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LG OLED B9 VS OLED B8 Review (OLED55B8 vs OLED55B9, OLED65B8 vs OLED65B9)

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The LG OLED B9 is the lowest-priced model of LG’s 2019 OLED TV lineup. On the other hand, the LG OLED B8 is also the lowest priced model of LG’s 2018 OLED TV lineup while at the same time it is the predecessor of the OLED B9. Since picture quality is almost similar between all OLED TVs, there is not significant improvement in picture quality offered by the LG B9 over the LG B8 predecessor. The differences between them are only about design and additional features.

In the market, the LG B8 comes in two screen size options, which is 55 inch (the OLED55B8PUA) and 65 inch (the OLED65B8PUA).  Just like its predecessor, the LG B9 is also available with a 55 inch model (the OLED55B9PUA) and a 65 inch model (the OLED65B9PUA). With the same screen dimensions, (OLED55B8 vs OLED55B9, OLED65B8 vs OLED65B9), the OLED B9 can be priced hundreds more than the older OLED B8. Nevertheless, the significant difference in price between them is more a function that the price of the LG B8 has dropped a lot due to it being the 2018 model. On the other hand, since the LG B9 is the 2019 model, it goes for close to full price. As a newer model, what new features are offered by the LG B9 compared to the LG B8?

LG OLED B9 vs OLED B8 Key Specs

Specs and Features LG OLED B8 LG OLED B9
Resolution 4K (2160 x 3840) 4K (2160 x 3840)
Screen Type Flat Flat
Screen Sizes Available 55 Inches (OLED55B8PUA), 65 Inches (OLED65B8PUA) 55 Inches (OLED55B9PUA), 65 Inches (OLED65B9PUA)
Panel Type OLED OLED
Dimming Pixel Level Dimming Pixel Level Dimming
Picture Engine Alpha 7 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 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 Dual 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 2018 model 2019 Model
HDMI 4 4
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)
USB 3 3
Ethernet 1 1
RF (Terrestrial Cable) 1 1
Composite In (AV) 1 1
Component In No No
Wi-Fi Built In 802.11ac 802.11ac
Channel 2.2 Channel 2.2
Total Audio Output 40 Watt(WF : 20 Watts) 40 Watt(WF : 20 Watts)
Dolby Atmos Support Yes Yes
Price See today’s Price See today’s price

The Differences Between the LG OLED B8 and the OLED B9

Design

Both the LG B9 and the LG B8 are excellently designed. At a glance, their designs look similar and there are not many changes on the LG B9 over the LG B8 predecessor. On their stand difference, the stand of the LG B9 resembles the stand of the LG B8, but with a small change on the part that is pinned to the screen. The other difference with the stand, is that the stand of the LG OLED B8 is made of metal, and the stand of the LG OLED B9 is made of plastic. This causes the stand of the B9 to not be as sturdy as the stand of the B8. The back of each model is equally plain. The upper part is made of metal and the bottom is made of plastic where all the electronic parts and inputs / outputs are housed. Some of the inputs are facing backwards while the rest are facing sideways. Meanwhile, they both have a simple cable that is serviced with the aid of a little clip located at the center bottom.

Image Processor

The other major difference between each model is the image processor. The LG OLED B8 is powered by the Alpha 7 intelligence processor while the OLED B9 is powered by the Alpha 7 Gen 2, the second generation of the Alpha 7 processor. Nevertheless, these chipsets are less powerful than the Alpha 9 or the Alpha 9 Gen 2 processor found on the series that are the next step up.  Comparing the new chipsets, the Alpha 7 Gen 2 offers improvement in AI based automatic functions. Last year, the AI only focused on the smart features of the LG B8. With the new processor, the AI is also applied to some automatic functions like AI Brightness and AI sound.

