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. Today, the 55-inch CX has dropped by £300 to its lowest-ever price of £1399 – just in time for 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.
First of all, let’s cover where this deal is available. We’ve spotted the same £1399 price at three retailers so far: Amazon, Currys and John Lewis. While the first two may be the most obvious choices for most people, it’s worth mentioning that John Lewis do offer a five year guarantee on their TVs, including the CX. You’ll also get a free LG FN4 true wireless headphones with the CX from Currys or John Lewis, worth £99.
Anyway, here are links to the CX at each retailer:
Amazon – LG CX (55-inch) OLED for £1399
Currys – LG CX (55-inch) OLED for £1399
John Lewis – LG CX (55-inch) OLED for £1399
So why is this TV so special? Two reasons, really: it’s an OLED and it’s perfectly matched to the next-gen consoles and graphics cards coming out this autumn and winter.
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 arrives this year with the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and next-generation graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD. Each of the TV’s four HDMI 2.1 ports has 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 £300 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 – £200 cheaper than the CX right now. If history is any indication, that means the CX could also become at least £100 cheaper in about two months’ time. Personally, I would rather have the TV two months earlier, but if your budget is tight then holding on may be the best course of action. There’s also the question of stock to consider. The best deals tend to sell out extremely quickly, and on a Black Friday where the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have just been released, demand may be even higher than normal. Still, if you’re OK with potentially missing out, waiting is always a prudent strategy.
If you do decide to wait, 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 another hot-ticket item like a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X.