With LG’s dominance in OLED TVs coming under severe pressure in 2022 from Samsung’s new Quantum Dot adoption of OLED technology, AV fans have been eager to see how LG responds in 2023. Well, based on information LG released before CES 2023, the answer seems to be that it’s getting its revenge.
The killer car for 2023 looks sure to be the new G3 range. We’re used to LG’s G-series offering a performance advantage for generations (years ago they only differed from the C-series in terms of aesthetics or sound quality), but this performance “gap” between the C and G models reaches 2023 amazing new levels.
The point is that LG claims the 55, 65 and 77″ G3 models are 70% brighter than “traditional” WOLED TVs (such as the new B3 series, which won’t benefit from LG’s advanced “Evo” panel and Alpha 9 processing combo) . This raises the possibility that the G3 will hit over 1500 nits in the 10% white HDR window and over 2000 nits in the 2% window. That would be a huge leap forward for a single generation of OLED, dwarfed by the 30% growth LG achieved when transitioning its OLED lineup from 2021 to 2022.
LG, in its usual ambiguous manner, isn’t keen on talking about the technical details of what was used to achieve this massive and potentially game-changing brightness boost, other than to describe the G3’s new brightness as “Brightness Booster Max” technology, which pitches as an improved Combination of panel design and processing. In reality, however, the magnitude of this brightness jump is actually due to the G3’s use of new microlens array (MLA) technology, as tech-obsessed followers suspect.
MLA technology adds a layer of tiny lenses to the TV structure to better focus the light output from the OLED panel, ensuring that more of the potential light is focused directly on the viewer. The way MLA technology works also means that the extra brightness can be achieved without increasing power consumption or the possibility of permanent image retention in OLED panels.
There have been reports that LG has been working on integrating MLA into its TVs for months, but it’s great that it’s finally confirmed. Especially with rumors that the technology has been delayed by a year before Christmas.
Perhaps it’s worth reflecting that earlier reports of MLA technology suggested a 20% increase in brightness compared to non-MLA WOLED panels, so it’s easy to wonder if LG is also doing something to the polarizer layer in its new G3 to get Their brightness reaches levels that may at least match, and possibly surpass, the potential improvements brought about by 2023-generation quantum-dot OLED technology. But before we can confirm that, we’ll have to wait until we see LG’s new OLED hero.
We’ll also have to wait and see if adding so much brightness has any effect on color saturation, given the white element in WOLED TV technology. However, given the way MLAs work, it doesn’t necessarily mean that more brightness delivered this way will negatively impact color. In fact, it can actually enhance it.
Note that the 83-inch and 97-inch G3 due in 2023 won’t feature MLA technology, and thus only claim to be 30 percent brighter than “regular” WOLED screens.
Meanwhile, if you have the budget, it looks like LG’s new Z3 series of 8K OLED TVs for 2023 will benefit for the first time from EX panel and heatsink technology, making them brighter than previous Z series models. Though certainly not as bright as the MLA-sporting G3 model.
While the new G3 is getting a stunning panel hardware upgrade, it appears that the 2023 iteration of the popular C-series C3 will be very similar to its predecessor in terms of panel hardware. Of course, LG didn’t talk about any major boosts in peak brightness, and it appears the C3 will still use LG’s “EX” panels, but without the accompanying heatsink.
From this I can’t help thinking that the new tech in the G3 could be LG’s biggest OLED hit in 2023, even though they cost a few hundred pounds more than the C3 (I haven’t heard any suggestion that the inclusion of MLA in the G3’s tech will make them Much more expensive than the G2).
All of LG’s new “hero” OLED series will benefit from the latest generation – LG’s A9 AI processor – 6th generation. Improvements brought by the new processor include a suite of so-called “Alpha Reality” features, starting with AI Super Upscaling, a process designed to better preserve film grain while upscaling sub-4K sources to the screen. while canceling actual noise. Native 4K or 8K resolution.
LG’s AI Picture Pro system also has an interesting new OLED Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro feature that splits the screen into 20,000 separate analysis areas when determining how to best render HDR10 content, rather than the mere 5,000 previously analyzed area.
Also potentially having the potential to have a significant impact on image quality given what we’ve seen from similar techniques elsewhere, is a new Object Enhancer feature that adds different tones to faces and objects at different depths in an image textures for a more immersive, real-world look.
