LG SK9500 vs SK9000 Review (65SK9500PUA vs 65SK9000PUA) – What are their differences?
LG SK9500 and SK9000 are the top and second top model of LG’s 2018 Super UHD 4K HDR LED TV. Like most models of LG’s LED TV lineup, both of them also come with IPS panel that offer good viewing angle coverage that makes both of them as a good TV for wide room where there are viewers watch TV from multiples angles. In the market, LG SK9000 comes in two screen sizes options those are 55 Inch (55SK900PUA) and 65 inch (65SK9000PUA), while on the other hand, SK9500 comes in 1screen size only that is 65 Inch (65SK9500PUA).With the same screen (65SK9000PUA vs 65SK9500PUA), SK9000 is sold hundreds dollar cheaper than SK9500. But of course, their prices certainly are not fixed and could still change at any time. So, what advantages offered by SK9500 it is priced hundreds dollar more expensive than SK9000 and which is a better choice between them?
LG SK9500 vs SK9000 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||LG SK9000||LG SK9500|
|Size Available||55 Inch (55SK9000PUA), 65 Inch (65SK9000PUA)||65 Inch (65SK9500)|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Panel Type||IPS Panel||IPS Panel|
|Backlighting||Full Array||Full Array|
|Local Dimming||Yes (Full Array Local Dimming)||Yes (Full Array Local Dimming)|
|Picture Engine||Alpha 7 Intelligent Processor||Alpha 7 Intelligent Processor|
|HDR Formats||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Advanced HDR by Technicolor||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Advanced HDR by Technicolor|
|Nano Cell Display||Yes (Pro)||Yes (Pro)|
|Tru Color Accuracy||Yes||Yes|
|Support wide color gamut||Yes||Yes|
|Support 10 Bit depth of color||Yes||Yes|
|Ultra Luminance||Yes (Pro)||Yes (Pro)|
|Nano Cell Black||Yes||Yes|
|UHD Up-scaling||Yes (Tru 4k Up-Scaler)||Yes (Tru 4k Up-Scaler)|
|Motion Clarity||Tru Motion 240 Hz||Tru Motion 240 Hz|
|Refresh rate||Native 120 Hz||Native 120 Hz|
|Smart TV||WebOS 4.0 with LG’s ThinQ AI||WebOS 4.0 with LG’s ThinQ AI|
|LG Magic Remote||Yes||Yes|
|Output Power||40W (Woofer: 20W)||40W (Woofer: 20W)|
|Support Dolby Atmos||Yes||Yes|
|Composite In (AV In)||1||1|
|Prices||See the Price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Features and Technology of LG SK9000 and SK9500
As we see on comparison table above, there are almost no difference between LG SK9000 and SK9500. Both of them equally use IPS panel with direct LED backlight and Full Array Local Dimming. As we know, that major advantage offered by IPS panel is about is ability to maintain the picture quality when viewed from the side. Meanwhile, for maximizing their performance in producing contrast, color, and peak brightness, both of them are also powered by similar technologies. Like the other model of LG’s Super UHD TVs, both LG SK9500 and SK9000 equally come with Nano Cell Display pro version that can deliver wider color gamut than standard Nano Cell Display technology like featured by SK8000. As we know, Essentially, Nano cell display technology is based on quantum dot panel technology but for this case, it has smaller particle. Still about their color technology, there is also Tru Color Accuracy that maximizing the accuracy of colors produced by them. Additionally, for maximizing their contrast ratio and black level produced, both of them are also equally powered by Nano Cell Black technology. Otherwise, for maximizing peak luminance produced by them, both SK9000 and SK9500 are also equally powered by Ultra Luminance technology pro version.
As their main engine, both LG SK9000 and SK9500 are equally powered by Alpha 7 Intelligence processor. Not just image processing that be controlled by this processor, but also other features like their smart TVs, motion handling, and others. Like almost models of 4K TV released in 2018, LG SK9500 and SK9000 are also maximized for HDR experience. Not just one of two HDR formats supported by both but they already support most popular HDR formats including HDR 10 by UHD Alliance, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) by NHK and BBC, Dolby Vision by Dolby Laboratories, and Advanced HDR by Technicolor. For maximizing its performance when playing fast moving images, both of them are also equally powered by Tru Motion 240 Hz based 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Not just that, to make the motion looks clearer, both of them also equally have an optional 60 Hz BFI (Black Frame Insertion mode).
