LG formally introduced at virtual CES 2021 Monday its 2021 TV lineup highlighted by a high-brightness 4K “OLED-Evo TV series, a new 83-inch OLED screen size and the company’s first QNED Mini LED TVs with enhanced brightness and black level control.

Fourteen new OLED models were revealed for the U.S. market (so far) for this year, along with 22 NanoCell LED-LCD TVs, including 10 previously announced 8K and 4K LG QNED Mini LED TVs in four series.

During its online press conference, LG showed a new G1 4K OLED TV series with a feature dubbed “OLED Evo.” This marks the next evolution in OLED panel technology that has been optimized to deliver a brighter picture than LG has offered before in the technology. It is said to use a reformulated panel with “a new luminos element” that fine tunes the wavelengths for red and blue and adds a green element as well for more precise color reproduction and higher brightness.

The C1 OLED series also will add a new 83-inch 4K screen size — like one announced for the upcoming Sony BRAVIA XR line this year.

Most OLED series this year will be based on a new Alpha 9 (fourth generation) processor that uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to handle “all elements” of picture creation, including anti-contouring (banding), color look up tables (LUTs), noise reduction, and upscaling.

As previously announced, many of LG’s smart TVs for 2021 will feature the new webOS 6.0 smart TV platform with better models getting a redesigned Magic Remote to control the user interface. The remote is more streamlined, adds more hot keys for four popular streaming apps, and re-positions some keys to make them more intuitive to use. As for the webOS on-screen user interface, among many things, the updated platform now offers more personalized look and feel to customize the experience to individual preferences.

Several 2021 TV series offer what LG calls Magic Tap, which allows tapping a smart phone or tablet on the Magic Remote to instantly link the device to the television for content sharing. This includes sound sharing from the mobile device to the TV and vice versa. Up to three devices can be connected via Bluetooth at one time, which will be useful if more than one person wants to listen to the TV audio via wireless headphones, for example.

The new Alpha 9 Gen. 4 processor for OLED series has been enhanced this year to auto detect content being watched by not only genre type but scene types to further adjust images for things like contrast and HDR picture quality using Dolby Vision and other processes to make adjustments for ambient surroundings. It will also auto adjust for different elements of a picture simultaneously, like adjusting how faces are display at the same time as sharpening text in a scrolling ticker.

In 2021, the AI sound system, which last year performed up-mixes from stereo to 5.1-channels surround, has been expanded through the AI Sound Pro feature offered in some models to add virtual height channels for a 5.1.2-channel-like experience.

Most 2021 models will continue to include support for Filmmaker Mode, to automatically change TV settings to preserve the creative intent. The feature can be set to automatically engage upon detection of film-based content or it can be engaged manually with a push button on the remote.

This year’s OLED and NanoCell TVs continue to be Calman Ready (formerly known as AutoCal) with built-in test patterns for both SDR and HDR, depending on the processor used.

As last year, LG’s 2021 OLED and NanoCell TVs will support WiSA wireless speaker connectivity as well as Bluetooth capability to link with certain Bluetooth speakers to serve as additional rear channels without the need for and AV receiver.

In addition, a new mode this year, known as TV Sound Mode Share, rewires the sound output to enable sending sound processed internally by the TV out to a connected soundbar with the enhancement enabled by the TV left in intact.

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The processor continues to handle previous picture enhancements including Auto Genre Detection, Scene Detection and OLED Motion Pro, the latter of which uses a form of black frame insertion that is adaptive to the action to deliver a better blend of smooth motion with a brighter image.

Several series this year offer an auto sound-leveling feature that maintains a constant preset volume level when switching between channels or even changing from app to app.

As far as supporting new HDMI 2.1 features for advanced gaming, most series will continue to have up to 40Gbps of maximum bandwidth, while all 8K TV models will have two HDMI 2.1 ports with up to 48Gbps of bandwidth.

For NextGen TV tuning (ATSC 3.0) of over-the-air broadcasts, LG will continue to place the dual ATSC 1.0/ATSC 3.0 tuning in its G series (G1 this year) and Z series (Z1 this year) OLED models.

2021 LG OLED TVs

This year’s OLED TVs continue to offer superior gaming quality by nature of the WRGB panel and powerful processor offering self-lit pixels, smooth and clear images, ultra-fast response times and low levels of blue light output that can fatigue eyes.

