LG Enhances 2023 OLED, QNED TVs With Smart Features, Sound Bar Integration
LG Electronics introduced at CES 2023 Media Day its 2023 QNED LED and Mini-LED LCD TVs, soundbars and 4K and 8K OLED TVs.
LG also introduced its new 97-inch LG SIGNATURE OLED M (model M3), which is billed the world’s first consumer TV with Zero Connect technology, a wireless solution capable of real-time video and audio transmission at up to 4K/120Hz. The new OLED TV M3 is said to deliver superior picture and sound quality as well as greater flexibility to install and connect. IIt’s “One Wall Design,” means the M3 and its integrated bracket will sit flush against the wall with no visible gap, “presenting a chic, art gallery aesthetic that augments the TV’s outstanding self-lit picture quality,” LG said.
In addition to the previously announced 2023 OLED lineup, LG revealed plans to continue its QNED hybrid quantum dot/Nano Crystal color enhanced LCD TV strategy this year.
David Park, the new head LG USA’s new Customer Value Enablement Team for home entertainment, said that in 2023, premium QNED LCD TV series models will include three tiers with both LED and Mini-LED backlit 4K LCD TVs.
This encompasses the LG QNED 75 series (LED-backlit panel based on 60Hz native refresh rate), 4K QNED 80 (LED-based 120Hz panel) and QNED 85 4K QNED (Mini-LED backlit 120Hz LCD panel).
The company’s 2023 QNED Mini-LED series models bring “Million Gray Scale” capability to produce over 1 million shades of gray, “where a lot of the details and highlights are,” Park stressed.
He explained that with this feature, LG’s premium QNED 85 Mini LED TV models will be 64 times more detailed than conventional LCD TVs.
The QNED 80 120Hz/LED LCD models will offer HDMI 2.1 inputs and VRR including Free-Sync premium VRR, and an Ultra-Slim design that is 33% slimmer than the 2022 QNED 80 Series.
The 2023 LG QNED 80 Series LED-backlit models will also feature an improved design that is 33% slimmer than the 2022 equivaltent versions.
In addition to Mini-LED full-array backlighting and a 120Hz refresh rate panel, the QNED 85 Mini-LED series will also add precision dimming, capable of much brighter images with improved black level performance. Park called this “the best picture quality you can get in an LED LCD TV.”
2023 LG OLED TVs
In addition to the aforementioned 97-inch LG 4K/120Hz OLED M3, the company is offering powerful new features and capabilities across its lineup of somewhat smaller 2023 OLED models and series.
LG said that in developing the new OLED line it focused on providing “not only the best picture and sound, but also the sense of immersion into reality, so you feel like being there.” LG dubs this experience “Alpha Reality,” centered around its new more powerful Gen 6 Alpha 9 processor.
Park said LG video processing technologies are part of a suite of enhancements it calls “AI Picture Pro.” This includes LG’s “AI Super Upscaling” that not only upscales lower resolution content, it increases sharpness as well.
Park called it a “unique feature where through our AI, we can tell the difference between the film grain that’s intentionally added versus unwanted noise. And so the processor can determine that, remove the unwanted noise and bring extra clarity and sharpness to the image.”
Another Alpha Reality system, called “OLED Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro,” has been upgraded this year to enable LG OLED TVs to break up the screen into 20,000 individual blocks of dynamic tone mapping, from 5,000 blocks last year.
On top of this “Object Enhancer HDR Expression” will embellish the image to better differentiate between objects in the foreground and background to produce a more immersive 3D effect.
This AI technology can identify what the main object is on the screen to add additional detail, highlights, and depth effects to the image to bring a deeper sense of reality to the viewer, he said.
For 2023, the LG OLED series assortment will include: the Z3 Evo, G3 Evo, C3 Evo and B3 OLED TV model steps, while dropping the former entry level A Series OLED tier in the U.S. this year.
