LG Electronics (LG) has started pre-order sales of the first 8K OLED television set in its native South Korean market and announced expected availability of the 88-inch set in North America and Europe beginning in the third quarter.

The company made the announcements through a statement from the parent headquarters in Seoul, early Monday. When it arrives it will not only become the first 8K OLED TV — model 88Z9 — to reach market it will be one of the largest 8K televisions released to date.

The LG 88Z9 8K OLED TV was first shown at CES 2019 last January. The TV employs an advanced panel with over 33 million self-emitting pixels, or 7,680 x 4,320 pixels, which is equivalent to 16 times the number of pixels in Full HD 1080p TVs and four times 4K UHD models.

The LG 88Z9 incorporates the company’s second- generation α (Alpha) 9 Gen 2 8K intelligent processor. This is used to improve picture quality using “deep learning technology and access to an extensive database of visual information.”

The chip powers a content optimization system that recognizes source quality and implementing the best algorithm to produce images that look as close to reality as has been possible.

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The PQ technology package includes effective 8K upscaling and improved noise reduction to 6-steps from 4-steps in the 4K version, resulting in the most life-like 8K picture when upgrading from 4K (3,840 x 2,160) or 2K (1,920 x 1,080) content, LG said. The processor also analyzes ambient conditions to achieve the perfect level of screen brightness.

The LG 88Z9 also improves on-board TV audio performance. Sound quality is boosted by an intelligent algorithm that can up-mix two-channel audio to deliver convincing virtual 5.1 surround sound, LG said. Further, the company added, “deep learning significantly improves output by analyzing source content to produce enhanced sound effects in movies, deeper bass in music and clearer voices in sporting events. Users can adjust the sound to suit viewing conditions or let the TV set the best sound levels based on the environment.”

Other sound enhancements include internal decoding of Dolby Atmos sound tracks for more realistic sound.

For high dynamic range (HDR), the set will support the Dolby Vision dynamic metadata-based HDR profile with scene-by-scene brightness and color grading, as well as the HDR10, Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) and Technicolor Avanced HDR profiles.

The TV supports HDMI 2.1, allowing viewers the opportunity to enjoy native 8K content from external source components at up to 60 frames per second. The TV also such popular HDMI 2.1 features as automatic low latency mode (ALLM), variable refresh rate (VRR) and enhanced audio return channel (eARC).

In some markets, including the United States, the LG 8K OLED TV will offer built-in versions of both the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice control AI technology to provide greater flexibility, convenience and control of the TV and connected smart devices.

“Being the first to market with the world’s first and largest 8K OLED TV shows our commitment to leading the ultra-premium TV segment and delivering the ultimate viewing experience,” stated Brian Kwon, president of the Mobile Communications and Home Entertainment companies at LG. “LG was a pioneer in bringing OLED to market and we will continue to introduce state-of-art TV technologies that push the boundaries of what’s possible in home entertainment.”

By Greg Tarr

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