Many TV shoppers who prize image quality and a 55-inch or 65-inch TV are considering an LG OLED TV, which delivers the. So the only question becomes which one?
My answer in 2017 will likely be: the B7.
LG has announced a full lineup of OLED televisions for 2017, including the amazing W7 "picture-on-wall" model. There are five new series in all: the B7, C7, E7, G7 and W7. Each has different styling and some features differences, mostly related to audio.
None of the differences affect picture quality, however. The cheapest series, the B7, will deliver the same picture quality as all of the others.
LG hasn't announced pricing beyond the 65-inch W7, which goes for $8000 and is coming in March. The other series will arrive sometime between then and June. I'd be surprised if the 65-inch B7 started at more than $4,000, and it will likely fall to $3,000 or less by the holidays 2017.
The same, but different
But I'm getting ahead of myself. What we know now is that all of the the 2017 OLED sets boast improved image quality compared to last year, with 25 percent higher peak brightness (up to 1,000 nits in highlights) and better color (99 percent of the DCI color space). They'll also support four HDR formats: Dolby Vision and HDR10 (just like the 2016 models) as well as HLG and Technicolor (neither of which have content yet). A new "active HDR" mode is said to improve the image from HDR10 sources to mimic the dynamic metadata system used by Dolby Vision.
All also offer Dolby Atmos sound, although ones with dedicated sound bars will likely sound better than those without. And despite the Atmos name and LG's claims of "full 360 sound," don't expect any TV to come close to matching a dedicated sound system's performance.
The rest of the differences relate 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
In 2016 there was a curved model, the C6, but this year every LG OLED has a flat screen, including the C7. And unlike last year, none of the 2017 OLED TVs, and indeed no LG TV period, supports 3D.
LG 2017 OLED TV specifications
- 55- and 65-inch sizes (B7, C7, E7) or 65- and 77-inch (G7, W7)
- 4K resolution
- Supports Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG and Technicolor HDR
- 1,000 nits peak brightness in highlights
- Covers 99 percent of DCI color space
- Dolby Atmos sound