Sony and LG have released some exciting OLEDs this year, and many of you may be wondering about which one to get. In this video, we’ll be comparing the Sony A8H against the LG CX so see which one is right for you.
Hi, I’m Brandon, a Test Developer at RTINGS.com where WE HELP PEOPLE FIND THE BEST PRODUCTS FOR THEIR NEEDS. The CX and the A8H are very exciting products, and they both offer an amazing experience, but there are a few key differences to look out for, some of which may sway your decision.
First we’ll look at the design of both TVs as well as their inputs. Then we’ll compare their various aspects of pictures quality. Lastly, we’ll finish with the motion handling, input lag, and sound, and then conclude with a quick summary.
If you’d like to skip straight to our test results, then see the links in the description below. For both TVs, we bought the 55” model to test, but we expect them to perform similarly in their other sizes as well.
Sony offers 2 sizes of the A8H, a 55” and a 65”, whereas LG offers 4 sizes of the CX, including a 48” model that we reviewed as a monitor. Lets start by comparing the design. The design of both TVs is great, which is not surprising considering these are both high end OLED displays.
They both have very thin bezels and the overall thickness of the TVs is pretty slim thanks to the OLED panel. The stand between the two is quite different however. The LG has a single piece stand that sits low to the ground and almost spans the entire width of the TV.
It’s very solid and gives the TV a premium look, but because of how low it is, placing a soundbar in front of it might obstruct view of the screen. The Sony on the other hand uses a more traditional 2 piece leg stand, which although it might not look as premium as LG’s solution, it does offer more versatility.
The feet can adjust to a higher setting to allow for soundbars and consoles to fit beneath it. On both TVs, the thinner backplate that houses the OLED panel is made of all metal, with the thicker compartments being made of plastic.
The build quality of both is superb with only minimal flex in ceartain areas. Neither TVs wobble and their stands feature basic cable management, with the LG offering a slightly cleaner solution. Now let’s move onto the inputs, which is where things first start to really differ.
Both TVs have a great selection of inputs that should satisfy most people, but there are a few key differences between them that may be important to you. They both offer 4 HDMI inputs, but the CX supports HDMI 2.
1, whereas the Sony only supports up to HDMI 2.0. This makes the CX a great option for those who plan on using their TV with an HDMI 2.1 source and take advantage of it’s features, like 4k at 120Hz or HDMI Forum VRR.
There currently aren’t any HDMI 2.1 sources on the market, but rumored graphics cards and consoles releasing later this year are expected to support it. If you don’t plan on using these features, then HDMI 2.
1 isn’t a big deal, as it won’t affect any home theater experience. Moving on, both TVs have 3 USB inputs, an optical and analog out, a TV Tuner, ethernet, and a composite in, but the Sony does not include an adapter.
The Sony also features an IR input, which the CX doesn’t have. For audio, both TVs support ARC and eARC, and the Sony has the ability to pass a DTS signal to a receiver, unlike the CX. Now let’s move onto picture quality, and in many ways, these TVs perform the same, which is to be expected, as both are using OLED panels manufactured by LG.
That said, there are definitely a few differences that are worth discussing. Let’s start with the contrast ratio, which is often regarded as one of the most important aspects of picture quality. Contrast ratio is the relative luminance between the brightest white and the darkest black that a TV can display, and a high contrast ratio will help scenes appear deep and full of detail, especially in a darker environment.
Because these are OLED displays, the pixels are self-emissive, meaning each one can be turned off to give a true black. This will result in a remarkable contrast ratio, and is one of the main appeals of OLED TVs.
Because these are both using OLED panels, there’s no meaningful difference in contrast between the two, and either will look great in this regard. Now onto the gray uniformity, which is how even and uniform colors appear throughout the display.
Screen uniformity issues can result in some areas of the display appearing darker or brighter than their surroundings, which is commonly known as the dirty screen effect. This can be noticeable and distracting while watching sports or content with long panning shots.
Before I get into results, it’s important to note that gray uniformity may vary between panels due to manufacturing tolerances, so any differences between our units could be unique to us, and not representative of all models.
On our units, we measured an excellent 50% gray uniformity on both TVs, with the slight edge going to the Sony, which has almost no dirty screen effect. We also measure a 5% gray test pattern which is known to cause issues with OLED displays, such as vertical banding.
Here, we measured great performance on both displays, with the Sony besting out the LG by a slight margin . Another advantage of self-emissive pixels are the viewing angles, which is how accurate the picture remains when viewed off-center.
Having good viewings angles is great if you plan on setting the TV in an open room with wide seating. The light emitted from an OLED pixel is dispersed fairly evenly across all angles, lending these 2 TVs to have exceptional viewing angles.
We measured slightly different results between the two, but this is likely margin of error and we expect them to perform the same. Either way, both will be a great choice for having guests over and enjoying sports in the living room.
If you plan on using these TVs in a brighter environment, then you want to have good reflection handling to counter-act any distracting glare. Like all OLEDs we’ve tested, both of these TV’s have remarkable reflection handling, thanks to their anti-reflective coating.
This glossy coating makes the reflections clear and defined, but with very little luminance as to not be distracting. The anti-reflective coating does result in a slight purple-ish tint, but this won’t be noticeable when watching content.
Along with the reflection handling, it’s important to have a high peak brightness to also counteract glare in a bright environment. A high peak brightness will aslo help HDR content pop in bright scenes.
