Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
LG G1 "gallery" class OLED at CES 2021

LG keeps OLED TVs strong with OLED Evo

One of the world’s best TV technologies improves in 2021 with more brightness, contrast, and some features focused on gamers.

We’ve heard quite a bit from LG before CES 2021 began, and now that it’s properly up and running in the first online-only digital CES, we’re hearing a little bit more, namely from what LG plans to do to keep its TV business strong, with efforts focused on improving OLED.

If you’re not sure what OLED is, especially in the midst of so many different initialisms and acronyms about the place, we don’t blame you, but here’s a bit of a recap:

TV’s these days typically fall in two categories: LED backlit or OLED.

LED backlit screens use LEDs to light up the LCD panels and control lighting to make the screens clearer and brighter when you’re watching something, while OLED panels use pixels made of organic self-lighting diodes. Both are great technologies, but both are also very different, with the deepest blacks possible from OLED due to the diodes being able to turn off (off = black), while LED backlit panels tend to be faster, and may be better for sports or games due to the type of technology an LCD panel uses.

There are big differences and big reasons to choose one over the other, though from a consumer’s stand point, nothing beats standing in front of the screen and auditioning the TV yourself, working out which screen works for your eyes best.

The other approach is to read the feature and spec list, which can work, too. Every year, it changes, as companies look to bolster their hardware and improve things again, giving new TV buyers something else to consider when it comes time to spend their hard-earned money.

However this year, LG looks to iron out some of those differences, as OLED closes the gap between the things people commonly associate LED backlit TVs to better at. Folks like gamers, for instance.

This year at CES 2021, LG is talking up “OLED Evo”, an update to its OLED panel technology that uses a new panel to deliver improved brightness to keep the detail strong. It’s a technology LG will be offering in its G1 2021 OLED TVs in Australia, even if LG will have three ranges of OLED this year, with the G1 being joined by the Z1 and C1. While only the G1 gets the new and brighter OLED Evo technology, the entire range gets a new processor, the LG Alpha 9 Gen 4.

That new chip has been built to take advantage of deep learning AI, improving upscaling to embolden content on the screens, and uses “AI Picture Pro” a function which uses artificial intelligence to detect the differences between foregrounds and backgrounds, and render it clearly on the TV.

LG’s 2021 OLED TVs will also get something called “Game Optimiser” which is distinct from Telstra’s feature of the same name. Rather than optimise gaming traffic over the web, LG’s Game Optimiser aims to cut game response down to one millisecond, and supports PC gaming graphics technologies such as Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync.

LG's C1 OLED TV, which won't feature the OLED Evo panel.
LG’s C1 OLED TV, which won’t feature the OLED Evo panel.

There’s also support for HDMI 2.1 on the new OLED TVs with eARC for high-end audio in external sound systems, while the new slate of televisions also support Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound. And the TV sound aims to be better, as well, thanks in part to an up-mixing technology to turn sound without dimensionality into something with a little bit, using LG’s “AI Sound Pro” feature to harness artificial intelligence to convert audio to a 5.1.2 3D sound, and keep the volume level with automatic volume levelling.

In the Australian LG 2021 OLED range, you can expect a few options, ranging from a 48 inch screen to something as large as an 88 inch. As to how much they will cost, LG Australia hasn’t quite said yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we know, and when we’re expected to get them. Our guess is from March or April, so stay tuned.

The LG G1 OLED TV is kind of built to look like a gallery frame, but uses organic light emitting diodes for the visuals.
The LG G1 OLED TV is kind of built to look like a gallery frame, but uses organic light emitting diodes for the visuals.
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