He was a militant skeptic of Smart TVs. Until my OLED TV proved me wrong

For seven long years, due to various circumstances, I waited to buy a 4K OLED TV. Finally, in 2020, I took the plunge and bought an LG C9, the predecessor to the best-selling LG CX, LG C1, and now LG C2.

It was not a risky purchase. I acquired that model when its successor had already been launched, and after having read many tests by its users in forums and in analyzes like ours. I also knew that the image quality was not going to disappoint me, quite the opposite. For work I had been able to test high-end LCD televisions, but this was going to be another level.

From skepticism to amazement

Smart Tv Lg

Despite all my expectations, it was very skeptical with the manufacturer’s support for the Smart TV system. During the 2010s, the smart TV had exploded as a concept, but the manufacturers had not worried about the experience being good, nor about the support of updates.

Neither the hardware nor the software were yet at the point of guaranteeing a good experience. With a little more maturity, a Samsung mid-range model from 2015 (with a quad-core chip, not two) took forever to let me open the first application after turning it on, and with updates it did not fix it. That’s why in 2020 I was still so skeptical, even after reviewing high-end models and seeing how they age.

Finally, I bought a high-end model, but convinced that in no time I would be desperate with the performance of the system and applications, and with little support for enhancements and bug fixes. In my head, the solution was to buy an Apple TV 4K, a (mythical) Nvidia Shield TV or, if you wanted to spend less, a Fire TV Stick or a Chromecast. Two years after the purchase, and three years after the launch of the C9, I still prefer to use the TV’s operating system for everything.

First, the tv is still going as well as the first day. This isn’t to say that I haven’t seen more speed in newer models, or that load times are instant. What I mean is that I have not noticed in this time performance degradation or a worsening in the functioning of key applications. I am familiar with an Nvidia Shield TV from a relative and at home I have a Fire TV Stick 4K Max. As for fluency, I’ll stick with my TV.

To this day, to view content from streaming applications, I still don’t miss an Apple TV 4K or an Nvidia Shield. That does not mean that both devices are excellent for various reasons.

Although losing application support in three years would be dramatic, the reality is that it has not happened. All the media apps I use (Prime Video, Netflix, Filmin, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Disney+) they keep updating at a good pace, and if in any case there are operating problems, it is due more to the app as a whole than to a problem with the TV itself. This article is not about image quality and resistance to the passage of time, but I have to say that the burned ones are not there nor are they expectedas is the case with any modern OLED where no crazy stuff is done.

Having said that, not everything is rosy if we take into account the market and a specific application. When it was announced that Google Stadia would arrive with its own application on LG televisions, I really wanted to try what it was like to turn your TV into a console. I am not gamer intense but I have purchased some games on Stadia and wanted to compare the experience with the controller pack and Chromecast 4K that I have.

And there yes, total disappointment for being a model for two years when the arrival of the app in the LG Store was reported. Since when LG updates the operating system it does not update to a large version, my TV was unable to download and install this app to play in the cloud. WebOS 5.0 was missing, and the C9 has webOS 4.9. It has been updated a lot in the band from webOS 4.5 onwards, but to make the jump to 5.0 it was necessary to buy a model released in 2020, as we were able to test.

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Stadia reached the LG of 2020. Those of 2019 are still orphans.

On the other hand, it is necessary to clarify that this has been my experience. The version of webOS that arrived on these televisions and on those of 2020 did not have important visual novelties compared to the previous ones, while as of 2021, LG chose to redesign webOS, doing it the least smooth wayand leaving interesting possibilities behind, such as the function of being able to display the application shortcut bar without having to leave the content we are viewing to necessarily end up on a home screen.

I have to add that this is what I have experienced with a product bought a little over two years ago, and I have no doubt that in other big brands, the old myths about how bad a Smart TV is are not valid today either. . If someone tells me that their experience has been as good on other models, I will firmly believe them. Like I think the smart section came too long to televisions and damaged his image forever.

Three years of great support

We were at the end of May 2022 when a small last update of small improvements and bug fixes appeared in the C9. The TV stopped receiving major updates a long time ago, but by comparison, in many years of testing Android smartphones, few have had such long support (until recently, certain security policies and giving more time for updates have changed).

With the most recent, we talked about three years of updates. However, despite being surprised by the time, the really good thing was how this TV had been improving since its launch. Not with invisible updates with little merit, no, but with updates that brought notable things, something that does not happen with most models of other brands, which do add things like HDMI 2.1 promised at launch later, but not functions that They should be from day one.

With the C9, LG offered (almost) complete support for this type of port from day one, giving full compatibility to its 48 Gbps (which the CX and C1 did not have), which was what was required at the time. Over time, it was improving with functions that were not even asked for, until it remained as a model in which, three years later, hardly any new features or great functions of its successors are missing.

LG hasn’t just applied minor improvements to the C9. It has given you useful functions that you did not have at launch

At launch, for example, the C9 did not support 4K at 120 Hz via HDMIas demonstrates Vincent Teoh. That was indeed a long-term need, but since when it was launched, the new consoles that take advantage of this feature had not yet been released, the manufacturer still did not support it. Speaking of gaming, at first the C9 did not support HGiG in HDR games, so that it is the consoles, and not the TV, that are in charge of dynamic tone mapping.

It was also not at launch (although it was promoted on the box) it was G-Sync VRR, and it was added, as promised. Thanks to an update, today we can also use AirPlaywhich I often do to share the screen of my iPhone or Mac. In the original firmware it was not present.

Teoh also remembers that when the C9 was released, neither Disney+ nor Apple TV+ were available. And LG has seen to it that they arrive and are updated. To that we must add HBO Max. In fact, if you try to install these applications from the store on the original firmware, as Teoh did, it is not possible, because they depend on more advanced versions of the system. It may seem obvious, but other brands have not been able to have these applications on recent televisions.


Source: Xataka by www.xataka.com.

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