New year, new you. That's a sentiment echoed by most TV manufacturers each January, as the major players announce their grand market-dominating plans for the coming year – many at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. And, in 2019 LG is no exception.
It's a year marked by collaboration, as seen in the Alexa and Google Assistant support coming to new LG ThinQ smart TVs in 2019. Or the Airplay 2 support coming by way of Apple, allowing streaming of iTunes movies and TV shows. There's also be a host of visual enhancements with the new Alpha A9 (Gen. 2) processor, for better color correction and support for 120fps frame rates on high-end LG TVs.
But we're also seeing a lot more than just processor upgrades. LG have really pushed the envelope when it comes to form factor, with the first of its rollable OLED televisions – the LG Signature Series OLED TV R – finally coming to market this year.
That said, the 2019 general line-up will be similar to last year: LG OLED TVs at the high end, Super UHD or 'NanoCell' TVs – which have a lot of the same components as the OLED TVs, but lack the main OLED panel – in the middle, and then traditional 4K TVs and finally FHD screens at the bottom.
With there being so many different models to take in, we thought we'd lay out the whole 2019 line-up announced so far, from the high-end OLEDs to newly-branded NanoCell TVs, in one long piece. (We'll add the UHD and FHD models as and when they're announced!)
Some of the specs listed below could potentially change by each LG TV's retail release, but for the most part the specs you see here should be the components that make it in the final product.
LG 2019 TV technology
Another year, another processor. The biggest change for the high-end screens (the OLED line-up) is the switch from last year's Alpha 9 (a9) processor to the a9 Gen 2.
2018's Alpha 9 silicon upgrade promised a 35% boost in CPU and GPU speeds, equating to smoother motion handling, object-based contrast enhancement for better sharpness and detailing and a technology called True Color Accuracy Pro.
We're getting more of the same with the 2nd-generation processor, with a big focus on 'intelligent AI' and 'machine learning algorithms' to enhance picture, audio and software performance – with a new algorithm that's able to analyze the source content and optimize for ambient viewing conditions.
We know for a fact the new a9 Gen 2 chip is being used in the LG Signature Series OLED R and new range of Z9, W9, C9, and E9 OLEDs – even the budget B9 model gets the latest chip!
The new Alpha 9 processor also has the heft needed for High Frame Rate (HFR, 120/4K) – for that smooth motion crucial for sports, action, or gaming – but it'll only be in 2019 that we see LG TVs implement the HDMI 2.1 ports to make the most of it, so you can display in 120fps/4K from cabled sources, console, and media players.
(Last year users could make do with HFR streaming from the likes of Netflix, YouTube, BBC, FOX Sports, Amazon and broadcasts, though compatible content was few and far between – we'll likely see more emerge as a larger number of compatible televisions enter the market.)
In May 2018 we saw LG roll out Google Assistant to all of its OLED and Super UHD TVs – meaning you could start using your voice to switch inputs, change the channel, connect to other smart home devices, and integrate with Google's Photos and Maps applications. This year's LG TV line-up – for OLED and Super UHD, at least – will also be arriving with Alexa capability for an even wider range of voice control options.
LG OLED 2019 Models
LG Signature Series OLED R (available in 65 inches): The standout television for 2019 is undoubtedly the 65R9 rollable OLED, featuring LG's new a9 Gen 2 processor. First teased at CES 2018, it's being slated for release in late 2019, using a flexible OLED panel to unfurl the television display at the touch of a button – perfect for saving space and, let's be honest, impressing guests. There's no RRP yet, but it'll certainly cost a small fortune – start rolling up those dollar bills.
LG OLED Z9 (available in 88 inches): As the flagship LG OLED – or at least, the flagship that doesn't curl up into a box – the LG OLED Z9 is an 8K powerhouse with big promises for 8K upscaling and 'improved noise reduction' for clean, smooth images. With 33 million pixels across 88 inches of screen, it'll certainly have to work hard to do it – and the a9 Gen 2 processor will surely come in handy.
LG OLED W9 (available in 65, 77 inches): The W9 upgrade to last year's LG W8 will come with the new a9 Gen 2 processor's improvements to High Frame Rate, HDR, and overall picture and sound processing – as well as the same thin, picture frame shape that made this 'wallpaper' television series so attractive. The W8 came with a 60W 4.2 Dolby Atmos soundbar built in to the set, so we're likely to see similar audio credentials for this model.
LG OLED E9 (available in 55, 65 inches): If last year is anything to go by, the new E Series model will feature the same specs at the W9, but with a glass body and tacked-on chassis instead of the W8's 'wallpaper' design.
LG OLED C9 (available in 55, 65, 75 inches): The newest C Series model is confirmed, and experience teaches us to expect a neat balance of performance and price, without ditching the company's latest processor to do it. Last year's LG C8 came with a 2.2 soundbar too.
LG OLED B9 (available in 55, 65 inches): Unlike last year's LG B8 model, the more budget-friendly B Series OLED won't be left behind with an ageing processor. The LG B9 will carry the a9 (Gen 2) chip, though with a cheaper build and less advanced panel than the other OLEDs in this list.
LG NanoCell 2018 Models
SM9970 (available in 75 inches): LG's leading LCD television set will be the SM99, a 75-inch TV with 8K resolution. LG is rebranding its Super UHD TVs as the far fancier 'NanoCell' range, to better represent the jump in picture quality and color accuracy compared to cheaper LG models – with the high-end a9 Gen 2 processor and High Frame Rate to make it happen.
SM9500 (available in 65 inches): More NanoCell, less processing. The LG SM9500 packs in the 2nd-generation Alpha 7 processor, rather than the Alpha 9, but comes with Full Array Dimming Pro for more uniform black levels, as well as Dolby Vision and Dolby Vision, and LG's ThinQ AI smart platform. No Dolby Atmos soundbar, though.
SM9000 (available in 55, 65 inches): One step below the previous model, with the same a7 Gen 2 processor, but Full Array Dimming rather than the upgraded 'Pro' technology seen on the SM9500 – meaning less lighting control and less consistent brightness.
SK8600 (available in 55, 49 inches): An update to last year's new SK8500 range, this model sticks with the a7 Gen 2 processor, but with a generally cheaper design and only more basic Local Array dimming zones rather than the Full Array Dimming of the more costly models.
- Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2019 coverage. We're live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets.