Sometimes tech upgrades are subtle, incremental improvements over their predecessors: Moreso the products of clever marketing rather than technological innovation. But other times, they’re leaps-and-bounds better.
Our new OLED TV seems to fall into the latter category.
I first heard about OLED technology when Nintendo released their OLED-equipped Switch model. The promise of “deeper blacks” and “more vivid colours” was enticing — especially since even I, a non-videophile, had identified them as weaknesses of current-gen LCD/LED displays. But OLEDs aren’t cheap, and for the price, I believed our 2015 43″ Vizio 1080p LED TV was still good enough.
That might have been true if OLED was the only difference between our new TV and the old Vizio. But since this new LG OLED55A1PUA is a 4K TV, 12″ bigger, and OLED, it’s a beefy upgrade. And from the moment my partner and I powered it on, the wow-factor was there.
While waiting for the LG OLED TV to arrive, I resumed playing Mass Effect 2: Legendary Edition (PS4) on our Vizio LED TV to get a point of comparison. As a sci-fi epic with dark, atmospheric lighting and saturated colours, I figured it would highlight an OLED TV’s strengths. After all, I was already impressed with how Mass Effect 2 looked on our Vizio LED TV. Sure, aside from some upscaling, it’s still a game from 2010 — but the artistry has aged well.
However, on the new LG OLED TV, Mass Effect 2 no longer looked like an upscaled 2010 game: It looked convincingly current-gen. Again, I’m no videophile. But suddenly, the cracks and crevasses on Grunt’s scaley reptilian skin looked especially sharp. In the Normandy’s ship quarters, computer interfaces hummed with vibrant blue and orange light against pockets of convincing darkness. And the infamous Illusive Man scenes — which feature a silhouetted man, cigarette in hand, overlooking a burning-azure planetscape — were mesmerizing.
In my excitement, I took some pictures of Mass Effect 2 in action on the LG OLED TV. I’m not sure that they’ll convey the TV’s quality, but suffice to say I’m really enjoying this thing. A guy I was messaging compared the TV upgrade to “going from ’96 Honda Civic to a 2021 Rolls Royce Ghost.” I’m inclined to agree.
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