LG CX - Optimized Settings

LG CX - Optimized Settings

A comprehensive guide to at0micgarden's preferred settings for the LG CX line of OLED televisions.

at0micgarden

Hello, Shacknews! OLED televisions are becoming more affordable each year. LG, at the time of this writing, might be considered the leader in this space. The larger LG OLED screens (55", 65", 75") are going into living rooms , and the smaller screen (48") is going into offices as a PC monitor. No matter what size screen you are using, and whether you're using it for PC games, console games, bluray, or UHD discs - once you go OLED, it's hard to go back to any other type of display. The colors are rich, the contrast is deep, the black is pure, and HDR at 4K makes the image absolutely pop with detail and vibrancy.

Hyperbole aside.. Aw, nevermind, OLED fuckin' rocks.

I've had the good fortune of owning two LG CX screens - one in the living room and one in the office for a PC monitor. I have toiled for months to find what I feel are the optimal settings, and I'd like to share them with you. Allow me to offer this horribly disqualifying language up front: I am a mere hobbyist - not a display expert, so please take what I say with a grain of salt. These settings are great for ME, but if I'm wrong about anything, or if you've got a differing opinion, please share in the comments.

A few caveats/things to be aware of when learning about your LG CX television.

This thing has a LOT of display modes.

  • Vivid
  • Standard
  • APS
  • Cinema
  • Sports
  • Game
  • FILMMAKER MODE
  • iisf Expert (Bright Room)
  • isf Expert (Dark Room)
  • Cinema Home

I want to focus on one thing here - getting our settings dialed in so we do not need to change anything no matter what the source signal is. I am not a fan of changing settings back and forth between Game Mode, iSF Dark Room, etc, etc. I want to find the perfect balance of - LOOKS GREAT, FEELS GREAT. Give me all the fidelity, and as little input lag as possible. I am personally OK with watching a bluray or a streaming movie in Game Mode, as long as it LOOKS exactly the same as one of the other presets that might focus on visual fidelity over low input lag. I think this is possible with the settings I will share.

Again, I am not an expert AT ALL. So please, call me out if I'm wrong. But I believe, if various types of image signal processing adds to input latency, and the purpose of Game Mode is to disable this processing to decrease latency - and if I don't really like how all of the image processing looks, anyway - why not just leave Game Mode on at all times?

So - that's the goal. Game Mode = ON, with an optimized picture across the board.

NOTE: If you are using an Xbox Series X or PS5 to calibrate these settings, head over to these two YouTube videos to ensure you allow the consoles to fully utilize the TV's features.

Xbox Series X - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Y9qcXMQg_s

PS5 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kObwjX75WUo

When you first connect these consoles and turn them on, the TV should prompt to enable HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color mode, which is critical to exposing some settings & options.

Now, to the settings:

MISC SETTINGS

On your remote, press the Cog/Gear button (menu), and go to All Settings

General > AI Service > All OFF. Then, click AI Recommendation and turn all that OFF, too.

We don't really want the TV to decide how bright our room is, and we don't want the content recommendations, either. DON'T TELL ME HOW TO LIVE MY LIFE, LG!

General > Home Settings > All OFF

Don't need the promo stuff, don't need the animation, and I don't want the "Home" menu popping up every time I change sources.

General > Additional Settings > Settings Help OFF

Don't need the tooltips cluttering up the screen. If you are new to the TV, feel free to leave this on. Just come back here when you're sick of seeing them!

General > Additional Settings > Do Not Sell My Personal Information ON

Gonna have to trust you on this, LG.

Support > Software Update > Allow Automatic Updates OFF

If you are having some kind of issue that you've read is fixed in an updated firmware version, just manually update the firmware. Auto update scares me, especially with this new HDMI 2.1 tech when firmware is being updated somewhat frequently. Stuff breaks.

PICTURE SETTINGS

On to the fun stuff.

Note: EVERY TIME your TV detects a different signal type (HDR10, SDR, Dolby Vision), on EVERY INPUT, you will need to dial in your settings for that input/mode for the first time. So get used to this process! There is an "Apply to All Inputs" feature within the various screens below, but I believe I've had mixed results with that, so I don't trust it. I recommend flipping through every option screen at least once, when using a new source, input, or mode.

For this guide, I'm using an Xbox Series X, as I can easily switch between content that fires off the various signal types.

SDR

I used the Xbox Dashboard to configure this section. On your remote, press the Cog/Gear button (menu), and go to All Settings. We will stay in the Picture section for the rest of this guide.