For connecting with other devices, both LG SK9500 and SK9000 are also equally equipped with the same inputs/outputs like such as 4 HDMI ports, 3 USB ports, and others, allows you to connect a lot of your other devices to SK9000 or SK9500 at once. And for allowing you to enjoy HDR experience with impressive sound quality, they are equally equipped with 2.2 channel speaker system with 40 watts of total sound output. Not even just that, both of them also already support Dolby Atmos, allows you to enjoy Dolby Atmos Sound Experience without adding external sound system. And that is not less attractive is about their smart TV platform where now, they are featuring WebOS 4.0 that has been integrated with LG ThinQ AI. With LG ThinQ, you can do a lot of thing with your voice commands and also control your other compatible devices like Dish Washing, Laundry Machine, smart cooker and many more via your TV. Not even just that, it doesn’t only support ThinQ AI compatible devices, but also compatible with Amazon Alexa.
Although on the comparison table above, there is no difference between them, but actually, they have a main difference that makes SK9500 is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than SK9000 that is about the number zones of their local dimming. Both of them may equally come with Direct LED backlight with Full Array Local Dimming, but for this case, they have a difference in the number of dimming zones. LG SK9500 as a higher series has more dimming zones that makes it can provides better backlighting control than SK9000. This has an impact on the picture quality produced by them, particularly on their contrast ratio and peak brightness. The result, SK9500 with more dimming zones can provides deeper black level and brighter peak brightness than SK9000.
LG SK9500 vs SK9000 Performance
Overall, both LG SK9000 and SK9500 have very good picture quality. However, since they use IPA panel, their native contrast ratio is not too strong, make they cannot produce deep black level. In a bright room where the impact of high contrast ratio is not too sensitive, the impact of a weak contrast produced by them might not be too noticeable, but in dark room, the impact will be more noticeable. Instead of look really black, black of images produced by both LG SK9500 and SK9000 will tend to look grey. Indirectly, this also make deep colors produced by them is not too accurate. The result, when showing dark scene in a dark room, the picture displayed on their screen will look unnatural. On the other hand, since both of them cannot provide deep black level, they also cannot show shadow details of HDR images like the creator’s intended. As we know, in addition to provide more information in bright scene, the other main purpose of HDR technology is for providing more information in dark scene. And for this case, the TV must be able to provide deep black level or at least 0.05 nits or darker for HDR 10 format. On the other hand, their contrast ratio is not strong enough to produce black level darker than 0.05 nits as the standardization set by UHD alliance, particularly for SK9000.
Meanwhile, compare between them, without local dimming enable, their native contrast ratio is similar, that is still less than 1500:1. But once their local dimming is activated, contras ratio of SK9500 increase significantly up to more than 2000:1 while on SK9000, its contrast ratio doesn’t increase significantly, even tend to e similar to when its local dimming is disabled. This certainly makes SK9500 can produce deeper black level that certainly also makes dark scene displayed on its screen looks better than SK9000. Black level reached by SK9500 might be darker than 0.05 nits and meet the minimum recommendation set by UHD alliance to show shadow details fully like the intended, but with the note, it is used in a bright room and not used in a dark room. While when set in a dark room, nonetheless its contrast ratio is not enough to show black of images so looks really black.
While their performance in a dark room is not so good particularly when showing dark scene due they cannot produce deep black level, once they set in bright room, the picture displayed on their screen will look far better. This is due in a bright room, blacks will look darker. On the other hand, both of them have peak brightness that bright enough to fight the glare. And combine to their great reflection handling, good quality of picture displayed on their screen can be maintained fairly well. But even so, when playing SDR images, peak brightness of SK9500 is brighter than SK9500, makes its can maintain better when set in brighter room.
Meanwhile, when playing HDR contents, both LG SK9000 and SK9500 can deliver brighter peak brightness than when playing SDR images, makes HDR images looks excellent on their screen. Their peak brightness vary depend on the window size. On SK9500, a very small highlight can be shown fairly bright, even for a short time, it can show a bright small object brighter than 1000 nits. But when it is stable, their peak brightness may be dimmed, but it is still quite bright to make highlight of HDR images looks excellent. Additionally, when showing almost or all objects are bright, SK9500 even can show it brighter. On other hand, although not as bright as what offered by SK9500, SK9000 also can provide good peak brightness for HDR contents. Like on SK9500, for larger window size, it can provides brighter peak brightness than smaller windows. But since its local dimming doesn’t work perfectly, unlike SK9500 that can show a very small highlight excellently, on the screen of SK9000, a very small highlight of HDR images shown dimmer than the rest. Overall, their peak brightness is bright enough to produce good HDR images. But since peak brightness of SK9500 is brighter, this certainly also make it can show HDR images better than SK9000. Additionally, since SK9500 has more dimming zones, blooming will be less noticeable on its screen than on the screen of SK9000.
