LG always makes a big splash at CES, and the first glimpse we've had of the 2019 lineup looks great. From the first 8K OLED TV to hit the market to smarter AI and across-the-board improvements, LG's TVs are looking especially good for 2019.
LG Jumps to 8K
The biggest announcement has to be the introduction of the 88-inch Z9 OLED 8K TV, the first OLED to come to market with the higher resolution standard. The sleek TV has an ultra slim design, eye-popping detail and impressive dynamic range. It's also the first 8K TV announced that will offer to perfect black levels and per-pixel lighting that makes OLED such an impressive display technology.
During our hands on time with the new TV, we were impressed not only with the amazing clarity of the picture, but also the vibrant color and brightness. While LG declined to comment on peak brightness levels, it matched some of the brightest TVs we've seen, without sacrificing any of the detailed shadows or mid-range colors that might wash out on a lesser TV.
The second is an 8K LCD set to 75-inch LG NanoCell 8K TV (75SM99), which uses LG's optimized LCD displays and NanoCell film filtering for premium TVs. Like the OLED model, it features incredible resolution, but the LCD display offers excellent brightness and color, two areas where LCD generally outperforms OLED.
With the lack of any 8K content available to Consumers, LG is going to some lengths to ensure that current content looks good on the high-resolution panel. Even on the LG enhances all incoming content by pulling in optimization from deep datasets, offering upscaling and clarity enhancements for any content, from any source.
Both OLED sets will be coming to market in 2019, likely sometime in June or July. Pricing details have not yet been announced.
Smart TVs Get Smarter
The rest of LG's OLED lineup is seeing significant improvements thanks to new Alpha 9 (A9 Gen 2) processing hardware, found in LG's OLED and premium LCD models. The processor handles processing for a cleaner picture, sharper details and a wider look-up table for true-to-life color. Unexpanded video cleanup process removes unwanted artifacts and offers sharper picture from any content source.
LG's ThinQ AI is also getting improvements. In addition to faster video processing, the Alpha A9 Gen 2 processor allows for more natural and conversational voice interaction, and still includes full Google Assistant capability. Added for 2019 is additional built-in support for Amazon Alexa, which puts the popular voice assistant in the TV without the need for a second device such as an Amazon Echo.
While the TV still primarily relies upon Google Assistant for content search and other capabilities, this does open up all of the functionality Amazon offers their customers, including exclusive skills such as Audible audiobook playback, listening to songs through Amazon music, travel booking through Kayak, and more.
The smart TV software is also getting updated as LG rolls out webOS 4.5. The on-screen menu is getting an improvement, adding a second contextual row to the app menu that pops up when you select an app. In this second row, you'll see recently watched content, along with movie recommendations and trending content.
Smart home enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that the new version of webOS also includes a feature called Home Dashboard. This dedicated tool lets you manage all of your connected home devices, from smart doorbells to thermostats, right from the TV.
OLED and LCD TVs for 2019
LG's entire lineup is being updated for 2019 with new models coming this spring. Models announced include the premium LG OLED E9, entry level OLED C9, and an updated version of the super thin wallpaper TV the LG Signature W9 OLED. No prices have been announced, but we expect the TVs to begin rolling out this spring.
(Though not yet announced, LG did tell us that the popular LG OLED B9 will be coming out later in 2019. No additional details were shared.)
LG's LCD model line, previously known as Super UHD, is now known as NanoCell. The model line features the new webOS 4.5 platform, and many (though not all) models will include the new Alpha A9 Gen 2 processor, with all of its enhancements.
Pricing details have not yet been announced, but the new models will arrive in stores sometime this spring.
Credit: Tom's Guide