Picture Mode Settings > Game (this will change to Game (User) as soon as you make a change to the preset)

Picture Mode Settings > OLED LIGHT > 90

Picture Mode Settings > Contrast > 85

Picture Mode Settings > Brightness > 50

Picture Mode Settings > Sharpness > 10 (This might introduce an imperceptible (to me) amount of input lag. If you are super-human and notice it, turn it to 0)

Picture Mode Settings > Color > 50

Picture Mode Settings > Tint > 0

Picture Mode Settings > Advanced Controls > All post-processing options should be greyed out.

Picture Mode Settings > Advanced Controls > Gamma > 2.2 (There is some debate that BT.1886 is better for dark rooms for…reasons? I like the small boost that 2.2 brings. Again - the concept here is to set and forget, for optimal viewing, day or night)

Picture Mode Settings > Advanced Controls > White Balance > Color Temperature > Warm2

Picture Mode Settings > Advanced Controls > White Balance > Everything else set to defaults

Picture Mode Settings > Picture Options > All post-processing options should be greyed out.

Picture Mode Settings > Picture Options > Black level > AUTO

Picture Mode Settings > Picture Options > Motion Eye Care > OFF

Aspect Ratio Settings > ORIGINAL

Additional Settings > Eye Comfort Mode > OFF

Additional Settings > HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color > ON (You'll want to do this for all inputs, but you can only do it when that input is active)

Additional Settings > Instant Game Response > ON  (You'll want to do this for all inputs, but you can only do it when that input is active. This flips it to Game Mode automatically if the TV knows it's a game source)

Additional Settings > AMD FreeSync Premium > OFF (If you are using Gsync, or native HDMI 2.1 VRR, leave this off as it causes issues. I suppose if you want to use real FreeSync with an AMD card, this could work.)

Energy Saving > OFF

 

And, that's it for SDR! I highly recommend using these settings as a base for all modes. The other modes will try to trick you by turning on various post-processing things, which we will now discuss.

HDR

Remember, to configure HDR picture settings, you must be playing an HDR source. On Xbox, I loaded the YouTube app and played the video "COSTA RICA IN 4K 60fps HDR".

Picture Mode Settings > Game (this will change to Game (User) as soon as you make a change to the preset)

Picture Mode Settings > OLED LIGHT > 100

Picture Mode Settings > Contrast > 100

Picture Mode Settings > Brightness > 50

Picture Mode Settings > Sharpness > 10 (This might introduce an imperceptible (to me) amount of input lag. If you are super-human and notice it, turn it to 0)

Picture Mode Settings > Color > 50

Picture Mode Settings > Tint > 0

Picture Mode Settings > Advanced Controls > All post-processing options (and some others) should be greyed out.

Picture Mode Settings > Advanced Controls > Dynamic Tone Mapping > HGiG (Hopefully, more sources use this new standard in the near future. If the source does not, then the image should look the same as Dynamic Tone Mapping OFF. Having Dynamic Tone Mapping OFF is my general preference if the source does not support HGiG, as it is a more "accurate" image, but many folks find the HDR too dim, and therefore prefer to turn it on. For most of the time, the TV will effectively have Tone Mapping OFF with HGiG enabled if you keep the TV in Game Mode, as movies do not support HGiG, and not many games do yet.)

Picture Mode Settings > Advanced Controls > White Balance > Color Temperature > Warm2

Picture Mode Settings > Advanced Controls > White Balance > Everything else set to defaults

Picture Mode Settings > Picture Options > All post-processing options should be greyed out.

Picture Mode Settings > Picture Options > Black Level > AUTO

Picture Mode Settings > Picture Options > Motion Eye Care > OFF

Aspect Ratio Settings > ORIGINAL

Additional Settings > Eye Comfort Mode > OFF

Additional Settings > HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color > ON (You'll want to do this for all inputs, but you can only do it when that input is active)

Additional Settings > Instant Game Response > ON  (You'll want to do this for all inputs, but you can only do it when that input is active. This flips it to Game Mode automatically if the source utilizes dark magic, I assume, to let the TV know it's a game source)

Additional Settings > AMD FreeSync Premium > OFF (If you are using Gsync, or native HDMI 2.1 VRR, leave this off as it causes issues. I suppose if you want to use real FreeSync with an AMD card, this could work.)

Energy Saving > OFF

 

And that's it for HDR/HDR10.