Inputs

The LG OLED B9 and the LG OLED B8 are equipped with the same inputs and outputs. They both have 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports for their major connectivity. Additionally they both also have 1 Composite IN (AV IN), 1 Tuner IN, 1 Audio Digital Out (Optical), 1 Analog Audio Out (Mini Jack 3.5 mm), and 1 Ethernet port. Furthermore, for wireless connectivity, they both are also equipped with a built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The difference between them is their HDMI ability. For both, their HDMI ports support HDMI 2.2 Full Bandwidth, HDMI CEC, HDCP 2.2, and ARC (on HDMI 2).  The HDMI ports of the LG B9 also support HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth.  This allows the LG B9 to play HFR (High Frame Rate) content like 4K @ 120 Hz via the HDMI port. Even though the LG OLED B8 can also play HFR content, it only plays via streaming or USB, the HDMI port can not because the HDMI port is restricted due to the limitation bandwidth of HDMI 2.0. The other difference between them, the LG OLED B9 also supports eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) while the LG OLED B8 doesn’t. This allows the OLED B9 to send higher quality DTS:X and Dolby Atmos via TrueHD sound to an external device, such as your receiver.

Motion Technology

Both the LG OLED B8 and the LG OLED B9 have the same native refresh rate panel, which is 120 Hz. This allows them to support native 120 fps content (1080p and 1440p) and can also interpolate the lower frame rate content up to 120 Hz. Additionally since they both don’t have a backlight, they don’t use the PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) dimming system to make their screen is almost flicker-free. However the flicker-free might result in some persistence blur. But no need to worry, they both have an optional 60 Hz BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that can help to minimize persistence blur, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games.  By enabling the BFI mode, this will make their screen flickers at 60 Hz where this could be noticeable for some people.

They each have the same technology to improve motion performance. The difference between them regards the support of VRR. The LG OLED B8 doesn’t support any VRR technology. On the other hand, the LG OLED B9 supports HDMI’s Forum VRR technology that can improve the gaming experience. Unfortunately, there are not many devices that already support HDMI forum at this time, and there is even only X Box one that supports this format. Additionally, this format is not compatible with other VRR technology like GSync or FreeSync. The other advantage of the LG B9, is it also supports ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) that allows the TV to automatically change to Game mode once the signal from a supported game console is detected.

Smart TV Platform

They both run the same smart TV platform — WebOS. Although they run a different version of WebOS where the LG B9 runs WebOS 4.5 while the LG B8 runs WebOS 4.0. There is not any major change in the interface or performance of the 4.5 version over the 4.0 version. The newer version only offers some new smart features like AirPlay 2 support and Home Dashboard.  Its not as smooth as the higher priced models powered by the Alpha 9 processor, the smart TV interface of the LG B9 and the LG B8 is still very smooth.  And their interface is equally easy to use. They both also have a lot of selections of pre-installed apps such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Live TV, Games, Web Browser, and many more. Not only that, they also have an app store called LG’s Apps store which provides tons of downloadable apps, games, content, and other apps. Furthermore they both also support voice navigation that works with the LG ThinQ AI.

Remote Control

For the controller, both series come with LG’s magic controller. The difference is that the LG B9 comes with the 2019 model of the remote, while the LG B8 comes with the 2018 model. At first glance these remotes look the same. They both have the same button layout. Nevertheless, there is a change in the function of some buttons, particularly the three buttons at the bottom. Additionally, the 2019 model now has the ability to control other devices over IR. This means that not just HDMI CEC supported devices can be controlled by this remote, but also other devices that don’t support HDMI CEC. This is similar to Samsung’s One Remote feature found on Samsung’s TV.  In addition the remotes have excellent voice control, along with a “Point and Click” feature, so it can act as a virtual pointer like a mouse on a PC.

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG OLED B8 <<

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG OLED B9 <<

The LG OLED B9 vs the LG OLED B8 Performance

Contrast and Black Level

Just like other models of OLED TVs, both the LG OLED B8 and the LG OLED B9 have an infinite native contrast ratio and nearly-perfect black level. This is due to each of the pixels on their OLED panel are able to individually switch off/on/dim without affecting the condition of the surrounding pixels. This means that when they are showing black, the pixels in the dark area are switched off. The result is a black produced that is really perfect due to no light emitted by the pixels in the black area. Additionally, the individually self lighting pixels make them have excellent black uniformity. So wherever there’s a black area of the screen, they both can show those areas with the same depth.  The combination of nearly-perfect black level and excellent black uniformity makes their dark room performance excellent. Both series have pixel dimming level, and this makes their dark room performance excellent.

