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7 Jan 2020

LG debuts 48-inch 4K OLED, 8K TV sets and picture-frame TVs at CES 2020

8K dominates, but smaller TVs show that LG isn't just thinking about people who have vast budgets and space

Where Samsung went big with its almost bezel-free and modular 8K TVs at CES 2020, LG has has bucked the trend for supersized TVs by unveiling the smallest OLED TV we've seen from any of the leading manufacturers.

Until now we've only seen 55-inch or larger OLED TVs, but in 2020 LG will release a 48-inch model, catering for households with more limited space.

That's not to say there aren't some big TVs coming from LG, too. LG's NanoCell LCD range is getting six new 65 and 75-inch 8K models, and there are even bigger 8K OLEDs on their way.

As we expected, 8K is dominating CES, but 4K TVs will still make up the majority of LG's line-up this year.

2019's TVs are still available and they are temptingly cheap by comparison with newer launches - here are the best we tested in 2019.

All-new LG OLEDs

LG is known for OLEDs and that's not set to change in 2020. In fact. LG is making them a more practical purchase than ever by debuting the smallest model we've seen.

49-inch TVs are some of the most popular available and are regularly the most-visited reviews on the Which? website -you can take a look at our reviews of 48 to 50-inch TVs here.

This new OLED measures 48 inches corner to corner, so sits right in the bracket for anyone looking for a high-end TV but who lacks the space for anything too big.

LG Alpha 9 Processor

LG's new OLEDs are powered by a new processor, the Alpha 9 Gen 3 AI Processor. The Alpha series has been doing a stellar job in LG's high-end TVs for a few years. The latest version is set to improve the picture-enhancing properties even further by optimising specific types of content, including films, video games and sports.

This technology is bolstered by Dolby Vision IQ and a new Filmmaker Mode, which work in tandem to show content as the filmmaker intended.

It disables post-processing effects, such as motion smoothing, sharpening and other features, which our lab experts often turn off when testing TVs anyway. This enables the OLEDs to more accurately display the director's original vision, and not necessarily how TV manufacturers think it should look.

Don't know your LCD from your OLED? We explain the different types of TV in our expert guide on how to buy the best TV.

More 8K TVs than ever

8K is becoming LG's main focus, as evidenced by the six new 8K LCD sets coming in 2020. 8K TVs have four times as many pixels as 4K sets - the current standard for most new TVs - and, in theory, should provide even more detail and clarity.

We don't know how much LG's new 8K LCD TVs will cost yet, but the sizes - 65 and 75 inches - demonstrate that LG wants these to be TVs that the average customer could buy.

There are also 77 and 88-inch 8K models that make up the OLED ZX range. As OLEDs rather than LCDs, we we expect these to be significantly more expensive.

All of LG's new 8K sets use the improved Alpha 9 processor to get content looking as crisp as possible. This is particularly important since there's currently no native 8K content to watch. Instead the processor must upscale SD, HD and 4K footage to look as close to 8K as possible. If it does a poor job of it, then these TVs' main feature is wasted.

The best TVs for gamers

Video games make more money each year than any other entertainment media on the planet, including films and TV, so it's no surprise that TV manufacturers are jostling for the attention of gamers everywhere.

LG has planted its flag alongside Nvidia, a dominant force in gaming hardware responsible for many of the graphics cards in PCs and games consoles. LG's 2020 OLEDs support Nvidia G-SYNC.

This technology is designed to minimise the negative video elements that can spoil your gaming experience, such as screen-tearing, where the screen appears to rip in two horizontally when the player is moving very quickly.

LG also claims its OLEDs will have unparalleled variable refresh rate, with very low input lag, which means the delay from pressing a button on the controller to the character on screen performing the desired action should be barely perceptible.

GX Gallery series

Hot on the heels of the Samsung Frame range of TVs, which have snap-on picture frames and display iimages of real works of art when not in use, LG has had its own stab at camouflaged TVs.

Its Gallery Series TVs are very thin, at just 20mm, and are supplied with a specially designed wall mount that puts them as flush to the wall as possible.

If the depth of the TV didn't give it away, Gallery Series models are OLEDs. They have a thicker bezel that's supposed to mimic the look of a picture frame. Gallery TVs will be available in three sizes - 55, 65 and 77 inches. All the technology that's in the other new LG OLEDs will also be available in the Gallery series.

We're interested to see whether screen-burn will be an issue for these TVs. With typical use, which amounts to four or five hours a night watching moving content, screen-burn shouldn't be an issue, but an OLED displaying a static image for several hours at a time could cause problems.

LG has a range of features that imperceptibly move static images to avoid screen-burn. However, these were designed for logos, such as the one you see on BBC News 24 for example, rather than ones displaying on the entire screen.

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