The new Alpha 9 (a9) Gen 4 processor in most series this year continues to handle previous picture enhancements including Auto Genre Detection, Scene Detection and OLED Motion Pro, the latter of which uses a form of black frame insertion that is adaptive to the action to deliver a better blend of smooth motion with a brighter image. It also incorporates Dolby Vision adaptive HDR processing.

This year, the OLED sets have a feature called Game Optimizer. With this, when the TVs auto detect that a game is being played a special menu of aggregated game related settings is offered in one area of the screen to enable easily fine-tuning the viewing and sound experience to the game title and the player’s preferences. Based on genre, there are four different game genres including: Standard Game, First-Person Shooter, Roll Playing and Real-Time Strategy. Each package of presets can be further fine tuned as desired.

LG will add cloud-based gaming apps this year including Twitch, GoogleStadia and later in the year NVIDA GeForce Now.

All 2021 LG OLED TV models will also support Dolby Atmos, variable refresh rate (VRR)/FreeSync, ALLM, eARC, and HGiG. G-Sync VRR compatibility also continues in OLED models.

LG is expanding its very popular thin-profile wall mountable “Gallery Design” used in the OLED GX Series last year to more OLED series as well as select NanoCell and UHD LCD models in 20201. The company is also making an optional pedestal-style Gallery Stand with VESA mounting holes available.

Meanwhile, as previously reported, LG is updating its NanoCell LED-LCD TV line for 2021 with its first LG QNED Mini LED TVs in 10 8K and 4K models. Added to this are improvements in the regular NanoCell series models including higher brightness, and better black levels through the use of more local dimming zones, improved color using a new quantum dot film layer, added to prior NanoCell color filters. This will improve color accuracy and expand the color gamut.

The 2021 LG NanoCell line will also include new larger screen size models, in both 4K and 8K. Six of the models will be 75-inches or larger.

The OLED TV Breakout:

ZX OLED Series, 8K 88- and 77-inches with Alpha 9 (a9) Gen 3 AI Processor 8K, the 77-inch model will feature the thin-profile Gallery Design.

G1 OLED Series, 4K 77-, 65- 55-inches, a9 Gen 4 AI Processor 4K, OLED Evo panel with heat dissipation for brighter pictures, upgraded flush-fit Gallery Design across the line, hands-free commands.

C1 OLED Series (new 83-), 77- 65-, 55- and 48-inch screen sizes, a9 Gen 4 AI Processor 4K with OLED-fit pictures and sound

A1 OLED Series 77-, 65-, 55-, 48-inches a7 Gen 4 AI Processor, 3 HDMI inputs, 20 watt sound system (step-down from 40 watts), pole stand design.

2021 NanoCell

LG 2021 NanoCell TVs

Back on Dec. 28th, LG announced that the top of its 2021 Nano Series Full-Array with local dimming LED LCD TV lineup will consist of 10 (mixed 8K and 4K) SKUs based on new LG QNED Mini LED TV technology. The new Mini LED backlit models are described as using a hybrid between NanoCell and quantum dot color expansion technology. The included MiniLED system uses up to 30,000 tiny LEDs in 2,500 dimming zones (in the largest 86-inch model). These add “advanced local dimming technology” to produce “high peak brightness and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1,” and are likely to have high color volume.

The “LG QNED Mini LED TV” lineup will feature 10 new 4K and 8K models in four series covering a wide range of screen sizes including an 8K 86-inch model with more than 30,000 Mini LED local dimming zones. Some other models will have 24,000 local dimming zones. Six of the 10 LG QNED Mini LED TV models will have screen sizes of 75-inches or larger.

A few of the NanoCell series this year will have picture processing driven by a new Alpha 7 Gen 4 and Dolby Vision AI processing chip (in select series) for better brightness, black reproduction and sound.

The rest of the lineup consists of models using LG’s previous NanoCell color expansion system. This year’s models will support: Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos IQ, Game Optimizer, variable refresh rate (VRR)/FreeSync, ALLM, eARC, HGiG, GoogleStadia gaming, and Twitch. Many of the company’s LED-LCD TV models this year will support the updated webOS 6.0 smart TV platform with ThinQ AI and the redesigned Magic Remote

Including the four LG Mini QNED LED TV series, the NanoCell line will feature two series in 8K and five series in 4K.