DOLBY VISION

Remember, to configure Dolby Vision picture settings, you must be playing a Dolby Vision source. On Xbox, I loaded the Disney+ app and played Captain Marvel. Dolby Vision is a bit more limited in what you can configure, I assume because Dolby wants you to see the image "how they intended it", but we are still going to tweak this to offset some of the issues the preset brings.

 

Picture Mode Settings > Cinema Home (this will change to Cinema Home (User) as soon as you make a change to the preset. 

Picture Mode Settings > OLED LIGHT > 100

Picture Mode Settings > Contrast > 100

Picture Mode Settings > Brightness > 50

Picture Mode Settings > Sharpness > 10 (This might introduce an imperceptible (to me) amount of input lag. If you are super-human and notice it, turn it to 0)

Picture Mode Settings > Color > 50

Picture Mode Settings > Tint > 0

Picture Mode Settings > Advanced Controls > Dynamic Contrast > High (This is a personal preference as I believe the overall image of Dolby Vision is far too dark out of the box. High Dynamic Contrast helps with that a bit.)

Picture Mode Settings > Advanced Controls > Super Resolution > OFF

Picture Mode Settings > Advanced Controls > White Balance > Color Temperature > Warm2

Picture Mode Settings > Advanced Controls > White Balance > Everything else set to defaults

Picture Mode Settings > Picture Options > All post-processing options should be greyed out.

Picture Mode Settings > Picture Options > Motion Eye Care > OFF

Aspect Ratio Settings > ORIGINAL

Aspect Ratio Settings > Just Scan > AUTO

Additional Settings > Eye Comfort Mode > OFF

Additional Settings > HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color > ON (You'll want to do this for all inputs, but you can only do it when that input is active)

Additional Settings > Instant Game Response > ON  (You'll want to do this for all inputs, but you can only do it when that input is active. This flips it to Game Mode automatically if the TV knows it's a game source. BUT - that's less important for Dolby Vision as there does not appear to be a Game mode for Dolby Vision content. Thanks, Dolby! This is slightly concerning for when games start to leverage Dolby Vision in the future.)

Additional Settings > AMD FreeSync Premium > OFF (If you are using Gsync, or native HDMI 2.1 VRR, leave this off as it causes issues. I suppose if you want to use real FreeSync with an AMD card, this could work.)

Energy Saving > OFF

 

And that's it for Dolby Vision.

OTHER NERDY STUFF

PC Mode

If you are using the LG CX on an HDMI 2.1 device (Xbox Series X, PS5, new GPU's), then make sure to enable "PC Mode" to allow for full RGB color. This will essentially allow you to use the full bandwidth of HDMI 2.1 if your source supports it. Red Dead Redemption 2 running on an RTX 3080 in 4K, 10-bit full RGB, HDR, and Gsync is revelatory.

On your remote, Press the Home button. Then, go to the Home Dashboard.

Click Settings (gear button at the top) > Edit

Click on the icon to the left of your source name.

Scroll down, find the "PC" icon, click it, then click Save > Exit

Enjoy the richer color that you can definitely see, with your mutant eyeballs. Kidding aside, this could have a positive impact on certain gradients, like the sky during a setting sun, if the source & game supports it.

Info Screen

On your remote, smash the green button a bunch of times in a row. A small overlay will appear on-screen that will show your refresh rate, resolution, and color depth. Pretty cool! Press the Back button to close it.

 

And well, that's it! I'll add to this article as I think of anything, or if anyone has any enlightening info. I hope somebody finds this useful, and thanks for reading.

 

 

 

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 7, 2021 8:21 PM

    Optimize your newfangled OLED television!

    Read more: LG CX - Optimized Settings

    • reply
      January 7, 2021 9:11 PM

      DIVERSIFY YO BONDS

    • reply
      January 7, 2021 9:52 PM

      Yesssss! Thank you, had settings menu open as I was reading this.

    • reply
      January 8, 2021 6:12 AM

      Thank you!

    • reply
      January 8, 2021 7:31 AM

      Nice! I've tinkered with a few settings but need to go more in depth. Thanks for posting this.

    • reply
      January 8, 2021 7:33 AM

      I leave the factory stickers on my tvs.

    • reply
      January 8, 2021 7:40 AM

      Great post. Every time a new input goes in and it flips to any colour temp other than Warm2 it burns my eyes.

    • reply
      January 8, 2021 9:01 AM

      Great post thank you for this.

