LG SK9000 vs SJ8500 Review (55SK9000PUA vs 55SJ8500, 65SK9000PUA vs 65SJ8500)
LG SK9000 and SJ8500 are equally second top model of LG’s 4K HDR LED TV lineup. But the difference, LG SJ8500 is 2017 model while SK9000 is 2018 model. Both of the also comes in two screen sizes option, 65 inch (65SK9000PUA vs 65SJ8500) and 55 inch (55SK900PUA vs 55SJ8500). Although for this now, with the same screen size, SK9000 is priced hundreds dollar more expensive than SJ8500, but refers to when they was first launched, their prices actually are similar. Nevertheless, since it is a 2017 model, the prices of SJ8500 have dropped a lot while because SK9000 was recently launched, its prices are still stable and have not dropped a lot. This is why although SK9000 is a successor of SJ8500, but it is priced far more expensive than the predecessor. But even so, their prices certainly are not fixed and could still change at any time and usually will drop as time goes by, particularly for SK9000 that recently released. So, what new features and improvements are offered by SK9000 over the predecessor SJ8500?
LG SK9000 vs SJ8500 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||LG SJ8500||LG SK9000|
|Size||55 Inch (55SJ8500), 65 Inch (65SJ8500)||55 Inch (55SK9000PUA), 65 Inch (65SK9000PUA)|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Panel Type||IPS Panel||IPS Panel|
|Backlighting||Edge Lit||Full Array|
|Local Dimming||Yes||Yes (Full Array Local Dimming)|
|HDR||Active HDR with Dolby Vision|
|Picture Engine||Alpha 7 Intelligent Processor|
|HDR Formats||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Advanced HDR||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Advanced HDR|
|Nano Cell Display||Yes||Yes (Pro)|
|Tru Color Accuracy||Yes||Yes|
|Support wide color gamut||Yes||Yes|
|Support 10 Bit depth of color||Yes||Yes|
|Ultra Luminance||Yes||Yes (Pro)|
|Nano Cell Black||No||Yes|
|UHD Up-scaling||Yes (Tru 4k Up-Scaler)||Yes (Tru 4k Up-Scaler)|
|Motion Clarity||Tru Motion 240 Hz||Tru Motion 240 Hz|
|Refresh rate||Native 120 Hz||Native 120 Hz|
|Smart TV||WebOS 3.5||WebOS 4.0 with LG’s AI ThinQ|
|LG Magic Remote||Yes||Yes|
|Output Power||40W (Woofer: 20W)||40W (Woofer: 20W)|
|Support Dolby Atmos||No||Yes|
|Composite In (AV In)||1||1|
|Prices||See the price on Amazon||See the Price on Amazon|
Features and Technologies of LG SJ8500 and SK9000
On their panel, LG SK9000 and SJ8500 equally use IPS panel but the difference, SK9000 use Direct LED backlight with local Dimming or Full Array Local Dimming while SJ8500 uses edge-lit LED with local dimming. To delivers wide color gamut and excellent colors rendition, both of them are also powered by Nano Cell Display, a technology based on quantum dot panel but has smaller particles and optimized by a feature called “True Color Accuracy”. But for this case, SK9000 is supported by Nano Cell Display Pro version while SJ8500 is supported by standard version. We don’t clearly know what the differences between these versions, but with pro version, X900E is expected can deliver wide color gamut and better colors rendition than the predecessor SJ8500. Additionally, for optimizing their peak luminance, both of them are also powered by Ultra Luminance technology, but like on their Nano Cell Color, LG SJ8500 is powered by standard version while SK9000 is powered by Pro version. And of course, with pro version, SK9000 expected can deliver brighter peak luminance than the predecessor SJ8500.
Meanwhile, for delivering smooth and sharp HDR images, LG SK9000 is already powered by Alpha 7 intelligent processor while SJ8500 is not yet powered by this processor. This processor is claimed can improve the color, contrast, brightness and clarity of HDR images produced by LG 4K HDR LED TV lineup to higher level. In addition to improve the HDR images quality, this processor also acts as the brain of LG’s new ThinQ AI system. Coming with HDR technology, both of them also already support most of HDR formats including HDR 10 by UHD alliance, Dolby Vision by Dolby Laboratories, HLG by NHK and BBC, and Advanced HDR by Technicolor. This allows you enjoy your favorite movies with more format options. In term of motion handling, both of them are also equally equipped with True Motion 240 Hz with native refresh panel 120 Hz. About their inputs/outputs, there are not many improvements offered by SK9000 over SJ8500. Both of them are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports and others.