LG OLED Evo is a reference to the suite of features that step-up LG OLED TVs have to increase brightness and overall picture quality over conventional OLED TVs. The latest implementation is achieved using features like a new “Brightness Booster” and “Brightness Booster Max” features in tandem with light control architectures to balance picture brightness levels to the room lighting for premium 4K and 8K TVs.
As previously announced by the company Monday night, the 2023 OLED 4K and 8K lines step up to the C3 and G3 (4K) and Z3 (8K) series models that all bring the Gen 6 Alpha 9 processor along with support for Dolby Vision gaming. The C3 series adds first-level Evo enhancement via “Brightness Booster,” and an ultra slim design, while the G3 series offers a new even brighter image.
The G3 Series OLEDs will also feature LG’s “Zero Gap design,” formerly known as “the Gallery Design.” The series renaming is intended to “better communicate the benefits of the gallery design and the flush mount that’s included with the G3 Series models,” according to Park.
LG will also expand the use of composite fiber material found in the 2022 C2 Series to make new LG G3 OLED TVs lighter, for easier transportation and installation.
The LG G3-Series OLED Evo models add what the company calls an upgraded version of its “Brightness Booster Max” circuitry enabling an up to 70% increase in peak brightness over conventional OLED TVs in some screen sizes.
“The G2 series [last year] has a 30% bump in brightness,” said Park. “So, this year we’ve taken that a step further. And now the 2023 LG G3 Series will be up to 70% brighter. And even with the increased brightness, our colors will still stay rich and accurate.”
The new Gen 6 A9 processor 4K and 8K OLED models will also run new AI-based sound processing technologies, and a package of the latest advanced gaming features.
“AI SoundPro” processing package brings a suite of sound enhancement tools including “AI Clear Sound” that is very similar to the AI sound calibration on LG’s sound bars.
This year, supporting LG TVs can determine and analyze sound quality of the room environment and output sound enhanced for the best reproduction for the room dynamics, to ensure an ultra clear and immersive sound experience, Park said.
An Auto Balance Control this year is used to improve the quality of sound listened to at lower volume levels to adjust for the right amount of bass. With this the dialog will always be clearly understandable, without completely eliminating the bass from the sound track. The feature analyzes the content to better match the sound balance for all frequencies.
“And so whether you’re watching content at higher volumes or lower volumes, you still get that great, consistent, immersive sound,” said Park. “All of this comes together with our 9.1.2 virtual surround sound as well.”
The new entry level OLED series this year is the 4K OLED B3, which brings some advanced gaming features like 144Hz gaming, HDMI 2.1 inputs and a suite of premium gaming enhancement features including variable refresh rate (VRR) and others.
He added that 2023 OLED models will achieve 100% Color volume and 100% Color Fidelity certification.
In 2023, LG will offer its five year warranty on LG Z3 and G3 series OLED models. Both series will also carry new NextGen TV ATSC 3.0 over-the-air tuning to receive new over-the-air digital broadcast stations that in coming months will start bringing new hyrbrid broadcast and IP-delivered digital signals live covering more than 70% of U.S. broadcast markets.
In 2023, LG Z3 8K UHD OLED TVs, like the G3 4K series, will also have the Evo “Brightness Booster Max” system for the first time.
For better eye safety and comfort, LG’s 2023 OLED TVs will feature eye-safe flicker-free panels that are glare-free certified, “meaning consumers can watch our OLED TVs for longer without any discomfort,” said Park.
New for 2023, LG is incorporating AI Blue Light reduction. This further improves the level of blue-light emission and the overall picture quality of the screen versus LG’s 2022 OLED models.
LG said it listened to customer suggestions this year in developing both its OLED and LCD TV models to make televisions that are about more than “watching movies and TV shows.” The company finds that people “want to have fun with the TV. They want to be able to connect with others, and grow their life experiences, whether it’s from home cooking or fitness.”
