Denver — LG Electronics used the first day of CEDIA Expo to introduce an expanded lineup of Ultra HD TVs at both ends of the retail price spectrum.
At the high end, the company showed the first two Ultra HD OLED displays in the 65- and 77-inch screen sizes and a pair of super-large LED LCD TVs with 98- and 105-inch screen sizes, respectively. At the entry end, LG added five new LED LCD TV SKUs with scaled-down smart-TV systems to reach prices starting at $999 for a 40-inch set.
In total, LG this year will now offer 16 Ultra HD TV models in 10 series, including six new model series announced at the show: the UD9, UB9200, UB8200 and UB8000 and the new Ultra HD OLED EC9700 and EG9700.
The previously announced new OLED Ultra HD TVs include the 65-inch 65EC9700 ($9,999) and the 77-inch 77EG9700 ($24,999), both offering curved screens.
The giant Ultra HD LED LCD TVs include the 98-inch 98UB9800 ($39,999) and the curved-screen 105-inch 105UC9 ($99,999).
New value Ultra HD LED LCD TVs include the 65-inch 65UB9200 ($2,999); the UB8200 series, available in 60 ($2,499), 55 ($1,799) and 49 inches ($1,349); and the 40-inch 40UB8000 ($999).
All feature the latest HDMI connectivity, H.265 decoding and LG's Tru-4K Engine.
Many of the sets will be released in time for fourth-quarter availability.
LG sales VP Rick Calacci said the new OLED Ultra HD TVs, along with the 105UC9 and 98UB9800 Ultra HD TVs, are ideally suited for the custom-installation market, and will be part of a new brick-and-mortar retail distribution strategy.
“We’ve got to treat these products as premium products, and you need premium retailers to do that,” he said.
For that reason, Calacci said the 65-inch Ultra HD OLED model will begin rolling out next month to CEDIA channel installers, and along with the 77-inch model, to the leading regional dealers in the top 10 markets of the country.
The 98- and 105-inch LCD TVs will begin rolling out to the top four markets in the country in mid-November.
He said the new premium TVs will be used to help expand LG’s sales in all premium products.
“We have to make sure that we expand all of our premium series products, and we are doing that with all of the customers who have been partnering with us,” Calacci told TWICE.
Ordering on the 98- and 105-inch LED LCD TV models will be handled a little differently from the rest of the line, using a near build-to-order policy. The 98-inch will be kept in stock in LG’s warehouses, but the 105-inch will be sold through pre-orders with an 8-week lead time.
For both the new OLED TVs and the giant LCD TVs, order volume will gradually build over time, Calacci said.
The new entry Ultra HD LED LCD TVs give LG a price step that was missing in its overall good-better-best offering, said Calacci, and will help the company compete more aggressively with some of the value-focused brands brining UHD TVs to market this year.
All of the entry models will include LG’s advanced Ultra HD picture quality, but will have a different cosmetic look and will swap out the WebOS smart-TV system in higher-end Ultra HD models for a more basic platform similar to the company’s old NetCast OS, with fewer content selection options, but still providing access to core streaming services like Netflix and others.
All of LG's Ultra HD TVs include the latest standards, including the digital interface informally known as HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 copy protection and HEVC/H.265 decoding.
New premium Ultra HD models will include LG’s previously announced WebOS smart-TV platform, and advanced onboard sound systems, including a system co-developed with Harman/Kardon.
All LG LCD TVs use the company’s IPS panel technology with wider viewing angles.
The 105-inch 105UC9 has a curved LED LCD screen with 11 million pixel resolution (5,120 by 2,160) and a 21:9 aspect ratio, offering a more immersive viewing experience.
It uses direct LED backlighting with local dimming, has an Ultra Clarity Index (UCI) of 1560 for smooth motion, and features a Tru-4K Engine Pro picture processing and Smart TV+ WebOS. Onboard audio includes a 7.2-channel, 150-watt speaker system designed by Harman/Kardon.
The 98UB9800 has a more conventional flat screen and also features direct LED lighting with local dimming, UCI of 1560, Tru-4K Engine Pro and Smart TV+ WebOS.
Audio is supported with a 5.2-channel 120-watt Harman/Kardon system.