Our favourite 4K TV for HDR gaming, the 55-inch LG B9 OLED, has been discounted to £999 at Currys with both collection and delivery options available. To get this sub-£1000 price, you’ll need to go through the (very long) checkout process, putting in your address and so on, before being able to use code BTETVSAVE100 at the very last step. This price is £100 cheaper than the previous Black Friday deals that we’ve seen, and £600 cheaper than the TV was selling for in September. That makes it an excellent deal on a brilliant OLED TV.
So why do Digital Foundry love LG OLEDs so much – and why did we name this one the best 4K TV for HDR gaming? Well, OLED televisions are renowned for their picture quality, with the organic LEDs inside capable of turning completely black instead of just very dark grey as you’d expect with an LED. That means the contrast between the lightest and darkest areas of the screen is nearly infinite, letting the TV look stunning in dark scenes – particularly in HDR.
The colour reproduction is also gorgeous, with the move from SDR to HDR content often being a bigger jump in visual quality than the move from 1080p to 4K resolution. Pixel response times are also nearly instantaneous, so motion handling is typically superb on OLED sets. Viewing angles are excellent too, making these sets ideal even for wide living rooms. The only real downside to OLED panels is that screen brightness typically isn’t as high as competing QLED models from Samsung, but at 600+ nits it’s more than bright enough for a convincing HDR experience.
LG is the leading manufacturer of TV-size OLED screens, so their TVs naturally offer some of the best implementations of the technology, including extremely low input lag of around 13ms in game mode (and half that at 120Hz, as tested at 1080p and 1440p).
The LG B9 and C9 are also particularly noteworthy for their use of HDMI 2.1 ports throughout, allowing them to support 4K at 120Hz through a single cable. This isn’t a big deal now – there are no HDMI 2.1 sources on the market at present – but with next-generation consoles and graphics cards both thought to offer HDMI 2.1, it makes the LG B9 much more future-proof than the vast majority of its competitors.
HDMI 2.1 also includes other niceties, like eARC (letting you send higher-quality audio from TV to soundbar or speakers) and auto low latency mode (which lowers input lag automatically when a source like an Xbox One requests it), which are also only found on a small fraction of even recently-released TVs.
One common question when considering the B9 is this: is it worth spending a few hundred pounds more to get the improved LG C9 version? This is currently retailing for £1399, making it £400 more expensive than the B9, but it does offer a few advantages.
Firstly, the C9 comes with a more modern processor, which has a small benefit to motion handling. Some reports also suggest that the C9 is better calibrated out of the box, so if you go with the B9 you may wish to have it calibrated (either yourself or by a professional) to maximise its image quality. However, most people aren’t likely to notice any issues outside of a direct side-by-side comparison, so we given the price differential we recognise the B9 for most people.
Update: The LG B9 actually will become G-Sync Compatible in an upcoming firmware update, according to Nvidia – previously, only the C9 and E9 were slated to become certified. This means users with Nvidia graphics cards can enable G-Sync, eliminating tearing and judder without input lag. This eliminates one of the major reasons to upgrade to the LG C9 instead, making this an even better deal!
Of course, with any OLED there is the risk of burn-in. Long-term burn-in tests performed by the likes of Rtings has shown that burn-in isn’t likely to occur within the lifetime of the TV for mixed content, but it can occur – especially on older models – if TVs are kept tuned to a single source that retains bright on-screen elements in the same place for extended periods. For example, you might want to automatically hide your start menu if you’ll use the TV exclusively with a PC or turn the TV off if you watch a cable news network for hours every day.
For any kind of mixed use, particularly when the TV is allowed to run its anti burn-in routines overnight, the chance of burn-in is very small. However, you may still prefer to buy a non-OLED instead, and that’s a perfectly respectable choice. (We recommend several QLED options in our Black Friday 4K TV deals, for instance.)
With all things considered, the LG B9 at £999 from Currys is an excellent deal, and we aren’t likely to see a better one in 2019. If you’ve been waiting to upgrade to a new 4K TV set, choosing what we think is the best 4K TV for HDR gaming makes a lot of sense. It looks great, it’s future-proof thanks to HDMI and this is an extremely good price.
Note: There are some other offers floating around as well that can be used in conjunction with this £999 deal price. First, Currys are promising that one in ten customers will get their OLED for half price, but you’ll need to check back precisely 32 to 42 days after the purchase and put the transaction number on your receipt into their 1in10 promotion site. Second, Sky are offering 33 per cent off for 18 months with the purchase of the LG B9. Once you have your TV in hand, visit their TV offer site to get the discount.