      I have 3 comments :

      1) Sharpness 10 - this surprises me only because every site I've read recommends 0

      2) Hgig on for tone mapping - I really wish I preferred the image with this on, but even in a pitch black room with all my other settings pretty much the same as what you recommend, it makes the image too dark for me - I think most people would find the same result, but I do agree it blows the image out a bit so it comes with a high cost

      3) I found tru motion with de blur and de judder at custom levels really helped with playing 24 fps content by reducing the stutter, but without adding too much of the annoying soap opera effect. Some people don't notice, but because oled panel response time or whatever is like instant, slow panning 24 fps content appears with a stutter

      • reply
        January 8, 2021 11:51 AM

        I think 10 for Sharpness was the default and I left it there since I didn't notice any difference with it at 0.

        Regarding 24p judder - there is a "Real Cinema" mode that should be turned on by default that supposedly fixes this by spacing out frames evenly? I have not looked too far into this.

        "On the 120Hz models, "Real Cinema" takes 24p content and displays each frame 5 times, preserving the natural 24p film cadence."

        I noticed some UHD rips I was playing through Plex on the Sheild Pro were pretty juddery. I turned on "refresh rate switching" on the Shield which appeared to have fixed the issue. The TV outputs at 24hz at that point, when playing back that media. I assume blurays players do this natively, not positive though.

        • reply
          January 8, 2021 11:57 AM

          Oh yeah, Refresh Rate Switching in Plex is a super critical feature to enable for proper playback

    • reply
      January 8, 2021 9:38 AM

      "General > Additional Settings > Settings Help OFF"

      I would actually remove that from a guide for newbies like this. Sure you don't need it because you believe you've figured it all out, but those tooltips are pretty important for people who are just blindly following a guide, because they probably don't know what a lot of the options do and may not realize that they turned off a feature that would have told them!

      • reply
        January 8, 2021 9:38 AM

        But also awesome guide dude. Still going through it to see if there's anything I haven't done on my set already! :D

        • reply
          January 8, 2021 9:47 AM

          "Picture Mode Settings > Advanced Controls > Dynamic Tone Mapping > HGiG"

          I believe you're very wrong about this option. It's definitely true that HGiG is perfect for games that support it, but turning it to Off/HGiG will ruin HDR in movies.

          Dynamic Tone Mapping accounts for the issue that each HDR display has different peak nits, and the content doesn't know what your set's peak is (DV on the other hand was built to account for this). This means that if you have DTM disabled and watch an HDR movie, you will not get mixed results from the picture depending on how it was mastered. DTM tries to look at the peak brightness of the signal coming in, and dynamically mapping the range to what your specific TV can support.

          However, for GAMES, the story is very different, because every (that I've seen) game has an HDR brightness calibration feature where you can tell it exactly what your peak brightness is. In these cases, you can either have DTM turned on OR off, and the brightness calibration will handle ensuring that the picture sent to the TV falls within its capabilities. The single most important thing to remember here is to calibrate the game's HDR brightness AFTER you set DTM on/off/HGiG. A lot of people make the mistake of calibrating, then changing the setting, and then complaining that the setting blows out the picture. In those cases the fault is on the user for calibrating it and then changing a TV setting that invalidates the calibration.


          Note: I am pretty new to learning all of this myself, but have spent a decent amount of effort trying to fully understand the implications and testing various combination of settings with regards to DTM.

          • reply
            January 8, 2021 9:54 AM

            Finally: Info screen. You could add a note about how to get to the FULL info screen:

            Settings -> Channels -> Highlight "Channel Tuning" -> Press "1" 5 times

            https://i.imgur.com/KV9jkAn.jpg

            You can then press right to highlight the text "HDMI Mode" and if you press select you'll get even more nitty gritty about the HDMI signal. This feature is a godsend for checking to see if the signal is what you expect it to be.

            https://i.imgur.com/0UkHBWL.jpg

            Important note: The "HDR Type: SDR" text always says that, even in HDR mode. It's a bug, or a feature, or who knows.

          • reply
            January 8, 2021 10:45 AM

            Thanks for the feedback! I’ll definitely add a note about the tooltips. I found those extremely annoying even when I didn’t know what all the settings were, lol. They are enormous.

            Dynamic Tone Mapping, I just don’t like it. If a game is able to use Hgig to dictate the tone mapping on the TV, I’m OK with that. But having the TV interpret the image and make adjustments, I just don’t personally like. It definitely brightens up HDR quite a bit, but normally when I’m watching a movie with HDR it’s at night in a pretty dark room, so I’d rather just leave tone mapping off and see a more accurate image. I would love to hear anything else you might have to say about this though.