WebOS 2023 Improvements
Park said 2023 LG webOS 2023 smart LCD and OLED TVs will support various experiences along with an improved overall home screen.
“This is based on consumer feedback as well showing last year’s smart TV OS made it difficult to find all the content, due to all the scrolling required to get to the bottom of the page,” said Park. “So for next year, we’re updating the home screen. It will only have two pages, the first main page with the row of apps, and then the second page will offer your recommended content.”
The new layout now aggregates all the recommendations through different tabs, removing the laundry list of content recommendations by letting users click on a specific tab, whether it’s Netflix, YouTube or anouther app, to find the content that’s recommended for the viewer from each content service.
Also this year, LG introduced a feature called “My Profile,” which allows the user to create up to 10 unique user profiles, each with its their own content recommendations.
“This year we’ve taken it a step further. Now you can add images or avatars to truly personalize the profiles. And new for next year is Quick Cards, which are like category folders that are pre populated with the apps and experiences that are available on webOS,” said Park.
Some of these Quick Cards include home office, with a variety of popular Google home office apps like Google Drive, Gmail, the Google Chrome browser, etc.
Another new feature is called Remote PC, that allows people working from home to log into their remote office. Users can then wirelessly connect to the LG TV a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to work from a very large screen.
Gaming enthusiasts will find the 2023 LG webOS 2023 TVs to access popular cloud gaming partner services such as the Twitch streaming app and Music.
“We offer a lot of different varieties of music services along with recommendations available right through this card to quickly access all of the music apps and then sports, as well,” he said. “So this is a dynamic card and based on the teams that you choose, the card will show you the latest score and then it’ll kind of flip through and keep showing you as the game progresses and the score changes.”
This year, LG webOS will also offer cooking programs, entertainment and well-being content.
One new app, called “Independent,” will help users engage in telehealth, and tap into discounts on prescription drugs through the LG webOS TV.
In addition, “Smart Shopping” will enable purchasing different products directly through the LG Smart TV.
Another improvement for this year comes in Quick Settings that brings greater and easier customization. This will show different settings like picture mode, sound mode or what ever settings are most frequently accessed. Users will find a list of options they can choose from to customize and personalize the Quick Settings menu to their needs.
Also in 2023, LG TVs will support and control LG smart devices. Users will find LG home appliances like refrigerators and washing machines that they can control directly through LG ThinQ and the AI Concierge apps.
Park said LG TVs will learn all of the different keywords in user searches. And based on those keywords, as soon as they hit the Mic button on the remote, it’ll start producing recommendations.
Park said an avid Marvel movie fan, for example, will now be able to hit the the Mic button to search for something and the TV will recognize that and immediately start recommending Marvel movie titles.
“The television will also be able to learn the user’s behaviors as well. So if the user typically turns on the sleep timer at 10 p.m. every night, the TV will recognize that. And around 9:50 pm, the user will get an alert from the TV saying, ‘Hey, in 10 minutes, you usually turn on the sleeper timer. Would you like to turn on it now?’ ” Park said.
Hands free voice control will be available on LG C3, G3, and Z3 series OLED models, to interact and control the TV without the need of a remote.
Another new feature for 2023 brings Music Search, where by pressing the Mic button on the Magic Remote, a user can tell the TV to search for a song by singing some of the melody. WebOS 2023 will analyze that and pull up the song being searched for. Users will also be able to ask for the name of a song being played in the background of a TV show or commercial, and the WebOS TV will try to analyze, identity and add the song to the user’s song recommendations.
A new AI Picture Wizard feature for 2023 will help a 2023 LG OLED TV switch into a professionally calibrated picture mode, like Filmmaker Mode, ISF Dark, ISF Bright Mode etc. Or, if the viewer likes watching content based on their own specific preferences, the Picture Wizard will go through a six-step process, and for every step the user will select images based on their preference. At the end, the TV will create a personalized picture profile based on the user’s preference and let the consumer know, that they like a cool and natural picture, or a warm and balanced picture.
