During its CES press conference this morning, LG Electronics announced a whopping 15 new TV product lines for 2014. That’s on top of the three OLED series already tipped last week, bringing LG’s tally to 18 new series for the year. Four of the newly announced lines are UHD, seven are LCD, and four are plasmas.
It’s a bold statement of intent: This is LG saying it can go toe to toe with Samsung, by far the dominant force in today’s TV market.
UHD will be big in 2014.
There’s no doubt that ultra high definition—particularly 4K—will be the biggest story in display tech in 2014, and LG is jumping right on the bandwagon.
The company’s UHD models include the 105-inch curved UC9; the UB9800 in 65, 79, 84, and 98 inches; the UB9500 in 55 and 65 inches; and the UB8500 in 49 and 55 inches. Each series is 3D-capable and fitted with LG’s 2014 smart platform, also new for this year. The 105UC9 carries an eye-popping MSRP of $69,999.
OLED? Yeah, that’s coming too.
LG’s new OLED TVs build upon the foundation laid by last year’s EA9800. LG showed off the stunning 77-inch, 4K-resolution OLED TV announced last week—the EC9800. It’s the only LG OLED that’s also 3D-capable, and compatible with the company’s smart platform. The 77EC9800 carries a MSRP of $29,999, putting it well out of reach for most mere mortals.
The other two OLED series—the EC9300 and the EA8800—are 55-inch, 1080p iterations. The 55EA8800, also known as the “Gallery OLED,” is fitted with a speaker system that’s hidden behind a picture frame—perfect for everyone who’s ever wanted to disguise their TV as a painting.
LCD is still the dominant tech.
While less flashy than the UHD and OLED tech, LG’s new LCDs are the heart of their product lineup. New models include the high-end LB7100, LB6500, and LB6300 models; the midrange LB6000 and LB5800; and the entry-level LB4700, and LB4500.
The high-end TVs are all WebOS compatible, come with LG’s signature Magic Remote controller, and are capable of at least 120 Hz (the LB7100 is 240 Hz). That last series will also make use of LG’s TruBlack contrast-enhancement software. The flagship LB7100 comes in 55-, 60-, 65-, and 70-inch varieties; the LB6500 in 47, 50, 55, and 60 inches; and the LB6300 as 42-, 47-, 50-, 55-, 60-, and 65-inchers.
The midrange TVs are all Full-HD 1080p models, but none are 3D-capable or particularly smart. The LB6000 houses a 120 Hz panel, while the LB5800 stands in as the more-affordable mid-range option with a 60 Hz panel. The LB6000 is available in 47, 50, 55, and 60 inches, the LB5800 in 32-, 39-, 42-, 47-inch sizes.
Last and decidedly least, LG’s two entry-level series are available in only three sizes this year: the LB7400 can only be had in a 28-inch form factor, and the LB4500 comes in even smaller 22- and 24-inch varieties. Both of the entry-level LCD series are only capable of 720p resolution.
Plasma TVs are still kicking.
Despite the recent departure of Panasonic from the plasma TV market, it appears not all hands are ready to abandon ship.
LG’s new plasma lineup includes four PDPs and the PN4500 from last year. The new plasma series include the flagship PN6900, the PB6600, the PB5600, and the PB560B. None of LG’s plasmas will be equipped with the new smart platform.
The 60-inch PN6900 features a native 1080p resolution and is LG’s only 3D-capable plasma this year. The PB6600 and PB5600 are 1080p varieties; the PB6600 is available in 50- and 60-inch sizes, while the PB5600 is only available in 60-inch form. Finally, the PB560B stands in as the year’s entry-level option, available as a 50-inch model at 720p resolution.
Home audio is important, too.
LG’s big addition to the home audio category is its new LAB540W sound plate, which fits underneath a 32- to 55-inch TV and provides 4.1-channel, 320-watt sound. It even comes with an external wireless subwoofer. Other features include a built-in 3D Blu-ray player that also includes LG’s Smart TV platform, essentially turning any display into a smart TV. Compatible smartphones and tablets can stream music directly to the LAB540W.
Two wireless speakers are also part of LG’s home audio plan: the 70-watt NP8740 and the 40-watt NP8540. Consumers will be able to stream music to these speakers via a smartphone and tablet app. The company touts a dual-tweeter arrangement capable of playing hi-fi 24-bit/192kHz audio.
LG will have two sound bars for 2014: the flagship NB5540 and the NB3740A. Both feature 4.1-channel, 320-watt sound, and content-streaming from Netflix, Vudu, CinemaNow, Pandora and vTuner. The flagship NB5540 model will come with a high fidelity digital-to-analog converter for superior audio quality.
By Lee Neikirk