LG to Add 48” TVs to its OLED Line; Fixes Blocking and Flashing Problem
March 18, 2019
LG recently announced plans to use MMG when building 3 65” panels/substrate that would concurrently include 2 48” panels. The plan to expand its OLED TV line up to 48 inches was revealed at an OLED conference in Korea. LG’s manufacturing partners took to the stage to map out the future of OLED TV in today's teeming television market. LG announced the latest OLED panel size alongside the mention of new form factors – LG Signature Series OLED R (LG’s rollable television range) – coming to the company’s OLED range. However, the South Korean tech giant hasn’t provided any confirmation of a release date for these new 48-inch OLEDs. OLED panels currently include 55-inch, 65-inch, and77-inch models; notwithstanding LG’s premium 88-inch 8K OLED. Size constraints have always been a major issue for consumers with the means to buy OLEDs but lack of space to house them. The prospects of a 48-inch OLED TV are expected to come as excellent news for consumers. A 48-inch OLED panel will not only offer consumers flexibility but might also bring down the price, which would make the innovative panel technology available to a broader audience.
LG’s president of Mobile Communications and Home Entertainment, Brian Kwon, said. The production of 48” displays simultaneous with 65” panels will give LG significant flexibility to make the 48” very competitive with comparable size LCDs or to reduce the price of the 65” panels. Consumers can also expect to see a commercial version of LG’s rollable TV sometime later in the year. A mid-year update will also introduce support for Apple AirPlay 2 and Homekit on select LG smart TV models. A firmware update will bring support for Amazon’s Alexa voice control, making LG the only TV brand to feature support for both Alexa and Google Assistant without the need of an extra speaker.
LG has also created a firmware update that tackles the blocking and flashing problems reported last year. LG’s new firmware (currently version number 04.10.31, though this could vary by region) works on 55-inch and 65-inch C8 models and hugely reduces the blocky, grey ‘wash’ and strange posterization issues that were so visible before. Even with especially tough scenes such as the ‘peeping Tom’ sequence that starts at around 35:27 in Vikings Season 5, Part 2, Episode 12 on Amazon Prime Video. The noise hasn’t completely vanished. But it rarely appears and is much subdued when the new firmware was applied that its hardly noticeable.
The solution to both the flashing and elevated noise issues involved adjusting the near black management of its picture processing engine. LG confirmed that because its solution is specific to LG’s processing, it won't work with other brands of OLED TV experiencing similar issues. Each brand will have to develop its own fixes through updates to its own video processing engines.
Similar issues seem to be affecting Sony's A9F TVs. But since LG's fix is specific to its own video processing system, Sony will have to try to develop its own separate firmware fix. There were reports of similar but significantly less aggressive issues on some Philips (Europe) OLED TVs, too. LG said the firmware update that fixes the issues on LG’s 2018 OLED models is essentially finalized already, and is expected to start rolling out to C8, E8, W8 and G8 models by early April at the latest. The US and Europe will likely get the update first, with other territories following shortly after.