As their smart TV platform, both of them also equally featuring WebOS, the difference, SJ8500 comes with WebOS 3.5 while SK9000 comes with WebOS 4.0. That is interesting, WebOS 4.0 now also comes with LG’s AI ThinQ, an artificial intelligence system by LG, allows you to control and monitor your other smart devices support ThinQ with voice commands. Additionally, ThinQ is also compatible Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This allows you are not just able to control other devices supports ThinQ only, but also other smart devices which support Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Meanwhile, equally coming with 2.2 channel speaker system and 40 watts of total sound outputs, this allows you to enjoy HDR experience with more impressive sound quality than other TVs which use standard 2.0 channel speaker system. While the advantage offered by SK9000, it now also already support Dolby Atmos, allows you to enjoy Dolby Vision experience with Dolby Atmos sound quality.
LG SK9000 vs SJ8500 Performance
As long as they are not used in a dark room, overall, the picture displayed on their screen looks fairly good. Although between IPS TV, native contrast ratio of LG SK9000 and SJ8500 is including the strongest, but still unable to produce deep blacks. Instead of looks really black, blacks of images will tend to look grey and this will be more noticeable when set in a dark room. This certainly makes dark scenes looks unnatural. But even so, once they are set in a bright room, dark scenes of the picture displayed on their screen will look far better. This is due the tendency from black to gray is less noticeable. Although not as deep as a TV with high native contrast ratio, in a bright room blacks will still look black.
On the other hand, while both of them has similar poor native contrast ratio, LG SK9000 has brighter peak luminance than SJ8500. With less than 300 nits, peak brightness of SJ8500 is only enough to fight the glare when set in a moderately-bright room, while when set in a very bright room with bright light or sunny window, it is not bright enough to overcome the glare. The picture displayed on its screen even will look too dim. Since its contrast ratio is poor and its peak brightness is not too bright, LG SJ8500 will show its best picture quality only when set in moderately-bright or dim room where there are not many light. On other hand, LG SK9000 can do better in overcoming the glare and dealing with a reflection. With more than 400 nits or even close to 500 nits, peak brightness can do better job than SJ8500 in overcoming the glare in a brighter room. Additionally, in dealing with a reflection, SK9000 also offer better job than the predecessor SJ8500. A bit unfortunate, when local dimming is turned on, due its local dimming doesn’t work excellently, highlight of images will look too dim, even dimmer than SJ8500. Overall, with brighter peak brightness and a bit better reflection handling, LG SK9500 can show better picture quality when set in bright room, particularly in a bright room with a lot of light.
Meanwhile, since both of them already support wide color gamut, both of them don’t have any problem in showing colors of SDR images which “only” mastered in Rec.709 color space. The result, colors of SDR images can be shown fairly accurate without a lot of deviations.
As we know, one of the main purposes of HDR technology is to show more information in dark scene or shadow so dark scene will looks more details and clearer. But since both of them doesn’t have strong native contrast ratio, this certain makes them is not able to show shadow details of HDR images like the intended. As a reference, for showing shadow details of HDR 10 images like the intended, a TV must have 0.05 nits of black level or darker, while with their native contrast ratio, the deepest black level reached by them is only about 0.0.75 that means their black level is not quite dark. Let alone for HDR format that requires higher standardization like Dolby Vision, black level reached by them certainly is still far from what required. This means, both of them are not too suitable when used to watch movies with a lot of dark scenes likes thriller or horror.
Meanwhile, discussing about their peak brightness, when inputted by HDR signals, both of them can reach brighter peak brightness than when inputted by SDR signal. But like on their SDR peak brightness, LG SK9000 also can reach brighter peak brightness than LG SJ8500. On the screen of LG SJ8500, a bright small object can be shown fairly bright, makes highlight in dark scene of HDR images can be shown fairly excellent. But unfortunately, in larger windows sizes, its peak brightness will dim. The result, when showing a scene with almost all object are bright, the picture displayed on its screen look not too bright, far from what expected from HDR images. On the other hand, since LG SK9000 has brighter peak brightness, it can do a better job when showing bright scene of HDR images. A small bright object can be shown far brighter than SJ8500. Additionally, although its peak brightness also dims when showing a scene with all objects are bright, but not as dim as SJ8500 and still bright enough for most room. But even so, since its local dimming doesn’t work well, a very small bright object is even shown dimmer than SJ8500. But overall, LG SK9000 can do better job than SJ8500 when showing bright scene or highlights of HDR images and for its class, its performance is fairly good. However, since the minimum peak brightness recommend for showing highlights of HDR images is 1000 nits, both of them cannot meet your expectation for watching HDR images like the intended.
