Reviews // TV

LG OLED48CX6LB Review • The best TV at the moment

The design of the 48-inch model is no different from that of the larger models in the CX range. The smaller size makes the slim screen a little less eye-catching.

Of course, the base seems a bit bigger compared to the relatively small screen, but the whole thing still looks balanced. The finish remains excellent. The OLED screen has a metal back, with a fine border. The brushed metal base plate is a nice accent.

The device is sturdy, keep in mind that you need quite some space behind the device to accommodate the foot.

LG OLED48CX6LB – Connections

Like the larger models, this 48-inch version is equipped with four HDMI 2.1 connections with support for ALLM, VRR, eARC, 2K and 4K HFR. The CX can process up to 4K120 10 bit 4: 4: 4, which should be more than enough for the foreseeable future. More on that when we talk about the gaming aspect.

Three of the four HDMI connections are set aside, along with a USB connection. The fourth HDMI connection and all other connections (two USB, an optical digital output, headphone output, network connection and antenna connections) are at the back. All those connections point to the back, and can be difficult to reach if you choose wall mounting.

The headphone output is also placed on this version in such a way that you have to reach far behind the device. But this is a little less problematic on this smaller size, and you can always connect and leave an adapter cable, which remains a good solution. Or you use wireless Bluetooth headphones.

The 48CX is equipped with WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Audio Association).

LG OLED48CX6LB – Ease of use and smart TV

In terms of ease of use and features, you don’t have to compromise on the 48-inch version either. The new WebOS 5.0 version is mainly a cosmetic adjustment. The color scheme is a bit more sedate, but there are also minor functional changes. This is evident from the first installation that was completely renewed and even more clear and simpler than before. The device now also tries to recognize connected devices, so that you no longer have to configure them yourself.

The ‘Home Dashboard’ still groups all connections, and you will also find network sources, the option to quickly select a different audio output and things like Sound Share or Airplay. The dashboard now also offers a PiP (Picture In Picture) for the current source. Of course you can still add smart devices that support OCF (Open Connectivity Foundation) and turn it into an IoT dashboard. With those devices you can create ‘routines’ to, for example, switch everything off at once in the evening.

A new feature is Sports Alert. You can choose teams from different sports and competitions. When a match of your favorite team starts on live TV, or someone scores, you will receive a message. The Belgian or Dutch football competitions are not available, but they may still come.

WebOS remains one of our favorite smart TV systems, but it is a shame that LG is not making the new versions available on older models.

For a complete overview of WebOS, you can provisionally visit our overview of the previous version . As soon as we have a new overview ready, we will make it available.

Remote control

With the Magic Remote you point to the screen, and with small movements you move the cursor on the screen. You can also use the arrow keys and the other keys if you prefer not to work with that pointing.

The remote fits well in the hand and the keys are, with the exception of the two bottom rows, sufficiently large. They are easy to press and provide good feedback. The layout is fine, and there are shortcuts for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video. You can also configure it for use with your connected devices via the ‘Home Dashboard’.

Functions

The CX is equipped with a single TV tuner for digital TV (DVB-T2 / C / S2) and CI + slot. It is not possible to watch and record another channel at the same time.

You can use Apple Airplay 2 and YouTube videos can be sent via Google Cast. The media player is fine, it supports subtitles and HDR, but has lost support for DTS since this year. LG’s ThinQ AI provides an extensive list of voice commands.

LG OLED48CX6LB – Image processing

The Alpha 9 Gen 3 processor is responsible for image processing. So you can expect the same results as on the larger models. It provides very good deinterlacing and easily recognizes different video and film frame rates. Jagged edges are therefore a rarity. The noise reduction works fine for random noise, but just like last year, the effect on block formation (MPEG noise reduction) is relatively weak, LG really still has to work on that. Also ‘Smooth Gradations’, the setting that has to eliminate color bands, seems to have relatively little effect unless the color bands are already very subtle.

Upscaling results are excellent, and LG claims with AI Picture Pro (to be activated via General / AI service) to sharpen the display of text and faces. That effect must be very small, we couldn’t really see it. Overall, the overall results are excellent, but LG is not making big strides here. We recommend leaving the three noise canceling settings at the lowest setting for general viewing pleasure.

Also on this model you enjoy “OLED Motion Pro”, an improved version of Black Frame Insertion. The lowest setting of OLED Motion Pro brought a significantly improved sharpness of motion without excessive loss of brightness. The middle and high setting deliver slightly better results, but then the brightness drops significantly. In the highest position, a slight flicker is noticeable, but that is less noticeable than on the C9. For games and sports, the lowest OLED Motion Pro setting seems like a great choice. For film, the new Cinema Clear (translated as Cinema Wissen) seems a good solution. It does a decent job of reducing stuttering in pan images, but it doesn’t cause too many image problems. The Smooth mode produces good, smooth images but causes slightly more visual problems.

