LG 55SK8500PLA review
|Review: July 2018|
In a nutshell: The LG 55SK8500PLA is our top pick of LG's LED TV range for 2018. Picture quality is superb, with LG's Alpha 7 processor and local dimming technology delivering smooth motion and bright, vivid colours. With support for the latest HDR standards, plus Google Home and Alexa support, its future-proof too. Audio quality is very good, and the price is reasonable.
Design & looks
LG hasn't done anything radical with the looks of its Super UHD range of LED TV's in 2018 - and it doesn't need to. The SK8500PLA is probably the pick of the crop this year, and has premium looks and up-to-date styling. The metal chassis and silver metal bezel around the screen give it a sleek, modern style.
It may not be as slim as LG's OLED range, but it has a pleasing design with a matching silver crescent-shaped stand. Be aware that the stand will wobble if pushed, but shouldn't fall over.
The LG SK8500 is close to the top of LG's LED TV range for 2018, with only the SK9000 placed above it. The TV supports all the latest tech - 4K UHD, with support for the HDR10 Pro, Dolby Vision and HLG standards for High Dynamic Range.
2018 sees the introduction of LG's Alpha 7 processor, providing superior video processing performance compared with last year's model.
LG is unusual in that its LED TVs use IPS screens instead of the VA displays used by Samsung, Sony and Panasonic. The key advantage of IPS displays are that they offer wide viewing angles, so that even people viewing from the side will get a full colourful experience. The main disadvantage of IPS TVs is that they can't quite reproduce the deep blacks and contrast of Samsung TVs. But the 2nd generation nano cells and enhanced local dimming used in the SK8500PLA go a long way to compensate for this. In summary, this is perhaps the best IPS screen we've seen, and its vivid, colourful images will provide great family viewing.
The Alpha 7 processor is fast too, so motion control on this screen is very smooth. Sports fans and gamers should find the TV to their liking.
To get the best out of this TV you'll want to stream 4K content from Amazon or Netflix with a fast internet connection. UHD Bluray is another good choice. If you're using Freeview or Freesat, the quality will be noticeably lower, but the TV isn't the problem - it will do its best to upscale the lower resolution video onto the UHD display.
Audio quality of the SK8500 is good, with twin downfiring speakers each with their own subwoofer. Total power output is 40W. A soundbar will give you a fuller sound should you need it, but this TV does pretty well when compared to its mid-range rivals.
Each year, TVs become smarter, or at least they support more smart functionality. The 2018 TV range from LG offers a good range of streaming services, as well as catch-up TV and other apps and content.
Notably, LG's webOS smart TV system now comes with support for Google Assistant, Google Home and Alexa. The magic remote supports voice control too.
AV connectivity is well catered for. Built-in Wi-Fi and ethernet connections, 4 HDMI connections with ARC support, three USB ports, digital optical audio output and a CI slot are all here.
Conclusion - our top choice of mid-range LG TV
The LG 55SK8500PLA is our top-choice of LG's Super UHD range for 2018. At the time of review its priced at around £1300, but we see this falling to £1000 by Black Friday 2018.
With stylish looks, a bright and vivid display with a wide viewing angle, and good audio, there's nothing missing from our wishlist. The new smart home features are welcome, and the TV supports all the latest standards for UHD and HDR.
LG 55SK8500PLA features include:
- 55 inch UHD LED-backlit screen
- 3840 x 2160 resolution
- IPS 4K edgelit display with 2nd generation nano cells
- Wide colour gamut
- ULTRA Luminance Pro local dimming
- 100Hz refresh rate (200Hz Trumotion)
- Dolby Vision, HDR10 Pro, HLG
- Alpha 7 processor
- Smart TV with Google Assistant, Google Home and Alexa compatibility
- Freeview HD (Freeview Play) & Freesat HD
- Audio: 2.2 channel speaker system, 40W output
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, ethernet LAN, HDMI x 4 (ARC x 1), USB x 3, headphone out x 1, optical digital audio out, RF in x 2, Bluetooth, CI slot, Simplink
- Magic remote included
- Energy efficiency class: A+
- Size without stand (WxHxD): 1232 x 709 x 63 mm
- Size with stand (WxHxD): 1232 x 778 x 248 mm
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