LG SM9000
TOTAL SCORE:

LG SM9000 Review • 4K TV with interesting gaming features

LG SM9000 is an excellent 4K TV with a wide viewing angle and good peak brightness. It offers interesting gaming features with low input latency, fast responsiveness and variable VRR support. 4 full HDMI 2.1 connectors provide the TV with a good headroom for the future. Unfortunately, like most IPS panels, it does not provide high quality viewing in a darkened room due to its inability to reproduce deep and uniform black tones.

Functional rating

(on a 10-point scale)

Overall quality 7.5
Watching films     6.8
Watching TV programs 7.9
Watching sports 7.7
Use for video games  8.1
Watching HDR Movies 6.6
Use for HDR video games 7.7
Use as a PC monitor 8.4

img 5ffe92b8033eaOverall View Quality  7.5
The LG SM9000 is a good TV for most purposes. It provides high quality viewing in rooms with moderate lighting levels and offers a wide viewing angle. Unfortunately, however, like most TVs with IPS panels, it does not perform well in a darkened room due to its poor black tones.

Films 6 .8
Movies look good on the LG SM9000 screen. It plays low-frequency video without distortion, which is good news, and also has an excellent frame interpolation function. Unfortunately, in a darkened room, its image quality suffers from its inability to reproduce the deep blacks that are common to most IPS panels. And the presence of the local dimming function does not save the situation.

TV programs  7.9
The LG SM9000 TV is great for watching TV, especially in a bright room. It has a wide viewing angle, copes with glare successfully and exhibits good peak brightness. In addition, its smart platform offers many programs as an alternative to cable channels.

Sports programs  7.7
The LG SM9000 does a great job with sports programs too. The wide viewing angle of the TV will ensure a pleasant viewing of an important match with friends, and the screen coating successfully suppresses glare. The SM9000 has a fast response time for clear action scenes with minimal blur. The TV also has a good peak brightness, but it may not be enough to withstand intense ambient light.

Video games  8.1
The LG SM9000 is great for playing video games. The TV offers low input latency, fast response, and its Alpha7 processor perfectly scales lower resolution signals to higher quality. It also has a future-proof design with HDMI 2.1 connectors that can be used with next-generation gaming consoles, and supports the new HDMI Forum VRR variable refresh rate technology.

img 5ffe92b82dbdeHDR 6.6 Movies 
HDR movies look good on the LG SM9000. But, unfortunately, like most IPS panels, this TV has a low contrast ratio and poor black uniformity, which translates into an expressionless viewing quality in a darkened room. Although the TV has a local dimming function, it does not deal with this problem. Among the pluses, we note the SM9000’s support for a wide color gamut and a good peak brightness of the HDR format .

HDR  7.7 gaming
Its low input latency and fast response make the SM9000 an excellent TV for video games. At the same time, the quality of the HDR format itself is  somewhat limited due to poor contrast, ineffective local dimming function and not the highest peak brightness.

img 5ffe92b85b4a1Use as PC monitor  8.4
LG SM9000 TV is able to perfectly play the role of a computer monitor. It supports most common resolutions and Chroma 4: 4: 4 color sampling. The fast response time provides a clear display of moving objects on the screen, and with the low latency of the incoming signal, the screen responds instantly to your actions.

Market positioning

The LG SM9000 is one of the Korean manufacturer’s 2019 NanoCell LCD TVs. It replaced the 2018 LG SK9000. The SM9000 TV is almost identical to the  SM9800 , but slightly inferior to it in terms of local dimming and brightness functions. Its closest competitors are the  Samsung Q70R ,  Sony XG95 and  Sony XG85 .

img 5ffe92b88a167

Design

Style 9 .5

img 5ffe92b8b7adaThe LG SM9000 TV has a gorgeous design, almost identical to the  LG SM9800 , with a sleek center stand through which you can discreetly route cables through the back. With all the beauty of this design, its disadvantage is that the TV sway noticeably when exposed to external influences.

img 5ffe92b8dd3c2The SM9000 case is thin enough (6.3 cm), and looks great when wall-mounted. The back panel is flat and made of nice-looking textured plastic. Most of the commonly used connectors face outward for easy access.

img 5ffe92b90ce35The panel is enclosed in a thin bezel, but the screen protrudes slightly forward and can be easily damaged by careless movement.

Build quality  7.0
img 5ffe92b934ccfOverall, the build quality of the SM9000 is good. However, we downgraded the rating due to unpleasant swaying of the case under external influences.

Image quality

Contrast 5 .9

img 5ffe92b956c74

Like most TVs with IPS panels, the SM9000 has problems displaying deep blacks, which is especially noticeable when viewed in a darkened room. Unfortunately, the local dimming function does not significantly improve the situation.

Local dimming 5. 0

Unfortunately, local dimming does not do its job well, allowing light to leak and rendering small bright objects too dim. The transition zones between light and dark parts also appear rough.
We recommend setting this feature to a medium level.

SDR Peak Luminance 6 .9

The SM9000 exhibits good brightness, however small bright objects appear dim due to the local dimming function, which is especially noticeable when viewed in a dark room.

