CES 2019: LG wows with foldable TVs, 8K
LG kicked off CES 2019 with what’s sure to be one of the most talked about products at the show: a rollable OLED TV that appears and disappears from a base unit with the click of a remote control.
The 65″ TV is the first to fulfill the long-held promise of a rollable TV display and could change the way living spaces are designed – if the technology proves reliable and catches on.
In a demonstration, it took about 15 seconds for the screen to fully appear. It’s an impressive piece of technology, made possible by a smooth-moving mechanism that raises and lowers the screen and keeps it steady.
The TV might remind some of retractable projection screens. Back in the day, the family would gather to view home 8mm movies or slides projected onto a screen that, when not in use, retracted into a small case for easy storage out of the way.
The LG rollable OLED TV does the same thing and means living rooms can be designed to look a bit less like a shrine to a television. That’s of course if you can afford it. LG didn’t say how much the TV will cost but it probably won’t be cheap. We’ll find out the price closer to launch, which is scheduled for the second half of 2019.
In addition to extending all the way up and down, the screen can be set in a third state (line mode), where a portion of the screen is visible. This smaller screen is used as a visual interface and display for a music player, or to display a clock or an animation.
An 8K first
After dropping some details on their 2019 TV offering a few days ago and showing off their first 8K TV at IFA, LG officially unveiled its first commercial-grade 8K OLED TV: the Z9 OLED.
Showing off the 77″ premium home entertainment product during their CES press conference, LG talked up the AI-upscaling made possible by the TVs new next-generation Alpha 9 processor. Like Samsung’s own 8K solutions, it’ll automatically upscale non-8K content using AI algorithms.
LG said: “in addition to content source detection, the new processor finely adjusts the tone mapping curve in accordance with ambient conditions to offer optimised 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.”
LG are also using the deep learning capabilities to enhance sound quality. They say the the intelligent algorithms of the 2nd-gen α9 processor can up-mix two-channel audio to deliver convincing virtual 5.1 surround sound.
The Z9 will also utilise HDMI 2.1 to support higher and variable frame-rate content and EARC audio.
LG are also upping the ante when it comes to on-board smarts. Each of the company’s ThinQ TVs will now come with both on-board Google Assistant and built-in Amazon Alexa.
Apple AirPlay and HomeKit support are also being added. However, unlike the similar announcement Samsung made yesterday, there’s no signs of a specific iTunes Movies & TV app for LG’s WebOS.
Expect further details and pricing to come later in the year.