These two TVs trade blows in both HDR and SDR, depending on the window size and scene duration. In our testing, sometimes the Sony is brighter than the LG, and other times the LG is brighter. Both get decently bright in SDR, and paired with their anti-reflective coating, will definitely help counteract distracting glare.
They also both perform decently for HDR as well, but not as well as some other LCD displays on the market. Also important to note, both of these displays have a pretty aggressive Auto Brightness Limiter, so the peak brightness changes significantly depending on the window size and scene duration.
Now lets take a look at the color gamut and volume. The color gamut is the range of colors a TV is capable of displaying, and the larger the gamut, the more rich and vibrant the colors will appear. Both the Sony and the LG support a wide color gamut, and have very similar coverage of the P3 and Rec.
2020 Color space. They both perform very well in this regard, but not quite as good as some other QLED TVs we’ve tested, such as the Vizio P Series Quantum. The color volume is the range of colors a TV can display at different luminosity levels.
Color volume is great for content mastered in HDR, where you can expect to see vivid and bright highlights. Here, the A8H outperforms the CX, as can it display more colors near the white and black point.
Also important for picture quality is the gradient handling, which is how finely different levels of color can be displayed. Poor gradient performance results in noticeable color banding in scenes with gradients, such as the sky, shadows, or skin tones.
In our testing, we found the A8H to be a step up over the CX, with only some banding in the red, greens, and grays. That said, the CX still performs well in this regard and should satisfy almost everyone.
These results are somewhat expected, as Sony has been known in the past for their exceptional gradient processing. Before moving onto motion handling, we should note that both of these displays are OLEDs, so they have an inherent risk of burn-in.
However, we don’t believe this will be an issue for most people, as long as you watch varied content. To learn more about our long-term investigation into OLED Burn-In, you can see our video here, or in the article linked below.
Now onto the motion handling, and lets start with the response time. Response time is the time it takes for a screen to change from one color to the next. It’s important to have a fast response time, in order to reduce the blurry trail behind fast moving objects, which is commonly known as ghosting.
Thankfully, since these are both OLED displays, they have nearly perfect response times, so ghosting won’t be an issue here. We found the two TVs to perform nearly identically in response times, as you can see in our pursuit motion photo of the RTINGS logo.
If you’d like to make motion appear even smoother, you can enable black frame insertion. BFI turns off the display in between frames to reduce the persistence blur of modern displays. You can learn more about how BFI works in our video here.
Both of these TVs support BFI and can flicker at 60 or 120Hz depending on the user preference. In the A8H, BFI is referred as Motionflow, whereas it’s called TrueMotion on the CX. The CX is able to turn it’s pixels off for longer on it’s max BFI setting compared to the Sony.
This means a dimmer display, but it also means less persistence blur, as you can see from our pursuit motion photo. Now let’s look at the input lag and supported resolutions, which is where things once again get interesting.
Input lag is the amount of time it takes to process and display an image coming from a source. Having low input lag is important for gaming, as it means you’ll see the results of your actions faster, resulting in a more responsive experience.
We found the CX to have a slight edge over the A8H at 60Hz, by about 5 milliseconds. The LG is also faster than the Sony at 120Hz, and you may notice, the Sony doesn’t even support 1440p or 4k at 120Hz.
For most content, that’s fine, as no movies or tv shows display at high framerates, but this might be an issue for those who plan to use this TV for PC or Console gaming. Also, the A8H doesn’t support HDMI 2.
1 or Variable Refresh Rate, which again makes the CX the better choice for gamers. Now let’s take a look at the smart features, apps, and interface. Both of these TVs are on a mature platform using high end processors to make for a smooth experience, so most people will be happy either way.
Most of the differences are going to come down to user preference. The A8H is using Android TV and is also very smooth and easy to navigate, and it’s quick to get to where you need, thanks to the customizable quick menu.
Since it’s using Android TV, you get access to the Google Play Store, which has a large selection of apps. The remote can’t be used as a pointer like the LG, but there are still app shortcuts and the built-in mic features Google Assistant.
The CX uses LG’s WebOS which is smooth and easy to navigate, especially with the LG Magic Remote. The app store has a great selection and you should be able to find anything you’re looking for. The remote can be used as a pointer to help navigate the menus, and it also has media shortcuts and built-in voice control.
Lastly, lets take a look at the sound quality. Both TVs offer a pretty decent sound, with the LG slightly edging out the Sony thanks to it’s lower distortion. The CX uses traditional speakers located in the back of the display to project sound, whereas the A8H vibrates the screen itself to produce the sound.
Both TVs have decent sound, but are lacking in the low and sub-bass, so audio enthusiast may want to invest in room speakers or a soundbar. So overall, the Sony A8H and the LG CX are both superb OLED TVs with excellent picture quality, design, and feature sets.
However, they do differ in some key areas. The CX is a better choice for gamers thanks to it’s HDMI 2.1 support and lower input lag. The A8H has a slight edge in picture quality, and has better support for audio passthrough and soundbars, so it might be a better choice for AV enthusiast who don’t plan on doing much gaming.
Either way, anyone who owns either TV will be happy with it’s excellent performance. So that’s it! Do you prefer the LG CX or the Sony A8H, and why? Let us know what you think below. As always, you can check out all of the measurements on our website.
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