will cause the screen flickers at 60 Hz. This feature is very useful to make motion looks crisper, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content. Additionally, the BFI mode is also very useful to reduce image stuttering, particularly when they are playing low frame rate content like 24p movies. Furthermore, LG OLED C8 and OLED C9 have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. This allows them have ability to interpolate the lower frame rate content up to 120 Hz. Enabling the “Motion Interpolation” can also be used to reduce the image stuttering.
As their major connectivity, both of the LG C9 and C8 are equipped with same number of HDMI, which are 4 ports. They both also have the same number of USB ports, which are 3 ports. But even so, all of their USB ports are USB 2.0 and none of them is USB 3.0. In addition to HDMI and USB ports, they both also have 1 Composite (AV) In (Including Adapter), 1 Tuner in (RF In), and 1 Ethernet port. They both don’t have Component In. Special for the LG OLED C9, it also has 1 analog audio out with 3.5 mini-jack. And for wireless connectivity, they both are equipped with built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 ac and built-in Bluetooth.
The Differences of the LG OLED C9 and OLED C8
As we see on the comparison table above, as their image processor, the LG OLED C8 is powered by Alpha 9 while the OLED C9 is powered by Alpha 9 Gen 2, the second generation of the Alpha 9 Processor. Compare to the first generation, the Alpha 9 Gen 2 brings some improvements and features where most of their features have been generated by AI. In last year, the LG C8 might have used the AI (Artificial Intelligence), but that is only limited to its smart TV system. With Alpha 9 Gen 2 Processor, the AI is not only applied on the smart TV system of LG C9, but also for automatically optimizing picture and sound quality like AI Picture, AI Brightness, AI Sound, and AI Sound Tuning. Nevertheless, If you don’t want rely on the automatic adjustment, this also does not rule out the possibility you can set the TV manually.
In addition to the LG OLED C9 have some additional automatic setting like AI Picture, AI Brightness, and AI Sound that can automatically optimize sound and picture quality, it also has more manual settings than the LG OLED C8. One of the additional manual settings found on the LG C9 is “Smooth Gradation”. With this option, it allows you to remove in-source posterization artifacts without obfuscating fine details in high quality sources. This is due to the smooth gradation is controlled independently from the MPEG Noise Reduction. On the LG C8, you will not find this menu option. Additionally, the LG OLED C9 also allows you to control peak brightness by adjusting the white sub-pixel boosting via the user menu. LG OLED C8 actually also has this feature, but you can only access this menu through the “Service Menu”.
HDMI Port Ability
The other major improvement by the LG C9 over the LG C8 predecessor is about their HDMI port ability. In addition to HDMI 2.0, the HDMI ports of LG OLED C9 now have supported HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth while the LG OLED C8 don’t support. Both LG C9 and C8 might already support 4K HFR (High Frame Rate) like 120 fps content via USB and streaming, but with HDMI 2.1, the OLED C9 also can accept the 4K HFR via HDMI ports. On the other hand, since the OLED C8 doesn’t support HDMI 2.1, their HDMI ports cannot accept 4K HFR. Additionally, the bandwidth of the HDMI 2.1 is also wide enough to pass-through Dolby Atmos that is encoded in Dolby TrueHD. This means, one of the HDMI ports of LG OLED C9 also supports eARC (enhanced (Audio Return Channel). On the other hand, LG OLED C8 might be also able to pass through Dolby Atmos, but it is only limited to that is encoded in Dolby Digital Plus.
Thanks to the HDMI 2.1, LG OLED C9 also has some new game features and one of which is HDMI Forum VRR. This feature is very helpful to prevent screen tearing when you are playing games. But as we mentioned, it only supports HDMI VRR that is not compatible with FreeSync or Gsync. And currently, there is not many devices that supports HDMI Forum VRR. Additionally, the OLED C9 also has ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) feature. If you enable this feature, the LG C9 will automatically change to “Game Mode” once the signal from a compatible game console is detected. Meanwhile, the LG OLED C8 doesn’t yet have these features.
Smart TV Platform
LG OLED C8 and OLED C9 both run WebOS that integrated with LG ThinQ AI as their smart TV platform, but the version of their smart TV platform is different. The LG C8 runs WebOS 2018 or 4.0 version while the LG C9 runs WebOS 4.5 or 4.5 version. There are not many changes offered by the newer version over the 2018 version on their interface. And their interface is excellent and still easy to use. Additionally, their performance is also fast and responsive and there are not many bugs or issue like found on Samsung’s Tizen OS or Sony‘s Android TV.