Another continuing feature called “Multi View”, which was first introduced in 2022, enables displaying side-by-side picture, where viewers can show one image through an input, like a gaming console or a PC, and on the other side they can pull up a streaming service like YouTube.
Using picture-in-picture capabilities, with the LG Fitness app, for example, an add-on camera can now be used with the TV to analyze a user’s exercise form compared to how the instructor is doing it on screen.
This year, multi-view capability is being upgraded to double the input options, so, on each side of the screen users can use a device that’s connected through HDMI.
A cable set-top box can then be viewed on one side of the screen and a PC or game console on the other. Further, LG will be introducing a new LG SmartCam TV accessory in 2023 that attaches to the set by a magnet to engage in video conferencing and use different apps like the LG Fitness app.
Another feature this year called “Wow Orchestra” works with LG soundbars to create synergy in sound between LG TVs and LG Soundbars. This syncs the speakers available in both the TV and the soundbar for one integrated sound field.
This can be used to reduce lip sync issues, reduce distortion and produce truly immersive surround sound experiences.
Through the multi-sound solution, LG TVs will have the ability to pass through Dolby Atmos and IMAX Enhanced Audio to an LG soundbar to large high-quality surround sound codecs from the LG TV to a supporting soundbar.
2023 Gaming Features
This year, the LG “Ultimate Gameplay” game optimizer adds another setting called “Sound Settings” to assist users playing games on the fly. Users can go into the Game Optimizer while playing a game to change the picture and sound settings based on the genre of game being played.
LG will offer Game Optimzer in its OLED TVs, OLED Fex Gaming TV and Ultra Gear OLED monitors in order to bring “the total OLED gaming solution whether it’s for console gaming or PC gaming.”
LG’s 2023 sound bars have been designed for better sound and design integration with LG’s 2023 TVs.
The sound bars have new sound components, including WOW Orchestra, which utilizes every one of the TV’s and sound bar’s audio channels to create an expanded soundstage with improved height, depth and power; greater synergy in producing multi-surround sound.
This synergy is further expanded with Dolby Atmos and IMAX enhanced quality powered by DTS:X. LG’s 2023 TVs will pass through DTS sound for supporting sounbars to decode.
Another component, called WOWCast enables wireless connectivity between the sound bar and an LG TV.
LG said 2023 sound bars can be controlled using an intuitive interface to the Home Dashboard on an LG TV, enabling users to easily manage their sound bar’s settings and share sound modes with the TV.
The new LG SC9 soundbar series matches perfectly with LG C series OLED TVs, including older models from last years C2 TV line. This model has a unique bracket included to mount the sound bar on the wall or stand without additional drilling required.
The LG SE6 sound bar has a compact form factor that is ideal for smaller spaces, and a sleek, modern design. Although the smallest of LG’s soundbars, the new model includes four passive radiators and delivers powerful bass, the company said. The SE6 also supports Dolby Atmos for cinematic audio.
This year, Triple Level Spatial Sound Technology uses channel analysis performed by an HRTF-based 3D engine to add a virtual mid-layer. This is said to produce lifelike sound with a sense of space for a more immersive audio environment.
The 2023 models feature a Triple Sound Optimizer to intelligently boost the new soundbars’ performance – and enjoy upgraded sound via the Smart Up-mixer that converts two-channel audio into multi-channel surround.
LG’s enhanced AI Room Calibration system analyzes the acoustic characteristics of the room and applies information to the soundbars’ settings for greater precision reproducing low-frequency tones.
The system also subdivides the front channel frequencies to help improve overall balance, the clarity of vocal performances, movie dialog and the accuracy of the sound image, LG said.
Also added is a new AI Sound Pro feature to enhanced the sound quality of any type of content, from movies to sports, games or music. AI Sound Pro analyzes the audio signal and automatically applies the most appropriate settings, the company said.
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By Greg Tarr
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