LG puts the Super in new Ultra High Definition LCD TVs

In advance of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, LG announced its best non-OLED TVs for 2016, namely three series dubbed "Super UHD."

With a name like Super Ultra High Definition, you might think LG's latest TVs are actually the best the company will offer in 2016.

You'd be wrong. The company has announced three series of new TVs under the name Super UHD, but none of them use OLED technology; they're all LED LCDs.

OLED, a display technology that only LG manufactures in TV-sized screens today, delivers the best image quality of any TVs we've tested, outperforming LED LCD TVs handily. LG hasn't yet announced any 2016 OLED TVs, but when it does, perhaps they'll merit a Super Duper moniker.

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LG has announced three series of new TVs under the name Super UHD using LED LCDs.

Photo by LG

The three Super series it did announce are the UH9500 (55- to 86-inch), the UH8500 (55- to 75-inch) and the UH7700 (49- to 65-inch). All boast "HDR Plus," which LG calls a "combination of technologies that result in improved overall performance (color and contrast) for a HDR experience that's better than TVs that are only HDR Compatible."

Aspects of that improvement includes light output and black level performance, according to the company. Perhaps inevitably, LG also talks up "an SDR-to-HDR conversation engine so viewers can enjoy near-HDR content from any standard source."

HDR, which stands for High Dynamic Range, is expected to be a major theme for TV makers at CES this year. It's a catch-all term for new, improved content, namely TV shows and movies, and the televisions that can display it. The most concise pitch I've heard is "not just more pixels, but better pixels," an implicit improvement on mere 4K resolution. Check out CES 2016 TV tech: 4K yawns, high dynamic range dawns for more details.

The 9500 and 8500 have a wider color gamut, said to approximate 90 percent of the DCI color space, which should lead to more realistic colors with compatible content (which is very rare today). All three series are said to improve bright room performance by minimizing reflections and improving contrast.

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LG also touts the Super sets' styling and features, including the ultra-slim (.22 inch) depth of the UF9500 series. All three offer the latest version of LG's Web OS operating system, version 3.0.

The company also said it would "unveil its first production-ready 98-inch 8K Super UHD TV, model UH9800."

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LG's Super UHD TVs will begin shipping in early spring. Pricing was not announced.

By the way, if you're confused at LG's choice of "Super," you're not alone. Throughout 2015, LG's arch-rival Samsung marketed the heck out of its high-end SUHD LCD TVs. Samsung still says that its S doesn't stand for anything in particular (let alone "Super"), and LG's announcement is careful to spell out that word rather than use the abbreviation SUHD itself. The thin distinction is sure to lead to plenty of confusion this year. Isn't competition Super?