Discussing about apps provided, they both also have good selections of pre-installed apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Hulu, Web Browser, Games, Live TV, and many more. Additionally, they also have an apps store called “LG Apps Store”. What provided by the LG apps Store might be not as many and complete as what provide by Android’s Google Play Store or Tizen’s Samsung Apps Store found on Sony or Sony TVs, but it still has good selection of apps, games, and content. Meanwhile, although in general, there is not major change offered by the 4.5 version over the older version, but there are still new functions offered by the newer version. One of new features offered the 4.5 version is “Home Dashboard”. It has similar function to “Smart Thing” found on Samsung TVs. With this new feature, the OLED C9 can interact with many loT devices, mobile devices, and inputs and collate them into a single menu. This allows you to monitor and control the connected devices in your smart home. Additionally, both of these versions also already support Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
As their controller, both LG OLED C9 and OLED C8 come with LG’s magic remote. But even so, the LG OLED C8 comes with the 2018 version while the OLED C9 comes with the 2019 version. Physically, their remote looks extremely similar where they are a bit large and have a lot of buttons. In addition the basic buttons like “Power” button, “Number” button, “Volume” button, “Channel” buttons, and others, they both also have two dedicated button for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. They both also some common buttons that provides provide quick access to most functions. The excellence, at the center of the direction pad, there is clickable “scroll wheel”, makes the navigations is easier. Additionally, the remote also can be used as a mouse pointer. They both also have a built-in microphone for supporting their voice navigation. And since its voice navigation is integrated with LG ThinQ AI, their voice command has many features, allows you to make a lot of voice command like switch inputs, change some settings, and even ask about the weather, search within apps, and many more. Meanwhile, a bit difference between them is about their universal ability. Both of their remote might have universal ability, allow them to control some functions of other devices connected on them. But the remote of OLED C8 can control other devices that support HDMI CEC only. On the other hand, in addition to CEC supported device, the remote of OED C9 can also control other devices over infra red. This means, the other devices don’t support HDMI-CEC also can be controlled by the remote of OLED C9.
LG OLED C8 vs OLED C9 Performance
Black Level and Contrast
As we have known, black level and contrast become the one of the major advantages of OLED TVs including the LG OLED C9 and OLED C8. OLED panel doesn’t have backlight and each of their pixels can switch on/off/dim individually. When showing totally black, there are no pixels which switched on/dim. This means all pixels are switched off. The result, the screen doesn’t emit any light at all, makes black produced is really perfect. The perfect black produced by them also makes their black uniformity is also nearly-perfect. Additionally, this also makes darker colors can be shown well. The result, dark scene can be shown excellently. Even with HDR content, a lot of information in dark scene can be revealed, make shadow details of HDR images looks excellent. Additionally, the perfect black produced also still looks excellent when they are set in a pitch dark room. With nearly-perfect black produced by them, this certainly makes their dark room performance is also great, makes them as great TVs when used for watching movies in a dark room.
Local Dimming Performance
Both LG OLED C8 and OLED C9 might not have local dimming technology due to the OLED panel doesn’t use backlight. But even so, since it has individually pixel, this equivalent to LED TV with Full array local dimming which have the number of dimming zones are equal to the number of pixels. This means, with 4K resolution, it is equivalent to a Full Array Local Dimming that have around 8 millions dimming zones. This certainly makes their lighting is extremely precise. The result, small bright in a dark scene can be shown with extremely high precision lighting without blooming or unwanted adjacent light around it.
SDR Peak Brightness
With real SDR content, both LG OLED C8 and OLED C9 have good SDR peak brightness, which is a bit brighter than 300 nits, bright enough to overcome that glare in most bright rooms. But even so, the LG C9 can show small highlights brighter than the LG C8. But on the other hand, the ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter) of OLED C9 is more aggressive than OLED C9. On the screen of LG C8, except 100% window (the whole screen is bright) where its peak brightness is dimmed by ABL at around 150 nits, its peak brightness is relatively consistent at around 350 nits. On the other hand, the OLED C9 can show 2 % window (2% of screen is white while the rest is black) brighter than 400 nits. But even so, the larger bright area, its peak brightness is dimmer. Just like the OLED C8, on 100% window, its peak brightness is dimmed significantly at around 150 nits. With the characteristic of their peak brightness, can be ascertained, LG OLED C9 can get brighter than the LED C8, particularly when they are showing small bright objects or highlight in a dark scene.
Winner: LG C9
HDR Peak Brightness
With HDR Content, LG OLED C9 has brighter peak brightness than OLED C8. With real content, the LG C9 can hit brighter than 700 nits while the OLED C8 can only hit around 650 nits. But on the other hand, the LG OLED C8 can show brighter small highlight than OLED C9. On 2% window, the OLED C8 can hit around 900 nits while the OLED C8 can only hit around 800 nits. But just like with SDR content, on 100% window, their peak brightness is dimmed significantly at around 150 nits due limited by ABL. This means, overall, the LG OLED C9 can HDR images brighter than OLED C8. But on the other hand, highlight of HDR images can be shown brighter on the screen of OLED C8 than OLED C9. Despite their difference, in general, their HDR peak brightness is great for OLED TV. HDR images can be shown fairly bright in most bright rooms. But even so, since their peak brightness is still less than 1000 nits, they both cannot show HDR images at 1000- 4000 nits of brightness range intended by the content creator.
