LG Unveils 8K TV Launch Plans
LG Electronics announced plans Tuesday for the official rollout of its first 8K OLED TV (model 88Z9) and its LG 8K NanoCell TV (model 75SM99) later this month.
The announcement, which comes days before the IFA 2019 consumer technolgy show in Berlin, Germany, listed several key global markets –including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Germany — in its initial distribution plan. Pricing and exact delivery dates were not available as this was posted.
At the same time, LG took a controversial position on what it said it views as the proper “resolution measurement criteria as set forth in the Information Display Measurements Standard (IDMS) established by the respected International Committee for Display Metrology (ICDM).”
That standard specifies “the resolution of a display does not depend on only meeting or exceeding a specific number of pixels, but also on whether those pixels can be adequately distinguished from one another in order to deliver the stated resolution.”
According to LG: “the ICDM has defined the Contrast Modulation (CM) measurement which describes accurately and quantitatively how distinguishable the neighboring pixels are from each other. For any TV display to deliver the resolution indicated by its pixel count, the ICDM requires the minimum CM value to exceed a threshold of 25% for images and 50% for text. An 8K TV with a CM value that is lower than these required thresholds does not deliver real 8K, even though the TV may in fact have the sufficient number (7,680 x 4,320) of pixels.”
LG said both its Signature OLED 8K and LG 8K NanoCell TVs have been tested to show CM values “in the 90% range, guaranteeing that viewers will be able to actually experience all of the additional detail in the 8K content when viewed on their LG 8K televisions.”
The criteria is differentiated from display technologies that use sub-pixel rendering techniques for better color, resolution and viewing angle performance, but might not deliver full sub-pixel resolution counts for the stated pixel resolution.
The issue is reminiscent of Samsung’s arguments several years ago against LG calling certain budget-level LED-LCD TVs using RGBW technology “4K Ultra HDTVs” when they failed to meet the CTA’s criteria for presenting a full RGB subpixel count for 3840 horizontal pixel resolution. RGBW technology inserted extra white subpixels, in part, to produce brighter images or lower power consumption levels, but reduced the count of red and green subpixels across the screen in the process.
We reached out to the 8K Association, Samsung and the Ultra HD Alliance to comment on LG’s 8K resolution position, but did not receive any replies as this was posted.
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LG’s statement that its “8K TVs stun with lavish detail and vibrant, lifelike colors that stand as testament to LG’s unrivaled display technology. As the world’s first 8K OLED TV not to mention LG’s largest OLED TV to date, the 88-inch LG SIGNATURE OLED 8K TV (model 88Z9) delivers 8K Ultra HD resolution (7,680 x 4,320) with 33 million self-emitting pixels, equivalent to 16-times the number of pixels in a Full HD TV and four-times that of a UHD TV. “
LG said its LG Signature OLED technology is a winner of this year’s iF Design Award and Red Dot Award. In addition to offering a mamoth 88-inch screen size, the LG Signature OLED 8K has a minimalist design with a brushed aluminum stand and a virtually bezel-less display. The set includes an integrated 80W speaker system for powerful sound.
LG further stated that its 75-inch 8K NanoCell TV also delivers a total immersive experience thanks to an 8K picture with impressive color, contrast and detail. LG’s Nano Display technology renders stunningly sharp images on a truly grand scale. Nano Color filters out impurities to enhance color reproduction and Nano Black – advanced Full Array Local Dimming Pro technology optimized for 8K – precisely controls the TV’s backlighting for deeper blacks and greater contrast.
LG said that both 8K TVs are equipped with powerful built-in 8K upscaling circuitry designed to improve noise reduction. The company said this has been upgraded for the displays from four- to up to six-steps.
LG said the technology is capable of delivering “a seamless 8K picture when converting content from native 4K (3,840 x 2,160) or Full HD (1,920 x 1,080).”
To do this, LG is using a second-generation α (Alpha) 9 Gen 2 8K intelligent processor in the displays. The IC is designed to not only enhance picture quality but sound quality as well. The system employs deep learning technology to access to an extensive database to recognize and establish source quality and optimize upscaled pictures and sound.
LG said the α9 Gen 2 8K also analyzes ambient conditions to achieve the perfect level of screen brightness at all times.
For sound, LG uses an intelligent algorithm that can up-mix two-channel audio to virtual 5.1 surround sound, supplying a three-dimensional soundscape for realistic and immersive audio dialog, soundeffects and music.
The TVs are also WiSA Ready to enable adding on compatible wireless speakers for an expansive wireless home theater surround sound setup. This supports uncompressed 16-bit audio on up to 5.1 channels and can be used with Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound content.
Other features in both LG 8K televisions include Cinema HDR, with support for “Dolby Vision and Advanced HDR by Technicolor up to 4K” and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) and HDR10 up to 8K.
LG said it has “future-proofed its 8K TVs” by providing four ports supporting HDMI 2.1 specifications. Support HDMI 2.1 features include 8K/60 frames per second frame rates, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) for automatic settings adjustments for video gaming, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC).
Both the 88Z9 and 75SM99 LG 8K TV models will also support Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, available in over 140 markets. In certain global regions, the sets will offer voice controlsupport either or both the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa platforms. These will allow easy voice control of the TV and connected smart devices while enabling users to get access to information they are seeking.
“The new 8K TVs show that LG is deeply committed to providing consumers with real 8K as defined by established display industry standards,” stated Brian Kwon, president of the Mobile Communications and Home Entertainment companies at LG. “LG 8K OLED and NanoCell TVs aren’t just TVs with more pixels, they also deliver all of our latest display technologies.”
By Greg Tarr
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