LG OLED B9 VS OLED B8 Review (OLED55B8 vs OLED55B9, OLED65B8 vs OLED65B9)
LG OLED B9 is the lowest model of LG’s 2019 OLED TV lineup. On the other hand, the LG OLED B8 is also the lowest model of LG’s 2018 OLED TV lineup and at the same time is also the predecessor of OLED B9. Since picture quality is almost similar among all OLED TVs, of course, there is not significant improvement in picture quality offered by the LG B9 over the LG B8 predecessor. And can be ascertained, the differences between them are only about design and additional features.
In the market, the LG B8 comes in two screen sizes option only, which is 55 inches (OLED55B8PUA) and 65 inches (OLED65B8PUA). Just like the predecessor, the LG B8 is also available on the 55 inches model (OLED55B9PUA) and the 65 inches model (OLED65B9PUA). Meanwhile, with the same screen, (OLED55B8 vs OLED55B9, OLED65B8 vs OLED65B9), the OLED B9 is priced hundreds of dollar more expensive than the predecessor OLED B8. Nevertheless, the significant difference in price between them is more caused the price of LG B8 has drop a lot due to it is the 2018 model. On the other hand, since the LG B9 is the 2019 model, it still has almost full price. So, as a newer model, what the new features are offered by the LG B9 over the LG B8 the predecessor?
LG OLED B9 vs OLED B8 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||LG OLED B8||LG OLED B9|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Screen Sizes Available||55 Inches (OLED55B8PUA), 65 Inches (OLED65B8PUA)||55 Inches (OLED55B9PUA), 65 Inches (OLED65B9PUA)|
|Dimming||Pixel Level Dimming||Pixel Level Dimming|
|Picture Engine||Alpha 7 Processor||Alpha 7 Gen 2 Processor|
|HDR Format Supports||Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR, HDR10, HLG||Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR, HDR10, HLG|
|HDR Enhancement||4K Cinema HDR||4K Cinema HDR, HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro|
|Contrast Enhancement||Ultra Luminance Pro||Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance Pro|
|Color Enhancement||Intense Color, Billion Rich Colors, True Color Accuracy Pro, 4 Colors Sub Pixel||Intense Color, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer, True Color Accuracy Pro, 4 Colors Sub Pixel|
|Clarity Enhancement||Dual Step Noise Reduction||Quad Step Noise Reduction, Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer|
|4K Up-scaling||4K Up-Scaler||4K Up-Scaler|
|Refresh Rate Panel||Native 120 Hz||Native 120 Hz|
|Variable Refresh Rate Support||No||YED (HDMI Forum VRR).|
|Platform||WebOS 4.0||WebOS 4.5|
|Features||LG ThinQ AI, Google Assistant, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Intelligence Voice Recognition||LG ThinQ AI, Google Assistant, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Intelligence Voice Recognition|
|LG Magic Remote||2018 model||2019 Model|
|HDMI Supports||HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth (All), HDCP 2.2 (All), ARC (HDMI 2)||HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth (All), HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth (All), HDCP 2.2 (All), ARC (HDMI 2)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1||1|
|Composite In (AV)||1||1|
|Wi-Fi Built In||802.11ac||802.11ac|
|Total Audio Output||40 Watt(WF : 20 Watts)||40 Watt(WF : 20 Watts)|
|Dolby Atmos Support||Yes||Yes|
|Price||See the Price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
The Difference of LG OLED B8 and OLED B9
Both LG B9a and OLED B8 have excellent design. At a glance, their design looks similar and there are not many changes brought by the LG B9 over the LG B8 predecessor. On their stand, the stand of LG B9 resembles the stand of the LG B8, but with a bit change, particularly on the part that is pinned on the screen. The other difference, if the stand of LG OLED B8 is made of metal, the stand of OLED B9 is made of plastic. This allows the stand of the B9 is not as sturdy as the stand of B8. Meanwhile, the back of them are equally plain. The upper part is made of metal and the bottom is made of plastic where all electronic parts and inputs / outputs are housed. Some of inputs are facing backwards while the rests are facing sideways. Meanwhile, they both have simple cable that is serviced with the aid of a little clip at the center bottom.
The other major difference between them is about their image processor. The LG OLED B8 is powered by the Alpha 7 intelligence processor while the OLED B9 is powered by the Alpha 7 Gen 2, the second generation of Alpha 7 processor. Nevertheless, these chipsets are still less powerful than the Alpha 9 or Alpha 9 Gen 2 processor found on the series above them. Compare among the new chipsets, the Alpha 7 Gen 2 offers the improvement in AI based automatic functions. If in last year, the AI is only focused on the smart features of LG B8, with this new processor, the AI is also applied on some automatic functions like AI Brightness, AI sound, and others.
LG OLED B9 and OLED B8 might be equipped with the same inputs/outputs. They both have 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports as their major connectivity. Additionally, they both also have 1 Composite IN (AV IN), 1 Tuner IN, 1 Audio Digital Out (Optical), 1 Analog Audio Out (Mini Jack 3.5 mm), and 1 Ethernet port. Furthermore, as their wireless connectivity, they both are also equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Nevertheless, the difference between them is about their HDMI ability. Their HDMI ports both might be support HDMI 2.2 Full Bandwidth, HDMI CEC, HDCP 2.2, and ARC (equally on HDMI 2). But for this case, the HDMI ports of LG B9 also already support HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth. On the other hand, the HDMI ports of LG B8 don’t support HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth. This allows the OLED B9 is able to play HFR (High Frame Rate) content like 4K @ 120 Hz via HDMI port. On the other hand, even though the LG OLED B8 also can play HFR content, but it only plays them via streaming or USB, while via HDMI port, it cannot due to the limitation bandwidth of HDMI 2.0. The other difference between them, the LG OLED B9 also supports eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) while the LG OLED B8 doesn’t support. This allows the OLED B9 to send higher quality DTS:X and Dolby Atmos via TrueHD sound from an external device to your receiver.
Both LG OLED B8 and OLED B9 have the same native refresh rate panel, which is 120 Hz. This allows them support native 120 fps content (1080p and 1440p) and can also interpolate the lower frame rate content up to 120 Hz. Additionally, since they both don’t have backlight, they don’t also use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) dimming system that allows their screen is almost flicker-free. However, at the same time, the flicker-free might result in some persistence blur. But you don’t need to worry, they both have an optional 60 Hz BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that can help to minimize persistence blur, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. Nevertheless, by enabling their BFI mode, this will make their screen flickers at 60 Hz where this will be noticeable for some people.
Until here, they have the same technologies that improve their motion performance. Meanwhile, the difference among them is about the support of VRR. The LG OLED B8 doesn’t support any VRR technology. On the other hand, the LG OLED B9 has support HDMI’s Forum VRR technology that can improve its gaming experience. But unfortunately, there are not many devices that already support HDMI forum and at this time, there is only X Box one that support this format. Additionally, this format is not also compatible with other VRR technology like GSync or FreeSync. The other advantage of LG B9, it also already supports ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) that allows it to change to automatically change to Game mode once the signal from supported game console is detected.
Smart TV Platform
They both might run the same smart TV platform, which is WebOS. Nevertheless, they run different version of WebOS where the LG B9 runs WebOS 4.5 while the LG B8 runs WebOS 4.0. Actually, there is not any major change in their interface or performance brought by the 4.5 version over the 4.0 version. The newer version only offers some new smart features like AirPlay 2 support, Home Dashboard and others. Even though not as smooth as the higher model like LG C8 or C9 that powered by Alpha 9 processor, the smart TV interface of LG B9 and B8 is also very smooth. Additionally, their interface is also equally easy to use. They both also have a lot of selections of pre-installed apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others, Live TVs, Games, Web Browser, and many more. Not only that, they also has an app store called LG’s Apps store provides tons of downloadable apps, games, content, and others. Furthermore, they both also already support voice navigation that works with LG ThinQ AI.
As their controller, both of them come with LG’s magic controller. The difference, LG B9 comes with 2019 model while the LG B8 comes with the 2018 model. At glance, these remote looks same. They both have the same button layout. Nevertheless, there is a change in function on some buttons, particularly on the three buttons on the bottom. Additionally, the 2019 model now also has an ability to control other devices over IR. This means, not just HDMI CEC supported devices that can be controlled by this remote, but also the other devices don’t support HDMI CEC. This is similar to Samsung’s OneRemote feature found on Samsung’s TV. Meanwhile, the excellence, in addition it has excellent voice control, it also has “Point and Click” feature, allows it can act as a virtual pointer like a mouse on PC.
