In addition to new projectors and new sound bars, LG will of course show off a new suite of televisions next week at CES in Las Vegas. And inside of those new TVs will be a new processor. And said processor shall be known as α (Alpha) 9 Gen 2. (And thus continuing LG's streak of naming things as awkwardly as possible.)
Why care about processors in TVs? Because when you're dealing with as much data as it takes to fill an 8K resolution screen, it matters. And it matters whether you're working with 8K native content (which you almost certainly are not) or if you're upscaling 4K content (far more likely) or if you're dealing with a 720p stream compressed to within an inch of its digital life. (It also matters for brightness levels and HDR and basically everything else these expensive marvels will show you.)
And it matters when it comes to audio, too, with LG promising "convincing" virtual surround sound, kupmixed from two-channel sources. And if that's not good enough, the new range can "intelligently set the perfect levels based on its positioning." Plus, there's Dolby Atmos on board.
And, of course, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant still come standard.
What don't these sets have? Pricing and release date. But we'll just go ahead and figure that you probably should start saving up now.
THINQ AI AND ALPHA 9 GEN 2 PROCESSOR DELIVER WHOLE NEW USER EXPERIENCE TO LG TVS
Latest TVs From LG Offer Optimized Picture and Sound and Sharp 8K Image Thanks to Deep Learning Technology
SEOUL, Jan. 3, 2019 — LG Electronics (LG) is taking the home entertainment experience to new heights with the introduction of its latest flagship TVs with ThinQ AI at CES 2019. Powered by the company's second-generation α (Alpha) 9 Gen 2 intelligent processor and deep learning algorithm, the new models offer a higher level of AI picture and sound experience quality. Thanks to the new algorithm, LG's TVs will offer enhanced picture and sound by analyzing source content as well as optimized content by recognizing ambient conditions.
Employing LG's open smart platform, LG's 2019 TV range provides access to a wide selection of popular artificial intelligence services across multiple platforms, including newly implemented Amazon Alexa in addition to the built-in Google Assistant. Users will also enjoy the ease of conversational voice recognition and an intuitive Home Dashboard that makes it possible to control a wide variety of smart home devices directly from the TV.
The α9 Gen 2 employed in LG's Z9, W9, E9 and C9 series OLED TVs heightens picture and sound quality with its deep learning algorithm (developed from a vast database of over one million visual data) which recognizes content source quality and determines the best upgrade method for optimal visual output. LG's 8K 88-inch Z9 OLED TV boasts higher processing capabilities for delivering the most realistic 8K picture quality that looks sharp, vivid and detailed thanks to 8K upscaling and improved noise reduction.
In addition to content source detection, the new processor finely adjusts the tone mapping curve in accordance with ambient conditions to offer optimized screen brightness, leveraging its ability to understand how the human eye perceives images in different lighting. The processor uses the TV's ambient light sensor to measure light levels, automatically adjusting brightness to compensate as needed. The α9 Gen 2 AI can further refine HDR content by adjusting the brightness to transform even the darkest scenes into ones with incredible contrast, detail and depth of color, even in brightly-lit rooms. And by leveraging Dolby's latest imaging innovation which intelligently adjusts Dolby Vision content, LG TVs deliver a compelling HDR experience under varying ambient light.
Sound quality is augmented by an intelligent algorithm that can up-mix two-channel audio to deliver convincing virtual 5.1 surround sound. The α9 Gen 2 optimizes output based on content type, making voices clearer in movies, dramas and news broadcasts, among others. Users can adjust sound settings to suit room conditions or let their LG TV intelligently set the perfect levels based on its positioning. What's more, LG's flagship TVs again feature Dolby Atmos to create incredibly realistic sound for more immersive entertainment.
First available on 2018 TVs with ThinQ AI, the Google Assistant is again built-in this year's lineup, delivering a streamlined experience that allows users to manage daily tasks, find answers and control compatible smart home devices. Users won't need to grab a phone to order pizza as they can do it on the TV without leaving the program that's playing on the screen.
This year, LG is expanding its AI partnerships to include Amazon Alexa in 2019 TVs with ThinQ AI to give customers more flexibility when it comes to voice services. By pressing the Amazon Prime Video button on the Magic Remote, users can manage smart home devices, ask questions and access tens of thousands of skills and even set up their ideal Alexa Routine complete with wake-up call, traffic information and favorite TV channel switching all with their voice. LG 2019 TVs with ThinQ AI also feature visually rich Alexa experiences when playing music, checking the weather or accessing one of a number of visually-enhanced skills – such as the Food Network – to find great recipes and meal inspiration. It's just as easy to keep the family organized, check orders on Amazon or take that long overdue trip to Down Under by saying, "Kayak, book a room on the Gold Coast."
And with the new conversational voice recognition feature that comes in LG's 2019 TVs with ThinQ AI, it's easier than ever to get the right answers. By understand context, the TVs allow for more complex requests meaning users won't have to make a series of repetitive commands to get the desired results. The service will be available on LG TVs with ThinQ AI in over 140 countries.
The α9 Gen 2 also powers the company's 2019 flagship 75-inch 8K LCD TV (model SM99). LG's 2019 premium LCD TVs lineup (SM9X and SM8X series) will be rolled out with a new name: NanoCell TV, to better highlight the picture enhancement provided by NanoCell technology (NanoColor), color accuracy in wide viewing angle (NanoAccuracy) and ultra-narrow thin bezel with sleek design (NanoBezel). LG's NanoCell TVs also offer AI-enhanced picture and sound, powered by a deep learning algorithm, as well as the streamlined experience offered by ThinQ.
And through the inclusion of HDMI 2.1 ports, all 2019 OLED TVs and selected NanoCell TVs with ThinQ AI will support high frame rate (HFR). The result is smoother and clearer motion at 120 frames per second for better rendering of fast-action content such as sports and action movies. Support for enhanced audio return channel (eARC) enables home theater enthusiasts to seamlessly utilize HDMI connectivity and enjoy the highest quality audio formats available with superb detail and depth. An excellent option for gamers, the new TVs are compatible with variable refresh rate (VRR) as well as automatic low latency mode (ALLM) which helps deliver a clean image, without stutter or tearing.
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