LG just surprised TV shoppers with the news that the LG B-Series would be making an unexpected return, as the new LG B1 OLED started selling this week.
Back in March, the LG 2021 TV lineup was initially announced without a 2021 version of the B-Series OLED, instead promoting the new LG A1 OLED as the entry-level OLED model this year. Other reports suggested that the LG B1 OLED would only be released in the UK and European markets, with no announced plans to bring the B1 OLED to North America.
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But even then the company wasn't entirely committed to replacing the B-Series, as the company did comment that a replacement to the LG BX OLED could be coming this year, just at a later date.
Well, it looks like that date has come, because LG is now listing three sizes of the LG B1 OLED for sale on the LG website.
Listed in 55, 65 and 77 inch sizes, the budget-friendly OLED starts at an affordable $1,399 and scales up to $3,099 for the largest model. That's nearly as affordable as the A1 series that was meant to replace the B-series models, with the 55-inch A1 OLED currently selling for $1,299 (opens in new tab) and the 65-inch for $1,599 (opens in new tab).
But you won't find the LG B1 OLED listed on major retailer websites, like Best Buy or Amazon. Instead, LG has the B1 OLED listed as an online exclusive, available only from LG.com. Time will tell if that remains the case all year, but for now, it's the only place to buy the new budget OLED.
And the B1 OLED does look like a great option for TV shoppers, slotting in nicely between the now entry-level A1 OLED and the more premium C1 OLED. The prices are reasonable, if not the lowest on the market, and the feature set looks better than what is offered on the LG A1 OLED. (Check out LG A1 OLED TV looks cheap — but is it a good value? For more about the A1.)
Obviously, the OLED display offers all of the superb picture quality that OLED is known for, like per-pixel lighting, true black levels and razor-sharp resolution and contrast. So far, the only thing better than the OLED display used here would be the OLED evo technology used in the LG G1 OLED, which updates the panel with enhanced brightness and a wider color gamut.
LG pairs the excellent display with the α7 Gen4 AI Processor, which may not match the chip found in top-of-the-line models like the LG C1 OLED or the excellent LG G1 OLED, but still offers premium features like Dolby Vision IQ for adaptive HDR, AI Picture and Sound which optimize audio and display for the viewing environment and the content displayed, and built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Even better, all 2021 OLED models also boast HMDI 2.1 connectivity (the B1 OLED offers this on two of its four HMDI ports) with support for 4K picture at 120 Hz that is ideal for gaming. It also supports the latest gaming features, like Auto Low-Latency Mode (ALLM), and support for HGiG – advanced HDR tone mapping – from the HDR Gaming Interest Group consortium of console makers and TV manufacturers.
LG also adds its own Game Optimizer, a menu of features that let you adjust the blue light emissions, turn Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and AMD FreeSync on and off, and toggle LG's AI Game Sound, as well as adjusting specific image and audio settings specifically for game mode.