Now this is what we call Premium UHD
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The LG stand was impressive this year and the Korean manufacturer stole the show with their line-up of new OLED TVs.The fact that all four Ultra HD 4K models will support Dolby Vision was impressive enough but they also boast similar picture quality with the majority of differences being design orientated. LG have gambled big on OLED and it looks as though that bet is paying off, as they remain the dominant player in this new TV technology arena. OLED has matured over the last three years and is reaching a point of critical mass in terms of both consumer awareness and price. LG advertised OLED heavily over the Christmas period and this publicity blitz will continue into the new year as Sir Ridley Scott directs a big budget advert that will air during the Super Bowl half-time celebrations. And it doesn't end there. This year we have the European Championships and the Olympics, both providing an ideal opportunity for LG to promote their revolutionary technology. So it could well be that 2016 is the year that OLED finally breaks through as a mass market product.Of course to achieve this kind of market penetration, LG will need to produce a range of OLED TVs that can appeal to as many budgets as possible and deliver an impressive level of performance. Well, based upon what we saw at CES this year, LG might well have just the kind of range that can genuinely entice more consumers to embrace OLED. The first thing that LG has done this year is to change the model numbers to make the OLED TVs more obvious to consumers, which makes sense. The second thing that LG have done is retain the same picture performance across the range, making the differences between the various models largely cosmetic.
- 4K UHD (Ultra HD)
- Smart TV
- Content Streaming
- High Dynamic Range (HDR)
- Dolby Vision (HDR)
The new flagship Ultra HD 4K OLED TV is the G6, which comes in 65- and 77-inch screen sizes and uses a decidedly flat panel. The G6 supports passive 3D, along with High Dynamic Range (HDR), more specifically Dolby Vision, and thanks to ColourPrime Pro it has a colour space claimed to be 99% of DCI-P3. The 10-bit panel uses 10-bit processing, includes support for Rec.2020 and is brighter than previous generations of OLED, allowing the new model to be certified as a Premium UHD display. What that essentially means is that the G6 can produce over 500 nits of peak brightness and based upon the HDR demos that we saw at the show the results could be truly spectacular. LG have also introduced a number of features in terms of quality control and improved image mapping to reduce the problem with vignetting. The results certainly spoke for themselves at the show, with the G6 producing wonderful images that earn it the honour of Best TV in Show.
The G6 has a stand that not only works as a soundbase but also includes all the processing and connections. The result is not only superior audio quality but an incredibly thin 5.7mm panel that uses a bezel-less glass construction and offers an attractive 360 degree view. The soundbase includes 4.2-channels and 40W of amplification, along with Harman Kardon audio tuning to improve the performance. The stunning design of the G6 doesn't end there; in a clever bit of engineering the stand can be swung backwards to sit behind the panel when it is wall-mounted. The front firing speakers can adapt, depending on the soundbase's orientation, and the panel can use standard VESA wall mounts. This combination of design and performance makes the G6 a stunning TV, which will be available in mid-March at an as-yet unannounced price.Moving down the line-up, the next model is the E6 which also uses a flat panel and comes in 55- and 65-inch screen sizes. In terms of picture performance the E6 is the same as the G6, which means a 10-bit panel, 10-bit processing, support for passive 3D, Dolby Vision and a colour space that is 99% of DC-P3I. There's also Premium UHD certification with over 500 nits of brightness, Rec.2020 support and the same improvements to image quality. The design, whilst slightly different to the G6, is equally as attractive with a bezel-less front and a carbon fibre weave effect on the rear panel. The E6 is slightly deeper than the G6 and it sits on a soundbar stand that includes the processing and connections. Like the more expensive model, the E6 and its soundbar stand can be wall mounted using VESA mounts. The resulting TV delivers a winning combination of performance and features that will make the E6 a hugely popular model as OLED gains traction in 2016.
There are also two other new OLED models this year, although unfortunately they weren't actually on show at CES 2016. The first is the C6, which uses a curved panel and comes in 55- and 65-inch screen sizes, and the other is the B6 which uses a flat panel and also comes in 55- and 65-inch screen sizes. The picture performance of both models is almost identical to the G6 and E6, except that the B6 doesn't support 3D. However the idea that LG can deliver four new OLED models with Dolby Vision support, 99% of DCI-P3, 10-bit video depth and processing and over 500 nits of peak brightness is impressive. As is the fact that all these models are certified as Premium Ultra HD displays by the UHD Alliance.
In terms of other features the new models include the latest version of the Magic Remote, along with Magic Mobile Connection and Magic Zoom. There is also a sound optimisation feature that focuses the audio towards the remote. The TVs also support WebOS 3.0 which, using the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, is largely the same as previous generations. The platform includes support for Netflix 4K, which will use Dolby Vision, along with Amazon Instant 4K and YouTube 4K, both of which use HDR10. There are also HDMI 2.0a/HDCP2.2 connections that will allow you to watch 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Depending on the studio, the UHD Blu-ray will either use HDR10 (20th Century Fox) or Dolby Vision (Warners, Sony and Universal). Since the LG OLEDs support both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, you can benefit from both of these formats, although the UHD Blu-ray players announced to date don't actually support Dolby Vision.
It's a shame that LG didn't have a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player of their own to announce but apparently the they are waiting to see how the format performs before committing. That aside, the Korean manufacturer's OLED range of TVs are hugely impressive and if they perform as well as they appeared to at the show, then 2016 could be a watershed year in the history of the technology.
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