LGE’s 8K/4K TVs for 2022
LG Electronics used CES 2022 to reveal new TV technologies along with its lineup of 4K and 8K TVs. In OLED, the two 8K models get new generation names – the 88-inch LG OLED 8K 88Z2 and the 77-inch LG OLED 8K 77Z2. In LED-based QNED TVs, only the QNED99 and QNED95 series have been announced. No new models are added to the 8K TV lineup, just improvements, at least as noted in the company’s press releases. However, Slashgear is reporting that LGE plans to offer a 97″ 8K TV at some point. We will try to learn more.
Unfortunately, LGE canceled its in-show appearance leaving a giant empty space with a plywood floor and kiosks. Frankly, the kiosks were a disappointment as they only showed a model of the product in your smartphone app with virtually no information.
LGE’s focus at CES was clearly on its 4K TVs. It looks like the only significant improvements in the 8K models are the new Alpha 9 Gen 5 processor, full-bandwidth HDMI 2.1 ports, and the updated WebOS 22. They do not get the new EVO panels that boost brightness, it seems, but we have been unable to confirm that yet.
One of the perceived weaknesses of OLED TVs has been their lower peak luminance and color volume compared to LCD TVs. In 2021, LGE introduced its EVO panel technology for the high-end G1 line, boosting brightness by about 30% compared to the more value-priced C series TVs. This year, the EVO panel technology will expand to the C2 series and the G2 series, although the G2 series will still be higher in luminance than the C2 series. The G2 will increase peak and average luminance further via better processing and improved thermal management (“brightness boost”).
The EVO brightness boosted TV may achieve 1000 nits on the G2 series, while the C2 series without the brightness boost may reach 900 nits under certain conditions.
The improvements result from the new EX panel technology developed by LG Display. This panel tech is likely to be used by other TV brands as well with various brand names (see separate article on EX Technology).
LGE will also expand the sizes of its 4K OLED displays. In the C2 series, a new 42″ 4K model will be added to the line, which now includes 42″, 48″, 55″, 65″, 77″ and 83″. The G2 series adds new 83″ and 97″ 4K models. The G2 series now includes 55″, 65″, 77″, 83″ and 97″. Last years’ A1 and B1 series have been upgraded to A2 and B2.
LGE stated that it plans to move away from its NanoCell LCD architectures to focus on miniLED models they like to call QNED. Unfortunately, not all QNED models will feature miniLED backlights.
NanoCell, which uses a filter to increase color performance, had previously been LG’s premium LED format. However, last year the company introduced Quantum Dot NanoCell+ color technology, expanding the process by using an emissive layer rather than a filter to widen the gamut further.
While the entire lineup is yet to be outlined, LG has confirmed a mix of miniLED (with more precise dimming) and non-miniLED models. So far, the only announced 8K TV model is the 8K QNED99 86-inch model, which will have around 2400 independent dimming zones (with Precision Dimming Pro+) combined with LG’s advanced miniLED dimming algorithm. Last year’s models also included 65″ and 75″ versions, so it seems likely LG will offer 8K versions of these too in 2022.
The 8K QNED95 series will also likely be offered with Precision Dimming Pro+ but use step-down 50/60 Hz panels, probably with 65″, 75″, and 86″ sizes.
In 4K TVs, the QNED90 will have Precision Dimming Pro miniLED technology, and the QNED85 will sport standard Precision Dimming. Finally, there’s mention of the QNED80, an edge-lit QD NanoCell. These will get the step-down alpha 7 processor.
Additional updates were not panel-specific, such as the image processing chipset. LG’s OLED C2, G2, and Z2 and LCD-based 8K QNED99 will feature the Alpha 9 Gen 5 processor with improved ‘Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro’ and the company’s latest AI-based video and audio processing features. AI upscaling has been modified to improve efficiency, removing a step that could potentially add unwanted artifacts. At the same time, a new Dynamic Tone-mapping Pro Algorithm will subdivide the screen into more discrete areas (by an order of 10) for more granular enhancement.
Object Background Enhancement also gains a Dynamic Vivid Mode that can better differentiate foreground and background, analyzing them separately, which LG says will create a greater depth of field.
Finally, AI Sound Pro virtual up-mixing increases the number of virtual channels from 5.1.2 to 7.1.2.
The OLED A2 and B2, and QNED 90, 85, and 80 series TVs feature the step-down Alpha 7 Gen 5 processor.
The HDMI 2.1 ports now offer 48 Gbps speed vs. 40 Gbps on previous models. These connections support 4K/120Hz, ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), plus an HGiG and support for G-Sync and Free Sync Premium. Since the latter part of last year, there’s even been native integration of cloud-based game streaming services Google’s Stadia and GeForce Now.
Its OS is now called WebOS 22 and will allow for personalized logins and a room share feature. This last item means an LG TV can relay a signal from one TV to another LG TV, so you don’t have to have a set-top box for each TV – a really nice feature.