Winner: LG C9
LG OLED C8 and OLED C9 have almost similar color gamut and their color gamut is great. Their color gamut can cover more than 98% of DCI P3 color space that means it is great for HDR content that mastered in DCI P3 like HDR10. This means, almost all colors of HDR10 images can be shown fairly accurate on their screen. Additionally, in Rec.2020, their color gamut can also cover more than 70% of color space that means it is also good for HDR content that mastered in REC.2020 like Dolby Vision. However, while they have excellent color gamut, their color volume is only decent. Since they both have nearly-perfect black level, they both can show dark saturated colors without an issue. But on the contrary, the white sub-pixels might them can produce bright white, but on the other hand, this will cause color de-saturation, makes them cannot produce very bright saturated colors. But even so, in general, their color reproduction is great, makes HDR Images looks vibrant and colorful on their screen.
Additionally, they both also have excellent gradient. Even not the best, but their color gradient is better than most TVs. Overall, color gradient of 10 bit images like HDR images looks very smooth on their screen. There might still some little imperfections might in some certain colors particularly in large areas of similar color, but this should not be noticeable. But even so, if you feel the banding still bother you, on OLED C9, you can reduce it by enabling “Smooth Gradation” while on OLED C8, you can reduce it by enabling “MPEG Noise Reduction”. But even so, on the other hand, this will makes some scene lose some fine details.
Side Viewing Angle
Just like other models of OLED TVs, both LG OLED C9 and OLED C8 also have excellent wide angle. This is different to LED TV where a LED TV that has excellent contrast ratio usually have poor side viewing angle, but on the contrary, a LED TV that has good viewing angle usually have low contrast ratio. The LG C9 and C8 have both, nearly-perfect native contrast ratio and excellent side viewing angle coverage. Their black level will raise and their brightness will lose started at extremely wide angle, which is around 70 degrees. Additionally, they both can maintain their color accuracy up to around 50 degrees off center and front. This performance is certainly better than LED TVs, even with IPS panel like LG SM9000 or SM9500 or VA panel with additional special optical layer like Sony X950G, Samsung Q90R, and others.
As we known, the nearly- instantaneous pixel response time also becomes the major advantage of OLED TV than LED TV. Their pixel response time is around 2.4 ms, much lower than the lowest pixel response time reached by LED TV. The result, when they are showing fast moving images like sports or fast games, the picture produced looks very smooth and clear with almost no motion trail visible following fast moving object. Nevertheless, on the other hand, the instantaneous pixel response time can cause image to stutter that may bother some people, particularly when they are playing low frame rate content like 24p movies or others. But even so, this issue can be minimized by enabling Motion Interpolation or BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode.
Since both LG OLED C8 and OLED C9 don’t have backlight, to dim their screen, they don’t use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). The result, there is no flicker visible on their screen that means it is good. But on the other hand, the flicker-free can result in some persistence blur. Nevertheless, if you feel uncomfortable with persistence blur resulted, both LG OLED C9 and OLED C8 have an optional 60 Hz BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that can help to reduce persistence blur, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. By enabling this mode, this will make motion looks crisper. However, since their screen flickers at 60 Hz, this might make backlight is visible. As we have mentioned above, enabling the BFI mode can also reduce image stuttering. To enable this feature, on OLED C9, you must set the “TruMotion” to “User” and toggle the “OLED Motion”, while on OLED C8, you just need to set “On” the “Motion Pro”.
Both LG OLED C9 and OLED C8 also has the same native refresh rate panel, which is 120 Hz. This allows them to interpolate the lower frame rate content up to 120 Hz. The advantage of LG C9, it already supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), while the LG C8 doesn’t. As we know, the VRR technology can prevent screen tearing when you are playing games. But even so, it is only support HDMI Forum VRR technology where this format is not compatible with other VRR technology like GSync or FreeSync. Currently, there are not many devices that support HDMI forum and the device that already supports HDMI Forum VRR is only Xbox One.
Additionally, they both can also do a great job when playing 24p movies. No matter the type of the source, whether it is native 24p videos like DVD or Blu-Ray movies, 24p via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, 24p via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, or 24p videos from native Apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and others, all of them can be shown clearly and smoothly with judder-free on their screen. To remove the judder, you just need to enable “Real Cinema” on the “Picture Mode Setting”, but the “BFI Mode” must be disabled. Keep in mind, enabling the “Real Cinema” while the “BFI Mode” is still enable will make judder is always visible.
