LG Electronics used CES 2020 to unveil its 2020 TV lineup, which this year will place greater emphasis on very large screen size models (72-inches and up), 8K sets in both NanoCell LED-LCD TVs and OLED technologies, and the actual delivery of the first rollable OLED TV in the U.S. market.

The line is also highlighted by a new “Gallery Series” of OLED models featuring ultra-thin panels, some of the first TVs (in six step-up OLED models) to incorporate NextGenTV (ATSC 3.0) over-the-air (OTA) broadcast tuners, and a range of new performance features including (in 25 models — all 2020 NanoCell and OLED sets) the use of Film Maker Mode (FMM), which as previously reported was developed by the Ultra HD Alliance with the backing of Hollywood content creators to automatically adjust the TV’s picture settings for optimized movie watching without the Soap Opera Effect and other distracting issues.

LG is implementing FMM with automatic detection. It will not include the specified remote button activation method.

Tim Alessi, LG’s U.S. home entertainment product marketing senior director, said the company has stepped up its game in OLED and NanoCell LED-LCD TV technologies for 2020, all of which this year will add features like FMM in addition to other enhancements.

Market Dynamics

LG is expecting big things for the OLED TV market in 2020 after the opening last year of a new OLED panel fab in China that will ramp up supply for multiple brands, including LG Display, which is the principal producer of WRGB OLED panels, which thus far account for all of the consumer-level TVs available in the global market.

The 2020 lineup is highlighted by new design styling and the addition of ultra-large screen sizes measuring 70-inches and up. In OLED, LG’s first 48-inch 4K model for the U.S. market will debut. It was added to appeal to hardcore video gamers, the company said.

Citing Consumer Technology Association (CTA) data through October 2019, LCD TV shipments in the U.S. are up 6% in units total overall, while 70-inch and larger models were up 72%.

8K TV models, which ties in directly with ultra large screen size TVs, are expected to grow as more brands come on line in 2020. Like is therefore broadening its 8K offerings, with new models in both LCD and OLED.

OLED Potential

Alessi said more and more consumers are now aware of the benefits of OLED technology in television sets with aided awareness now close to 70%, up 10% from last year.

LG said it will maintain its leadership position in OLED in 2020, after continuing to be the world’s best-selling OLED brand in 2019.

At the same time, LG’s business in LCD-based television continues to make strides in “NanoCell” technology, which uses a special enhancement film layer that yields better color reproduction, deeper black level and wider viewing angles.

For 2020, top-performing OLED and NanoCell LED-LCD TVs models will incorporate LG’s next-generation Alpha 9 Gen 3 (A9 Gen. 3) processor. This has been enhanced to reduce or eliminate picture artifacts like color banding, video noise and added artifacts from upscaling lower-resolution source content. The processor is said to be especially effective in upscaling content on new 8K models, which is expected to continue to lack much in available native 8K source content for a few years to come. The processor is said to produce upscaled images that don’t add imperfections in displayed images, especially in larger screen sizes.

All 2020 LG OLED and NanoCell TVs will continue to support built-in Dolby Atmos decoding and Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR). However, LG is dropping support Advanced HDR by Technicolor this year. The line will also support the HDR10 and HLG HDR profiles. All OLED models will also continue to support WiSA-based wireless speaker connectivity.

New AI capabilities

In 2020 many of LG’s new TV features will be empowered by artificial intelligence technologies, Alessi said. This is a continuation of what the company delivered in 2019, with AI Picture and Sound enhancement circuitry.

AI Picture Enhancing

In 2020, step-up models with AI Picture will extend sharpness and color reproduction capabilities using LG’s new A9 Gen 3 processor to differentiate between different types of on-screen objects, such as faces and text boxes, for example, to deliver more detailed processing. The system will also automatically detect what kind of content is being watched and adjust how to best present it on screen to get the best picture for sports, movies etc.

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AI Sound Enhancement this year also offers optimization based on content. The system isolates vocals and enhances dialog; presents virtual-5.1 channel surround sound up mixing and expands the sound field for a richer and wider experience without the need of extra speakers.

ThinQ AI

LG will continue to employ its ThinQ AI platform in better models, maintaining its “open” development status to work with multiple IoT brands and platforms.

This year, the platform improves the effectiveness of use of natural language in voice commands to control IoT-type smart devices. LG will continue to offer built-in access to HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant technologies, giving users the ability to work with any of the three or a combination of them.

This year, LG will be building far-field mics for “Hands-Free voice control” into select step-up TV models. This will be defeatable for those concerned with privacy issues, LG said. When activated, the Hands-Free system will be triggered by the phrase “Hi LG.” This will appear in select premium series of 8K NanoCell and some of OLED models.

