CES 2015

LG UHD TVs in 2015 shoot for wider colors, better sound, and an even thinner design

At CES 2015, LG will show new UHD TVs with quantum dots, Harman Kardon sound, and an updated webOS smart TV platform

Published: December 30, 2014 11:00 AM
LG is rolling out two new color-improvement technologies, including quantum dots.

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Quantum dot technology, which uses tiny nano-crystals to help a TV provide wider, deeper colors, is one of the five trends already emerging at CES 2015, and LG doesn't intend to be a wallflower at that party.

The company is heading to CES with its first quantum dot UHD TVs, as well as sets with a new "Ultra Slim" design concept, plus some new TV sound systems designed in conjunction with touted audio brand Harman Kardon.

LG is actually including two types of color-improvement technology in its UHD TVs this year, which will bear the "ColorPrime" moniker.

Premium models get the quantum dot technology, while other sets have what LG calls "Wide Color LED" technology. While the former uses red and green nano-crystals that glow when hit by a blue LED to provide a claimed 30 percent boost in color, the Wide Color sets use different phosphor-based LEDs that can produce a 25 percent increase in color, according to LG.

Just note that content will need to be created that can take full advantage of the wider color gamut.

LG tends to use IPS panels, which offer wider-than-average horizontal viewing angles compared to most LCD TVs, but often at the expense of black levels and contrast. To address these issues, LG's 2015 UHD sets will include "True Black Control" local dimming technology, along with a "Contrast Optimizer" feature that attempts to improve color contrast and brightness.

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Some of LG's 2015 UHD sets have an even slimmer design.

In our tests, we've found that many slim TVs suffer when it comes to sound quality. LG says that five of its higher-end 2015 Ultra HD TV series—UC9, UB9800, UF9500, UF9400, and UF8500 models—will feature multi-channel "Ultra Surround" front-firing sound systems, which were developed collaboratively with Harman Kardon. The UF9500-series sets come with an integrated "Auditorium" stand that's designed to reflect and centralize sound for listeners.

We were favorably impressed with LG's webOS smart TV platform this year, and it's been upgraded for 2015 to make it even more intuitive, LG claims. Dubbed webOS 2.0, the interface has customizable menus on the tile-based Launcher Bar, and its boot-up time has been cut by 60 percent, the company claims.

Finally, LG is rolling out a new ultra-slim design concept under the Cinema Screen badge. Details are so far scarce, but apparently it's an ultra-thin, slim-bezel design where even the rear of the set become part of its aesthetic appeal. We'll know more when we see it at the company's CES press conference next week.

In fact, since CES 2015 is now less than a week away, we'll soon be able to spend some time with all of the LG's—and other brands'—new models to check out the latest technologies and features. So keep checking back for all our CES reports, including our first impressions of many of the new 2015 TVs, along with details—such as pricing—that have so far been missing.

—James K. Willcox

Click on the image above to find all of Consumer Reports' coverage from CES 2015.

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