Through luck, determination or the divine will of the gaming gods, you’ve managed to get your hands on a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X in time for the holidays. Congrats!
Now, the question is: do you have a TV that can take full advantage of the newest generation of gaming devices?
For the past few weeks, we’ve been putting a 77-inch
– hailed by some as the ultimate gaming display – through its paces, playing everything from Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PS5 to Cyberpunk 2077 on a beastly gaming PC.
Does this huge (and hugely expensive) TV live up to the lofty hype? Here’s what you need to know if you plan to take the OLED plunge.
LG CX 4K OLED? THAT’S A LOT OF LETTERS
LG is the electronics giant, and CX (pronounced “c ten”) is one of their flagship TV lines. Like most newer TVs, it supports crisp 4K resolution, aka ultra-high definition. OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode, a display technology that offers incredible image quality with super-thin screens.
WHAT MAKES IT SO GOOD FOR GAMERS?
OLED TVs have self-lit pixels, which means they don’t suffer from the backlight issues that can muddy the image on some conventional LED TVs. They also feature realistic and natural colours, and blacks that are truly deep and inky.
With more and more video games supporting HDR (high dynamic range) colour and contrast, titles like Demon’s Souls on PS5 and Ori and the Will of the Wisps on Xbox absolutely pop on the CX’s OLED screen. Plus, the TV’s built-in Instant Game Response automatically switches to a low latency input mode when it senses you’re connected to a gaming device.
WHAT’S ALL THIS STUFF ABOUT REFRESH RATES?
Thanks to the cutting-edge silicon under the hood, the PS5 and Xbox Series X are capable of 120 fps (frames per second) gameplay at 4K resolution in some titles, like Call of Duty: Warzone. When paired with a TV that supports 120 Hz refresh rates at 4K – like the CX does – the visuals are astonishingly smooth and sharp.
On the PC gaming side, the CX supports NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync standards, which allow the TV to match variable refresh rates in compatible PC games. When playing Cyberpunk 2077 on a rig with a new NVIDIA RTX 3080 graphics card, this gave us consistent, buttery smooth gameplay (aside from the game’s own legion of bugs), with no choppy “tearing” effects.
DID YOU SAY A 77-INCH SCREEN?
Heck yes! The LG CX comes in four sizes – 48, 55, 65 and 77 inches. While the 48-inch model ($1,999) could make for an incredible desktop gaming PC display, the price jump between the living room-friendly 65-inch and 77-inch models – retailing, as of this writing, for $2,599 and $4,999, respectively – is eye-watering.
But swinging through Manhattan as Spider-Man or prowling war-torn streets as the thick-necked soldiers of Gears 5 – taking in the sights in 4K resolution with HDR colour and contrast – was jaw-droppingly immersive on our 77-inch review unit. You’re practically inside the game.
WHAT ABOUT TV AND MOVIES?
Let’s just say that as Star Wars nerds, watching The Mandalorian in Dolby Vision – the cinematic display tech built into some high-end TVs, like the CX – was an almost religious experience.
In Chapter 13 (spoilers if you haven’t seen it!), the forests of Corvus were dim and foreboding, yet with tons of detail in the shadowy trees. Characters’ skin tones were realistic, thanks to the CX’s α9 Gen 3 processor. (No, that’s not Elon Musk’s kid – it’s an AI brain that improves colour and clarity.) And when Ahsoka Tano fired up her twin lightsabers, they were dazzlingly bright without washing out the surrounding darkness.
It’ll be several more months before going to the movies becomes a viable option again. A big-screen TV at home might be the next best thing.
ANYTHING TO WATCH OUT FOR?
Like the hard-to-find game consoles themselves, the 77-inch model of the LG CX is a hot commodity, and is on backorder at many retailers – you might have better luck finding the smaller sizes. And you’ll need new HDMI 2.1 cables – included with the PS5 and Xbox Series X – to take full advantage of the CX’s cutting-edge features.
While OLED TVs are more prone to image retention (or “burn in”) than regular LED TVs, it’s less of a problem with modern OLEDs like the CX, which have safeguards built in. Still, be wary of static images on the screen – like the heads-up displays in games – if you’re playing for many hours at a stretch for several days in a row. Even Spidey needs a break now and then.