When it came time to choose our top 4K TV for HDR gaming, there was only one real option: the LG CX OLED. It boasts impressive contrast, low input lag and pixel response times and support for the latest technologies – including the HDMI 2.1 standard that allows 4K 120Hz HDR gameplay. The 55-inch CX has now dropped by £400 to its lowest-ever price of £1299 – making it the perfect companion for the next-gen Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. Here’s why we think this TV is so good, where to find it and how much cheaper it’s likely to get.
Update: November 23. Black Friday has begun and this is still the best deal we’ve found on a top 4K HDR TV. The CX OLED really ticks all the boxes for gamers on PS5, Xbox Series X and PC. Original article continues below:
First of all, let’s cover where this deal is available. We’ve spotted the £1299 price at Amazon, John Lewis and Currys. Currys and John Lewis both include a five-year guarantee as standard, but John Lewis also offers accidental damage insurance – including burn-in damage – for £140, making it the best place to buy if you want the extra reassurance.
Also, if you wanted to go bigger, the 65-inch version has also been reduced by an extra £100 at all three retailers, making it now £1799 – another historic low price for this model. With all Digital Foundry members now using recent LG OLEDs at home, the only regret we’ve had is not buying a bigger size!
Anyway, here are links to the CX at each retailer:
So why is this TV so special? Two reasons, really: it’s an OLED and it’s perfectly matched to the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and the latest graphics cards from AND and Nvidia.
We’ve covered the advantages (and disadvantages) of OLED before, so the short version is this: you get perfect blacks and technically infinite contrast, gorgeous colours, wide viewing angles and rapid pixel response times. In general, this makes games, films and TV look their best, especially in HDR. The CX supports DolbyVision, HDR10 and HLG, so you’ll have support for the most popular HDR formats as well.
The only noticeable downsides to OLEDs are slightly reduced peak brightness compared to some QLED sets and the potential for permanent image retention, also known as burn-in. This has been tested extensively by outlets such as RTings, who conclude that the risk of burn-in is very low under normal usage thanks to the safeguards in place on modern OLEDs like the CX. You’ve got to decide for yourself, but personally I believe the advantages outweigh the risk. If you’re particularly worried, then get John Lewis’ Protect Plus service (via a tick-box on the product page), which covers burn-in as well as accidental damage to the TV for £140.
The CX is also one of the most future-proof TV sets on the market, thanks to its use of the new HDMI 2.1 standard which has arrived this year with the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nvidia’s RTX 30-series graphics cards and AMD’s RX 6000 series GPUs. All four of the TV’s HDMI ports meet the HDMI 2.1 standard with 40Gbps of bandwidth, allowing you to play games at 4K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate in 10-bit HDR.
As well as allowing for 120fps gaming at up to 4K, the CX also supports variable refresh rates which help to eliminate screen tearing and judder without the input lag penalty of traditional v-sync. As well as the HDMI VRR spec bundled into HDMI 2.1 (alongside other features like ALLM and eARC) used by the consoles, the CX is also FreeSync and G-Sync Compatible, so you can use it with PCs with Nvidia or AMD graphics cards too.
In other measurements, the CX also excels. Its input lag is low – 13ms at 60Hz, 6ms at 120Hz – and it supports Black Frame Insertion at 60 or 120Hz to boost motion clarity. All in all, it’s the ultimate 4K TV for HDR gaming, making this £400 price drop super exciting.
One last question: how much cheaper is the CX likely to get? Well, we can use last year’s LG C9 as a guide. At its very lowest price, we saw it drop to £1199 on Black Friday – £100 cheaper than the CX right now. We did see that price by the first day of ‘Black Friday week’, and we’ve now reached the same point without even a peep of a £1199 LG CX.
Based on this, we don’t think it’s likely that the CX will go any lower on Black Friday itself – and if it does, it’s likely to be a short-lived deal from one of the smaller players, rather than Currys, John Lewis or Amazon. Additionally, Currys has promised to refund the difference if one of their products goes cheaper on Black Friday, so you could always buy from them as an extra insurance policy that you’re getting the best price.
If you do decide to wait to purchase, please follow our Digital Foundry Deals account on Twitter (@dealsfoundry) so you’ll be alerted as soon as we spot a good deal on the CX or stock of hot ticket items like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
What about the LG BX OLED?
The LG BX OLED has also been discounted, albeit by only £200. We reckon that the CX is the better performer, but if you’re operating on a tighter budget the entry-level LG OLED set is still a great pick. The CX is brighter, does better with gradients in dark scenes and its stand is more durable, but the major advantages and features are shared between both models. Here are the best BX prices we’ve found today:
Hope this was helpful. Goodbye for now, and check back for more Black Friday deals as we find them!