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.

Home Theater

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ season 2 gets a new, Spock-heavy trailer

CBS has released a new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery season 2, which premieres January 17 on CBS All Access. The new trailer features series newcomers Spock and Christopher Pike prominently.

Today’s best Amazon deals: Garmin, Sony, and Bose

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but for retail giants like Amazon, the savings are only getting started. We've scoured the depths of Amazon to find you the very best deals going on right now.

LG’s most affordable OLED TVs now come with $170 to $260 in gift cards

Trusted electronics retailer ABT is offering LG's most affordable OLED TV, the B8 series with $170 and $260 gift cards for the 55- and 65-inch models, respectively. While the OLED TVs don't often go on sale gift cards like this are…
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Product Review

Step aside, Sonos: Riva's Concert is the best smart speaker you can buy

The Riva Concert series speaker is a fantastic, small-profile smart speaker with Alexa integration, truly excellent sound, and great looks, making it the perfect addition to your kitchen, living room, or bedroom.
Home Theater

From soundbars to headphones, here are the best last-minute audio deals

Whether you're looking for a great new pair of headphones or a fantastic new soundbar to bolster the sound of your brand-new television, these are the best audio deals to be found this holiday season.
Home Theater

Radiohead, The Cure, and more to join Rock Hall of Fame. Listen to their hits

Radiohead, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, and more have been selected to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. Here are our favorite songs from the four artists' hit-filled careers.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast returns to Amazon just in time for the holiday shopping crunch

It's been a chilly few years between Google and Amazon, but things may be improving. You can now buy two versions of Google's Chromecast on Amazon, something that hasn't be possible since 2015.
Home Theater

Phiaton’s active lifestyle headphones do noise canceling on a budget

Looking for a set of active noise-canceling earbuds that can keep up with your active lifestyle, without breaking the bank? Phiaton's new Curve BT 120 NC could be just the ticket.
Home Theater

5 sonic stocking stuffers to improve your loved ones’ listening life

Looking for some simple and affordable gifts to get the music nerd in your family? Here are five great gift ideas that will improve their listening life -- and won't cost you an arm and a leg to give them.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.