Whether you like it or not, the 2020 CES that starts next week is going to be all about 8K. Just a few hours ago, for instance, Samsung announced the launch of a new 8K TV certification program in conjunction with the 8K Association. And now we’ve got LG releasing pre-CES info on its new and expanded range of 8K TVs for 2020.
LG’s 2020 8K TV line up will add a total of eight new models alongside the OLED88Z9 OLED and 75SM9970 Nanocell LCD models launched towards the end of 2019. In the OLED camp we’ll see all-new 88 and 77-inch OLED ZX models, while in the NanoCell LCD camp we’ll be getting new 75- and 65-inch Nano99 series models, new 75- and 65-inch Nano97 models, and new 75- and 65-inch Nano95 models.
All of LG’s 2020 8K models will join its 2019 sets in meeting the 8K Ultra HD TV definition recently established by the Consumer Technology Association, which requires a minimum 50% contrast modulation threshold. (Though apparently so far only the 77-inch OLED model and 65-inch Nano97 series have been formally confirmed by an independent laboratory as meeting the CTA’s 8K criteria).
LG’s flagship 8K TV for 2020 will be the 88-inch OLED88ZX.
Photo: The OLED88ZX (LG Electronics)
All the new 8K TVs will also benefit from the third generation of LG’s Alpha 9 processor. This will feature improved deep learning technology designed to help it deliver better AI-based 8K upscaling than we saw in 2019. This new upscaler will include quad step noise reduction and a frequency-based sharpness enhancer.
A new AI Picture Pro mode, meanwhile, can apparently recognize faces and text on screen, and apply local fine-tuning and sharpness enhancements to them without affecting the rest of the picture. This should result in more natural skin tones, more defined facial features, and clearer, more legible text.
There’s even a new Auto Genre Selection option that automatically applies the best picture settings for different types of content (movies, sports, ‘standard’ and animation).
LG has further developed its AI Sound technology for the new 8K models too. As with the new AI Picture Pro mode, the new AI Sound Pro system can automatically figure out the type of music you’re listening to and apply the appropriate processing to boost vocal clarity and, if you wish, upscale non-surround music audio sources to virtual 5.1.
The 2020 LG 8K models’ new AI brainpower also extends to its smart capabilities. There’s a new and improved screen for monitoring Internet of Thing devices on your network, and this year you can issue commands to connected IoT devices via the TVs’ voice recognition system.
The new 75-inch Nano99 8K LCD TV.
Photo: The LG 75 Nano991 (LG Electronics)
LG is keen to stress that its 2020 8K TVs will be compatible with 8K USB and HDMI sources, and include support for the HEVC, VP9 and AV1 codecs. This is significant because it means LG’s 2020 8K TVs will support 8K content from YouTube, while both its HDMI and streaming 8K playback will support frame rates up to 60Hz.
All this 8K flexibility will be available, moreover, without the need for an external decoder box of the sort required for LG’s 2019 8K sets.
Not surprisingly LG isn’t talking about the pricing for any of these new 8K TVs yet, though it seems pretty much certain that the new Nano97 and Nano95 models, at least, should be cheaper than either of LG’s 2019 8K models.
Keep an eye on my Forbes channel next week for my first impressions of LG’s new TVs.
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