LG will continue to offer its popular “Home Dashboard” offering viewers faster access desired content, easier source switching using pre-scripted routines and added capabilities, LG said.

For the U.S. market, certain LG TVs will added a new Who, Where or What? feature. This will supply information about images on the screen covering a range of items, freezing the screen and providing information, for example, on an actress’s dress and where to get it.

LG said it will also continue to be one of the leaders in the smart TV market with access to more than 180 streaming channels including the best and latest streaming services. Alessi pointed out that LG recently added the Disney+ streaming app (in 2016 and later webOS TVs), in addition to a new Xfinity app, CBS All Access, and Apple TV+, which will all continue in 2020. The company continues to offer through February 9th, a promotion on the Disney+ service, offering one year subscription-free for the purchase of an LG OLED TV or six months for the purchase of a NanoCell TV.

Content searches can be performed with the new Hands-Free voice control option via Google Assistant, Alexa and AirPlay 2, which are all built in.

Simplified Movie Watching

As mentioned, LG will be among the first TV brands to include Film Maker Mode into its sets going forward. This has been developed by the Ultra HD Alliance in cooperation with leading Hollywood content directors and producers, and is expected to appear in 2020 offerings from several manufacturers.

Sports Watching

LG is adding to 2020 TVs a new feature called Sports Alert. This provides news updates about a viewer’s favorite teams.

Bluetooth Speaker Connectivity

Many of LG’s 2020 TV models will also expand the utility of the built-in Bluetooth wireless connectivity features enabling the use of many Bluetooth wireless speakers as front speakers, a center speaker, a single rear-channel speaker or even a pair of wireless speakers for stereo rear channel speakers. So, for example, users can take LG PK5 Bluetooth wireless speakers and turn them into a quick and dirty surround sound system.

Advanced Gaming

Video gaming has been a key area of focus on LG televisions in recent years. The company’s OLED models have already included numerous gaming enhancement features providing low input lag and fast response time. For 2020 LG is adding support for AMD’s FreeSync connectivity to the package. This will join Nvidia’s similar G-Sync system that first appeared in 2019 OLED TVs. This will allow PC gamers with certain Nvidia and AMD video cards to play games on the many new LG TVs to see clear smooth gaming images absent any image tearing. LG’s TVs offer a low input lag that is among the best in the industry at about 13 ms, even against other OLED TV brands, some of which are almost twice that number. OLED also has less than 1 ms response time for highly reponsive gaming action.

As mentioned, also new for 2020 is a design series of TVs called “OLED Gallery.” Alessi explained that this is a hybrid concept centered around an ultra-thin screen design (like W9 series OLED models last year) but without the need of a separate outboard box for the electronics, speakers, power supply etc. These components will be built into the set enabling the screen to be mounted directly to the wall without a tether. The design uses a special recessed area in the back of the cabinet, allowing the screen to fit virtually flush to the wall without a gap (20mm in screen depth). Alessi said the Gallery Series will deliver “the promise of what the wallpaper TV was with the convenience of a regular TV set.” The concept will appear in a couple of different series, including an adaption for a slightly deeper NanoCell LED-LCD TV model.

8K Evolves

A key part of LG’s plans for 2020 8K televisions will be in the powerful A9 Gen. 3 8K processor, Alessi said. This will offer all of the capabilities of the A9 Gen. 3 4K models in 2020 with some additional capabilities for noise reduction and sharpness enhancing.

“Since 8K for the near term will be virtually all upscaled content, we want to make sure that we are doing very clean upscaling without adding any video noise regardless of what the source content is,” said Alessi. “This will be even better than the 2019 8K sets.”

Helping to future proof the line, LG is again offering HDMI 2.1 inputs “across the board” with support for all of the coming codecs including VP9, AV1, HEVC, for both network and USB connectivity, Alessi said. HDMI 2.1 will also continue in many of the premium 4K OLED and NanoCell models.

The expanded 2020 LG 8K lineup goes from two sets in 2019 to six models, with screen sizes ranging up to 88-inches in 8K OLED. This model will have a similar design to the 2019 version, but is improved by the new processor and added smart functionality. LG will also offer a 77-inch screen size and two series of 8K NanoCell TVs, which will also offer 65 and 75 inch screen sizes.

As part of its 8K iniatives, LG will continue to stick to its “Real 8K” message that it began to spread last fall, advocating the alleged superiority of 8K displays that adhere to established standards for contrast modulation.

