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The Best Reasons to Avoid an LG C3 77-inch OLED TV: An Expert‘s Perspective

As a digital technology expert passionate about display innovations, I‘ve closely followed the evolution of LG‘s OLED TVs. The LG C3 is the latest model in the company‘s highly-acclaimed C-series lineup, building upon the success of previous generations like the C1 and C2. OLED technology allows these TVs to deliver unparalleled picture quality, with perfect black levels, incredible contrast, wide viewing angles, and lifelike colors. The C3 features LG‘s most advanced "OLED evo" panels yet, promising a brighter and more vibrant image than ever before.

However, despite the undeniable allure of OLED‘s dazzling picture, there are some compelling reasons you may want to think twice before splurging on an LG C3, especially the massive 77-inch model. In this article, I‘ll dive deep into the data and provide an expert analysis of the key factors that could make the 77" C3 a less-than-ideal choice for many buyers. Let‘s get started.

Prohibitively Expensive for Most Consumers

There‘s no getting around the fact that the 77" LG C3 is incredibly expensive. With a manufacturer‘s suggested retail price of $3,499, it‘s one of the priciest consumer TVs on the market. Even if you can find it on sale, you‘re still likely looking at a price tag of around $3,000 or more. That‘s significantly higher than you‘d pay for a high-end 77" LED or mini-LED TV from brands like Sony, Samsung, or TCL.

For comparison, here‘s a quick pricing breakdown for some popular 75-77" models:

Model Price Technology
77" LG C3 OLED $3,499 OLED
77" LG G3 OLED $4,499 OLED (higher-end)
75" Sony X95K $2,999 Mini-LED
75" Samsung QN90B $2,599 Mini-LED QLED
75" TCL 6-Series R655 $1,499 Mini-LED QLED

As you can see, the 77" C3 commands a substantial premium over its closest LED-based competitors. Those extra dollars are certainly getting you the phenomenal contrast and color that only an OLED TV can provide. But for many shoppers, it‘s going to be extremely difficult to justify spending nearly twice as much on the C3 compared to something like the TCL 6-Series, which is an outstanding performer in its own right.

According to data from market research firm Omdia, OLED TVs accounted for just 5.5% of total TV sales in 2022, while QLED TVs made up 35.3%. The high prices of OLED models like the C3 are a major reason for this disparity. Until the cost of OLED technology comes down further, it will likely remain a niche product for the most demanding videophiles with very deep pockets.

Increased Risk of Permanent Burn-in, Especially at Larger Sizes

While all OLED TVs can be susceptible to permanent image retention (aka "burn-in") if a static graphic is displayed on screen for extremely long periods of time, the risk seems to be heightened on larger models like the 77" C3. In their long-term real-world burn-in test, the tech reviewers at Rtings found that larger OLED TVs developed noticeable image retention sooner than their smaller counterparts.

After around 4,000 hours of continuous testing with static content, Rtings reported that a 65" LG C7 OLED TV had developed minor-to-moderate burn-in across multiple test patterns. The 55" model they tested took slightly longer (around 5,000 hours) to show similar signs of retention.

Since a bigger 77" model has an even larger panel area for those bright static logos or banners to wreak havoc on the sensitive OLED pixels, it stands to reason that burn-in could become a visible issue even sooner at that screen size – potentially under 4,000 hours of heavy static content viewing. That‘s still a lot of viewing time for most people, but it‘s a risk that buyers should be aware of, particularly if the TV will be used to watch a lot of content with persistent on-screen elements like channel logos or news/sports tickers.

LG has developed several features to help combat burn-in on their OLED TVs, including pixel refresher functions and logo detection algorithms that slightly dim static areas of the screen. But as the Rtings test shows, burn-in is still possible on OLED panels, and the potential impact seems to scale up along with screen size. For a massive TV like the 77" C3 that costs as much as a used car, I‘d argue many consumers simply won‘t want to take that risk, even if the odds of burn-in are relatively low for most normal viewing habits.

Brightness Limitations Compared to High-End LED TVs

OLED TVs are known for their ability to produce perfect black levels, which leads to extraordinarily high contrast. However, they‘ve traditionally lagged behind LED TVs in terms of peak brightness. The LG C3 is about 20% brighter than last year‘s C2 model thanks to an improved "Meta" OLED panel and more advanced processing. But even with around 1,000 nits of peak brightness in its most vivid picture mode, it still falls well short of the brightest mini-LED TVs available.

Models like the Samsung QN90B and TCL 6-Series R655 are capable of hitting peak brightness levels of 2,000 nits or higher in certain scenarios. That extra luminance makes a big difference in rooms with lots of ambient light, helping the picture to really pop even with sunlight streaming in. An OLED TV like the C3 can look a bit dull and washed out by comparison in bright viewing environments.

Here‘s a quick rundown of some key brightness specs for the 77" C3 and a few of its high-end LED competitors:

Model Peak Brightness (HDR) Full-Screen Brightness (SDR)
77" LG C3 OLED ~1,000 nits ~150 nits
75" Sony X95K ~2,000 nits ~900 nits
75" Samsung QN90B ~2,300 nits ~600 nits
75" TCL 6-Series R655 ~1,800 nits ~550 nits

As you can see, the C3 OLED is vastly outperformed by its LED rivals when it comes to peak HDR brightness, often by a factor of 2x or more. And for overall full-screen brightness with standard dynamic range content, the difference is even more stark. The Sony X95K, for instance, is about 6 times brighter than the C3 when displaying a fully white screen in SDR.

