For the third year in a row, we’re choosing an LG Television as the best in the show, in large part because it will be more affordable than some of the behemoths we’ve seen on display. While not cheap (I’m guessing $3,500), my heart belongs to LG’s new generation, 65 inch OLED 65E8PUA TV. This 4K, UHD-TV boasts a new artificial intelligence engine dubbed ThinQ and a brawny new microprocessor called a9. LG’s 2018 model is boosting OLED’s already amazing color, shading and “blackest blacks” performance on multiple levels. Instead of just doing edge enhancement on an object (like a flower), it’s now got the speed and smarts to analyze and polish all the petals on the rose. Instead of mapping and matching 7,000 shades of color, it’s working through a color palette of 35,000 tones. The new OLED also is offering new options for high dynamic range processing, adding Advance HDR by Technicolor and HLG (hybrid log-gamma) to the base HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats. (DirecTV is deploying HLG.)
And LG is also refusing to play favorites, and disappoint early adopters on the voice-activated “smart” product front. While the new LG sets will use a proprietary system when users call out to change the TV input or check on the status of other LG appliances, it is also integrating Google Assistant to help out – to report the weather forecast, close the garage door, or cue a Google Home speaker in another room. And better still, Amazon Alexa can also play nicely with this TV and its pals, though you’ll need to install a compatible, microphone-equipped smart speaker (like an Amazon Dot) to make the connections. No word yet on pricing and availability.
LG also showed off a 77″ model, the LG SIGNATURE OLED TV W8 – 4K HDR AI TV – 77″ Class (76.8″ Diag) model OLED77W8PUA. It features wallpaper TV Design, LG ThinQ® AILG α9 Intelligent Processor, LG OLED Display, 4K Cinema HDR, Dolby Atmos. No word on when it might be released. But when it does, it might not fit your budget, or in your apartment.
And of course, there’s always the new if-you-live-long-enough-we’ll-bring-it-to-market-prototype. This year LG Display showed off a 64″ OLED display that rolls up like a newspaper. That’s a big size step up from the 18″ version they showed a few years back. But, don’t hold your breath.
- Our Editor-At-Large John Quain has a different take on the Best TV. He was impressed with what Samsung is calling, “The Wall,” a microLED modular screen. How big is it? The version being shown at CES is 146″ diagonal. That’s more than 10 feet wide and 6 feet high. Because it’s modular, you could make it bigger (or smaller). It’s based on a technology originally designed for movie theaters but brought down to home size (if you have a large home). As you might expect the picture is stunning and could rival OLED’s at some time in the future. Again, no word on pricing and availability. But Quain says that at this point it’s “more sizzle than steak.”