As you might expect, the LG OLED TVs made a big splash at the company’s CES press conference. The 2017 lineup includes four model lines that are direct descendants of the 2016 models—B7, C7, E7, and G7—along with a new line designated W7.
Like last year, all 2017 models exhibit essentially the same performance; the differentiators between model lines are features and cosmetics. Among the highlights of the new models is a 25% increase in brightness—LG claims they can reproduce up to 1000 nits in small areas of the image. Also, the new OLEDs cover 99% of the DCI/P3 color gamut, a slight increase over the 97% achieved by last year’s models. And like all OLEDs, the new models achieve virtually perfect black levels thanks to the emissive nature of the technology. In fact, all will be certified as UHD Premium by the Ultra HD Alliance.
Another feature common to all the 2017 OLEDs is Dolby Atmos capability—specifically, they can pass an Atmos bitstream from internal apps and external devices connected to the TV’s HDMI input via HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel). I asked if the Atmos bistream was sent from the optical digital-audio output as well, but no one seemed to know for sure. In addition, all the OLED TVs simulate Atmos sound using DSP—and, in the case of the flagship W7, a sound bar with two up firing speakers.
Like last year, all OLED TVs offer compatibility with HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic-range content, and they will also support HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and Advanced HDR from Technicolor after a firmware update. A feature called Active HDR emulates dynamic metadata with HDR10 and HLG content; Dolby Vision uses dynamic metadata, which can result in a better overall HDR picture because each scene can have its own metadata rather than a single set of metadata for the entire program.
Almost as interesting is what the new OLED TVs don’t have. First, all are flat; there are no curved models this year (huzzah!). And none have 3D capabilities.
The entry-level B7 will be available in 55″ and 65″ screen sizes with a “Blade Slim” design, while the C7 features a premium aluminum stand and bezel in the same screen sizes. The next step up is the E7 with LG’s “Picture on Glass” design and a soundbar stand in screen sizes of 55″ and 65″.
LG’s “Signature” designation now applies to two model lines, the G7 and W7, both of which will be available in 65″ and 77″ sizes. The G7 sports the Picture on Glass design and a foldable soundbar stand, while the new W7 (seen above) features a design called “Picture on Wall” with unique hardware that lets you mount it nearly flush to the wall—there’s less than 4 mm from the wall to the front of the screen. In fact, it does not include a tabletop stand. As mentioned earlier, it also includes a Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar that delivers 2.0.2 Atmos sound.
As usual at CES, pricing was not announced, but the new OLED TVs are expected to ship in April. I’ll post more about these sets once I get a good, up-close look at them, so stay tuned!