[CES 2018] LG has made its 2018 OLED product line official, and without much surprise, the best got a little bit better. Years ago, LG made a commitment to OLED TVs, and that move was met with resounding success last year, and it looks like 2018 will be more of the same. The LG OLED Televisions are the best money can buy if you can afford it, and given the recent deals, we can say that OLED is more affordable than ever.
If you are not sure why OLED TVs are cool, you can read our OLED vs. LCD article which will shed some light on that topic. OLED is a hot topic, and our report about the LG’s world’s first 88-inch 8K OLED TV has been one of the most read in the past week.
LG’s OLED line up consists of four main Series: W8 (top-end), E8, C8 and B8 (most affordable). The W8 Series is also called the Signature Series. It means that it is the best that LG has to offer, and the brand has spared no effort to wow consumers. LG calls’ the 2018 W8 OLED TVs style “Wallpaper,” and with sizes of 77 and 65 inches, the W8 will look sublime on any wall. If anything, the rest of the room might need an upgrade after that. We called the LG W7 Series “Miraculously thin” (2.57mm ot 1/10 inch). How thin will the W8 Series be?
All OLED TVs will come with Dolby Atmos, but the high-end models (W8, E8) get 60-Watt, 4.2 channel, while the others (C8 and B8) feature 40-Watt and 2.2 channels.
The LG A9 (alpha 9) image processor seems like a DSP (digital signal processor) or ISP (image signal processor) that will be responsible for filtering noise, correct colors and sharpen the image when needed. With HDR content, it can also be put to work to control tone mapping at a more granular level. The OLED W8, E8, and C8 will feature this new chip, and one has to wonder how much better the image will look in comparison to the LG B8 Series. It is not clear what kind of extra cost, this chip will add, but I suspect: not that much because it’s probably not a huge chip.
LG is prepared for High Frame Rate (HFR) content slated to appear sometime this year. Because filming at 120 FPS is becoming more common, LG wants to support the latest technology at the high-end. In general, higher frame rates help with any scene that has fast or very steady motion such as action scenes and panning. HFR only work with the A9 processor because a lot more pixels need to be computed every second.
The only caveat about HFR is that it requires HDMI 2.1 which these TV’s don’t have. This means that the signal cannot come from a video box or console via HDMI. OTA content, USB content or streaming content should be fine – if you can find any HFR content at all.
LG will also have LED TVs designed to be more affordable, especially in large sizes in the form of the LG SK9500 (65/55), SK8500 (65/55), SK8000 (75/65/55). The best LED TVs (SK9500 and SK8500) have better lighting control by using LED arrays across the surface of the back panel, instead of having the backlighting coming only from one or several of the edges. This is a variant well-known technique that has been proven to work well. It’s just a matter of cost, which LG seems to have under control.
Additionally, the SK9000 and SK8000 series have an LG Nano Cell display, which means that there’s an extra layer of nano-cells that will capture excess light to improve black levels. LCD displays have become incredibly complex, with layers like Quantum Dots that are used to boost colors, while others like Nano Cells are there to absorb excess light and glare. However, they do make a noticeable difference, so it’s worth considering.
The LED TVs can handle Dolby Atmos data but don’t come with the Atmos capable speakers, so you will have to opt for a compatible soundbar or speakers in order to have it work at its full potential. The 2018 LG TVs will also get voice-control and artificial intelligence (AI) with LG ThinQ, LG’s own flavor of voice-controlled AI.