LG 8K TVs To Go On Sale—In South Korea
Since first displaying their 8K TVs in Berlin at IFA 2018 this past fall, the retail community and greater public have been waiting for details on when the company’s new flagship sets would become available. And now, we have our answer. In a statement released Monday morning in Seoul, South Korea, LG said that preorders for the 88-inch 8K OLED TV would begin this week in its home country. North America and Europe will follow sometime in the third quarter. And, just like with the last LG OLED availability announcement, we’re still waiting on pricing details for the 8K models. (Update: In a statement to The Verge, LG said the 88-inch 8K TV will retail for 50 million won, roughly $42,000; though it will have a reduced price of 40 million won for preorders—about $34,000—and ship with a free LG air purifier.)
The 8K OLED TV introduction from LG will mark the first official 8K OLED TV to hit the market. Previously, Sharp introduced an 8K AQUOS TV, Samsung’s 8K TV relies on their QLED technology, and Sony’s 8K TV is a regular old LED display. Like the others, though, LG’s 8K OLED TV will pack more than 33 million pixels into the 88-inch panel, which equates to 16-times the number of pixels in a 1080p TV and four times more than 4K UHD TVs. What the TV adds is its impressive and often-awarded OLED technology, which allows each of those 33 million-plus pixels to be self-emitting, ensuring “the most lifelike colors” and wide viewing angles.
“Being the first to market with the world’s first and largest 8K OLED TV shows our commitment to leading the ultra-premium TV segment and delivering the ultimate viewing experience,” Brian Kwon, president of the Mobile Communications and Home Entertainment companies at LG, said in the statement. “LG was a pioneer in bringing OLED to market and we will continue to introduce state-of-art TV technologies that push the boundaries of what’s possible in home entertainment.”
The OLED technology and 8K resolution are only enhanced by the fact that LG integrated their second-gen Alpha 9 processor, which enhances both picture and sound quality in the TV. The chip utilizes deep learning technology to optimize content by recognizing source quality and implementing the best algorithm to improve the picture and sound. The Alpha 9 helped make LG’s top-end 4K OLED TVs some of the best in the industry, but the upscaling is going to be even more critical in the forthcoming 8K models given the complete lack of 8K content out in the market right now.
Adding a layer of smartness to the 8K OLED TVs from LG, the company said that some markets where the TV is released, users will be able to access built-in versions of both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The smart assistants will give users the ability to control their TV experience as well as any connected smart devices that are tied into either (or both) of the smart home platforms and the related digital voice assistant.
Where LG falls just short of the other 8K models we’ve seen is in the actual screen size. Granted, an 88-inch 8K TV is going to impress regardless, Sony and Samsung have both introduced 98-inch models of their 8K offerings. Those 10 inches may not matter with screens that are so large in this new 8K segment as it is. We may get our answer as to why LG opted to not go so large with their 8K model when actual U.S. pricing for these TVs finally gets unveiled.