First look at LG's new Ultra HD 4K and OLED TVs
Whether its OLED, Ultra HD 4K, HDR, Quantum Dot or webOS, LG have a TV for you
It probably won't come as a surprise to discover that of all the manufacturers at CES this year, it was left to LG to fly the flag for OLED.In fact the company revealed that it has spent $700 million in research and development into OLED and a further $600 million in production facilities. It's a risky gamble but if it pays off, the Korean manufacturer could find itself with the OLED market to itself. As proof of their ambitions, LG are planning to launch seven new OLED TVs in 2015, with most of them being Ultra HD 4K. This commitment is impressive and the company will be offering screen sizes ranging from 55 to 65 and 77 inches, along with webOS 2.0. There will also be the option of flat, curved and a 77-inch bendable model.
The commitment to Ultra HD 4K isn't restricted to OLED and the company will have a number of new LED LCD TVs as well and, in fact, 70% of LG's new line-up will be OLED, Ultra HD 4K or both. The benefits of OLED are well known, with the new technology offering absolute blacks, a much larger dynamic range, better colour accuracy in darker scenes, a very fast response time and wider viewing angles. The addition of Ultra HD 4K means that these TVs are also capable of incredibly detailed pictures, whilst webOS 2.0 offers a much faster smart TV experience.
LG are largely agnostic as far as curved screens are concerned, preferring to offer consumers a choice. The company feels that flat screens are generally better suited to wall-mounting whilst curved screens look great when stand mounted. The overall look of their new TVs are certainly attractive, with what LG refer to as a 'finessed product' that uses a minimalist design. The ultra-thin panel is 5mm deep and uses a carbon fibre style construction at the rear; whilst there's a choice of 'Art Wall' for wall-mounting or 'Art Slim' which uses an attractive brushed aluminium stand. The stand has a hardened perspex support at the rear to give the impression that the screen is just floating above the base.
The latest OLED models from LG will be hitting stores at the end of March, kicking-off with the Ultra HD 4K EG960V which will come in 55- and 65-inch screen sizes; although we currently have no indication on pricing. When it comes to LED/LCD TVs LG are still at the cutting-edge and along with Ultra HD 4K, there is also an effort to expand the colour space and improve the dynamic range of LCD panels. A lot of manufacturers have been trying to boost these characteristics on their LCD panels partly in anticipation of changing standards but also to combat the benefits of OLED. Whilst LG might be a pioneer where OLED is concerned, they certainly aren't getting left behind in terms of LCD technology either.
LG remains committed to OLED with seven new models being released in 2015.In terms of LED/LCD, the manufacturer will offer a full range with all of them using IPS panels and many sporting a new ultra-slim design and Ultra HD resolution. Some will also be using LG's new 'arena stand' which has a sloped design that is not only meant to look nice but also project sound towards the listener, thus improving the audio performance. These LED/LCD TVs will also boast a number of new developments including Quantum Dot technology to deliver a much wider colour space and Ultra Luminance for a brighter image and a wider dynamic range. Not all the models will have Quantum Dot technology but instead use ColourPrime Nano Spectrum colour mapping to deliver a 20% wider colour space.
Although LG already consider their OLED TVs to offer a very wide dynamic range, they have been working on panels that will support the new High Dynamic Range (HDR) format. The manufacturer was demonstrating a prototype HDR panel in a darkened room using material that had been mastered in HDR. The scenes from A Million Ways to Die in the West looked impressive with very bright highlights and an image that had plenty of punch. There was a rack of equipment hidden away at the side of the demo, which does make you wonder when exactly HDR will be released. However the announcement that Netflix and Warner Bros. are supporting the new format and the news that it will be included in the specs for Ultra HD Blu-ray suggests it won't be long.
LG were also showing the latest version of their game-changing smart platform - webOS 2.0. This is more of refinement of the existing platform rather than a major upgrade, which makes sense when you consider how ground-breaking and effective the system was to begin with. The main improvements revolve around faster navigation, quicker start-up and easier access to favourite content. The LG Content section has also been upgraded and it's now easier to access the settings and picture controls, which is good news for calibrators. Whilst these refinements are welcomed, they do remind you just how good webOS was to begin with and provide the perfect example of how LG is currently the manufacturer who is taking a lot of chances and often leading the way.
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