Winner: Draw

SDR Peak Brightness

The LG OLED B9 has a little more SDR peak brightness than the LG OLED B8. With real scenes, the LG B9 can hit around 330 nits while with LG B8 only hit around 290 nits. Nevertheless, to prevent excessive power consumption, their peak brightness is limited by their ABL (Automatic Brighter Limiter) based on the content. Both can hit their brightest peak brightness on a 2% window (where 2% of screen is white) where the LG OLED B8 can hit around 310 nits while the LG OLED B9 can hit around 400 nits.  Unfortunately, when they are showing the entire screen as bright, their peak brightness is dimmed by the ABL down to around 150 nits. Ignoring this difference, their SDR peak brightness is actually bright enough to fight glare in an average bright room. Additionally, they both can show small highlights fairly well. Even when the entire screen is bright, their peak brightness is dimmed significantly; but overall their peak brightness is fairly good for most bright rooms, except if viewed in a very bright room with lots of light.

Winner: LG B9

HDR Peak Brightness

With HDR content, both the LG OLED C9 and the LG OLED C8 can achieve a brighter peak brightness than when they are showing SDR content. And just like with SDR content, the peak brightness is dependent on the content due their ABL System. Nevertheless, with SDR content the LG B9 can get brighter; with HDR content the LG B8 can get brighter. The brightest peak brightness is reached by them on a 2% window where the LG OLED B8 can hit around 650 nits and the LG OLED B9 only hit around 575 nits.  Meanwhile, just like with SDR content, as the larger areas of the screen get bright, their peak brightness is dimmed, even when the entire screen is bright, their peak brightness is dimmed significantly down to around 150 nits. Even so, regardless of their difference and their peak brightness in every window size, for OLED TVs their peak brightness is excellent. HDR images can be shown excellently the way they should be, that says a lot. Unfortunately, if compared to premium OLED TVs like the Sony X950G and the Samsung Q80R, their peak brightness is far below them. Additionally, since their peak brightness is still less than 1000 nits, they cannot show highlights of HDR images at 1000 – 4000 nits of the target as intended by the content creator.

Winner: LG B8

Color Reproduction

Both the LG OLED B9 and the LG OLED B8 have a similar color gamut and their color gamut is equally excellent. Their color gamut can cover more than 97% of the DCI P3 color space which means its great for HDR content mastered in DCI P3 such as HDR10 content. Even though the color gamut coverage in Rec.2020 is only around 74% this is still acceptable for HDR content mastered in Rec.2020 such as Dolby Vision Content.  Even so, while both have a similar color gamut, in terms of color volume the LG B9 has better color volume than the LG B8 predecessor.  They both are able to produce deep dark colors fairly well thanks to a nearly-perfect black level produced by them. In producing bright saturated colors, the LG OLED B9 can do a better job than the LG OLED B8. They both actually can produce bright whites well. But at the same time, the WRGB pixel will cause color de-saturation in very bright colors, to where they cannot produce bright saturated colors. But overall, the combination of a wide color gamut and good color volume makes them produce HDR images with vivid colors.

While the LG OLED B9 has better color volume than the LG OLED B8, in term of color gradient the LG OLED B8 is better. On screen, there might be some banding in all colors, but on the screen of the LG B9, the banding is more noticeable than on the screen of the LG B8. Even in normal content, the banding is still noticeable. Nevertheless, they both actually have a feature that can reduce the color banding to be less visible. For the LG B9, you can remove the banding using the setting of “High” on the “Smooth Gradation” feature. Meanwhile, for the LG B8, color banding can be reduced by setting the “MPEG Noise Gradation” to “Low”. But enabling this will make the picture lose some fine details.

Winner: LG B9 wins in color volume, LG B8 wins in color gradient

Side Viewing Angle

Just like other models of OLED TVs, both the LG OLED B9 and the LG OLED B8 have good side viewing angle coverage. They both maintain their black level and brightness level up to around 70 degrees (that means it is great). As a comparison, on the screen of LED TVs with a VA panel, black level usually will start to raise around 15 degrees off center and brightness level will start to reduce at around 30 degrees. This means, what’s offered by both series of OLED TVs is much better than a VA TV. Even though color will shift at around 30 degrees and start to be washed out at around 50 degrees, this is still better that what happens on a LED TV with a VA panel. The result, when viewed from the side, is a picture displayed on their screen that still looks accurate. And of course, this makes them a great TV for those of you who have a wide room with wide seating for watching TV.

