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-JS95000
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

Bose QuietComfort 35 II wireless headphones get a $93 price cut

Good head-fi is expensive, but a premium set of headphones is worth it. The excellent Bose Quietcomfort 35 Series II is on sale right now from Rakuten with a two-day coupon code that can save you more than 90 bucks.
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet. To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and these are the best Blu-ray players you can buy.
Deals

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

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Trash

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet. To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and these are the best Blu-ray players you can buy.
Mobile

Weird Galaxy View 2 is a TV-style tablet to take your mind off the Galaxy Fold

Samsung may be about to resurrect a product line that last saw an entry three years ago. Renders of the Galaxy View 2 show it's sticking to the tablet-that-thinks-it's-a-TV formula.
Product Review

Microsoft’s $350 Surface Headphones are a good first try, but not good enough

Microsoft’s Surface Headphones are stylish, comfortable, and have great noise-canceling, but at $350 a pair, they’ll have a hard time matching the industry leaders like Sony and Bose.
Home Theater

Don't need sports or local channels? Philo can save you some cash

Philo is an affordable live TV streaming service, with an impressive channel list and feature set. With more hardware support, unlimited DVR, and greatly improved TV Everywhere features, the service is now even easier to recommend.
Mobile

The best Bluetooth headsets of 2019, from Sennheiser to Jabra

Quality headsets are rare. Here are our picks for the best Bluetooth headsets available, whether you need something modest, cheap, or loaded with features. We highlight the best Bluetooth headsets you can get for different situations.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek forms, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

The best MP3 players of 2019 cram tons of music into a small package

Want to go for a run, but your phone is weighing you down? Don't sweat it. Can't fit your whole music library on your smartphone? No worries. Check out our list of the best MP3 players, and find one that works for you.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is is your starting point. Check out our picks for the best headphones under $100.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.