Science fiction became science fact at this year’s CES with LG’s announcement of the world’s first “wallpaper” TV – a TV with a flexible screen just 4mm deep and can be hung on the wall by magnets.
Called (rather loosely) the Signature OLED W TVs, LG’s new ultra-thin and foldable models will be available in 65- and 77-inch versions. The latter won – and rightly so – a CES 2017 Best of Innovation Award.
To keep the screen so incredibly thin across the entire back, the Signature W comes with an external soundbar that also contains all of the electronics and processing for the screen. It connects to the screen via a single cable that can be easily funneled into the wall so that the screen looks more like a window than a TV.
The soundbar / control center supports Dolby Atmos audio playback in a 4.2-channel configuration, with the Dolby Atmos height channels delivered by two circular speakers that slide an inch or two out of the chassis main soundbar when needed, disappearing down inside behind motorized covers when not. This stuff is, of course, pretty much irresistible to anyone with a hint of geekery in their DNA.
LG assures me that the panels (if they can still be called that) inside the Signature W7s do not suffer any performance compromises due to the design of their wallpaper; in fact, they use a SOC solution that is slightly superior to LG’s more common OLED offerings.
Order your W7 now!
The 65W7 is slated to launch in April, priced at just under $ 8,000 in the US – quite a bit more affordable than I expected. Apparently, seven Best Buy stores in the US will be displaying W7s and accepting pre-orders starting tomorrow (January 5). LG still claims to decide whether to sell W7s with a ‘white glove’ installation service or let consumers install them themselves, but the key point is that these remarkable new TVs will be available from typical electrical retailers rather than from retailers. be sold only by specialists. dealers.
While the W7s are LG’s most successful OLED TVs for 2017, the brand is also launching four other consumer lines. This is the G7 series available in 77 and 65 inches; the E7 series available in sizes 65 and 55 inches; the C7 series available in sizes 65 and 55 inches; and the B7 series available in sizes 65 and 55 inches.
The E7 and G7 series use the “picture on glass” design concept introduced on equivalent models in 2016, while the B7 and C7 models feature a new “thin blade” design.
All of these new models feature native Ultra HD resolutions and support no less than four different types of high dynamic range: HDR10, Hybrid Log Gamma (the new HDR system suitable for broadcast), Dolby Vision and a new system from Technicolor called Technicolor Prime. .
The new sets also all support a new active HDR system that can analyze HDR sources and introduce dynamic metadata for improved image quality, even if the source does not contain its own metadata.
As far as I know, all of LG’s new OLED TVs get a peak brightness increase from around 600-650 nits last year to around 1000 nits now – although that 1000 nits figure only works on a small “window” of 5%. A more realistic figure for daily viewing is 800 nits.
LG also claims to have improved its color management, which translates to less noise in areas of subtle color mixing, and each of its OLED TVs now supports Dolby Atmos audio.
All new OLEDs also benefit from the new intelligent webOS 3.5 system (more on that here). The only thing that may disappoint some AV fans is LG’s decision to remove 3D support from all of its OLED TVs for 2017.
Look for a first look at the OLED W series soon.
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