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LG’s headline-grabbing product at CES 2020 might have been the ceiling-based rollable TV, but for regular consumers, the Korean company’s expanded range of 8K TVs might be the most useful new gear to come out of the event.
The company unveiled eight new TVs, the most notable of which were the premium 88- and 77-inch OLED models. There were also six new NanoCell LCD TVs (Nano 99, Nano 97, and Nano 95), all of which will be available in 75- and 65-inch versions.
All the TVs support the HEVC, VP9, and AV1 codecs (meaning you’ll no longer need a transcoder for YouTube’s AV1 content). They are 60FPS and boast LG’s latest Alpha 9 Gen 3 AI Processors.
But before you get all excited about buying a shiny new 8K TV, a word of caution. There is still no clear consensus over what constitutes an 8K TV.
Sure, we all know that 8K is 7680 x 4320 pixels, but the Consumer Technology Association says that should be measured using contrast modulation (with a minimum 50 percent threshold), whereas Samsung and its new 8K Association (8KA) certification program has no such requirements.
Resolution is often confused with horizontal pixel count such as 3,840 pixels (4K) and 7,680 pixels (8K). What’s certain is that a poorly designed display will have lower display quality (i.e. image or text blurriness) even with a high pixel count if adjacent pixels are not clearly distinguishable from one another.
LG is essentially claiming, therefore, that the 8K TVs from its bitter rival Samsung aren’t actually 8K at all. Of course, this is all fairly moot in some regards. You (literally) need a magnifying glass to tell the difference (which, at IFA in Berlin, LG was only too happy to provide!).
In a couple of years, as 8K becomes more mainstream, consumers probably won’t care. But right now, when 8K is still so new, and the displays cost thousands of dollars to buy, these distinctions remain important.