New LG QNED Mini LED 8K TVs will feature two 8K series and two 4K series, each divided between models with native 120 Hz and 60 Hz panels.

LG QNED Mini LED TVs

Nano9Z Series — 86-, 75-, 65-inch models; Mini LED 8K full-array backlighting with local dimming; 120 Hz native refresh rate LCD panels; quantum dot and NanoCell hybrid color; Gallery Design; Alpha 9 (a9) Gen 4 Processor 8K; mega-contrast and hands-free commands.

Nano9X Series — 75-, 65-inch models; Mini LED 8K full-array backlighting with local dimming; 60 Hz native refresh rate LCD panel; quantum dot and NanoCell hybrid color; Gallery Design; Alpha 9 (a9) Gen 4 Processor 8K; and hands-free commands.

Nano9C Series — 86-, 75-, 65-inch models; Mini LED 4K full-array backlighting with local dimming; 120 Hz native refresh rate LCD panel; quantum dot and NanoCell hybrid color; Gallery Design; Alpha 9 (a9) Gen 4 Processor 4K; mega-contrast and hands-free commands.

Nano9A Series — 75- and 65-inch models; Mini LED 4K full-array backlighting with local dimming; 60Hz native refresh rate LCD panel; quantum dot and NanoCell hybrid color; brighter images with dark black.

2021 4K NanoCell TVs

Nano90 Series — 86, 75, 65-, 55-inch models; 4K 120Hz native refresh rate panels; A7 & Dolby Vision AI processor; Full Array with local dimming LED backlight; Gallery Design in 65- and 55-inches.

Nano80 Series — 75-, 65-, 55-, 50-inch models; 4K 60Hz native refresh rate panels; Quad Core processor; local dimming; premium design that is Gallery Stand compatible; NanoCell pure color reproduction.

Nano75 Series — 65-, 55-, 50-, 43-inch models; 4K 60Hz panels; Quad Core processor, NanoCell pure color performance.

Other 2021 LG LCD TV series:

UP80 Series — 86-, 82-, 75-, 70-, 65-, 60-, 55-, 50-, 43-inch screen sizes; 4K 60Hz native refresh rate panels (120Hz in 82/86 inches); “Real 4K” color processing; Quad Core processor; ThinQ AI with Magic Remote; webOS with integrated voice control, Cinema Screen bezel-less, slim uni-body design measuring 55mm to 65mm in depth depending on model; Gallery Stand compatible.

UP70 Series — 75-, 70-, 65-, 60-, 55-, 50-, and 43-inch models with 4K 60Hz native refresh rate panels; basic UHD series webOS with Google/Alexa-ready support.

LG also introduced audio products including new soundbars, and wireless speakers.

This year, LG will add more soundbars with more price points, including models with Meridian multi-dimensional sound, along with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound support.

This year’s select models of LG TVs have a TV Share feature that enables sending sound processed internally by the TV on to the soundbar intact.

In models with built-in voice control support, LG has removed the built-in Google Assistant functionality and replaced it with Works-with-Google Assistant devices in order to add support for works with Alexa, AirPlay 2 and Chromecast as well. This just requires the use of a separate device like a smart speaker.

Premium Soundbars

SP11R — 770 watts, 7.1.4-channelsGoogle/Alexa/AirPlay 2 AI compatibility, 65 inches, Meridan, Google/Alexa/AirPlay 2 AI compatibility.

SN10 –Carries over from 2020

SP9 — Google/Alexa/AirPlay 2 AI compatibility

GX Gallery — Carries over from 2020

SP8 — 440 watts, 3.1.2-channels, 49-inches, Google/Alexa/AirPlay 2 AI compatibility

Mid-range Soundbars

SPD7 — Compact eclair-shaped design; compact wireless subwoofer; 380 watts; 3.1.2-channels; Atmos support; up-firing speakers, white coloring.

QP5 — 320 watt, 3.1.2-channels

SP7 — softer home decor design-friendly look; 5.1-channel sound, 440 watts power, subwoofer, Meridian audio, Hi-Rez Audio support,

SN6 — carries over from 2020

SN5 — carries over from 2020

Entry Soundbars

SN4 — 330 watts, 2.1-channels, HDMI connectivity

SP2 — softer home decor design-friendly look; 100 watts, 2.1-channels, built-in passive radiator subwoofer.

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By Greg Tarr

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