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The best TVs of CES 2019

65-inch roll-up OLED, 98-inch 8K QLED, 120-inch 4K short-throw laser projection, 216-inch MicroLED. See every inch of tomorrow's screens right now.

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David Katzmaier
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LG OLED curve of nature

Ah, CES. The annual exposition where TV makers the world over congregate to show off their newest stuff. And "show" is the operative word. 

Before we get into the flat, square sets introduced at the show, I'll begin at LG's booth with some eye candy. The "curve of nature" is a sight to behold.

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LG OLED waterfall

It consists of 260 55-inch OLED TVs, curved into a massive, undulating wall structure and playing nature scenes.

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LG OLED tree of life

It's mesmerizing.

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LG OLED wave

OK, last one. If you want more, we have a gallery and video of the whole shebang here.

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LG Display: The Rose

Meanwhile LG Display arranged a quartet of curved OLED TVs displaying flowers into The Rose. 

So yes, OLED TVs can flex and curve and look great in demos, but does that have any practical use?

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LG rollable OLED TV

Turns out flexible OLED does have a practical use. This is LG's rollable OLED TV, and it's going on sale in 2019. No price yet though.

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LG rollable OLED TV

The screen itself rolls down into a piece of furniture. It's wild.

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LG rollable OLED TV

When it powers up, a little door on the top slides back to let the screen emerge.

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LG rollable OLED TV

Here's the screen part way up.

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LG rollable OLED TV

Full extended from the back. The flexible OLED material is affixed to a series of horizontal slats raised and lowered by a pair of bars. 

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LG rollable OLED TV

Back at LG's booth, a quintet of rollable OLEDs dance.

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LG 88-inch 8K TV

LG also debuted another first at CES 2019: its first 8K OLED TV, in a massive 88-inch size.

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LG 88-inch 8K TV

8K resolution promises improved detail compared to 4K, but in our experience you have to be pretty close to appreciate it.

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LG 88-inch 8K TV

The 88-inch 8K set comes with an integrated stand. No, it can't be wall-mounted.

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LG booth 88-inch 8K OLED

Here it is at LG's booth. The combination of OLED's superb image quality and an 88-inch screen is really impressive.

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LG NanoCell 8K LCD TV

LG will also release an LCD-based 8K TV, this 75-inch model that bears the new "NanoCell" name.

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LG 8K NanoCell LCD

It looks nice enough, but compared to that OLED it doesn't quite stand up. Of course, it will likely cost much, much less.

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LG E9 OLED

LG also redesigned its 4K OLED line again, adding a sleek glass base to the E9.

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LG OLED with Alexa

New for 2019, LG's TVs build in both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

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LG short throw laser 4K projector

LG debuted the HU85L short-throw laser projector that can fill a 120-inch screen from just 7 inches away.

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LG short throw laser 4K projector

The projector responds to voice commands spoken into the remote's mic and has a built-in audio system.

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Samsung 75-inch MicroLED

LG's arch-rival is Samsung, and Sammy don't do OLED. Its answer is MicroLED, a very promising display technology that promises even better picture quality than OLED. It uses millions of tiny inorganic LEDs to make an image.

But MicroLED is not ready for the market, in part because it's tough to get all those LEDs small enough. Samsung's more living-room friendly 75-inch size at 4K resolution is an achievement.

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Samsung 219-inch The Wall

MicroLED is modular and scalable, meaning it can also get really, really big.

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Samsung 219-inch The Wall

Big enough to show K-pop stars at larger than life size.

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Samsung 219-inch The Wall

No word on the cost of a 219-inch TV, but for this much bling, who cares?!

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MicroLED modules

To get down to 75 inches, Samsung improved how many individual pixels it packed onto each module.

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MicroLED modules

Did I mention it's modular? Here's MicroLED "TVs" arranged into different shapes.

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Samsung 8K QLED

Samsung introduced the first 8K TV in the US in late 2018, and it's bringing it in different sizes this year.

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Samsung 98-inch 8K QLED TV

If 85 inches isn't big enough for you, Samsung hopes you'll spring for the 98-inch version. No pricing but I wouldn't be surprised if it cost $50,000.

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Samsung 8K QLED TVs

Too rich for your blood? Like the ones that already exist in the UK and Europe, Samsung put up its smaller 8K TVs up for pre-order. The 65-inch costs $5,000, the 75-inch $7,000 and the 82-inch $10,000. 

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Samsung AI upscaling

Since there's no 8K content, the TV relies on upscaling 4K to the screen's resolution. Samsung's upscaling uses AI.

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Samsung 8K QLED TVs

The benefits of the higher resolution will likely be less visible at smaller screen sizes, unless you sit very close.

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Samsung Serif TV

Samsung's designer-inspired Serif sets get QLED tech this year, too.