Although not as wide as what provided by LG OLED TV or Samsung QLED TV, both LG SK9000 and SK9500 are also able to deliver wide color gamut and color gamut produced by them is almost identical. Their color gamut coverage in DCI P3 is very good, more than 90% of DCI P3 can be covered. This means, colors of HDR content that mastered in DCI P3 like HDR 10 content can be shown fairly accurate, although for some certain colors like deep greens, both of them cannot show these colors fairly saturated. Additionally, their color gamut also can cover most of colors in Rex.2020, makes colors of HDR contents mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision also looks fairly accurate. A bit unfortunate, their color volume is not so good. Since they cannot show deep blacks, their color gamut narrows at darker color, make they cannot show dark colors fairly accurate. But overall, their colors rendition is fairly good. Still about color performance, in addition to they have good colors rendition, their color gradient is also fairly good. When playing contents with 10 bit of colors like HDR contents, color gradient of images displayed on their screen looks fairly smooth. Some little imperfections are still noticeable at certain colors like Blue or Red, but this should not be a problem for normal contents. Overall, their color gradient is equally very good, particularly when playing 10 bit content.
Side Viewing Angle
The use of IPS panel may make both LG SK9500 and SK9000 have weak native contrast ratio, but on the other hand, this makes both have good side viewing angle. This side viewing angle coverage may not as good as what offered by OLED TV, but at least, this is better than VA panel. If on VA panel, the picture usually will look degraded started at 20 degrees off center and front, on their screen, the picture quality can be maintained at wider angle. At about 25 degrees, color may still look fade and at about 30 degrees, brightness also starts to decrease, black level can be maintained at far wider angle, even for extremely wide angle. The result, although when viewed from the side, the picture displayed still looks a bit degrade, but the degradation is not as significant as that happens on VA panel. If you often watch TV or play game with a group of your friend or family, both of them can be a good option for you.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
Essentially, both LG SK9500 and SK9000 have good motion handling. Their pixel response time is equally low, low enough to make motion looks clear and smooth with almost no motion blur when they are playing fast moving images like sport or fast games. Following fast moving object, there is only a short ghosting trail where most people may not notice this much. Most of blurs that might be visible is more caused by 60 fps persistence than pixel response time. Meanwhile, to dim the backlight, both of them equally use PWM Dimming system with 120 HZ of frequency. This may make motion looks a bit clearer, particularly when playing contents with 120 Hz of frame rate, but on the other hand, this will result in some duplication behind fast moving objects. Additionally, the use of 120 Hz of frequency dimming also makes backlight flicker is more noticeable, particularly for people who sensitive to judder. Both LG SK9000 and SK9500 also has an optional 60 Hz BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode where when it is enabled, this will flicker the backlight at 60 Hz of frequency. This is very helpful to reduce persistence blur particularly when playing 60 Hz contents like sports or video games, but on the other hand, this also will make flickers more noticeable on their screen. To enable this feature, you just need enable the “Motion Pro”.
Additionally, both of them also do a great job when playing 24p movies. This means, no matter the frame rate of the contents, whether it is native 24p videos like DVD or Blu Ray’s movies, 24p videos via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV, 24p movies via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices like Fire TV, Apple TV, or movies from streaming apps like YouTube, Netflix, and others, all of them will be displayed clearer and smoothly with judder-free. To remove the judder without adding “soap opera effect”, you just need to turn on the “Real Cinema” on their picture setting.
As their major connectivity, both LG SK9000 and SK9500 equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports where all of them already support HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth and HDCP 2.2. Additionally, one of them also already supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) that is HDMI 2. In addition to HDMI ports, they are also equally equipped with 3 USB ports. But unlike last year models where one of their USB port is USB 3.0, all USB ports of both LG SK9500 and SK9000 are USB 2.0. In addition to USB ports and HDMI ports, there are also Digital Audio Out (Optical), Composite In (AV IN), 1 RF In (Tuner), and Ethernet. As their wireless connectivity, both of them are equally equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
In addition to be equipped with the same inputs/outputs, both LG SK9500 and SK9000 also equally have excellent input lags in PC Mode and Game Mode. No matter the resolution of the sources, their input lags are less than 20 ms that means it is excellent for any games, even for fast paced games. Their input lags at 4K HDR source may a bit higher, but still less than 25 ms and still low enough to play any games so feels responsively and comfortably.
