LG's Super LCD TVs first with two versions of HDR, starting at $1,800

They won't have the picture quality to match LG's OLED TVs, but the company's lineup of Super UHD LED LCD TVs will be the first to offer both high dynamic range formats, Dolby Vision and HDR10.

You can't call them SUHD, or OLED, but LG is fine with you calling its latest TVs Super.

The company's line of premium LCD-based televisions for 2016, first announced in January under the copycat name Super UHD TV, has received official pricing for when they ship to U.S. retailers later this month. They range from $1,800 for a 55-inch model all the way up to 10 grand for an 86-incher.

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James Martin/CNET

The TVs' chief extra is compatibility with both versions of high dynamic range (HDR) content, Dolby Vision and HDR10. As opposed to the difficult-to-discern resolution increase of 4K, HDR expands the range of both contrast and color significantly, and in the best cases we've seen, it can lead to a real improvement in image quality.

How well these LG TVs perform, with both HDR and non-HDR content, remains to be seen, but we don't expect them to reach the lofty heights of LG's OLED televisions -- the best TVs we've ever tested. They utilize LED LCD display technology via LG's IPS panels, which in the past have struggled to match the picture quality of other high-end LCD TVs, let alone OLEDs.

LG says the new sets have improved light output (brightness) and color, touting Billion Rich Colors," 10-bit processing power, better bright-room images and improved viewing angles. All offer edge-lit backlights with local dimming. None of the Super UHD sets meet the UHD Alliance Premium certification, however, while LG's 2016 OLED TVs do.

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LG's 65UH9500 will be its highest-end LED LCD in 2016.

James Martin/CNET

Like those 2016 OLED TVs, the Super UHD sets can handle both of the available types of HDR content: HDR10, available from Amazon, M-Go and 4K Blu-ray players like the Samsung UBD-K8500, and Dolby Vision, available from Vudu and (coming soon) from Amazon and Netflix. LG says the Dolby Vision compatibility will arrive via software update later in April.

Today Amazon confirmed that it would deliver Dolby Vision HDR later this year in addition to its HDR10 streams, which are available now. The offerings will consist of Amazon Original Series as well as "licensed titles," according to Amazon's rep. Similar to its current strategy, many titles will be available free to Prime members. As for other pricing the rep said "We'll be in line with industry standards when it comes to renting or purchasing titles in Dolby Vision HDR on Amazon Video."

When we asked how the company would serve titles available in both formats, the rep said said "The team will continue to test and select the best playback option by default based on the title and customer's devices." We'll see how that works out.

At CES 2016, we were told by Samsung that none of its 2016 TVs will support Dolby Vision; only HDR10. The same goes for Sony's 2016 TVs. Currently the Vizio Reference Series only supports Dolby Vision, although Vizio says an update enabling HDR10 support will be available soon.

It's very early days for HDR so we don't know which of the two HDR formats offers superior image quality, but with different content providers siding with each, having support for both could be an advantage. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

In the meantime, here are all the TVs LG priced today.

LG's 2016 Super UHD LED LCD TVs

Model Size Price
55UH7700 55 inches $1,799
60UH7700 60 inches $2,099
65UH7700 65 inches $2,799
55UH8500 55 inches $1,999
60UH8500 60 inches $2,299
65UH8500 65 inches $2,999
75UH8500 75 inches $4,999
65UH9500 65 inches $3,999
86UH9500 86 inches $9,999

Aside from the fact that the 7700 series lacks 3D compatibility, LG has yet to confirm any picture quality differences between the three series to CNET.

We know they differ in terms of styling, however; the UH9500, for example, has an extremely thin (0.22 inch) panel and the same size frame on all four sides of the picture. Check out the video from CES for more.

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