Tuesday, 31 March 2015 12:05

LG launches next-gen 4K UHD range and new AV range Featured

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LG 4K UHD TV event in Sydney showcased new 4K UHD TVs, better colours, better upscaling and plenty more - but no OLED 4K TVs yet.

LG is seeking to claim dominance in the Australian TV market with a massive range of new televisions, featuring OLED, 4K UHD and LED LCD TVs in all the sizes from 32-inches through to a 105-inch model on the way.

However, there was no OLED 4K UHD television launched, which is still due to arrive sometime later this year despite a demo OLED 4K UHD model being shown off late last year.  

The company has also promoted its Netflix compatibility, having worked with Netflix since 2012 in the US to have its range Netflix certified.

LG is hoping that consumers will not only upgrade to larger size TVs, but also the latest generation 4K Ultra HD models - especially for those that have been waiting for 4K technology to cycle through a couple of generations first.

1. LG’s next-gen 4K UHD range now comprises 66% of LG’s 2015 lineup, with one of its flagships, the UF950T series, offering ‘ColourPrime’ technology, promising 20% better and richer colours than ‘conventional’ TVs, although only as LED/LCD 4K UHD models, not OLED 4K models. 

2. Ultra Luminance technology - designed to enhance the lightest and darkest parts of displayed content - the example given is of city scenes at night.

3. A 6-step upscaler which is across LG’s 2015 4K UHD range, designed to bring lower-res content as close to 4K resolution as possible. Naturally this will depend on the quality of the source content - if you’re trying to upscale a 360P YouTube video or a converted VHS recording, it’s not going to look as good as upscaled 720P or 1080P content, but it is LG’s best upscaling technology yet.

4. WebOS 2.0 - the latest version, offering what is arguably the best Smart TV experience available, and with quad-core processors in most of the range, boot-up times are faster than before, multi-tasking apps is naturally smoother, letting you access the on-screen Smart TV menu without interrupting what you’re watching.

5. Netflix compatibility finally comes to Australian LG TVs - with incredible quality of streamed content promised, on select LG TVs and AV units stretching back to 2012.

6. LG is also promoting the fact it’s the only company to offer OLED, 4K and LED/LCD technology in the Australian market at the same time - including, of course, Curved TVs - but still no OLED 4K UHD TVs which are still to come to Australia, curved or otherwise. 

7. LG is touting OLED TV as being ‘affordable’ and ‘the future of TV’, and is ‘asking consumers to take the OLED Challenge in store’ to see for themselves.

Lambro Skropidis, LG Australia’s GM of Marketing said: “Whether people are watching broadcast TV, Blu-Ray movies, Foxtel, streamed content through FreeviewPlus or the latest Video On Demand services, consumers can trust LG to deliver a brilliant viewing experience.

“Our customers are at the centre of our focus at LG and we understand they have a wide variety of preferences when it comes to purchasing a new TV. That’s why we’re proud to be the only company in the TV market to offer these three types of technology for them to choose from – OLED, 4K Ultra HD and LED/LCD.

“We’re aware it’s not just the size of the screen that matters, it’s also the quality and resolution of the picture – and that’s why our 4K Ultra HDs are proving so popular; they’re simply incredible to watch.”

The two new Hero 4K UHD TVs are the UF950T - the LG Prime 4K Ultra HD TV, and the UF850T - billed as a Next Generation 4K Ultra HD TV.

The UF950T comes in sizes from 55 to 79-inches at prices from $4,699 to $12,999, while the UT850T comes in sizes of 49 to 65-inches at prices from $2,599 to $5,199.

Naturally there will be competition at retail level, although prices aren’t initially likely to drop much right at launch if at all - you’ll have to see what the usual set of retailers do in that regard.

You can see the prices and specs of LG’s new TV here - this page takes you to the new 4K range but the other categories are listed on the left. A table with full pricing is below.

LG also has brand new Music Flow multi-room sound bars which naturally work in tandem with LG’s 4K UHD range of TVs and LG’s Music Flow system, alongside being Google Cast ready.

LG has launched a new H4 (NP8350) Portable Music Flow speaker - LG’s first with Wi-Fi, while ‘Motion Play’ technology in the new range uses low-energy Bluetooth technology to detect which room you’re in so music is played to the closest speaker - unless you want music across all speakers at the same time.

Price is $279 with four hours of battery life, acting as a standalone Bluetooth speaker when out of Wi-Fi range and connecting seamlessly to Music Flow systems when in Wi-Fi range.

LG’s hero sound bar is the LAS950M - 700 watts of power, 9 front facing speakers, a wireless subwoofer and Google Cast readiness for $1,299.

LG also has new 2015 Blu-ray players that will turn non-Smart TVs into Smart TVs complete with Netflix compatibility.

Below is the pricing table for LG’s new 2015 TV range, as well as a table showing which LG TVs from 2012 onwards are now compatible with Netflix.

Following these two tables are my notes from the presentation, mostly notes of what LG’s Grant Vandenberg and Bruce Leigh were saying:

LG 2015 TV prices

LG TV Netflix compatibility

Notes from what LG’s Grant Vandenberg and Bruce Leigh were presenting at this morning’s LG 4K UHD TV 2015 range launch:

OLED segment - firmly established - averaging $1m sales per month.

55-inch now available in 200 outlets. 30% of the total market by 2020.

4K didn’t exist as a segment two years ago.

4K segment continues to grow - about 30% of the market in value terms, over 50% by the end of the year.

