LAS VEGAS – LG Electronics is using International CES to expand its display technology prowess, offering expanded lines of 4K Ultra HD OLED TVs, and quantum dot 4K LED LCD TVs.
Tim Alessi, LG’s new product development director, said his company is “very bullish on Ultra HD in 2015,” bringing 10 new 4K UHD OLED TV models, one 55- inch FullHD OLED carryover piece, and 25 4K UHD LED LCD TVs to market.
In total, LG is planning to offer 14 different series of 4K UHD models, evenly split between OLED and LED LCD TVs.
Like its rivals, LG is bullish on curved-screen displays, but said the form factor is really at its best only on 4K UHD OLED screens, citing off-angle viewing deficiencies – like color mixing at the deflection point of two different colors – in curved LED screens.
Many of the company’s 11 OLED models in 2015 will have curved screens, while an intriguing new flagship 77-inch model (shown as a prototype last year but now slated for introduction later this year) will have a “flexible 4K OLED” screen, presumably for those who can’t decide.
No other sets in the line will be curved this year.
Another new display approach for LG is the introduction of quantum dot technology in a 65-inch UF9400 series of 4K UHD LED LCD TVs. Using a blue LED, the technology, which was developed in partnership with Dow Chemical, will offer a 30 percent expansion of the color palette over conventional LED LCD TVs.
The technology works by harnessing nanocrystals that range in size from 2 to 10 nanometers. Each dot emits a different color depending on its size. By adding a film of quantum dots in front of the LCD backlight, picture color reproduction rate and overall brightness are significantly improved.
LG will also offer another wide color gamut technology called Color Prime, which will be found in the UF9500 series. The LG-developed technology also uses a blue LED backlight along with a different phosphor formulation to expand the color gamut approximately 25 percent over the current REC-709 standard and approaches the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) standard, Alessi said. The UF9500-series models feature an ultrathin LED LCD panel, measuring less than 1.5 inches deep, and will include the 79-, 65- and 55-inch screen sizes.
Although a few competitors are positioning quantum dot and other wide color gamut technologies as a better option than investing in an OLED set, Alessi said that OLED remains a superior and desired technology because it too has an expanded color gamut along with “deep, dark, immeasurable contrast ratios, ultra-thin panels and an exceptional off-axis viewing resolution. The other approaches only address “one piece of the puzzle, and as far as price, certainly the gap is closing,” between OLED and high-end 4K UHD LED displays, Alessi pointed out.
Also included among the 25 models 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TVs slated for 2015 are the 105-inch UD9 set introduced last fall, along with a pair of models in the 98- and 84-inch screen sizes in the UB 9800 series, which will carry over.
The entry 4K UHD LED LCD UF6700 series will include the 43-, 49-, 55-, 60- and 65-inch screen sizes, 120Hz refresh rates, but no smart-TV platform.
This year, LG is improving its popular step-up WebOS smart-TV platform, offering faster performance in most new models, a faster quick-start boot time, and added convenience with a Channels feature that expands to show programming on eight favorite channels. WebOS 2.0 also adds Quick Settings, allowing set adjustments without interrupting the program, and Input Piker for faster input selection.
Step-up models include an improved Magic Remote.
LG said it is working with leading content providers, such as Amazon and Netflix, to ensure that LG 4K Ultra HD TV owners have access to a wide range of 4K viewing options on the new platform.
As for FullHD LED LCD TV, LG will have 15 models across five series in 2015. Four models in two series will have 720p HD resolution.
The top of the line LG6300 FullHD LED LCD series will include the 40-, 43-, 49-, 55-, 60- and 65-inch screen sizes, and will include 120Hz refresh rates, WebOS smart functionality with Magic Remote and dual-core processor.
Lower-end models in the LF6100 and LG5800 series will include the basic smart-TV platform called NetCast, and four series will omit smart functionality.