The frontrunners for CNET's highest rated TV of 2017 now have official pricing, and it's not cheap.
LG's least expensive new OLED so far, the C7 series, starts at $3,500. That's the cost for the 55-inch size, available this month. The 65-inch model will sell for $5,000 when it hits the market in March.
Those prices are $1,000 more than initial preorder pricing indicated a few weeks earlier at retailer B&H. They're less expensive than initial pricing of the cheapest LG OLED TVs released in 2016, but $1,000 more than comparable 2017 LCD sets from Samsung and Sony.
LG's OLED-based TVs like the B6 from 2016 deliver the best picture quality CNET has ever tested, for a price that's significantly higher than most LCD-based televisions. I expect the 2017 models to continue that trend.
Here are all of the pricing LG announced for its 2017 OLED TVs.
LG 2017 OLED TVs
At CES in January, LG announced the B7 series and 77-inch sizes in the G7 and W7 series. It has not yet announced pricing or availability for those models, but did say, "Details on additional models will be announced at a later date." If previous years are any indication, the B7 could be less expensive than the C7 when it gets released.
The main differences between the various 2017 LG OLED TVs are related to styling. Here's a rundown:
- B7: crescent stand, "blade slim" look
- C7: premium aluminum stand and bezel
- E7: picture-on-glass design with integrated sound bar (similar to 2016 E6)
- G7: picture-on-glass design with foldable integrated sound bar
- W7: ultra-thin picture-on-wall design with separate sound bar
Despite significant price differences all of LG's 2017 TVs will offer the same image quality, according to LG. In our 2016 review comparing the B6 and E6, that was basically the case.
The 2017 models offer the following picture quality improvements over the 2016 versions:
- 25 percent brighter in highlights
- 2 percent better coverage of DCI/P3 color (from 97 to 99 percent)
- Compatible with Technicolor and HLG HDR formats
- "Active HDR" mode
- Technicolor picture mode
- Dolby Atmos sound
In my opinion, none of those improvements will make a big enough difference in picture (or sound) quality to be worth spending substantially more on the 2017 C7 over the 2016 B6, currently selling for $2,300 (55-inch) and $3,500 (65-inch). Of course I won't know for sure until I can test one.
And it's worth repeating that TV prices tend to fall precipitously throughout the year, so it pays to wait. The 2016 65-inch B6 started at $6,500 and fell to a low of $2,800 around Black Friday, a drop of 57 percent. If the 65-inch C7 follows the same trend, it could end up under $2,000 by the same time this year. That's pretty optimistic in my opinion, but I've been wrong before.
Still on the fence? Check this out: Should I buy an OLED TV now or wait for 2017 models?