CES 2019: LG Revamps Its OLED Lineup with HDMI 2.1, True 4K/120Hz and More!
(LG)(January 6, 2019) LG Electronics has released official details about its 2019 fleet of televisions, including big news: HDMI 2.1 technology will be integrated with select OLED and LCD models.
While exciting, HDMI 2.1 is certainly the source of some concern for home theater enthusiasts considering new gear in the coming months, presenting the question: buy HDMI 2.0 gear now and enjoy, or wait for HDMI 2.1 to become more mainstream over the next several years? The HDMI 2.1 specification (which isn’t compatible with current HDMI cables) offers more bandwidth for future technologies, which is especially important for the coming wave of 8K televisions. Currently, HDMI 2.0 allows for 8K at 30Hz, while 2.1 allows for 4K at 120Hz, 8K at 60Hz and 120Hz… even 10K at 120Hz. That makes for both higher video resolutions and faster refresh rates. HDMI 2.1 also supports Dynamic HDR, enhanced audio return channel (eARC), variable refresh rates, auto low latency mode, and more.
While mentioning the importance of HDMI 2.1’s high frame rate performance and eARC, along with variable refresh rates and auto low latency mode for gamers, LG’s CES press material focuses primarily on the company’s all-new α (Alpha) 9 Gen 2 intelligent processor and deep learning algorithm. These two tech features combine to give owners ease of use and smart home control through Alexa and Google Assistant, while optimizing video performance through adjustments to tone mapping and screen brightness based on ambient light conditions. The latter of which is important for TVs that reside in rooms that experience a wide range of lighting conditions through the course of a day.
Secondarily, the α9 Gen 2 processor can natively upmix 2.0 audio to a 5.1 experience, while analyzing room noise to adjust audio settings for a tailored listening experience.
Technology aside, LG’s new 2019 OLED lineup will consist of 4K models sold under the C9, E9, and W9 series, while a new Z9 Series offers true 8K performance with the 88-inch Z9 OLED TV. Additionally, LG says the α9 Gen 2 processor will power a 75-inch 8K LCD TV called the SM99.
LG is also switching up the name of its premium 4K LCD TV lineup (SM9X and SM8X series), now calling it NanoCell TV. The new name is a nod to the televisions’ NanoCell technology that delivers better color accuracy, improved viewing angles, and ultra-thin design.
LG has yet to release pricing and full model details, however more information should become available at the company’s CES press conference.