CES 2018 News: LG TVs get smarter with ThinQ AI and Alpha 9 Processor

Artificial intelligence and faster processing

by Steve Withers Jan 3, 2018 at 9:05 AM

  • LG continue their pre-CES high-tech assault by announcing their new ThinQ artificial intelligence system and Alpha advanced image processor.
    Hot on the heels of their announcement of an 88-inch 8K OLED TV, the latest announcements will doubtless be of more immediate benefit for TV enthusiasts. These new features will feature on LG's 2018 OLED 4K TVs and their Nano Cell SUPER UHD LCD TVs.

    ThinQ allows the implementation of hundreds of voice requests utilising the company’s own open smart platform as well as third-party AI services. With this AI functionality embedded in their TVs, LG customers will be able to speak directly into the remote control to enjoy all the convenient features of today’s advanced voice assistant technology. LG’s ThinQ TVs also function as smart home hubs, offering access to other smart home products such as robotic vacuum cleaners, air conditioners, air purifiers, smart lights, smart speakers and many other devices that can connect to the TV via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

    ThinQ employs Natural Language Processing (NLP) to deliver intelligent voice-activated control and connectivity based on LG’s own deep learning technology, DeepThinQ. With a dramatically streamlined setup process, viewers can easily and quickly connect to gaming consoles and external soundbars. Users can search for information, images or videos featuring specific content by making a verbal request through the TV’s remote control. LG TVs with ThinQ AI support services based on the Electronic Program Guide (EPG) to deliver information in real time or change to a channel that offers the content requested. What’s more, customers in certain countries will be able to utilize the Google Assistant to control smart home devices such as lights or activate third-party services.

    LG’s newest α (Alpha) 9 processor will power their OLED TVs and Nano Cell SUPER UHD TVs, with the latter employing Full-Array Local Dimming (FALD) backlighting to provide deeper blacks and enhanced colours, as well as more nuanced shadow details and better viewing angles. The FALD allows for denser backlighting zones throughout the display, contrary to edge-lighting where backlights are positioned on the edges behind the TV panel. The black levels are improved by independent control of LED light zones, reducing light bleeding and resulting in enhanced contrast and picture quality.

    LG’s α (Alpha) 9 intelligent processor will provide richer colours, improved sharpness and greater depth for more realism. A core innovative element of the α (Alpha) 9 is the four-step process of noise reduction, which boasts twice as many steps compared to previous techniques. This algorithm allows for greater finesse in noise reduction, improving the clarity of images affected by distracting artifacts and enabling more effective rendering of smooth gradations.

    The processor also improves colour performance, thanks to the advanced mapping capabilities and superior colour correction algorithms that expand the reference colour coordinates seven-fold compared to previous processors. α (Alpha) 9 is also designed to support High Frame Rate (HFR) for producing smoother and clearer motion images at 120 frames per second for better rendering of fast-action content such as sports.

    LG's 2018 OLED and SUPER UHD TVs will also feature 4K Cinema HDR and support for Advanced HDR by Technicolour, adding to existing support for Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma). LG’s 2018 OLED and SUPER UHD TVs will be able to process HDR images dynamically frame by frame using LG’s proprietary algorithm, Enhanced Dynamic Tone mapping. Both 2018 OLED TVs and SUPER UHD TVs also come with Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound for the best audio-visual experience possible.

    “LG is continually seeking to innovate in home entertainment and LG ThinQ along with the α (Alpha) 9 processor will deliver a TV viewing experience that is unrivaled in the industry,” said Brian Kwon, president of LG’s Home Entertainment Company. “At LG, our interest is in improving user lifestyles and convenience, which our 2018 TVs amply deliver.”

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