Wondering what LG has in store for the upcoming 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas? Wonder no longer. Today, about a week after taking the wraps off of new Google Assistant-equipped soundbars, the electronics behemoth detailed its forthcoming 2019 TVs.
The undisputed headliners are LG’s OLED sets: the Z9, W9, E9, and C9 series. The Seoul company says that all of its OLED TVs leverage an algorithm derived from a database of over a million “visual data” that determines the best way to display on-screen content. Moreover, the highest of the company’s high-end flatscreens — the 8K 88-inch Z9 TV — boasts higher processing capabilities, 8K upscaling, and improved noise reduction.
Driving those newfangled capabilities is LG’s Alpha Gen 2 AI processor, which can adjust picture settings to best suit ambient lighting conditions and “optimize” screen brightness in real time. It fully supports high dynamic range (HDR) content, of course, including standards like Dolby Vision, along with surround sound specs like Dolby Atmos. Additionally, it can optimize audio output automatically based on content type — for example, making voices “clearer” in movies and news broadcasts.
Joining LG’s premium lineup are a handful of cheaper LCD TVs: the 75-inch 8K (SM99) and “premium” SM9X and SM8X series. The latter two have a new brand — NanoCell TV — that’s a not-so-subtle nod to LG’s NanoCell technology, which it claims delivers superior color accuracy and viewing angles. They’ve also got “AI-enhanced” picture and sound, LG says, and support for 120 frames per second content playback. Other features of note include HDMI 2.1 ports (which support up to 8K signals at 60 frames per second), a variable refresh rate mode, and stutter-reducing automatic low latency modes.
Arguably more interesting than any one TV, though, is LG’s expanded partnership with Amazon, which will see an Amazon Prime Video shortcut join the button rows on LG’s new Magic Remote and Alexa ship on all of LG’s 2019 TVs.
Alexa on LG TVs is the full monty. Amazon’s voice assistant can control smart home devices, answer questions, tap tens of thousands of skills, trigger Alexa Routines, provide traffic information, check active Amazon orders, switch between TV channels, and more. It’ll also show “visually rich” results for some requests, like playback controls and album art, weather forecasts, and recipes.
LG is not hanging the Google Assistant out to dry, though. Google’s intelligent assistant is present and accounted for in LG’s ThinQ AI, which debuted on its 2018 TVs. Like Alexa, the Assistant can manage daily tasks, find answers, and control compatible smart home devices.
LG has yet to announce pricing for its refreshed OLED and LCD series, but don’t expect the OLED models to be cheap — LG’s 77-inch W7 OLED cost $14,999.99 when it was first released last year. We’re expecting to learn more next week.