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    LG OLED W8 Signature Series review

    Whereas different TV producers are touting 8K upscaling and MicroLED screens, LG’s finest and brightest consumer-ready panel at CES 2018 is the LG Signature OLED W8 – a continuation of final 12 months’s W7 OLED that we liked, now with a brand new ‘Alpha 9’ processor and Google Assistant. (LG Show, a sister firm to LG Electronics, has a brand new prototype 65-inch foldable OLED display – however that’s a narrative for an additional article.)

    Past the brand new additions of the processor and Google Assistant, the W8 comes outfitted with a four.2 Dolby Atmos soundbar hooked up through a flat cable that runs into the TV itself – the latter of which nonetheless measures in at an unbelievably skinny 2.57mm from entrance to again.

    We noticed the TV forward of the present throughout a behind-closed-doors demo and whereas LG’s newest flagship OLED doesn’t reinvent the wheel prefer it did in 2017, the Signature W8 OLED will look to make minor enhancements on LG’s prime TV tech when it comes out later this 12 months. 

    Design

    It’s onerous to stroll away unimpressed after spending time with the LG Signature OLED W8. It’s slim, matches seamlessly onto the wall and it comes with a Dolby Atmos soundbar. LG calls the design aesthetic ‘picture-on-wall’ and, put in entrance of a non-techy, it might undoubtedly give the phantasm of a fantastic artwork show. 

    Final 12 months, we had issues with the TV’s unique use of the soundbar as its main supply to route cables out and in of the TV. And whereas that’s an issue that persists this 12 months, it’s one thing that we’ve slowly warmed as much as. The soundbar – whereas nonetheless not being a real 5.1.2 answer – has sufficient oomph to ship the perfect sound to match the gorgeous photographs.

    So far as we all know, like final 12 months’s TV, the W8 OLED received’t include a stand. It’s wall-mount or bust. And whereas that might sound a bit horrifying to the non-AV fanatics on the market, the W8 will make use of the identical mounting mechanism that it had final 12 months to allow supremely simple setup. 

    Lastly, whereas many people received excited in regards to the HDMI 2.1 spec that was solidified close to the tip of final 12 months, LG representatives informed us that it got here out a bit too late to be included on any of this 12 months’s fashions. We had been informed that it might be attainable that a number of the enhancements promised by the spec – like broadcast metadata interpretation and excessive body fee (HFR) – may make their method into this 12 months’s fashions in some unspecified time in the future through a software program replace, however 4K120 will not be taking place on this 12 months’s fashions through HDMI. 

    Sensible TV (webOS with Google Assistant) 

    After all, it wouldn’t be an OLED demo with out seeing the most recent in webOS, the working system used on the overwhelming majority of LG TVs. 

    This 12 months’s taste – known as webOS with Google Assistant – is comparable in a whole lot of methods to final 12 months’s webOS Three.5. A lot of the format and content material highlighting options stay precisely the identical as they had been final 12 months.

    The distinction between the 2, nonetheless, is the addition of Google Assistant – which guarantees to ship the identical expertise you’re used to having in your cellphone on the most important display in the home. 

    The advantages of Google Assistant embody the power to makes use of voice instructions to regulate TV capabilities, seek for content material over-the-air or on numerous streaming companions, or management different related IoT units within the community. It’s like having a Google House constructed into your TV – and may very well be an particularly helpful characteristic for these of us with burgeoning good houses.

    Efficiency

    LG 2018 TV Catalog

    Wish to see each LG TV coming in 2018? Do not miss this LG TV 2018 Catalog!

    Right here’s the half the place we normally espouse the goodness that’s OLED panel expertise. We gush in regards to the inky black ranges and, now, much more colourful photographs. We may speak about these issues advert nauseum, however all that already. 

    As a substitute of drowning you in yet one more rationalization of OLED’s many perks, let’s as a substitute discuss in regards to the enhancements made out of final 12 months. 

    Probably the most notable enchancment is LG’s use of the Alpha 9 processor for higher contouring between areas of vibrant mild and darkness (like, say a picture of a moon on a darkish night time) and movement processing. In a demo of the E8 OLED, we had been in a position to see simply how nicely the brand new Alpha 9 processor stood up towards one other main OLED panel. In brief, the OLED E8 was not solely brighter, however it held up with the motion higher, too, ensuring that photographs stayed clear because the digital camera panned from shot to shot of a cityscape. 

    The Alpha 9 processor may even allow a large leap within the look-up desk – a time period you’ll be listening to so much from LG within the New Yr. A glance-up desk is a strategy to shade appropriate supply enter. Utilizing what’s known as a Three-D reference desk, colours will be corrected on a person foundation – if a blue is simply too blue, for instance, it may be made much less blue with out impacting the inexperienced or crimson tones in the identical picture. For this instance, LG used a video of a parrot to point out how readability and shade processing coalesced to create a extra refined, vibrant picture. 

    And whereas picture processing appears to have obtained a serious overhaul this time round, an LG consultant informed us the panels are kind of the identical as those used final 12 months. Meaning no change to the general brightness of the panels – which suggests HDR content material may look kind of the identical because it did final 12 months, barring a couple of minor tweaks. 

    Talking of HDR, all of the Eight-series OLEDs (the W8, G8, E8, C8 and B8) will all help 4 sorts of HDR codecs – HDR10, Dolby Vision, Superior HDR by Technicolor and HLG. This can work in tandem with LG’s proprietary HDR Professional and HLG Professional expertise that works on a scene-by-scene foundation to search out the right steadiness between low-points and highlights. 

    Early verdict

    Though it’s not a large enchancment on final 12 months’s near-perfect W7 OLED, the W8 has a whole lot of promise. It’s a bit smarter and higher trying with its new Alpha 9 processor powering superior readability and shade processing, and whereas HDR efficiency hasn’t obtained a serious increase in energy, it nonetheless appears super in comparison with different competitor’s OLED screens. 

    We’re not fully offered on the concept that the W8 will spin circles across the competitors this 12 months – particularly given the truth that no tangible enhancements have been made to the panel itself – however we’re assured in saying that the W8 will doubtless be worthy of a spot in your wall when it releases later this 12 months across the spring. 

    • New 12 months, new tech – try all our protection of CES 2018 straight from Las Vegas, the best gadget present on Earth 

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