            • reply
              January 8, 2021 10:57 AM

              To be fair some of the tooltips have bonkers grammar and don't make sense at all lol

              I don't really have much more to say about DTM. I'm only like 80% confident in what I said because this stuff is really hard to really evaluate without specialized equipment.

              One of these days I'll record a video of the same game content with DTM on and off, and HDR brightness badly and correctly calibrated so all of them can be seen next to each other

              But also that sounds like a lot of work, especially figuring out how to even capture and work with HDR video content lol

            • reply
              January 8, 2021 12:26 PM

              But having the TV interpret the image and make adjustments..

              All TVs already do that with HDR10 and it's up to each manufacturer to decide how that tone mapping tracks against the TVs brightness output. LG just gives you a secondary, dynamic option (sort of like Dolby Vision) which some people prefer over the static option. If I could mix and match, I'd take my LG set but with Panasonic's tone mapping solution.

              Our favorite dude, Vincent from HDTVTest, goes in to this in-depth had has side-by-side shot comparisons: hthttps://youtu.be/Lt6IflKAmWg?t=597

              • reply
                January 8, 2021 12:33 PM

                Interesting, thanks. I’m also the guy where if I hear enough supposed experts say that dynamic tone mapping is doing some kind of processing pass on the image to make it brighter, and that turning it off actually is closer to what the image is supposed to look like, I’ll convince myself to deal with the lack of brightness. There’s probably room for turning it both on and off. I know when I was messing with the Mandalorian to try to get it to not look like shit, I’m pretty sure I had it on.

                • reply
                  January 8, 2021 12:38 PM

                  Unfortunately, with OLED, you aren't seeing how the picture was mastered regardless of the setting since OLED simply can't get as bright as it needs to for content mastered up to 1000 nits, and it's even worse if the content is mastered up to 4000 nits. This is why HDR10 sucks compared to Dolby Vision, which already has dynamic metadata built-in.

                  I pulled these images from the video I linked. Each OLED set clips the brightness, and some are better than others at tracking intended brightness:

                  https://chattypics.com/files/clipboard_gs1dqaekms.jpg
                  https://chattypics.com/files/clipboard_hcijevxtny.jpg
                  https://chattypics.com/files/clipboard_pox3xf7885.jpg

                  LG just tries to have the best of both words with dynamic mode.

                  • reply
                    January 8, 2021 12:43 PM

                    I see. A few months ago I made the determination to just chill out on waffling back-and-forth between what I thought looked best and settle on something I could set and forget. Hence my settings, which I’m sure aren’t perfect. I greatly appreciate this info though.

                    • reply
                      January 8, 2021 12:49 PM

                      Yea, at some point I have to tell myself to stop tweaking shit every time I watch and to just enjoy it. I went from 4K HDR LCD to OLED so that period lasted longer than it normally would. I am still not used to SDR content looking dimmer than my old set, but HDR (especially DV HDR) looks awesome.

                      • reply
                        January 8, 2021 2:08 PM

                        My wife is nearing peak fed up with the fact that every. single. time. we sit down to watch TV or a movie I have to go in to the TV settings menu or Shield settings menu or receiver settings menu or PC display settings to change something

                        Even my 5 year old has said "Just turn off HDR! It looks fine!!!!" while waiting for me to start playing a fucking video game instead of trying to get the settings to work properly lol

          • reply
            January 8, 2021 10:52 AM

            [deleted]

            • reply
              January 8, 2021 10:56 AM

              It is, but I’m suggesting to leave the TV in game mode all the time to prevent having to switch settings. It is easy enough to flip it to isf expert dark room where you can have dynamic tone mapping on, when you’re watching a movie. I’ll probably add a note to that effect in the article.

              • reply
                January 8, 2021 10:58 AM

                Tiny correction: isf expert is only there in SDR mode and doesn't exist in HDR, so you'd need to use a different picture mode for your go-to DTM HDR mode

    • reply
      January 8, 2021 12:28 PM

      This seems like a good thread to ask: How the hell do I turn on my LG CX using my phone? I have the LG ThinQ app but the power button is greyed off when the TV is off. I already have the "Turn on via WiFi" and "Turn on via Bluetooth" turned on.

    • reply
      January 8, 2021 1:07 PM

      Great post! Can anyone chime in with how different these settings are for a C9 or B7? I have just used the settings from rtings since 2017 fwiw.

      • reply
        January 8, 2021 3:00 PM

        Total guess but unless they made big changes to the OS it’s probably similar. RTINGS settings are probably just fine, I remember looking through those and there might have been a couple of things that I didn’t really like how they looked, and made just a couple of small tweaks from those.

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