There are few, if any, AV-related announcements each year that are more eagerly anticipated than LG's annual unveiling of its new OLED TV lineup. So I'm happy to say that day has come early this year, before CES 2024 starts in Las Vegas next week. And while LG's new OLED range may seem like more of an iterative improvement from 2023 rather than the revolutionary leap we got with the G3 series last year, there's still plenty of exciting things for serious AV fans to look forward to.
Given the leap forward in WRGB technology, last year's LG G3 models introduced us to their use of Micro Lens Array technology (as part of what LG calls Brightness Booster Max technology, to reflect the fact that MLA hardware is just part of what makes LG's premium OLED picture quality tick), Let's first look at LG's new G4 range.
The main picture improvement here is set to come from a new processor that LG claims is so big a leap over its predecessor that they've called it the Alpha 11 AI instead of the Alpha 10 engine we'd expect to follow from 2023's Alpha 9 processor. If you want some numbers to go along with the Alpha 11 AI hype, LG claims the new chip will deliver four times the AI performance of its predecessor, 1.7x graphics performance, and 1.3x the overall processing power – all in combination with 2.5GB of RAM. .
The biggest news about the Alpha 11 is that LG's AI Picture Pro deep learning-powered picture enhancement system can now work across all sources, including those connected to the TV via HDMI, instead of only working with broadcasts and some streaming services as is the case. I did before.
The new AI Picture Pro system carries the latest versions of Genre and Scene Analysis, AI Supersolution, Noise Reduction, and OLED Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro features (the latter of which splits the image into thousands of analysis blocks to make tone mapping more effective) that we've seen in AI Picture Pro before . But Alpha 11 also introduces two major new potential features for AI Picture Pro: object enhancement via visual perception and AI director processing.
The Object Enhancing By Visual Perception feature allegedly analyzes every pixel in an image to better detect different objects in the image and process them more effectively to help make it more realistic (so key objects get more focus, for example). The AI director's processing attempts to apply color theory (where color is used to enhance emotion) to everything you watch while mastering and categorizing the content to give the images more power.
These two new features may seem like a problem for AV professionals who prefer their TV to display the images it receives as accurately as possible. However, given the power and extent of the deep learning AI behind these features, I think they're probably worth at least a try, even for die-hard cinephiles.
The Alpha 11 processor introduces two potentially important new elements to the G4's AI Sound Pro system as well: an 11.1.2-channel virtual mixer that can be applied to stereo sources, and a new audio remastering system capable of using artificial intelligence to extract sounds from audio mixes so that their clarity can be enhanced without Impact on the rest of the mixtures. These new features join the previous AI Sound Pro features of Adaptive Sound Control (which optimizes audio playback in real-time based on content analysis), AI Sound Tuning to optimize sound for your room setup, and Dynamic Sound Booster to make sound smoother. It looks more dynamic and powerful.
While it's not clear whether LG has implemented any significant improvements to the hardware side of the Micro Lens Array system that helped the G3s achieve such a game-changing brightness increase last year, LG did mention that its latest Brightness Booster technology Max, which also includes a light enhancement algorithm combined with a better “light control architecture”, which will make the G4s brighter than the G3s. It's not entirely clear how much; LG only states that the G4s' displays will be up to 70% brighter than “traditional” OLED displays (i.e. basic entry-level models like LG's B series).
Another big advancement for the G4 range is that the Brightness Booster Max system extends to the 83-inch model; It is no longer limited to 55, 65 and 77 inch sizes in the range. The only G4 model that won't benefit from Brightness Booster Max technology is the new 97-inch full-size model.
Gamers have a new feature to look forward to, meanwhile, in the form of support for 144Hz gaming if you have a PC capable of delivering those refresh rates. LG claims this feature makes its new Evo OLED models (which include the new C4 and M4 models as well as the G4s) the first TVs to officially support both Nvidia G-Sync and 144Hz. They also support AMD FreeSync, of course.
The M4 models mentioned there will indeed represent LG's flagship OLED TVs for 2024. As anyone familiar with the M3 TVs that LG introduced relatively late in 2023 might expect, the new M4 lineup will continue to be built around LG's Zero Connect system, sending… The external connection box transmits images in up to 4K/144Hz HDR (making them the first TVs to do so without compression) wirelessly to its brilliant partner OLED displays. The M4s will improve on their M3 predecessors by using the latest Alpha 11 AI processor, and once again all screen sizes except the 97-inch will benefit from Brightness Booster Max technology.
The M4 and G4 displays will feature so-called “One Wall Designs” ideally suited for wall mounting, as well as a five-year warranty as a sign of LG's confidence in their longevity.
Another new feature exclusive to LG's M4 and G4 OLED displays is the new 4-screen multi-display system unlocked by the power of the Alpha 11 processor. This allows you to split the screen into four smaller displays displaying different sources, with the power of the new processor expanding the range of combinations Sources you can set up (including Live TV, HDMI, YouTube, CAM, Browser, Miracast, Spotify and Airplay) and improve the interface you use to select your Multiview sources.
New C4 range
The C4 range will be LG's so-called evo range of premium OLED panels. As with the C Series in LG's 2023 OLED lineup, the C4 phones won't benefit from full Brightness Booster Max technology, with some C4 screen sizes instead reverting to regular Brightness Booster technology. This reflects a specific combination of a slightly improved version of the Alpha 9 processor deployed in last year's C3 models, and LG's “evo” panels that deliver more brightness than the basic OLED panels used in LG's entry-level OLED range without gaining extra brightness. Augmentation is made possible by MLA technology. Again, LG suggests there should be a slight improvement in brightness for the C4 cameras over the C3, but it can't provide any exact numbers for this.
As in previous years, the 42- and 48-inch C4 won't get Brightness Booster technology, though LG has confirmed that they will certainly be brighter than their 2023 counterparts.
The C4s loses the 5-year warranty for the G4 and M4 series, drops multi-display support to two of the four displays, and switches from a One Wall to an Ultra Slim design. However, it retains both the 144Hz gaming features and far-field voice control (so you can talk to the TV without having to press a button on your remote) that the M4s and G4s offer.
The LG C4 range will be available in 2024 in 42-, 48-, 55-, 65-, 77- and 83-inch screen sizes.
Rounding out LG's OLED offering for 2024 will be the entry-level B4 series. These models are available in 77-, 65-, 55- and 48-inch screen sizes, support 120Hz instead of 144Hz, and move to the new Alpha 8 AI 4K processor, which LG vaguely describes as “inherited” from last year’s Alpha processor. 9 4K AI system.
There's no far-field voice recognition on the B4s either, and they lose all the Brightness Booster technology available from the C4 and above, meaning they'll be noticeably less bright than their siblings. However, they still get the Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support that all of LG's most premium 2024 models have, plus the latest much-improved webOS platform including the two-screen Multiview system carried over by the C4s.
LG has yet to provide a launch date or pricing information for its 2024 OLED lineup, but rest assured I'll be bringing you that information on my Forbes channel as soon as LG reveals it.
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