Yesterday I spent some time in the “INXS” room of the Ovolo Hotel in Woolloomooloo. Lined up there were three 65 inch LG OLED TVs. LG was showing off its newest series of OLED TVs, the B6T series. This series incorporates a number of quite significant improvements over the series it’s replacing.
Before getting to the details, let’s remember what OLED is. Organic Light Emitting Diode panels are a relatively new way of producing images. LCD panels work by using liquid crystals to control the amount of light passing through them. So-called LED TVs are LCD TVs which use LEDs to produce the light. Most of these “localise” the light, so the brighter parts of the picture have a stronger back light, while the darker parts have their light turned down.
The problem is, low levels of light still manage to leak through the LCD pixels, even if they’re completely switched off.
With OLED, each pixel generates its own light. There is no backlight. If black is needed, the pixel switches all the way off. The result? Perfect blacks, all the way down to the pixel level.
So, back to LG’s new offerings.
There are two B6T models: 55 inches (model OLED55B6T) and 65 inches (model OLED65B6T). Both are flat screen models rather than curved (LG shared that the flat screens are far more popular than the curved ones). Apart from size, they’re pretty much the same. The headline new features are that they are brighter, that they support Dolby Vision, and that they use the 3.0 version of LG’s WebOS operating system.
Of course, they have all the stuff you expect in a premium TV today: Ultra High Definition; support for UltraHD Blu-ray; recording and time shifting of live TV; network with web browser and assorted apps, along with both wired and WiFi network connections; screen mirroring via Miracast from your Android phone or Windows 10 computer; remote control app; Freeview Plus EPG and catchup TV; voice commands and, more importantly, the ability to search for programs by voice; Bluetooth for external speakers or headphones; Harman/Kardon designed audio; USB connections; music, video and photo streaming from the network.
And, being OLED, the panels are super slim, just a few millimetres thick for more than half of their surface.
Apart from such things as built-in webcams, which nobody does any more (I guess they seemed a bit 1984-ish to customers), you’re going to be hard put to find any features which are missing.
So what were those three new features?
First, they are brighter and more colourful. No other modern TVs can match OLED TVs for deep black levels, and very, very few can even come close. But some premium LCD/LED TVs have partly made up for this at the other end by offering much higher brightness levels. The LG B6T TVs have bumped the brightness levels from their predecessors’ 420 nits to 700 nits. That makes them better in the day time, and takes better advantage of such things as High Dynamic Range UltraHD Blu-ray movies.
In addition, LG has bumped up the colour capabilities from 88 per cent of the P3 DCI colour space to 99 per cent. If that doesn’t mean much to you, don’t worry. It just means that the TV can reproduce more of the colours on new media such as UltraHD Blu-ray.