The Las Vegas Convention Centre may not be crammed with the latest tech, but that doesn’t mean CES isn’t happening. The annual global tech event has gone digital, and LG has shared its TV vision for 2021.
As we’ve come to expect from LG, OLEDs were front and centre, but they were joined by a new TV technology that LG is calling QNED Mini LED.
The new screen type, coupled with a redesigned operating system and new-look Magic Remote, marks a big change for LG. On paper, at least, its new tech should make for better visuals and enhanced audio; we’ll find out if this is the case when we put LG’s new TVs through our tests later this year.
In the meantime, read on to discover everything we learnt from its virtually-packed press conference.
We’re still a few months away from 2021 TVs hitting our living rooms, but our favourites from 2020 are still available. Here are our top five TVs.
The next step in OLED technology
Where once there was only OLED, there is now OLED evo.
The first TVs with OLED evo technology will be those in LG’s latest Gallery G1 range, its series of OLEDs designed to be wall mounted and display art when you aren’t watching them.
LG wasn’t big on details, but said the evo range would be its brightest OLEDs and display ‘punchy images with amazing clarity, detail and realism’.
New Alpha 9 Gen 4 processor
The latest Alpha 9 Gen 4 processor will also help enhance the G1 range’s imagery, but this won’t only be in the G1 series. You’ll also find the new processor in the C1 series, which is the successor to the popular CX OLED range, and the super high-end Z1 range.
It’s not just OLEDs that will benefit from the new Alpha 9; LG’s new QNED ranges will get it (specifically the QNED99 and QNED95 ranges), as well as the NanoCell NANO99 and NANO95 ranges.
The OLEDs will also feature Game Optimizer, which applies the best picture settings for the type of gaming being played. The C1, G1 and Z1 models have an extremely low one millisecond response time to minimise input lag, VRR (variable refresh rate) for a smoother image, and HDMI 2.1 on all four inputs.
What’s new with the Alpha 9 Gen 4 processor?
- Capable of recognising and enhancing bodies and faces on screen
- Distinguishes between foreground and background to help each stand out and create a better sense of depth
- Automatically detects the genre and adjusts the picture to account for the amount of light in the scene
- AI Sound Pro technology upscales audio to 5.1.2, which is surround sound with additional audio coming from overhead
- Auto Volume Levelling will even out audio so you won’t hear dramatic shifts in volume as you move between channels and streaming apps.
New high-end LCD options with the QNED Mini LED TVs
LG’s top of the line LCD TVs will be the first to use a new, smaller LED for their backlight. Almost 30,000 tiny bulbs mean the QNEDs will be some of LG’s brightest TVs, with 2,500 dimming zones.
Dimming zones are distinct areas where the light can be adjusted. The more you have, the better a TV can control contrast, which gives credence to LG’s claims that its QNEDs will have excellent black levels and great HDR quality.
The new QNEDs are big though, with sizes starting at 65 inches. There will be 4K and 8K options available.
The latest version of webOS and new-look Magic Remote
LG’s updated operating system, WebOS 6.0, will recommend shows to you based on what you’ve been watching and your preferences. It’s part of a revamped interface that will display your most-used apps first so you’ll get to your favourites quicker.
LG hasn’t neglected its TV accessories either; it says the Magic Remote now has a more ergonomic shape, and the new direct access buttons for popular apps and voice assistants should work well with webOS 6.0 to get you to the shows you want as quickly as possible.
Voice control options have been expanded, too, and there will be more commands than ever, but LG didn’t go into detail on what new aspects of the TV you’ll be able to control with your voice.
Some versions of the new Magic Remote will have NFC built in, so you can tap your phone to instantly mirror your phone screen to the TV or vice versa.
Pricing and availability
The new sets will likely launch in the spring, usually around April and May. The high-end OLED and QNED will likely come first, with cheaper Nanocell and LCD TVs coming later.
LG didn’t mention anything about pricing, but we’d expect the OLEDs to cost between £2,000 and £4,000 depending on size. It’s best not to buy a new TV at launch though; wait a few months and it will cost hundreds of pounds less.
More TV news from CES 2021
Samsung and Sony have also unveiled some exciting new TVs at CES this year and you can read more about them in our Samsung and Sony CES roundup.