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Samsung Serif TV side view

Seen from the side, the TV looks like a serif-font "I."

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Samsung Serif TV in black

Also available in black.

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Samsung The Frame wall art

The Frame is a TV that can look like wall art. This wall arrangement, with actual TVs interspersed with paintings, takes full advantage.

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Sony Z9G 85- and 98-inch 8K TVs

Sony isn't going to miss the 8K party, introducing two sizes of Master Series high-end LCDs. They're huge, For reference, I'm 6 foot 3.

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Sony Z9G 98-inch 8K TV

Like LG and Samsung, Sony also talks up its processing. And like Samsung's LCD, the Z9G is equipped with full-array local dimming.

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Sony Z9G 98-inch 8K TV

It's also extremely bright.

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Sony 85-inch 8K Master Series TV

Another extra on the Master Series is improved sound, with speakers above and below the screen that attempt to localize the audio better.

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Sony 85-inch Master Series 8K TV

The stand is also friggin' metal. 

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Sony Master Series A9G OLED TV

Sony also introduced new OLED TVs. They're very similar to the current Master Series, but the design is more traditional, and a 77-inch size is available.

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Sony Master Series A9G OLED TV

Instead of the current sets' kickstand design, the A9G is as thin as other OLEDs.

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Sony Master Series A9G OLED TV

The foot stand is kinda cute.

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Sony Master Series A9G OLED TV

Sony has also improved the Acoustic Surface screen, again, with the aim of making sound that closely tracks on-screen movement.

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TCL 8K Roku TV

The fourth entrant in the 8K game is TCL, which will come out with the first 8K Roku TV later this year. This isn't the final design...

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TCL 8K Roku TV

...but at least they got the logo right.

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TCL 140-inch MicroLED display

Not to be outdone by Samsung, TCL also showed a concept MicroLED display at its booth. It's smaller, but still has 24,000,000 individual LEDs, high contrast and wide color gamut. No word on whether TCL will try to bring it to market.

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TCL curved TVs

Also spotted at TCL's booth: curved TVs. Not even Samsung's booth has those anymore. Like most of the TVs in TCL's booth, they're intended for the Chinese domestic market and probably won't be coming to the US anytime soon.

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TCL Art Deco TV

TCL was also showing a TV said to evoke the "luxury and glamour of the early '20s." Exactly how is unclear.

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Hisense 2019 lineup

Hisense is another big Chinese TV company trying to take market share US is Hisense. It introduced a bunch of new TVs for 2019, complete with actual pricing and availability -- a rarity at CES.

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Hisense R8 Roku TV

On paper this set looks like a rival to TCL's 6 series, with similar specifications and a lower price. Shipping "later in 2019" the 55-inch size costs $600 and the 65 an aggressive $750.

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Hisense U9F

Available only in a 75-inch size for $3,500 this June, the U9F is Hisense's best TV announced for 2019 in the US. It has a whopping 1,000-plus local dimming zones and 2,200 nits of peak brightness.

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Hisense 100-inch laser TV

Hisense has been making short-throw laser projectors for awhile, and its newest version uses an RGB laser arrangement to achieve higher brightness and almost full Rec 2020 color. A version with two lasers is coming to the US market. 

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Vizio's 2019 lineup

Vizio also introduced a slew of new TVs for this year, all of which have local dimming and most of which use quantum dots for improved color. The company didn't bow any 8K TVs, however.

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Vizio 85-inch P-Series Quantum X

The most impressive TV Vizio showed off is this 85-inch P-Series Quantum X, which promises a searing 2,900 nits of brightness. This size might not ship this year, however.

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Vizio P-Series Quantum X

More modest 65- and 75-inch versions of the series will ship, however, with 384 and 480 zones, respectively. Given how much I liked the 2018 P-Series Quantum, I expect great things.

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Vizio P-Series Quantum

Moving down in picture quality and price, the non-"X" P-Series Quantum comes in 65- and 75-inch sizes and offers a 120Hz refresh rate and up to 240 dimming zones. Don't let the name fool you however; it has 1,000 nits peak brightness, more in line with the non-Quantum P-Series of 2018.

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Vizio M-Series Quantum

Even the mainstream M-Series gets quantum dots from Vizio in 2019, which addresses a big weakness of the 2018 version. They range from 43 to 65 inches and have up to 90 zones of local dimming and 600 nits peak light output.

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Vizio Apple AirPlay

Like LG, Sony, Samsung and others, Vizio's TVs will work with AirPlay, Siri and HomeKit to show TV shows, movies and more using an iPhone, iPad or Mac computer as controller. We got the full demo.

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LG booth OLED waterfall curve of nature

That's it so far for the TVs of CES 2019. We'll leave you with more beautiful views of nature.

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