Taking a page from Philips (Europe) TV books, LG has introduced a new AI Picture Optimizer that presents a series of screens containing multiple rendering variants of the same image and asks viewers to choose their favorite look for each page , using the resulting picture for you to intelligently track your preferences, especially when it comes to color, without completely forgetting the intent of the source material.
All of LG’s C3, G3 and Z3 TVs will continue the brand’s stellar support for gamers, all with HDMI support for 4K/120Hz and VRR. A new Game Optimizer option has also been added to provide more effective picture and sound settings for different types of games, and interestingly, LG has become the first brand to be officially certified for Quick Media Switching VRR (QMS VRR), which Removed the momentary black screen that occurs when switching between HDMI sources with different frame rates.
One last notable picture feature finds LG improving its eye comfort feature, notably by compensating for issues where blue light in images can affect the appearance of skin tones.
The new Alpha 9 processor also introduces some new AI Sound Pro features. The most notable of these is WOW Orchestra, which could join forces with LG’s 2023 and (after an upcoming firmware update) most of its 2022 soundbars for a more detailed and larger-scale soundstage. It also enhances the detection of different types of content, for example, making action scenes more impactful with explosions, punches, collisions, etc.
There’s also a new auto-balance control designed to stop the bass from overlapping the mids and highs, and a new “upmix” system that LG claims can output any incoming sound in Virtual 9.1.2-. channel format.
Another interesting audio feature that may especially appeal to DTS fans is a system that, if the TV doesn’t recognize the sound format, will pass it on to the connected audio device for processing via the eARC HDMI system. In theory at least, this should enable LG’s TVs to pass on multi-channel DTS and possibly even IMAX enhancements of DTS:X to soundbars and AVRs. This was not possible with several generations of LG OLED TVs as the brand removed their DTS decoding.
The new key OLEDs in LG’s 2023 lineup will continue to benefit from a lightweight composite fiber chassis material that makes 2022’s models relatively easy to handle, while the G3 has a “zero-gap” design that allows them to fit better than your walls It’s been done before.
The 77-inch Z3 also features a thin Gallery Design suitable for hanging on the wall, and as discussed in previous reports about LG’s 2023 soundbar, the C3 can be paired with the new SC9S soundbar, which comes with A bracket to hold it under the bottom edge of the C3. It even doubles as a desk stand for the C3 if you’re not wall-mounting the soundbar.
The final new feature to consider for LG’s 2023 OLED TVs has to do with the brand’s legendary WebOS interface. Particularly welcome in most respects is the new simplified homepage. This removes much of the content “on hold” seen in the 2022 iteration, resulting in a cleaner, more focused experience that makes it easier to quickly access the apps you use most. There’s also a lot of flexibility when it comes to customizing the home screen to suit your needs.
The 2023 OLED can also support up to 10 different user profiles that can be easily selected for a more personalized experience, while the introduction of so-called Express Cards simplifies access to different apps and content “types”. Cards for home office, gaming, music, and sports will initially be available, but other options will apparently be added in the coming months.
Depending on your region, you can also expect to see an increase in the variety of service applications supported by webOS, including more cloud gaming, more fitness apps, more entertainment apps, more health apps, and more smart Shopping support.
LG’s voice control support will be backed by AI Concierge, which at the same time recommends keywords based on your voice recognition search history, while the system for presenting recommendations based on your user data has been simplified to deliver tighter results.
LG’s Home Hub system, which monitors smart devices in the home through a TV, has gained support for the Matter interconnect platform, which joins previous support for LG’s ThinQ system.
One final neat little trick that users who like to tinker with their TV settings will love is the ability to manually choose which features you get instant access to when you tap the Settings button. The menu has 11 boxes that you can fill with your most-used functions so you don’t always have to delve into the deepest recesses of your TV’s full menu system.
Before I wrap up, it’s worth adding that LG will be adding B3 and A3 entry-level models to its OLED lineup, as it has done for the past year or two. The B3s will come in 77, 65 and 55-inch versions, will use a new Gen 6 version of LG’s less powerful A7 processor, and will support 4K/120Hz gaming. The A3s will be available in 77, 65, 55, and 48-inch sizes, but while they will have the same processor as the B3s, their panels will only support 60Hz. The A3s doesn’t appear to be coming to North America.
Watch for my first impressions of the G3 in the next few days.
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