LG prices big 4K OLED, LCDs up to $100,000 (eyes on)
From 4K OLEDs to 21x9 LED LCDs, LG showed off a bevy of new US models at the CEDIA Expo in Denver. We've got details and some initial impressions from a quick eyes-on at the show.
Geoffrey Morrison is a writer/photographer about tech and travel for CNET, The New York Times, and other web and print publications. He's also the Editor-at-Large for The Wirecutter. He has written for Sound&Vision magazine, Home Theater magazine, and was the Editor-in-Chief of Home Entertainment magazine. He is NIST and ISF trained, and has a degree in Television/Radio from Ithaca College. His bestselling novel, Undersea, and its sequel, Undersea Atrophia, are available in paperback and digitally on Amazon. He spends most of the year as a digital nomad, living and working while traveling around the world. You can follow his travels at BaldNomad.com and on his YouTube channel.
At the CEDIA Expo in Denver, LG revealed pricing and availability information on their highly-anticipated 4K OLED TVs, as well as a pair of ultra-massive LED LCDs.
The biggest, a 105-inch curved LCD, costs a cool hundred grand.
Though all of them were previously announced, both at CES and more recently at IFA, this was the official US introduction. I had the chance to give them a quick look on the show floor.
65, 77, 98, and 105. Oh my.
On the 4K OLED front, there are two models, the 65-inch 65EC9700, and the 77-inch 77EG9700. The 65EC9700 will be available in October for $9,999, while the 77EG9700 will be available in November for $24,999.
I spent a few minutes ogling the 77-inch, showing a loop of scenic vistas from around the world. The image was stunning. Bright, colorful, with deep blacks and (from about 6 feet away) incredible detail. Even on the show floor, these TVs looked great, boding well for their success in stores (compared to plasmas, which didn't look good under lots of lights).
For ultra-massive Ultra HD, there were two models, the flat 98-inch 98UB9800, and the 105-inch 105UC9 , with a curved screen. The 105UC9 will be available in November for a brace-yourself-price of $99,999. The 98UB9800, also available in November, will be a bargain in comparison, at just $39,999.
Both have full-array local dimming, and IPS panels, and feature sound systems by Harman Kardon. In addition to being curved, the 105-inch set 21:9 aspect ratio, a closer match to ultra-wide-screen movies than to standard 16:9 HDTV shows. Like the 58-inch Vizio XVT3D580CM, an earlier 21:9 TV, LG also touts another advantage of the extended screen width: "it enables users to access viewing information on the side of the screen without blocking any of the ongoing action."
As a result of its wider shape, the screen also has a higher native resolution than most 4K/UHD TVs: 5,120x2,160. That's 11 million pixels and change.
In person the 105-inch is quite impressive (top image), a size deserving of 4K and ( arguably) the curve. Showing a loop of Hong Kong, alternating with closeup of plants (ah 4K footage excitement), the detail was excellent. Off-axis was good as well, thanks to the IPS. It was hard to judge contrast ratio under the lights of the show floor, but under those non-ideal conditions, they looked good. It also didn't seem quite as imposing as other large LCDs (including the 98-inch). Whether this was due to the aspect ratio, the curve, or just the open nature of the booth, I'm not sure.
LG also announced a quintet of smaller Ultra HD models, ranging from 40- to 65-inches. Although none have full array local dimming, otherwise they offer have similar features as their bigger brethren (H.265, WebOS, etc).