LG Electronics (LG) is introducing its latest flagship TVs with ThinQ AI at CES 2019, powered by the company’s second-generation α (Alpha) 9 Gen 2 intelligent processor and deep learning algorithm.
Leading LG’s range this year are its first 8K TVs, the 88-inch Z9 OLED and 75-inch SM99 LCD, which boast four times the resolution of current 4K displays. The entire flagship lineup also natively supports Alexa at launch in addition to Google Assistant, and they’re the first TVs announced with support for the latest HDMI standard, version 2.1, and high frame rate (HFR) for better rendering of sports, documentaries, and action films.
Employing LG’s open smart platform, LG’s 2019 TV range provides access to artificial intelligence services across multiple platforms, including newly implemented Amazon Alexa in addition to the built-in Google Assistant. Users will also enjoy conversational voice recognition and a new Home Dashboard that makes it possible to control a wide variety of smart home devices directly from the TV.
The α9 Gen 2 employed in LG’s Z9, W9, E9 and C9 series OLED TVs is using a deep learning algorithm (developed from a vast database of over one million visual data) which recognizes content source quality and determines the best upgrade method for optimal visual output. LG’s 8K 88-inch Z9 OLED TV boasts higher processing capabilities for delivering realistic 8K picture quality thanks to 8K upscaling and improved noise reduction.
In addition to content source detection, the new processor adjusts the tone mapping curve in accordance with ambient conditions to offer optimized screen brightness, leveraging its ability to understand how the human eye perceives images in different lighting. The processor uses the TV’s ambient light sensor to measure light levels, automatically adjusting brightness to compensate as needed. The α9 Gen 2 AI can further refine HDR content by adjusting the brightness to transform even the darkest scenes into ones with incredible contrast, detail and depth of color, even in brightly-lit rooms. And by leveraging Dolby’s latest imaging innovation which intelligently adjusts Dolby Vision content, LG TVs deliver a compelling HDR experience under varying ambient light.
Sound quality is augmented by an algorithm that can up-mix two-channel audio to deliver virtual 5.1 surround sound. The α9 Gen 2 optimizes output based on content type, making voices clearer in movies, dramas and news broadcasts, among others. Users can adjust sound settings to suit room conditions or let their LG TV intelligently set the perfect levels based on its positioning. What’s more, LG’s flagship TVs again feature Dolby Atmos.
First available on 2018 TVs with ThinQ AI, the Google Assistant is again built-in this year’s lineup,. Users won’t need to grab a phone to order pizza as they can do it on the TV without leaving the program that’s playing on the screen.
This year, LG is expanding its AI partnerships to include Amazon Alexa in 2019 TVs with ThinQ AI. By pressing the Amazon Prime Video button on the Magic Remote, users can manage smart home devices, ask questions and access tens of thousands of skills and even set up their ideal Alexa Routine complete with wake-up call, traffic information and favorite TV channel switching all with their voice. LG 2019 TVs with ThinQ AI also feature visually rich Alexa experiences when playing music, checking the weather or accessing one of a number of visually-enhanced skills – such as the Food Network – to find recipes and meal inspiration.
And with the new conversational voice recognition feature that comes in LG’s 2019 TVs with ThinQ AI, it’s easier to get the right answers. By understand context, the TVs allow for more complex requests meaning users won’t have to make a series of repetitive commands to get the desired results. The service will be available on LG TVs with ThinQ AI in over 140 countries.
The α9 Gen 2 also powers the company’s 2019 flagship 75-inch 8K LCD TV (model SM99). LG’s 2019 premium LCD TVs lineup (SM9X and SM8X series) will be rolled out with a new name: NanoCell TV, to better highlight the picture enhancement provided by NanoCell technology (NanoColor), color accuracy in wide viewing angle (NanoAccuracy) and ultra-narrow thin bezel with sleek design (NanoBezel). LG’s NanoCell TVs also offer AI-enhanced picture and sound, powered by a deep learning algorithm, as well as the streamlined experience offered by ThinQ.
And through the inclusion of HDMI 2.1 ports, all 2019 OLED TVs and selected NanoCell TVs with ThinQ AI will support high frame rate (HFR). That’s important, because using the old HDMI 2.0 standard limits 8K signals to just 30fps while version 2.1 increases this to a maximum of 60. The result is smoother and clearer motion at 120 frames per second for better rendering of fast-action content such as sports and action movies. Support for enhanced audio return channel (eARC) enables home theater enthusiasts to utilize HDMI connectivity and enjoy the highest quality audio formats available with superb detail and depth. An option for gamers, the new TVs are compatible with variable refresh rate (VRR) as well as automatic low latency mode (ALLM) which helps deliver a clean image, without stutter or tearing.
LG did not provide details about the rollable OLED TV concept that the company showed off last year. The TV, which will reportedly become an actual product in 2019, was first shown at CES 2018 alongside an early prototype of its 8K TV.
LG is yet to detail how much its flagship lineup of TVs will cost or when they’ll be available, but we don’t expect them to come cheap.