Winner: OLED C9
In “PC” and “Game” mode, LG OLED C9 and OLED C8 have excellent input lags. But compare between them, the LG C9 has lower input lags that LG C8. With 60 fps content, regardless the resolution, whether it is 1080p, 1440p, 4K, 4K with HDR, 4K @4:4:4, the input lag of OLED C9 is around 13 ms while OLED C8 is around 21 ms. Meanwhile, with 120 fps content, the input lags of OLED C9 is around 7 ms, whether it is for 1080p or 1440p resolution. On the other hand, for OLED C8, with 1080p resolution, its input lag is around 21 ms. The OLED C8 doesn’t yet support 1440p and 1440p at 120 Hz. Can be ascertained, the Alpha 9 Gen 2 processor also brings an improvement on the input lags of LG C9 over LG C8. But even so, regardless their difference, their input lags are fairly low to make them very responsive when used for playing games, even for fast paced games which need fast reflex.
Winner: OLED C9
As we have discussed a lot above, the Alpha 9 Gen 2 Processors brings some improvements and some additional features for LG OLED C9 over the predecessor OLED C8. Nevertheless, since they both use the OLED panel that have same characteristic, this doesn’t significantly improve picture quality produced. So ,even though the LG C9 have more advanced features like VRR, AI Related Features, and others, the quality of the picture produced by them is not far different. Overall, they both are great TVs for any usage.
For Watching Movies
Both LG OLED C8 and OLED C9 are outstanding TVs for watching movies. As we know, to get the impression like in cinema, most people prefer watch movies in a dark room and this is very suitable for their characteristic. They both have perfect black level, excellent black uniformity. Even though they don’t have local dimming, but they have pixel dimming level where its performance is much better lighting precision than Full Array Local Dimming, makes them can show small highlight without visible blooming. The result, their performance in a dark room is great. And combined to their great performance in handling 24p judder and motion, this certainly makes them as great TVs for watching movies in a dark room.
For Watching Sport
Both LG OLED C9 and OLED C8 are also great TVs for watching sports. In addition they both have excellent picture quality, they both also have excellent motion handling, makes fast sports can shown clearly without noticeable motion blur. Additionally, they both also have a 60 Hz BFI mode that very helpful to make motion looks crisper, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports. Furthermore, they both also have good viewing angle, ensure all of you to get the best viewing when watching sports with a group of your family or friend. And combine of good peak brightness and excellent reflection handling makes the picture displayed on their screen looks excellently in most bright rooms.
For Playing Games
In term of picture quality of games displayed on their screen, their performance is not far different. As we have mentioned, almost all aspects of picture quality produced by them is excellent, makes the picture of games displayed on their screen looks excellent. But even so, LG OLED C9 is more responsive due to it has lower input lags than the OLED C8 predecessor. Additionally, LG C9 also already supports VRR technology that offers games experience with screen tearing-free. But a bit unfortunately, the OLED C9 only supports HDMI VRR where it is not compatible with FreeSync and there are not many devices which already support them. Meanwhile, since the OLED panel has a risk to permanent burn-in when displaying static image for a long time, using them to play the same games for over long time should be avoided. Nevertheless, in general, their performance when used for playing games is great.
Winner: OLED C9
LG OLED C9 and OLED C8 also offer great HDR experience. They both support most of popular HDR formats including HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. Additionally, their perfect black level can also makes shadow details of HDR images looks outstandingly. Not only that, combination of wide color gamut and smooth color gradient makes HDR images displayed on their screen looks colorful and vibrant. Their peak brightness is also fairly bright to make HDR makes looks outstandingly the way they should in HDR. But a bit unfortunate, their peak brightness is still less than 1000 nits that means it cannot show highlight of HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of brightness range intended by the movies creator. Nevertheless, in general, their HDR Performance is great. But even so, compare between them, since the OLED C9 has brighter peak brightness, it can produce brighter HDR images than OLED C8.
Winner: OLED C9
|Performance||LG OLED C9||LG OLED C8|
|Smart TV Experience|
As a newer model, LG OLED C9 might offer some additionally features that makes its overall performance is better than the OLED C8 predecessor, but all of them doesn’t have significant impact on the picture quality produced. LG C9 has brighter peak brightness and lower input lags. But on the other hand, the peak brightness and input lags of OLED C8 is also already good. Meanwhile, with the same screen size, the OLED C9 is priced hundreds dollar more expensive than OLED C9. So, which is a better choice between them? This certainly comes back to you according to your preferences and budgets. Even though in certain aspects, the OLED C9 is better than LG C8, but in general, their performance is equally good for mixed usage. This means, if you don’t mind to spend hundreds dollar more, the OLED C9 certainly is a better choice. But on the other hand, if your budget is limited, performance of OLED C8 is also not far different and surely, you can save hundreds dollar of your money.