What TV should you buy to get cinema quality color at home?
Updated: Oct 31, 2020
Most early cinema ran on black & white; however, color-tuned films go a long way back. These days, color is a significant part of a movie and plays a crucial role in the film, and it's characters are perceived.
Every film has its way of telling its story. The color palette of a film helps the director enhance the film's emotional aspect. It also helps the director give the film a mood that the audience would relate to. The role of a film's color palette begins in its early stages - during the script's visual interpretation. The mood created by the color palette stays with the viewer even after the film has ended.
During the pre-production stage, a director pays utmost importance to the color palette of the project that he/she is working towards creating. The entire set is designed based on the tones that the director sets. But, it doesn't end there. In the post-production stage, during color correction and color grading, the film's mood is enhanced.
I have to put a certain kind of color palette to drive the story - and to help me deliver that story! - Jasem AlMuhanna, Director, Cinemagic
Color correction is a technical process that fixes color issues and makes footage appear as naturalistic as possible. The idea is for colors to look clean and real, as human eyes would see them in the real world. Color grading is also technical, but it's more of a creative concern. The color grading process adds atmosphere and emotion to shots by coloring footage in new, often unnatural ways.
Talking solely about the color-grading process, a lot of effort goes into creating the film's final look, but there's a significant concern that arises - monitors. It's essential to have an understanding of how the audience perceives a given film.
It annoys me sometimes when I color grade my commercials, and I watch it on someone else's phone, and the image is more saturated. It annoys me, but I cannot control it. - Jasem AlMuhanna, Director, Cinemagic
Now you see, directors and colorists spend a lot of their time trying to enhance the look of the film before it finally reaches the spectator's eyes. Most of the time, the viewer's monitor does not display a 100% replication of what the team has created (or intended to create) in terms of color.
So.. what TV do we recommend?
When it comes to having the right screen to view the color the director and the post-producer intend for you to see, there are many market options. The very lowest prices bring us into the realm of computer monitors made for office work and gaming. Some of which may achieve usability with calibration but may also suffer significant gamut limitations and viewing angle concerns; it's hard to recommend it, but it can be done with care. However, we highly recommend the LG CX - an affordable monitor that delivers the finest quality of the color profile.
Its combination of practically perfect black levels, excellent backlight uniformity, immense amounts of shadow detail, and wonderfully rich consistent colors leaves you feeling as if you're witnessing SDR looking as good as it gets. It's great to see, too, that LG has improved its high definition to 4K upscaling for this year's models: The CX's upconverted pictures look sharper and more detailed, and there's less noise and forced edging. Colors retain their tonal integrity during the upscaling process better.
New gaming consoles; PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have a number of next-generation graphics features. This requires a TV that can actually handle that next level experience. Almost every other TV in the market right now has UltraHD 4K resolution. But can every TV support 120fps input and variable refresh rate? The LG CX is one of the best TVs in the market right now because it's great for gaming and also has eARC. While not a console feature, eARC is a next-gen TV feature and ARC evolution, or Audio Return Channel. eARC sends audio from a TV's internal apps (Netflix, Vudu, etc.), back down the HDMI cable to a receiver or soundbar. With eARC, formats like Dolby Atmos will sound better.
OLED technology; how each pixel produces its light and color independently, has long made it a natural friend of high dynamic range pictures. LG CX can deliver its deepest black colors right alongside its brightest HDR whites. It provides colors without light pollution between the two or any dynamic brightness compromises, giving it a massive advantage over even the best LCD TVs. The LG CX includes the promised Technicolor picture mode that has been fine-tuned by Technicolor.
The CX's stand is very similar to the C9's, its angled edges and medium width across the bottom of the screen. It's more heavily weighted than the B9 on the rear to (I presume) better resist tipping forward. - David Katzmaler, CNET
For many years, TV manufacturers have been partnering with ISF and THX to make specially-tuned picture modes for a selected range of TV models. Technicolor makes its way to the list as LG partnered with the colorist company to offer its picture mode.
OLED technology’s true blacks, color saturation and depth ensured that all of us were looking at the same colors, even when we were not physically together. On top of that, we’re excited that LG OLED TVs are readily available on the market for consumers wishing to experience LG OLED TV picture quality, and this gives us confidence that the images we were working on will be accurately represented for audiences at home. - Tony Dustin, ex-senior colorist at Technicolor.
The 'Technicolor' profile can be enabled for SDR and HDR content. You can activate it by toggling the picture modes in the menu.
LG OLED TVs, recognized for their superior performance, are used by Technicolor as consumer reference displays in the production of home delivery versions of major Hollywood movies and television content, including Logan and Sense 8 - Technicolor.
Color is important. Every shot is art backed by the blood & sweat of the filmmakers behind it. (Film-makers, we got you guys!) At Cinemagic, we pay attention to detail - not just from our end, but also from the end of the consumer. Why miss out on the beauty of every shot in a film or a commercial when you can certainly have it all? So, in a world of OLEDs and LCDs, if you're looking for an affordable TV that does justice to the colors in a film, we highly recommend the LG CX.