As their smart TV platform, both LG SK9000 and SK9500 are equally featuring WebOS 4.0. Now, their smart TV platform has been powered by Alpha 7 processor. Like last year version, its home layout is designed intuitively and easy to navigate. At the bottom of across the screen, there is a “strip bar’ with a lot of “tiles” which well-organize all apps, menus, and settings, allow you to navigate quickly and easily. Compared to last year version, on the top-right, there is additional search menu that allows you search anything easily and quickly. Additionally, its performance might not as fast and responsive as LG OLED TV that powered by Alpha 9 processor, but with Alpha 7 processor behind it, its performance is still very fast and responsive. Apps provided are also very complete and diverse. There are VoD service like Amazon Videos, YouTube, Netflix, And others, web browser, Live TVs, Games, and an app store called “LG’s apps store” that provided tons of downloadable apps, games, and contents. What provided by LG’s app store might not as many as what provided by Google Play Store or Samsung’s apps tore, but they are more focused on what people want. The other interesting thing offered, now WebOS has been integrated with LG ThinQ AI. In addition to it allows you to do a lot of more with your voice command, it also serves as a “Hub” of compatible home devices. This means, in addition to you can control TV functions, search, or navigate with your voice command, you can also control ThinQ compatible device with your voice command. Not even just that, it also has supported Amazon Alexa, allow you to control Amazon Alexa compatible device with your voice command via your LG TV.
As their controller, LG SK9500 and SK9000 are also equipped with the same remote that is LG’s Magic Remote. This remote is similar to what found on OLED C8 or last year models. In addition to standard buttons like Volume, Number Button, Channel, and others, it also has some quick access buttons to most common settings. Additionally, it also has two dedicated buttons for Netflix and Amazon, allow you to launch these apps without entering home menu. Like the smart remote from other manufacturers, it is also equipped with built-in microphone for voice navigation. Like as we have discussed above, since WebOS has been integrated with LG ThinQ AI, you can make a lot of commands with your voice to control TV functions, navigate on its smart TV, or control your ThinQ AI compatible devices. Additionally, this remote also has a universal ability, allow you to control other devices connected on LG TV via HDMI CEC with a single remote. And the most interesting feature offered, it has “Point and Click” feature like a mouse on your PC. In addition to it has a direction pad and a clickable “scroll wheel”, that allows you to move a pointer on the screen or highlighted menu, the pointer also can be moved by moving the remote.
|Performance||LG SK9000||LG SK9500|
As we have discussed a lot above, the excepting of the number of dimming zones of their local dimming, both LG SK9000 and SK9000 are powered by similar technology and have almost similar feature. Comes with more dimming zone, this makes LG 65SK9500PUA is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than 65SK9000PUA. The impact, SK9500 can produce deeper black level and brighter peak brightness than SK9000, no matter they are displaying SDR or HDR contents. Nevertheless, although SK9500 can produce deeper black level than SK9000, nonetheless its black level is not dark enough to make blacks looks really black in a dark room. With their poor performance in producing deep black, this certainly make them are not suitable when used in a dark room. But even so, once they are set in a bright room, overall, the picture displayed on their screen looks excellent. But since SK9500 has deeper black level and brighter peak brightness, this certainly also makes the picture displayed on its screen looks better than SK9000. Meanwhile, the advantage offered, although not as good as OLED TV, but they equally have good side viewing angle coverage, make them as good TVs when used in a wide room with a lot of viewers watch from multiple angles. In addition to good picture quality in a bright room, some features offered by them also have good performance like good motion and 24p movies handling, low input lags, attractive and responsive smart TV , and others, make them become good TVs for mixed usage.
So, which is a better choice between them? This certainly comes back to your budget and preference. If you have extra budget, LG SK9500 certainly is a better choice. Hundreds dollar more which you spent will be comparable with the advantages that offered. But even so, LG SK9000 is also not a bad choice for you considering their picture quality is also not far behind SK9500. But keep in mind, for you who frequently watch TV in a dark room, you should search other option. Sony X900F or Samsung Q6F has excellent dark room performance, but on the other hand, their side viewing angle coverage is limited.