I just experienced the LG G4 OLED TV and I'm dismayed

LG G4 OLED next to LG G3 OLED
(Image credit: Future)

LG granted us a sneak peak of what to expect with its 2024 TV lineup, most notable among them being the flagship LG G4 OLED TV that’s infused with a ton of interesting AI enhancements. 

At its sneak peak at LG's New Jersey HQ, I had the chance to see the G4 side-by-side against last year's LG G3 OLED and other high-end TVs. What LG emphasized were its AI upscaling abilities, retooling and retuning the content on-screen to give viewers somewhat of a better — or, at least, more realistic — experience.

The G4 definitely stands out as a quality TV with loads of incredible features and settings to dive into. But I’m still not sold on its AI infusions and its ability to really prosper in a market that sees little fanfare in fiddling with such settings, menus, and the like. 

Our first look comes on the heels of LG announcing pricing for its C4 OLED and G4 OLED TVs, and the G4’s highly premium price point of $2,599 for its 55-inch model doesn’t help its odds either. 

The AI TV screen era in its infancy 

Let's put this all into perspective: When it was first introduced back at CES 2024, LG highlighted the G4 OLED TV’s technological backbone being its new a11 chipset, an AI processor that will only be available on the G4 and M4 OLED TVs. From that initial point, it was clear that AI was at the forefront of TV manufacturing, with upscaling, coloration, and even motion processing being hailed as its shining feats. 

At LG's facilities, the LG G4 OLED was put through the paces side by side with a variety of competing models. Interestingly, the G4 OLED vs G3 OLED showed an impressive increase in brightness and color volume. Against other top-end TVs, the LG G4 had better saturation and contrast, especially with AI picture pro turned on. It wasn't a clear winner across the board in every metric, but I have to give credit where credit is due.

The LG a11 AI Processor on a black background.

(Image credit: LG)

Here's where things got a bit dicey. LG then highlighted the G4 OLED TV’s AI enhancements in vibrant mode, like AI super scaling, AI picture pro, object enhancing, AI super resolution, and noise reduction. One of the more interesting forms behind its AI upgrades includes AI director processing, which is an automatic feature within AI picture pro, allowing the G4 to fix saturation and hues via color theory. 

All of these included technological feats sounded be exciting on paper, but I truly didn't see that vast of a difference — to the point where I fear consumers may not see a general benefit in these AI additions enough to want to shell out as much as $2,599 (or more).

All of these included technological feats sounded exciting on paper, but there were points where I truly didn't see that vast of a difference — to the point where I fear consumers may not see a general benefit in these AI additions enough to want to shell out as much as $2,599 (or more). 

Add to this the G4’s lack of a stand on higher sizes, and you’re buying into a relatively good TV that doesn’t hype me up too much for this newfound AI screen era. 

Is AI a gimmick or is it the future of TVs?

There's points to be made on both sides, however, had I not seen it side-by-side with other non-AI-enhanced screens, I'm not sure the G4's AI tech would've wowed me. 

It's easy to slap AI on a product to make it sound like it's on the cutting-edge (see: CES 2024), but when you can't see or feel that much of a difference, then it can feel like a marketing ploy.

There were points I was impressed, but most of the demo I had a hard time seeing the difference in performance. Maybe it's too early to judge the technology (this is the first year that LG is using its new AI Processor) but so far I'm nonplussed.

If LG wants to sell me on AI as the future of television technology it has to be more streamlined and present a far wider leap in general accuracy on how content looks on the screen. AI could prove to be an exciting jump forward, but right now as seen on the LG G4 OLED, it's more of a marketing term than a tangible, experience-enhancing technology. 

LG G4 OLED outlook 


(Image credit: LG)

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The LG G4 OLED TV is still certainly an exciting display, one loaded with several gaming-centric features that make it a remarkable screen to play the upcoming PlayStation 5 hit “Rise of Ronin” in crystal clear 4K. LG's Game Dashboard and Game Optimizer both prove stellar additions on its displays, plus 144Hz VRR and G-Sync all make the LG G4 OLED TV a gamer's paradise. 

Last year's LG G3 OLED took home a near-perfect score in our review, limited only via a poor sound system, no HDR10+ inclusion, and wonky HDR colors. These problems, to some degree, will be remedied by AI on its upcoming successor, but I fear that most consumers won't find these AI upgrades all that necessary, appealing, and worth the investment. 

Is AI Director processing enough to make me shell out several thousand dollars on LG's flagship screen? Unfortunately, no. But I'm willing to give AI the time it needs to develop and grow before writing it off completely.

Of all though, I do find the AI Director processing feature to be one of the more exciting forms it introduces. This feature will allow the LG G4 OLED to adapt to color refinements made in processing on certain shows and movies, giving viewers a whole new way to experience the content they love without the moody downgrades that come with them as seen in those darker environments on later "Game of Thrones" episodes. 

Is AI Director processing enough to make me shell out several thousand dollars on LG's flagship screen? Unfortunately, no. But I'm willing to give AI — and the LG G4 — the time it needs to develop and grow before writing it off completely.

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Ryan Epps
Staff Writer

Ryan Epps is a Staff Writer under the TV/AV section at Tom's Guide focusing on TVs and projectors. When not researching PHOLEDs and writing about the next major innovation in the projector space, he's consuming random anime from the 90's, playing Dark Souls 3 again, or reading yet another Haruki Murakami novel. 

  • Fox Tread3
    March 18, 2024 - I found this article to be interesting in that the author didn't fall for the LG hype. Of course LG wants to make their latest models sound like they are leading edge Tech. However, I think that Mr. Epps is correct in saying that many people are not going to be convinced by what may be subtle advances in TVs thanks to "can live without" Tech. I think that things like paper thin and/or folding displays are big attention getters. That people may actually be impressed by and want to buy. Frankly, I think that we are on the cusp of a big change in how we view media. Apple and a few other companies have created devices that could make big TV displays as obsolete as LCDs made CRTs. I wouldn't be surprised if in ten years most people are viewing media on headsets. We could be talking about the old days when we had a big TV taking up room. The way we talk about how it was before cell phones. Going off topic here for a second. I have to say that while I love my LG 55 inch TV. I am very angry that I can't use the voice control on the remote control, because I won't agree to LG's set of conditions, which include letting LG spy on how I use my TV. I paid for all of the features when I purchased that model. It's like a car company telling an owner of one of their cars. That in order to get all of the benefits of owning their car. They have to let their car send back to the manufacturer, all of the owner's travel information. It's getting to the point that we don't own products, the companies that make them, own us.
  • tresnugget
    I don't see many people buying this TV because of the AI features.

    If anyone is spending that much on a TV they're going to buy it because it's the brightest OLED on the market with great gaming features.
  • Tanquen
    Did they fix the color banding on the G3 when gaming?