To be fair, the C3 does feature an improved anti-reflective coating that helps to boost its perceived contrast in rooms with ambient light. And in dark viewing environments, the C3‘s perfect blacks allow it to produce stunningly impactful HDR highlights even without the raw peak brightness of mini-LED. But in a typical living room with windows, most viewers are likely to find that a top-tier QLED or mini-LED TV simply looks more vivid and dynamic than an OLED model like the C3 for daytime watching.

Relatively Short Lifespan For Such an Expensive TV

Another important factor to consider with the 77" C3 OLED is the expected useful lifespan of the display. The "O" in OLED stands for "organic" – the self-emitting pixels in an OLED TV panel are made using an organic compound that degrades over time. As the OLED materials inevitably break down after heavy use, you may notice some color shifting, dead pixels, and steadily reduced overall brightness.

While it‘s difficult to pin down exactly how long a typical OLED TV will last before it starts to show signs of age, most estimates put the functional lifespan of a set like the 77" C3 somewhere in the range of 5-7 years with heavy use. That‘s notably shorter than a high-quality LED TV, which can easily last a decade or more without any major issues.

The organic blue OLED subpixels are particularly susceptible to degradation over time due to their inherently shorter lifespan compared to red and green OLED materials. A 2016 report from the industry group OLED Association estimated that blue OLED subpixels lose 50% of their initial brightness after just 8,000 hours of use, while red OLEDs lose only 7% in that same timeframe.

LG has implemented a few features to help mitigate this discrepancy, like the use of a white OLED pixel layer and color filters. But the fact remains that as an OLED TV like the 77" C3 ages, the blue subpixels will fade faster than red and green, potentially leading to a noticeable color imbalance. This effect could be exacerbated on a screen as large as 77 inches.

When you‘re spending $3,500 or more on a premium TV, you‘d expect it to last a very long time without any major problems. But with OLED technology, the inherently shorter lifespan of the organic materials – especially at massive screen sizes like 77" – is certainly something for buyers to keep in mind. You may get a good 5-7 years out of a set like the C3 with proper care, but an LED TV in the same price range could potentially last significantly longer.

Lack of DTS Audio Support

One final downside of the LG C3 that‘s worth noting for home theater enthusiasts is its lack of support for DTS audio formats. While the C3 can decode Dolby Atmos and pass it out over HDMI to a compatible soundbar or receiver, it cannot bitstream DTS audio from its HDMI inputs or built-in apps.

This won‘t be an issue for most consumers, as the vast majority of streaming content uses Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby Atmos anyway. And the C3 can still output DTS as uncompressed PCM stereo or multichannel audio. But if you have a large collection of Blu-rays, 4K Blu-rays, or gaming content with DTS soundtracks, you won‘t be able to enjoy them in their full lossless glory when using the C3 as your primary playback device.

Given the 77" C3‘s premium price point, the lack of DTS support is a bit of a head-scratcher. Many competing LED flagships from Sony, Samsung, and others have no issues decoding both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. While this certainly isn‘t a dealbreaker for everyone, serious audio enthusiasts may want to consider other options that don‘t have this unfortunate limitation.


The 77" LG C3 OLED TV is a technological marvel, offering some of the best overall picture quality you can get in a consumer display. Its perfect black levels, pixel-level contrast, wide viewing angles, and stunningly lifelike colors are a treat for the eyes. And with full HDMI 2.1 support and near-instantaneous pixel response times, it‘s also a fantastic gaming display for those with deep pockets.

However, as I‘ve outlined in this article, there are some significant drawbacks to the 77" C3 that make it tough to recommend as a practical purchase for most people. The sky-high price tag puts it out of reach for the vast majority of consumers, especially when you can get a very high-quality mini-LED TV for literally half the cost. The increased risk of permanent burn-in at this screen size is also a concern for those who watch a lot of content with static on-screen elements.

The C3‘s brightness limitations compared to the best LED TVs make it less versatile for viewing in well-lit rooms. And the relatively short expected lifespan of OLED technology means you may not get as many years of use out of the C3 as you would a similarly-priced LED model. Factor in the lack of DTS audio support, and it becomes clear that the 77" C3 is a niche product aimed squarely at the videophile crowd.

Ultimately, the 77" LG C3 OLED is a remarkable feat of engineering and a true "money-is-no-object" home theater centerpiece. But for most folks, the smarter move is to look at some alternative display options that better balance performance, practicality, and value. Consider stepping down to a smaller screen size in the C3 lineup, or cross-shop high-end mini-LED models like the Samsung QN90B and Sony X95K. You could even look at a short-throw projector like the Samsung LSP9T for a similarly-immersive big-screen experience without the OLED downsides.

If you do decide to splurge on the 77" C3, just be sure to purchase from a reputable dealer with a robust return policy and a strong extended warranty that covers burn-in. And maybe consider taking out an insurance policy on it while you‘re at it – you‘ll want to protect an investment that substantial! As always, the key is to do thorough research, view the TVs in person if possible, and think carefully about your specific needs before making a final call.

While the 77" LG C3 OLED is an undeniably impressive display, it‘s not necessarily the best choice for everyone. Weigh the pros and cons carefully to decide if it makes sense for you.