When Australian consumers are confronted by new tech they adopt it and get on board.

Size matters. people bought a 42-inch TV 5 years ago. Now they are buying 55-inch and 65-nch

55- 64% of sales

65-inch 25% of sales.

Big screen and high quality.

Here are the numbers of new TVs from LG in 2015

5 x 64-inch models
1 x 70-inch model
3 x 79-inch models
1 x 84-inch model
1 x 98-inch model
1 x 105-inch model

66% of LG’s range will be 4K Ultra HD TVs

What sets LG apart:

ColourPrime - LG Prime 4K UHD TV. The UF-950T. Best of the best 4K TV. Takes colours to a brand new level. Increases the range of colours that can be displayed on screen. More phosphorous colours - more reds, greens and blue. Bright and vivid colour.

LG ColourPrime delivers more colours than ever before. - over 20% more colours with colour prime than convention TVs.

Can be activated with the colour gamut setting.

We asked 1000 consumers, if they were buying a TV - would they want brighter or more natural colours? 74% say more natural colours. Only 26% wanted brighter colour.

These TVs produce beautiful, natural colours. 4 series in this range. Most powerful upscaling engine.

4K TVs this year - ultra luminance technology. Analyses brightest and darkest part of the content - city scenes at night, star scenes - great if there’s a bright light coming out of a dark background.

The next thing is the field refresh rates - 100Hz and 200Hz depending on the model.

6 step upscaler creates additional frames to eliminate the judder

Netflix. Big news for us and the industry. Will change - the start of a new thing - consumers can watch 4K footage - if they have 25Mbps - they can connect directly to Netflix and watch content in 4K resolution such as Marco Polo and more in UHD.

Netflix and LG - range of TV certified by Netflix, back to 2012 models.

One TV here is set up with Netflix - the curved UHD TV. We have a modem here capable of delivering 25Mbps speeds for 4K resolution - it will downgrade to Full HD. Either way it gives a great resolution.

Freeview Plus is the other content partner of note.

VP9 Codec Support - 4K Youtube content directly through the TV.

Film your own 4K content. Go Pro camera - Go Pro Hero 4 designed to capture 4K footage. Go Pro app - LG is the only major TV manufacturer in Australia to have it. Doesn’t have 4K footage but does have Full HD footage.

LG G3 also captures 4K content. Film your kids playing soccer or favourite event on your phone and watch on your 4K TV.

All of these things combined will really drive the category.

6 step upscaling across the entire 4K range. The most powerful upscaler ever. Brings it close to 4K resolution.

Upscaling differs between brands. LG thinks its 6-step upscaler sets LG TVs apart this year.

webOS 2.0 this year - even better. LG’s next-gen Smart TV platform. Ever quicker and more simply. What’s different? It’s faster - a quad core processor speeds up boot time, moving around apps, opening apps - this is multitasking technology.

Faster and simpler access to features.

When you want to switch between devices. My channels feature.

UF950T - 55-inch, 65-inch and 7-inch

UF 850T - 49, 55, 60 and 65-inch sizes.

UF 770T series - 43, 49, 55, 60, 65, 70 and 79-inch.

UF 870T/UG 880T

55, 65 and 79-inch.

LF 6300 - 32-inch, 40, 49, 55, 60 and 65-inch - dual-core processor.

All sizes have WebOS 2.0

LF5500/LF550B

32, 42 and 49-inch.

LG asking you to compare OLED in the store - which one looks better?

Spent $3m in advertising over the past 6 weeks. LG a major sponsor of the cricket world cup. The final was the most watched cricket game in the history of Australian cricket. 4m people tuned into the coverage.

A lot of people now familiar with OLED just in the last six weeks.

LG is the only manufacturer offering three different types of tech to consumers - OLED, 4K OLED and LED/LCD.

6 key reasons why LG is different this year - where technique meets technology.

1) Affordable OLED - affordable and incredible picture quality
2) ColourPrime delivers and new level of colour reproduction
3) Next-gen 4K UHD TV
4) 6-step upscaler
5) Incredible quality of streamed content
6) WebOS 2.0

Sets the standard in Smart TV

A lot of lifestyle TV here today - we have a lot of lifestyle angles for oyu.

+++

Now the AV part of the session. Bruce Leigh - Category Manager, Audio Visual.

TV sound is making a comeback. All those years of tiny speakers in super slim bezels has had an impact on sound quality

But now Harmon Kardon speakers in LG TVs dials up the sound quality.

However LG accessories such as Sound bars can really come into their own.

AV range is moving with the times and the latest trends.

1. Big changes - sound bar market growth - 30% increase over 2014 - 77.2 mil in ’14 and 100.6 million in 2015.

2) wi-Fi multi-room audio market growth - 21m $ in 2014 growing to 51.5m $ in 145% growth 2015.

LG derived estimations

LG Audio Visual 2015 Line Up Chart.

75% of LG AV products now geared towards the trend in better audio.

LG Sound Bar 2015 line up - Music Flow bars
LAS950M - 700W - $1299
LAS750M - 360W - $899

LG Music Flow Sound Bars - LG is one of the few companies that deliver a total home audio solution.

3 solutions in 2015

3 music flow sound bars. 4 music flow speakers.

What’s new in 2015 for Music Flow? Launching the H4 (NP8350) - portable Wi-Fi multroon speaker - Google cast ready.

LG Smart Blu-ray players. Netflix, YouTube, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, USB, CD, Wi-Fi, music transmission.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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