LG OLED48CX6LB – HDR

This LG supports HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision, HDR10 + also remains absent on this smaller model. When we measure the peak luminance, the results appear to closely match those of the 65-inch version. The peak luminance on a 10% window is 679 nits, rising to 729 nits after just over a minute. On a completely white screen, the maximum is 128 nits. These are typical OLED results, enough for beautiful HDR images, but slightly less intense than high-end LCD models, especially when the image is generally very clear.

The color range also delivers typical OLED values: 94% DCI-P3 and 68% Rec.2020. That is a bit smaller than on the 65 inch, but falls within the variation that we see on OLED models. The calibration is very good, and the color accuracy is even better than on the 65 inch model. The HDR Cinema mode delivers beautiful results. The brightness perfectly follows the required curve and the screen shows all white detail, based on the metadata.

LG also offers ‘Dynamic Tone Mapping’ on this 48-inch model. This algorithm analyzes the image signal and optimizes the HDR display. Especially the perceptual contrast seems to improve. Very bright images get a little more depth, but appear a little less bright. There is often no effect on dark images. Colors can become a bit more intense, but never very harsh. In our opinion, LG has found a good balance between perceived contrast and brightness. Whether you activate dynamic Tonemapping seems to us largely a personal choice, but if you want a true-to-life image, it is best to leave it out. Please note, LG also activates Dynamic Tone Mapping in Filmmaker Mode, so you may have to disable it there.

Thanks to ‘AI brightness’ you have the option to adjust HDR images based on the ambient light. The TV then lifts the black detail a bit so that you see more shadow nuances. This year, with the introduction of Dolby Vision IQ, this is also the case for Dolby Vision content. It is enough to activate the light sensor (in the general picture settings, set Energy saving to Automatic).

LG OLED48CX6LB – Sound quality

The 2.2 channel 40 Watt sound system provides a lot of volume with audible bass. Distortion is audible at too much volume. As long as we don’t open the volume too far, we are very satisfied with the sound. It is warm and pleasant, sufficiently detailed, and has a lot of punch. In addition to Standard, the Cinema and Music preset were our preference (for film and music respectively, of course). Also use AI Acoustic Tuning to adjust the sound to the room acoustics.

The television supports Dolby Atmos and manages to create a beautiful surround experience, but you should of course not expect miracles. The AI ​​Sound Pro sound preset amplifies voices and creates a virtual surround. The result was nice in some programs but sometimes also distracted us too much, you should experiment with it yourself.

Review equipment

For the lag measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements we rely on a Spectracal C6 HDR2000 Colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a VideoForge Pro pattern generator, and the Spectracal Calman for Business software. We use an HDFury Vertex to analyze any HDR problems.

LG launched a 48-inch model, the OLED48CX6LB, in its CX series.
The good:
  •  Very good image processing
  •  Dolby Vision IQ, Filmmaker Mode
  •  Improved motion sharpness
  •  Top black reproduction with a lot of shadow detail
  •  Excellent HDR images HDMI2.1 with widest feature set
  •  Great sound, including Atmos
The not so good:
  •  No HDR10 +
  •  A little less clear than (the large models of) last year
  •  Relatively expensive compared to the 55 ”

Conclusion

Looking for a TV that can serve gaming and has everything to offer? The LG OLED48CX6LB seems to us to be the best choice of the moment. The fact that HDR10 + is missing from the feature list is a small downside, but LG’s own Dynamic Tonemapping compensates for that well. The screen delivers the same contrast, brightness and color gamut performance as the major models, so yes the peak brightness is slightly lower compared to a C9. And the price, which is relatively expensive. At launch, the difference between the 48 and 55 inches was 400 euros, which seemed fine. But in the meantime, the price of the 55 inch has fallen sharply (we already see online prices of 1699, – and even lower), while the 48 inch still costs 1699. That means that you currently pay a solid premium for this smaller model.

But still, we cannot deny that the 48 inch CX is very attractive. WebOS provides excellent ease of use, and the sound quality is fine. Its real trumps lie in the image quality. The perfect OLED black, deep contrast, intense colors and top calibration give all your viewing experiences a solid boost, both in SDR and HDR. This TV has a lot to offer for gamers. From low input lag, over excellent motion sharpness to the widest game-oriented feature set. Yes, even those small teething problems about VRR do not seem enough to us to lose its top position. If you have already ordered the next generation game console, this OLED TV seems like the perfect companion.

We would have liked to see this smaller size a few years ago, but now it’s here it deserves credit and our FWD Excellent award. Maybe just wait until it gets a little cheaper.