LG OLED B9 vs OLED B8 Performance
Contrast and Black Level
Just like other models of OLED TV, both LG OLED B8 and OLED B9 also have infinite native contrast ratio and nearly-perfect black level. This is due to each pixels of their OLED panel are able to individually switch off/on/dim individually without affected the condition of other pixels surrounding. This means, when they are showing black, the pixels in dark area are switched off. The result, black that produced is really perfect due to there is no any light that that emitted by the pixels in black area. Additionally, the individually self lighting pixel also makes them have excellent black uniformity. So, wherever the black area of the screen, they both can show them with the same depth. Combination of nearly-perfect black level and excellent black uniformity makes their dark room performance is really excellent. Let alone, they both have pixel dimming level, this certainly makes their dark room performance is more excellent.
SDR Peak Brightness
LG OLED B9 has a bit little SDR peak brightness than the OLED B8. With real scene, overall, the LG B8 can hit around 330 nits while with LG B8 only hit around 290 nits. Nevertheless, to prevent from excessive power consumption, their peak brightness is limited by their ABL (Automatic Brighter Limiter) based on the content. They both can hit their brightest peak brightness on 2% window (2% of screen is white while the rest is white) where the LG OLED B8 can hit around 310 nits while the LG B9 can hit around 400 nits. But unfortunately, when they are showing the whole of screen is bright, their peak brightness is dimmed by their ABL down to around 150 nits. Ignoring their difference, their SDR peak brightness is actually bright enough to fight the glare in an average bright room. Additionally, they both can show small highlight fairly bright. Even though when showing the whole of screen is bright, their peak brightness is dimmed significantly, but overall their peak brightness is fairly good for most bright rooms, except for a very brightness room with a lot of lights.
Winner: LG B9
HDR Peak Brightness
With HDR content, both LG OLED C9 and OLED C8 can get brighter peak brightness than when they are with SDR content. And just like with SDR content, their peak brightness is also depending on the content due their ABL System. Nevertheless, if with SDR content, the LG B9 can get brighter, with HDR content, the LG B8 can get brighter. The brightest peak brightness is reached by them on 2% window where the OLED B8 can hit around 650 nits while the OLED B9 only hit around 575 nits. Meanwhile, just like with SDR content, the larger areas of the screen get bright, their peak brightness is dimmed, even when show the whole of the screen is bright, their peak brightness is dimmed significantly down to around 150 nits. But even so, regardless their difference and their peak brightness in every window size, for OLED TVs, their peak brightness is really excellent. HDR images can be shown excellently the way they should be, that means it is good. But unfortunately, if compared to premium OLED TVs like Sony X950G or Samsung Q80R, their peak brightness is far below them. Additionally, since their peak brightness is still less than 1000 nits, they cannot show highlight of HDR images at 1000 – 4000 nits of the target intended by content creator.
Winner: LG B8
Both LG OLED B9 and OLED B8 have similar color gamut and their color gamut is equally excellent. Their color gamut can cover more than 97% of DCI P3 color space that means is great for HDR content that mastered in DCI P3 like HDR10 content. Additionally, even though there color gamut coverage in Rec.2020 is only around 74% but this is still acceptable for HDR content that mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision Content. But even so, while the both have similar color gamut, in term of color volume, the LG B9 has better color volume than the LG B8 predecessor. They both might be able to produce deep dark colors fairly well thanks to nearly-perfect black level produced by them. But in producing bright saturated colors, the OLED B9 can do a better job than the OLED B8. They both actually can produce bright whites fairly well. But at the same time, the WRGB pixel will cause color de-saturation in very bright colors, make them cannot produce bright saturated colors. But overall, combination of wide color gamut and good color volume makes them can produce HDR images with vivid colors.
While the LG OLED B9 has better color volume than the OLED B8, in term of color gradient, the LG OLED B8 is better. On their screen, there might be some banding in all colors, but on the screen of LG B9, the banding is more visible than on the screen of LG B8. Even in normal content, the banding is still visible evidently. Nevertheless, they both actually have a feature that can use to reduce the color banding that might be visible. For the LG B9, you can remove the banding by set “High” the “Smooth Gradation” feature. Meanwhile, for the LG B8, color banding can be reduced by setting “MPEG Noise Gradation” to “Low”. But at the same time, this will makes the picture lose some fine details.