Peak brightness HDR format 6 .4

This figure in the SM9000 is also quite good. However, small bright objects, flashing at first, then quickly fade.

Gray uniformity  6.8

img 5ffe92b977896

The gray uniformity in the SM9000 is generally good. The edges of the template are noticeably darker than the rest of the template. There is also a slight dirty screen effect in the middle.

Viewing angle 7 .5

Like most TVs with IPS panels, the SM9000 has a good viewing angle. The picture remains clear even when viewed from the side.

Black uniformity 5 .1

img 5ffe92b99c5c5Unfortunately, the black uniformity in the SM9000 is not high, which is inherent in IPS panels. The local dimming function has fewer areas, which reduces its effectiveness. This can be seen from the halo around the test cross (right). With local dimming off (left), you can see light leaks all over the screen.

Glare 8 .3

img 5ffe92b9c15d3

The SM9000 does an excellent job of dealing with glare, but the semi-gloss finish allows for some reflections to spread across the screen. However, in most cases this should not be a major problem.

Colors 8.0

The SM9000 is capable of high-quality reproduction of a wide color gamut, as evidenced by the excellent coverage of the DCI-P3 color space.

img 5ffe92b9e8353Left: DCI-P3 xy coverage 88.73%, DCI-P3 uv coverage 93.78%. Right: opening REC 2020 xy – 65.47%, REC 2020 uv – 59.90%

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The EOTF curve closely follows the PQ luminance test line for most of its length.

Color volume 7 .1

The SM9000 demonstrates a good color volume, however, due to the low contrast ratio, dark colors are poorly saturated and, moreover, there is a problem with reproducing bright blue, which is a common disease of LCD TVs.

Gradient 8 .7

img 5ffe92ba44eda

Perfect gradient pattern. In a real image, fluctuations in the transitions between tones are almost imperceptible, which is great news.

Temporary afterimage  9.6

Our test revealed a faint indication of this phenomenon, which, in general, is not inherent in panels of this type.

Screen Burn Risk  10

VA panels are not subject to this risk.

Response time 7 .8

The SM9000 demonstrates a very fast response time (i.e. the time it takes to fully transform a pixel from one color to another) at 13.6ms.
img 5ffe92ba768c4Screen flickering 4 .0

The SM9000 uses pulse width modulation to dim the backlight, causing noticeable duplication in fast moving scenes.

Insert black frame 10

The SM9000 offers black frame insertion to enhance the clarity of fast action scenes. It causes a slight decrease in image brightness. To activate this feature, turn on the Motion Pro setting.

Frame interpolation 

The SM9000 has a frame interpolation function that can increase the video playback rate up to 120 frames per second. It smoothes the image, but produces a so-called soap opera effect that some viewers may not like. This function copes with its task quite successfully, however, in very intense scenes, interpolation stops, which causes a jump in the frame due to a sharp change in frequency.

To enable frame interpolation, go to Custom Setting in the TruMotion menu and adjust the De-Blur and De-Judder scales according to your preference.

img 5ffe92baaa9b9Image twitching effect 7 .4

Due to the relatively fast response time when watching movies at 24 frames per second, this effect can be observed. To eliminate it, you must activate the black frame insertion or frame interpolation.

Jitter effect in 24fps video 1 0

The SM9000 is capable of removing jitter from low-frequency video. To enable this function, activate the Real Cinema mode.

Input Delay 8 .8

SM9000 has ultra-low input latency. The TV also supports ALLM technology, which means it automatically enters Game Mode when connected to a compatible game console.

img 5ffe92bada222

Sound quality

Frequency Response  7.0

The frequency response of the SM9000 is good with well-heard low frequencies, but it lacks punching power. Dialogue sounds clear and the TV volume is very loud, although noise appears at levels close to maximum.

img 5ffe92bb167deDistortion of incoming sound  6.4

The total harmonic distortion is small, but increases with increasing volume.

Smart features

Interface 8 .5

The smart webOS platform is easy to manage and fast. There are no comments on its interface. The platform’s home panel is capable of networking with other smart devices.

Advertising presence  0

There is an advertisement on the home page and in the app catalog.

Apps and features  8.0

The webOS directory offers a huge selection of applications, and the built-in media player supports most of the common file formats.

The unique “LG Plus Channels” package offers over 200 domestic and foreign channels, including 30 free channels.

Control panel  8.5

img 5ffe92bb46274

The SM9000 can also be used as a pointer at the same time, making menu navigation much easier. Now it has also become versatile, able to work with other devices.

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Comparison with other TVs

img 5ffe92bba1103Top left:  Samsung QLED Q 70 R   ; bottom left:  LG SM 8600  ; center:  LG SM 9000; top right:   LG SM 9800  ; bottom right:  Sony XG  95 .

Conclusion

LG SM9000 is a good TV in many ways, offering 4K quality pictures. It is equipped with an “Alpha7” processor, which uses artificial intelligence in its work, supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless technologies, and the latest HDMI 2.1 standard.

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