LG and Samsung TVs at CES: Bezel-free, smaller OLEDs, and more

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What’s going on in the world of high-end TVs? LG’s and Samsung’s announcements at CES 2020 have already provided a clear picture of what we can expect. The latest trend is wall-mounted TVs designed to be flush with the surface they’re mounted on (or close to it).

New CPUs offer machine learning-based features to improve picture quality based on the type of content viewed. Plus, LG introduced a smaller OLED model size, Samsung is pitching a TV with virtually no bezels, and new 8K models are making their way to consumers’ homes.

Let’s start with LG’s announcements.

LG OLEDs

The 48-inch size is a new one. LG’s reps have primarily focused their discussions of this smaller TV on gaming, setting it up at the show with a PC gaming rig on a desk. Like other C-series TVs, it has just 13ms input lag in some modes, supports variable refresh rates via both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, can refresh at up to 120Hz at 4K, and supports the HDR Gaming Interest Group’s HGiG Mode. HGiG is a new standard meant to ensure optimal HDR settings when playing specific games, with game companies involved in defining the settings.

Unfortunately, this size is not available in the cheaper B-series lineup, which also forgoes some high-end features, like the latest processor, to bring the price down.

Once again, LG isn’t claiming to have introduced radically improved new panels (not that anyone was complaining much about the existing ones), but it is touting its built-in Alpha 9 Gen 3 AI processor and its ability to fine-tune the image in local zones based on the type of content being viewed, as well as the viewing environment.

For example, the TVs with this processor (11 of the sets introduced this year) can guess the genre of the content and automatically set the appropriate display settings or recognize individual objects within the scene and apply processing to them accordingly. New OLED models will support Dolby Vision IQ, which adjusts settings like brightness and color based on the ambient lighting in the room.

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