More Topics

This LG 77-inch OLED 4K TV is the best TV I've ever had

It's not cheap, but if you want a great TV, the LG OLED77C1 4K TV is hard to beat.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

I recently moved and along the way my faithful 2016 Sony XBR-75X850D, as such things do, suffered a fatal screen crack. It was time for something bigger and better. I'd long used smaller LG TVs, but since my new place also included a home theater it was time to think big. So, after much research, I got LG's newest 77" 4K TV: the 2021 LG OLED77C TV. In a word, it's impressive.

Why? Well, let me start with the basics. LG uses organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) for its high-end 4 and 8K TVs. Unlike the more common, and less expensive LEDs, these carbon-based diodes can be adjusted pixel by pixel in luminance from a perfect back to a bright white. The result is you get more contrast from an OLED screen than from any other. And, yes, I include yesteryear's top plasma TV, the Panasonic TC-P60ZT60 plasma.

OK, that's technically what's going on. What's going on when I sitting in front of it watching The Suicide Squad is the best TV display I've ever seen. And, my friends, I've seen a lot of TVs in my day. 

Sure, it's possible that there are better TVs out there that I haven't seen. For example, the LG 8K OLED88Z1PVA with its 8K resolution isn't currently available in the States. And, the new LG OLEDG1 series, which is designed to be wall-mounted, and with its cutting edge OLED evo panels may be a bit better, but I couldn't see it.

Besides being great for 4K movies with High-Dynamic Range (HDR), I found the screen to also be great with sports and games. The video response time has to be seen to be believed.  

Some of that is the outstanding screen, but it's also LG's Alpha a9 Gen 4 processor for better upscaling and video rendering. It uses deep learning (ML) in AI Picture Pro to analyze and optimize your video. Besides doing an excellent job of upscaling video from old-school 480i it also removes noise and optimizes picture quality. In concert with the new Scene Detection, the TV analyzes what's being shown in real-time to improve the video. You can adjust the video manually but left to its own devices the 77C1 does a good job of improving your video on the fly.

Gamers will like the new Game Optimiser menu. This enables you to easily and quickly tune your brightness, contrast, and variable refresh rate (VRR) on the fly. Combine this with its automatic low latency mode (ALLM), aka auto game mode, and you've got a wonderful gaming display. 

A serious gamer who's managed to get his or her hands on a PlayStation 5 will be also pleased to find that the 77C1 comes with four HDMI 2.1 ports. HDMI 2.1 is the latest HDMI standard. The connector itself hasn't changed. Your current cables and gear will still work just fine on the 77C1. But, with newer cables and devices you can play games with frame rates of up to 120 frames per second. 

Personally, I like all the connections I can get on my TVs. Besides the HDMI ports and the usual RF CoAx port, it also comes with three USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and an Optical Digital Audio Output.

Besides the display, the TV also comes with outstanding 2.2 Channel front-facing speakers. Now usually when you're talking about TVs at this level, you skip this because it's assumed you'll be using a sound system with it. That's a safe assumption. I use a Bose TV Speaker with a Bose Bass Module 500 subwoofer. But, to my surprise, the LG's sound was excellent even without an external speaker. 

I credit some of that outstanding audio to the hardware design, but I quickly found out a lot of that is due to the 77C1's ML/AI software. The AI Sound Pro does an outstanding job up-mixing with the TV's built-in speakers while Auto Volume Leveling 3 maintains a consistent level of volume when switching between channels or streaming apps. I was honestly startled at how good the system was in dealing with audio changes. There is a moment when it switches over from ordinary to enhanced sound, but it was worth the momentary pause. 

I also really liked the updated webOS 5 interface. WebOS is a Linux-based system that could have been a smartphone and tablet contender, but its original creator, HP, gave up on it. Fortunately, LG saw its potential. Today, webOS is my favorite smart TV interface over both Android and Roku. Combined with the newest LG Magic remote, it's a pleasure to use. In addition, the remote supports both Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa.

Previously I've always recommended you add a Roku Ultra or other top streaming device to your smart TV. I did that because smart TV OEMs did a poor job of the more obscure online streaming services. Now, LG is giving Roku a run for your money. I have a Roku Ultra working with my new TV, but for the first time ever with a smart TV, I don't feel like I need to have it. Besides the usual top streaming TV suspects -- Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Netflix, and Hulu -- it supports many more obscure streaming channels.

The TV itself is a pleasure to watch. It is seriously thin. Chances are your smartphone is thicker than it is. I'm not kidding. Simultaneously, if you use the LG stand as I do, it feels rock-solid on my home theater credenza.

There's only one thing about this TV I regret: The list price of $3,299.99. But, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. And, in this case, I got the best TV I've ever had.

If you want even more TV for your money, "="">. For me, the few more inches weren't worth the extra two grand plus. For those of you on a tighter budget, the 65-inch version is $2,099.99; 55-inch is $1,499.99; and the 48-inch model is $1,299.99. I recommend that if you're looking for a new high-end TV, you buy the one that best matches your finances. You won't be sorry.

Related Stories:

Editorial standards