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LG 8K OLED, 4K Projector, Meridian Soundbars Rock CEDIA 2019!

LG 75" 8K OLED Display

LG 75" 8K OLED Display


  • Product Name: Nanocell LED TV
  • Manufacturer: LG
  • Review Date: September 25, 2019 07:00
  • MSRP: $5,000 75-inch 8K NanoCell LED TV
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

LG brought an impressive assortment of cool new gear to the 2019 CEDIA Expo in Denver, so let’s dive right in. The show marked the US debut of the LG 55EW5F-A Transparent OLED display, which was one of the most head-turning products on the show floor. This 55-inch display is intended for signage rather than for home use; its 1080p resolution and limited 400-nit brightness don’t compare favorably with LG’s excellent OLED TVs, but the coolness factor is absolutely undeniable. It basically looks like a 6.6mm-thick pane of slightly darkened (but definitely see-through) glass, with images magically floating around its surface. It has slim 7.9mm bezels, and is reportedly much more transparent than competing transparent LCD displays. LG says that the technology is customizable and expandable, and works especially well with augmented reality applications. According to LG, this technology “illuminates spaces that once were hidden away behind the display, completely harmonizing with its surroundings. It brings content to life, making it difficult for people to separate content from the real objects placed behind the screen.” Expect to see this display, which sells for about $25,000, popping up in high-end retail spaces, museums, hotels, corporate headquarters, and other high-tech public spaces.

LG Soundbar Meridian

Soundbar Powered by Meridian

We also had a chance to check out LG’s new SL9 series of premium sound bars, which were created in conjunction with the high-end digital audio company Meridian. The SL10YG ($1,100), SL9YG ($900) and SL8YG ($700) were first unveiled at CES, where the top two models took home CES Innovation Awards in the “Best of Innovation” category. They all feature Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, with Meridian DSP technology for improved sound quality. The units include Meridian’s Bass & Space technology, designed to “improve the soundstage, offer strong bass, and envelop listeners in an immersive experience.” Meridian’s Image Elevation technology is designed to “lift the soundstage to boost listeners' sense of immersion,” and the company’s Upmix technology “increases sound immersion by improving the sound field while upgrading the clarity of vocals and lead instruments through its ability to up-mix two-channel audio to multiple, distinct channels without generating distortion.” The sound bars also feature Google Assistant for voice control.

LG used the CEDIA show to announce the pricing and immediate availability of its two highly-anticipated 8K TVs. The 88-inch LG Signature 8K OLED (model OLED88Z9) was definitely one of the most coveted products at the show, but its $30,000 price tag was probably enough to prevent many attendees from whipping out their credit cards. As the world’s first 8K OLED, and the largest OLED TV ever made, it is sure to make a splash wherever it goes.

Over the past six years, LG has led the rise of OLED TV to the absolute pinnacle of the TV world in terms of picture quality, design, and innovation. Today, LG elevates OLED TV to yet another level with the debut of the world’s first 8K OLED TV and in the largest OLED screen size to date. Even more importantly, we’re delivering real 8K across LG OLED and NanoCell models in a way that consumers will be able to truly see the stunning detail that 8K resolution delivers.”

-Tim Alessi, Head of Home Entertainment Product Marketing at LG Electronics USA

LG TransparentReal 8K Displays?

LG claims that its competitors don’t deliver “real 8K” with their 8K TVs. Although a Samsung might have the requisite number of pixels to claim 8K resolution, those pixels are not adequately distinguishable from one another, according to LG. The 8K LG sets were designed to exceed industry standards set forth in the Information Display Measurements Standard (IDMS), a “universally referenced” rubric established by the International Committee for Display Metrology (ICDM). The densely technical guideline states that a metric called contrast modulation (CM) should be above 25% for images and above 50% for text. LG’s new 8K TVs score around 90%, “guaranteeing that viewers will be able to actually experience all of the additional detail in the 8K content when viewed on their LG 8K TVs,” according to LG. If $30,000 is too rich for your blood, LG’s other 8K offering might be a better fit. The 75-inch LG 8K NanoCell LED TV (model 75SM99) is also available now, and for a more approachable price of $5,000. The 75SM9970 uses LG’s Nano Color technology, which “filters out impurities to enhance color reproduction,” and its advanced Full Array Local Dimming Pro technology has been optimized to provide greater contrast and deeper blacks for this new 8K application. Both the 88-inch OLED and the 75-inch NanoCell LED include 8K upscaling and improved six-step noise reduction performed by LG’s second-generation α9 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor 8K, which uses “deep learning technology and access to an extensive database, enabling it to recognize source quality and optimize any kind of content,” and also “analyzes ambient conditions to achieve the perfect level of screen brightness at all times.”

LG 4K Projector4K Laser Projector

Finally, LG was showing its impressive and recently-debuted CineBeam Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Projector (model HU85LA, $6,000), along with a brand new, less expensive projector called the LG 4K UHD CineBeam LED projector (model HU70L, $1,800). Both DLP-based projectors are IP controllable via Control 4, Savant, and Crestron, and both give users direct access to popular streaming apps such as Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube, via LG’s webOS 4.5 platform. The new HU70L 4K UHD CineBeam LED projector boasts a compact form factor, and uses an innovative 4-channel LED lighting system and wheel-less technology,” which reportedly yields “an expanded color gamut with greater accuracy than traditional Digital Light Processing (DLP) projectors that use color wheels, (eliminating) distracting visual effects such as the rainbow effect, clouding, and color distortion.” It produces a picture up to 140 inches in size, with a brightness of 1500 ANSI lumens. Contrast is listed at 150,000:1, with 92 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color space.

It’s cool to see such a wide range of tech from LG, with prices ranging from the relatively affordable to the hopelessly aspirational. Which piece of LG gear would you most like to take home? Share your thoughts in the related forum thread below.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Jacob is a music-lover and audiophile who enjoys convincing his friends to buy audio gear that they can't afford. He's also a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

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