The only aspect you can hope to be able to watch HDR images on their screen like the intended is on its color rendition. With Nano Cell Display technology behind them, both of them can deliver wide color gamut, wider than what required for showing HDR images like the intended. Although in certain colors like deep greens, both LG SK9000 and SJ8500 cannot show fairly saturated, but overall, colors of HDR images in DCI P3 can be shown fairly accurate, makes HDR images displayed on their screen looks colorful. But even so, since it cannot show black excellently, this also makes its wide color gamut narrows significantly in darker colors. The result, very dark colors cannot be shown as accurate as bright colors. But overall, the excepting of very dark colors, both LG SJ8500 and SK9000 can show their wide color gamut at their entire brightness range fairly well. Still about their color reproduction, although both of them still have some little imperfections when showing darker shades of colors, but overall, color gradient of 10 bit images can be shown fairly smoothly on their screen. On the other hand, some little imperfections which might appear don’t have significant impact on the normal contents, so this should not be a serious problem for them. Overall, both of them might be able to show excellent color renditions when displaying HDR images, but for this case, with pro version of Nano Cell Display, LG SK9000 can produce a bit wider color gamut than SJ8500 that certainly makes its color renditions if also better.
Side Viewing Angle
The use of IPS panel might makes both LG SJ8500 and SK9000 have low native contrast ratio, but on the other hand, this makes both of them have wide side viewing angle coverage. This might not as good as what offered by OLED TV, but it is far better than VA TVs. At a narrow angle off center and front, the color might start to deviate, but at wider angles, the color deviation is not as significant as VA TVs. Additionally, brightness also start to dim at a bit wider angle from the angle where the color start to deviate, but the degradation is also not as significant as on VA TVs. The excellence, both of them can maintain their black level up to at extremely wide angle. All of them certainly makes the picture displayed on their screen look remain good when viewed from an angle. This certainly is different to VA TV where when viewed from an angle, the picture displayed will look worse.
Motion Handling and 24p playback
Both LG SJ8500 and SK9000 equally have very low pixel response time than means it is great. Combined to the excellent performance of their motion clarity technology called “True Motion Rate 240”, the makes both of them can do a great job when handling motion blur. The result, there is only a short faint trail following fast moving object where most people might not notice. On the other hand, since both of them have local dimming, they equally use PWM system that expected can reduce motion blur. Motion might be able to be cleared up slightly, but on the other hand, this precisely results in some duplications following fast moving object. So, the blur that might be visible following fast moving object more caused by duplications that resulted by flicker. But since the blur is very faint, most people might not notice that. Additionally, since both of them use 120 Hz of PWM Dimming Frequency, for people who sensitive to flicker, they might be still able to see that. But compare between them, since SK9000 uses different PWM system, flicker on the screen of SK9000 is less noticeable than on the screen of SJ8500.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, the excepting of 24p contents via 60p signals, both of them are equally able to do a great job. No matter it is native 24p contents like Blu Ray or DVD movies or movies from streaming app like Netflix, YouTube and others, 24p videos via 60i signals like movies from Satellite TV, all of them will be shown clearly and smoothly with judder free on their screen. But when playing 24p videos via 60p signal like movies from steaming devices like Fire TV, apple TV, and others, LG SJ8500 can do a better job. This means, judder can be removed on the screen of SJ8500, while on the screen of SK9000, judder cannot be removed completely. But even so, usually, there will an update firmware of SK9000 that will overcome this issue. On the other hand, since most people don’t sensitive to judder, we can ignore this issue for SK9000.
