Forget the flat form factor, HDR is the finest feature on LG’s new OLED

When LG announced its new EF9500-series 4K UHD OLED TVs, most of the excitement centered around the fact that LG had finally issued an OLED TV that wasn’t curved. The flat form factor is all fine and good, yes, but what’s getting missed in the excitement is the EF9500’s ability to process HDR (High Dynamic Range) content through both streaming sources and connected devices, including those patched into the set’s HDMI 2.0a port. And that’s kind of a big deal.

HDR is the biggest industry buzzword (buzz acronym?) in TV since 4K UHD TVs were first introduced. HDR allows a TV to display a much wider dynamic range of brightness levels, achieving deeper blacks and much brighter whites and colors. Many in the industry feel that HDR represents a more noticeable improvement to picture quality than 4K UHD resolution has since its introduction. You’d think, then, that more people would be excited about it, but a lack of understanding about how HDR works and how it will make its way into homes is stifling the, well, buzz among consumers. We want to change that.

HDR is more of a toddler at this point rather than a newborn infant

HDR can be broken down into three major components for consumption in the home: Content, delivery, and display.

On the content end, plenty of existing and forthcoming films (and, much later, TV programs) can/will be mastered in HDR — and there will be plenty of it to enjoy in the near future.

As for delivery, two major methods are just around the corner. There’s streaming, which has already begun via Amazon, and will be offered by Netflix in the coming months, and disc-based delivery, coming via Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players by the end of this year. Satellite and terrestrial broadcasters are also on-board, and the first transmissions will also be taking place soon.

Samsung’s HDR capable JS9500 in our home theater testing lab.

Samsung’s HDR-capable JS9500 in our home theater testing lab.[/caption]

Finally, we have the display element, which is already covered thanks to LG’s aforementioned EF9500 OLED, select Samsung SUHD TVs, and Vizio’s forthcoming Reference Series (and there’s more on the way!)

So, you see, HDR may still be in its early stages, but it’s more of a toddler at this point rather than a newborn infant, as many have been led to believe.

All of this to say: The LG EF9500 OLED is about more than just its fancy flat screen; it’s about delivering the future of television now and in the years to come. That’s worth getting excited about, too.

Product Review

Sleek and expensive, the Apple TV 4K will still delight the Apple faithful

Is Apple’s latest streaming set-top box a revolution, or too little too late? Find out in our Apple TV 4K review, and learn how this device wins in some big categories, but falters in others.
Home Theater

If you've got questions about Ultra HD Blu-ray, we've got answers

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players are a killer way to beef up your home theater. Here's everything you need to know about one of the most significant advances to hit home entertainment in years.

Take a gander at the best deals on 4K TVs for February 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

Samsung will stop releasing new Blu-ray players in the U.S.

Samsung, the first company to produce a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, is now exiting the Blu-ray market entirely in the U.S. The move comes after Oppo Digital also dropped out of the market last year.
Home Theater

Reasons not to mount a TV over your fireplace (and other helpful tips)

Mounting a TV above your fireplace may be popular and it might even seem appealing, but we have some concerns. We've got a list of reasons why placing your digital picture machine over a fire should be avoided, if at all possible.
Product Review

These are the affordable noise-canceling headphones you’ve dreamed about

The TaoTronics TT-BH060 are a value-packed pair of wireless noise-canceling headphones that offer solid sound, exceptional battery life at a great price, making them one of the most compelling pairs out there.
Home Theater

Charter’s Spectrum TV Essentials offers 60 live TV channels for $15 a month

Charter Communication's Spectrum TV Essentials is a package of 60 live TV channels for $15 per month designed to keep cord-cutters happy. But with no sports or major broadcasters, is it enough?
Home Theater

What is Netflix Roulette, and how exactly does it work?

For years, educated viewers have been using Netflix Roulette to broaden their horizons. The web app can help you find movies and shows you'd never think to watch! What exactly is it, though, and how do you use it? We explain it all.
Movies & TV

ESPN Plus is a great sports companion. Here's everything you need to know

ESPN's streaming service, ESPN Plus, arrived in 2018. Despite appearances, ESPN Plus isn't a replacement for your ESPN cable channels, and it differs from other streaming apps in a few key ways. We answer all your questions in this guide.
Home Theater

Viacom deal brings more entertainment options to sports-first streamer FuboTV

If you’re looking for a live TV streaming service, with a big emphasis on sports, FuboTV could be exactly what you’re looking for. We’ve got everything you need to know about it right here.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Home Theater

Here's a handy guide to mirroring your favorite devices to your TV screen

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device (or PC) to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen.
Home Theater

Still wondering why you should buy a smart TV? Here's what you should consider

If you've been living under a rock, you might wonder: What is a smart TV, anyway? Luckily, we've put together a quick-hit guide to teach you everything you need to know about televisions with big brains.
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.