Winner: Draw

Motion Handling

The LG OLED B8 and the LG OLED B9 both have excellent motion handling thanks to the instantaneous pixel response time of the OLED Panel.  When playing fast moving images like sports or video games, the picture produces a very smooth and clear image without a visible motion trail following the fast moving object. But at the same time, the instantaneous pixel response time makes the picture displayed on their screen appear to stutter, particularly when they are playing low frame rate content like 24p movies. Nevertheless, once the content has a higher frame rate, the stutter is less visible. If you feel bothered with stutter, enabling the BFI mode or Motion Interpolation can reduce the stutter.  Additionally enabling BFI mode also can be used to reduce persistence blur caused by their flicker-free screen.

When playing 24p movies, both do a great job. Regardless f othe source, whether they are playing native 24p content like DVD or Blu-Ray Movies, 24p via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV, 24p via 60p signals like movies from streaming devices, or 24p content from native apps like Netflix, YouTube or Amazon Video, they both can show them judder-free. To remove the judder without adding a “soap opera effect”, you just need to simply enable the “Real Cinema” setting from the “Picture Mode Setting” menu.

Winner Draw

Input Lag

The use of the new Alpha 7 Gen 2 processor makes the LG B9 have lower input lag than the predecessor LG B8. Nevertheless, the LG B8 actually has excellent input lag. With 60 fps content, the LG B8 has around 21 ms at almost all resolutions, while the input lag of the LG B9 is a bit lower being around 24 ms. With 120 fps content, the input lag of the LG B9 is even more excellent, which is around 7 ms on both 1080p and 1440 resolution, while the input lag of the LG B8 is only around 21 ms on 1080p resolution. The LG B8 doesn’t support 1440p resolution at both 60Hz and 120 Hz. This means that when used for playing games, the LG B9 will be more responsive than the LG B8 and this will be more noticeable when used for playing fast paced content.  On the other hand, even though not as responsive as its successor, the input lag of the LG B8 is also low enough to make it very responsive for any game, even for fast paced games that require quick reflexes. The other advantage of the LG B8 when used for playing games is it has HDMI’s Forum VRR technology which can improve the game experience, although at this time there is only the X Box One that already supports HDMI Forum VRR.

Winner: LG B9

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG OLED B8 <<

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG OLED B9 <<

Summary

Performance LG OLED B8 LG OLED B9
Picture Quality (4.3/5) (4.3/5)
HDR (4.5/5) (4.5/5)
Motion Handling (4.4/5) (4.5/5)
Inputs (4.5/5) (4.9/5)
Sound Quality (3.6/5) (3.6/5)
Smart TV (4.1/5) (4.1/5)

Conclusion

As discussed above, in terms of picture quality, there is no significant improvement offered by the newer LG OLED B9 over the LG OLED B8 predecessor. With some aspects such as HDR peak brightness, the newer series is not as good as the predecessor. In certain aspects like SDR Peak Brightness, Input Lags, and Smart TV, the LG OLED B9 offers some improvement over the predecessor. Meanwhile, the major difference between them is their processor where the LG B9 is powered by an Alpha Gen 7 processor. With this processor, the OLED B9 has some new smart features like AI Picture, AI Brightness, AI Sound, Smooth Gradation, and HDMI’s Forum VRR Technology.

Overall, they are great TVs for a variety of uses. No matter what you use them for, such as watching movies in a dark room, viewing sports, seeing TV Shows, playing HDR Content, playing games, or a smart TV Experience, the performance of each series is excellent.  The downside is they both have risk of permanent burn in when showing static images over a long period of time.  This means that playing the same game for a long period of time should be avoided to prevent the screen from permanent burn-in. Even though they both actually can show HDR images the way they should be, since peak brightness is less than 1000 nits, they both are not able to show HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of the target intended by the content creator.

So which is a better choice for you? The decision comes back to your preference. As a newer model that offers some new features allowing you to more easily get the maximum picture quality of course, the LG OLED B9 is a better choice. But keep in mind, with the same screen size, it is more expensive than the LG OLED B8. On the other hand, if you only focus on the picture quality, the LG B8 might be a better buy for you as the picture produced is also not much different than the OLED B9.

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG OLED B8 <<

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG OLED B9 <<


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LG OLED B9 VS OLED B8 Review (OLED55B8 vs OLED55B9, OLED65B8 vs OLED65B9)

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