The following is a list of LG’s 2020 planned TV model lineup with starting with entry 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TVs ranging up to new designs in 4K and 8K OLED models”

LG’s 2020 TV 4K UHD TV lineup:

Core Line LED-LCD TVs

The LG UN6900/6970 Series is LG’s entry 4K UHD TV lineup for 2020. Screen sizes range from 43 to 75 inches. Features include the webOS smart TV platform and new “Get Now” feature, but omitting ThinQ AI and Magic Remote. These models use a quad core processor, Active HDR feature package, and Auto Low Lag Mode (ALLM) gaming connectivity. They will have basic IPS-LCD panels with 60 Hz native refresh rates and omit local dimming backlighting.

The UN7300/7370 Series steps up to add LG’s ThinQ AI, Magic Remote, support for Google Assistant, Alexa and AirPlay 2, Bluetooth Surround capability and new features including Sports Alert and Get Now. This series includes ultra large screen sizes of 70 and 75 inches. The 75-inch model adds local dimming for improved black level performance.

The UN8500/8570 Series has models focusing on larger screen sizes including 65, 75, 82 and 86 inches. These step up to native 120 Hz refresh rate IPS-LCD panels, local dimming, and add the second-tier Alpha 7 Gen. 3 processor to drive picture enhancement technologies. Also included is Dolby Vision IQ and LG’s Cinema HDR picture enhancement package.

2020 LG NanoCell 4K & 8K Ultra HD Wide Angle LED-LCD TVs

2020 4K UHD NanoCell Lineup:

The LG Nano 85 offers one 75-inch screen size and is LG’s entry NanoCell model. This is an edge-lit LED LCD with local dimming that offers the benefits of NanoCell film with enhanced color reproduction, better black level and wider viewing angles. These models have the Alpha 7 Gen 3 processor, native 120 Hz refresh rate panels, ThinQ AI, support for Alexa, Google Assistant, AirPlay 2, Home Dashboard, Get Now, Sports Alert, Bluetooth speaker support, the full Cinema HDR feature package including support for Dolby Atmos; the Dolby Vision, HLG, and HDR10 HDR profiles; Film Maker Mode, and adds FreeSync and HGiG gaming support.

The LG Nano 90 Series has 75 and 86 inch models that have all the features of the Nano 85 and step up to Full Array LED backlighting with Local Dimming for enhanced contrast and black level.

2020 8K NanoCell Lineup:

The LG Nano 97 will have one 75-inch model that steps up from the 4K Nano 90 series with 8K resolution, an Alpha 9 Gen. 3 processor and Hands-Free Voice Control (built-in far-field mic).

The LG Nano 99 also has one 75-inch model that uses a different ultra-thin “OLED Gallery” cosmetic design. This is similar to the new 2020 OLED Gallery Series for OLED models but with a slightly thicker panel depth. It also add has Full-Array LED backlighing with “Local Dimming Pro” that increases the number of local dimming zones from the Nano 97 Series.

2020 LG 4K Ultra HD OLED TV Lineup:

The LG BX Series is the entry OLED package with models in the 55, 65 and 77 inch screen sizes. The feature package includes: an A7 Gen. 3 processor; ThinQ AI, support for Alexa, Google Assistant, AirPlay 2, Home Dashboard, Get Now, Sports Alert, Bluetooth speaker support, the full Cinema HDR feature package including support for Dolby Atmos; the Dolby Vision, HLG, and HDR10 HDR profiles; Film Maker Mode, and adds support for both G-Sync and FreeSync gaming connectivity as well as and HGiG support.

The LG CX Series has a different cosmetic design, and steps up to the a9 Gen. 3 processor. The series also adds a new 48-inch screen size that is especially well suited for hardcore video gamers, along side 55, 65 and 77 inch models.

The LG GX Series or “the Gallery Series” offers three models in the 55, 65 and 77 inch screen sizes, the aforementioned ultra-thin OLED Gallery design, and Hands-Free voice control. It is also the first series to add the built-in NextGenTV (ATSC 3.0) over-the-air broadcast tuner. The first NextGenTV broadcasts are scheduled to begin across the country in 2020 with “many broadcasters in many markets” participating, Alessi said.

The LG WX Series continues the “Wallpaper”-thin OLED TV design. Models will be available in a 77-inch (a W9 carryover from 2019) and an 88-inch screen size. The series omits the FreeSync and G-Sync gaming support.

The 65-inch LG 65RX will be LG’s first rollable 4K OLED screen design TV for the U.S. market. The concept was an HD Guru Best In Show winner in 2019 although the “65R9” series never actually made it market here as originally planned. This year’s 4K rollable OLED set does not include the NextGenTV tuner or G-SYNC or FreeSync support.

2020 LG Ultra HD 8K OLED TV Lineup:

The LG ZX series will be LG’s second-generation 8K OLED lineup. This includes all of the features in the GX OLED Gallery series including the NextGenTV tuner, but uses a “Sculpture” Design in the 88-inch model and a “Gallery Design” in a 77-inch version.

By Greg Tarr

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