As their major connectivity, both LG SK9000 and SJ8500 are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports. All of their HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth, and CEC. Meanwhile, that supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) is HDMI 2. Additionally, both of them are also equally equipped with 3 USB ports. The differences, all of USB ports of SK9000 are USB 2.0 version, while for USB ports of SJ8500, 2 USB ports are USB 2.0 (USB 2 and 3) and 1 port is USB 3.0 (USB 3.0). In addition to USB and HDMI ports, both of them are also equally equipped with 1 Composite In (AV In), 1 RF In (Terrestrial), and 1 digital audio out (optical). There is no Component In behind them.
Meanwhile, both of them also equally have excellent inputs lags in PC and Game mode. With less than 20 ms at 1080p and 4K source, it is quite low to play any games so feels very responsive. Fast paced games which require fast reflexes even also feels responsive without laggy. For SK9000, its input lags on 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR might be not as low as other types of input and is higher than 20 ms, but it is still quite low to play any 4K HDR games, whether it is casual games or fast paced games.
As their smart TV platform, both LG SJ8500 and SK9000 are equally featuring WebOS. But the difference, SJ8500 comes with version 3.5 while SK9000 comes with version 4.0. At a glance, their user interface looks similar with a row of “tiles” at the bottom across screen as the shortcut to most popular apps, inputs, and settings. A bit improvement of newer version is on the top right screen, where there is an additional search icon that allows you to search thing faster. Both overall, navigating is easy on both versions. Powered by Alpha 7 processor, the menu of SK9000 is more responsive and faster than SJ8500, but still less responsive than other LG TVs which use Alpha 9 Processor like LG C8 or others. Meanwhile, pre-installed apps and smart features provide by them are also not many different. There are premium VoD apps like Netflix, Amazon Videos, YouTube, and others, Web browser, Live TVs, Games, and more. Additionally, although apps and contents provided are not as many as Google Play Store or Samsung apps Store, WebOS also has an apps store called “LG Apps Store” that provides a lot of downloadable apps, contents, games, and other where you can directly download them from your LG TV. The most interesting thing offered by SK9000, it now already support LG’s AI ThinQ that allows you to control your other smart devices with your voice command. Additionally, ThinQ also already support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
As their controller, both of LG SK9000 and SJ8500 equally equipped with LG’s magic controller. At a glance, their remote looks similar, but there are some text changes on the button. In addition to standard buttons, both of these remotes also equally have two dedicated buttons for Amazon Videos and Netflix. The excellent, at the center of direction pad, there is a “scroll wheel” that can be used to scroll highlighted menu, so selecting menu will feel more comfort. Additionally, to point and select the menu directly, you can also use the movement of the remote. This means, the pointer on the screen can be moved by the movement of remote like the remote of WII Nintendo. Additionally, both of these remote also can act as a universal remote, allows you to control some functions of other devices connected via HDMI ports with a single LG magic remote. The advantages that offered by SK9000, since it already supports ThinQ, its navigation can do a lot more even not limited on TV functions and features but also can be used to controller your other smart devices support ThinQ like Ovens, Laundry machine, Dish Washer, and more. On the other hand, for SJ8500, its voice command only can be used to search content only.
|Performance||LG SJ8500||LG SK9000|
As we have discussed a lot above, as a newer model, LG SK9000 bring some improvements over the predecessor LG SJ8500. Both of them might equally have low native contrast ratio that makes their dark room performance but once they set in a bright room with some light, the picture displayed on their screen will look better. Additionally, they also equally have an excellence on side viewing angle coverage. But on peak brightness and color gamut, with higher level technologies behind it, SK9000 offer brighter peak brightness and a bit wider color gamut which makes its HDR performance better than SJ8500. Additionally, the most attractive thing offered by SK9000, it now already support LG’s AI ThinQ that allow you to control and monitor of your other smart devices which also already support ThinQ like Ovens, Dishwashers, Laundry Machine support ThinQ with voice commands via their remote. Even not just smart devices which support ThinQ, it also can interact with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatible device. The other improvement brought by SK9000, now it already supports Dolby Atmos.
So, which is better choice between them? Considering there are a lot of improvements brought by SK9000, I think SK9000 as a newer model might be a better choice for you. But as mentioned, to get it, you must spend more hundreds dollar of your money. On the other hand, if your budget is limited, SJ8500 might be a better choice considering its priced far more cheaper. Or if you are more patient, you can wait until the price of SK9000 comes down. Now, the decision comes back to you.