Winner: LG B9 wins in color volume, LG B8 wins in color gradient
Side Viewing Angle
Just like other models of OLED TVs, both LG OLED B9 and OLED B8 also have good side viewing angle coverage. They both can maintain their black level and brightness level up to at around 70 degrees that means it is great. As the comparison, on the screen of LED TVs with VA panel, black level usually will start to raise around 15 degrees off center and brightness level will start to reduce at around 30 degrees. This means, what offered by both are much better than VA TV. Additionally, even though color will shift at around 30 degrees and start to be washed out at around 50 degrees, but this is still better that what happen on LED TV with VA panel. The result, when viewed from the side, the picture displayed on their screen will still look accurate. And of course, this makes them as a great TV for you who have a wide room with wide seating for watching TV.
The LG OLED B8 and OLED B9 both have excellent motion handling thanks to instantaneous pixel response time of their OLED Panel. The result, when they are playing fast moving images like sports of video games, the picture produce looks very smooth and clear without visible motion trail following fast moving object. But at the same time, the instantaneous pixel response time make the picture displayed on their screen appears to stutter, particularly when they are playing low frame rate content like 24p movies. Nevertheless, once the content has higher frame rate, the stutter will less visible. If you feel bothered with stutter, enabling their BFI mode or Motion Interpolation can be used to reduce the stutter. Additionally, enabling BFI mode also can be used to make to reduce persistence blur that caused by their flicker-free screen.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, they both can do the same great job. Regardless the source, whether they are playing native 24p content like DVD or Blu-Ray Movies, 24p via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, 24p via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, or 24p content from native apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Videos, and others, they both can show them with judder-free. But even to remove the judder without adding “soap opera effect”, you just need to simply enable the “Real Cinema” from the “Picture Mode Setting” menu.
The use of new processor Alpha 7 Gen 2 makes the LG B9 has lower input lags than the predecessor LG B8. Nevertheless, the LG B8 actually also already has excellent input lags. With 60 fps content, the LG B8 has around 21 ms at almost all resolution, while the input lags of LG B9 is a bit lower, which is around 24 ms. Meanwhile, with 120 fps content, the input lags of LG B9 is even more excellent, which is around 7 ms on both 1080p and 1440 resolution, while the input lags of LG B8 is only around 21 ms on 1080p resolution. You need to know, the LG B8 doesn’t support 1440p resolution at both 60Hz and 120 Hz. This means, when used for playing games, the LG B9 will be more responsive than the LG B8 and this will be more noticeable when they are used for playing fast paced content. On the other hand, even though not as responsive as its successor, the input lags of the LG B8 is also low enough to make it very responsive for any games, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. The other advantage of B8 when they are used for playing games is it has HDMI’s Forum VRR technology that can improve its game experience, albeit at this time, there is only X Box One that also already supports HDMI Forum VRR.
Winner: LG B9
|Performance||LG OLED B8||LG OLED B9|
As we have discussed a lot of above, in term of picture quality, there is no significant improvement offered by the LG OLED B9 over the OLED B8 predecessor. Even in some certain aspects like HDR peak brightness, it is a bit worse than the predecessor. Nevertheless, this means there is no improvement offered by the OLED B9. In certain aspects like SDR Peak Brightness, Input Lags, and Smart TV, it offers a bit improvement. Meanwhile, the major difference between them is on their processor where the LG B9 is powered by Alpha Gen 7 processor. With this processor, the OLED B9 has some new smart features like AI Picture, AI Brightness, AI Sound, Smooth Gradation, HDMI’s Forum VRR Technology, and others.
Overall, they are great TVs for mixed usage. No matter you use them for watching movies in a dark room, sports, TV Shows, HDR Content, play games, or smart TV Experience, their performance is really excellent. A bit flaw, they both have risk to permanent burn in when showing static images over long time. This means, play the same games for a long time should be avoided to prevent their screen from permanent burn-in. Additionally, even though they both actually can show HDR images as the way they should be, but since its peak brightness is still less than 1000 nits, they both are not able to show HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of the target intended by the content creator.
So, which is a better choice between them? This certainly comes back to your preferences. As a newer model that offers some new features that allows you to more easily get the maximum picture quality of course, the LG OLED B9 is a better choice. But keep in mind, with the same screen size, it is sold hundreds more expensive than the LG OLED B8. On the other hand, if you only focus on the picture quality, the LG B8 might be a better. In addition it is sold cheaper, the picture produced is also not far different to OLED B9.