LG 2018 TVs: 4K, OLED, LCD - everything you need to know

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LG's going big on picture quality in 2018. Across all its new 4K OLED and Nano Cell Super UHD LCD TVs, LG is claiming serious improvements in noise reduction, depth enhancement and colour reproduction. They're also smarter than ever.

LG's attractive webOS operating system still runs the show but the big news is it's been beefed up by LG's ThinkQ brand of artificial intelligence. There's also support for Google Assistant, although the level of support for Google's AI varies depending on the territory.

On paper, controlling the TVs using your voice should feel more natural and conversational than in years gone by. Through the EPG on the ThinQ AI-enabled TVs, viewers can say “search for this movie’s soundtrack” or “turn off the TV when this program is over” without repeating the program’s title or specifying a time.

In practice, it all works reasonably well. Voice commands can provide a shortcut to different picture modes and the voice detection is spot on almost every time. Hopefully, the technology will develop over time and become even more intuitive.

MORE: LG announces ThinQ brand for artificially intelligent televisions

4K OLED

LG's model structure for 2018's 4K OLED TVs mirrors the approach taken in 2017 - the only difference being the '7' has been replaced by an '8'. There are five ranges in total, starting with the B8 entry-level line, proceeding through C8, E8 and G8, and ending with the wafer-thin W8 "wallpaper" OLED.

C8 to W8 all use LG's new custom-built Alpha 9 picture processor, while the B8 sets have to make do with a new version of LG's Alpha 7 processor from 2017.

LG claims the Alpha 9 delivers big improvements in noise reduction, sharpness, depth enhancement and colour reproduction. And, from what we've seen during our OLED55C8PLA and OLED55E8PLA reviews, we have to agree.

When it comes to HDR, LG has included new dynamic processing modes for both HDR10 and HLG in 2018.

Normally, both of these variants use static metadata, but LG claims its HLG Pro and HDR10 Pro processing modes (available on both its OLED and LCD TVs) can enhance the picture quality of these two formats yet further by adding dynamic tone mapping to the image.

LG has already confirmed it has no plans to support the Panasonic and Samsung-backed HDR10+. Dolby Vision support comes as standard, and LG is the only TV brand featuring Advanced HDR by Technicolor.

Also new for 2018 is support for High Frame Rates (HFR) up to 4K/120fps, but with a couple of caveats. LG's OLED and LCD TVs only meet the HDMI 2.0 standard and to get 4K, HFR and HDR over HDMI you need HDMI 2.1.

Consequently, this means the TVs will only be able to support this content if it's sent OTT (over the top) through a built-in app like Netflix. The TVs can handle HFR gaming via PC, but only at 1080p Full HD resolution.

With no 4K HFR content on the horizon, though, the lack of support isn't the end of the world, but it's worth bearing in mind if you want your TV to be completely future-proof (no Panasonic, Philips, Samsung or Sony 2018 TVs offer HDMI 2.1 support).

Also, the B8 OLED range and all of LG's Nano Cell LCD TVs (which use the Alpha 7 processor) can only output HDR or HFR at any one time, not simultaneously.

We've had 55in versions of the B8, C8 and E8 ranges through our test rooms and all these 2018 TVs have impressed us. Picture quality is excellent across the board, but our money would go on either the OLED55B8PLA or OLED55C8PLA, although there's no shortage of tough competition from Sony, Samsung and Panasonic this year.

MORE: HDR TV: What is it? How can you get it?

W8 (65in, 77in)

LG OLED65W8 - £7999 / LG OLED77W8 - £14,999

Alpha 9 Intelligent Processor

ThinQ AI

webOS

Google Assistant compatible

HDR - HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR by Technicolor

High Frame Rate support (120fps)

Separate soundbar

Dolby Atmos support

Wallpaper design

MORE: LG OLED65W8PLA hands-on

G8 (65in) (pictured top)

LG OLED65G8 - £5999

Alpha 9 Intelligent Processor

ThinQ AI

webOS

Google Assistant compatible

HDR compatible - HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR by Technicolor

High Frame Rate support (120fps)

Dolby Atmos support

Built-in soundbar

One Glass Screen design

E8 (55in, 65in)

LG OLED55E8 - £3499 / LG OLED65E8 - £4999

Alpha 9 Intelligent Processor

ThinQ AI

webOS

Google Assistant compatible

HDR compatible - HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR by Technicolor

High Frame Rate support (120fps)

Dolby Atmos support

Built-in soundbar

Picture-on-Glass design

Alpine stand

MORE: LG OLED55EPLA review

C8 (55in, 65in, 77in)

LG OLED55C8 - £2999

LG OLED65C8 - £4499

LG OLED77C8 - £7999

Alpha 9 Intelligent Processor

ThinQ AI

webOS

Google Assistant compatible

HDR compatible - HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR by Technicolor

High Frame Rate support (120fps)

Dolby Atmos support

Streamlined Alpine stand

MORE: LG OLED55C8PLA review

B8 (55in, 65in)

LG OLED55B8 - £2499 / LG OLED65B8 - £3999

Alpha 7 Intelligent Processor

ThinQ AI

webOS

Google Assistant compatible

HDR compatible - HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR by Technicolor

High Frame Rate support (120fps)

Dolby Atmos support

Alpine stand

MORE: LG OLED55B8PLA review

4K LCD

Besides its 4K OLED offerings, LG also has new Super UHD LCD TVs featuring Nano Cell technology for 2018. The headline news is the inclusion of full array LED backlighting with local dimming for select models. For these ranges, LG's claiming improved black levels and lighting control over its 2017 Super UHD sets.

Dolby Atmos decoding features across both OLED and Super UHD ranges for the first time, as does LG's 4K Cinema HDR picture processing.

SK950 (55in, 65in)

LG 55SK950 - £1999 / LG 65SK950 - £2699

Nano Cell display technology

Full-array LED backlight with local dimming

Full Array Dimming Pro

ThinQ AI

Alpha 7 Intelligent Processor

HDR - HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR by Technicolor

Dolby Atmos support

Crescent stand

SK850 (49in, 55in, 65in)

LG 49SK850 - £1299 / LG 55SK850 - £1699 / LG 65SK850 - £2499

Nano Cell display technology

Full-array LED backlight with local dimming

ThinQ AI

Alpha 7 Intelligent Processor

HDR - HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR by Technicolor

Dolby Atmos support

Crescent stand

SK810 (49in, 55in, 65in, 77in)

LG 49SK810 - £1199 / LG 55SK810 - £1499 / LG 65SK810 - £2199 / LG 77SK810 - £2999

Nano Cell display technology

Edge-lit LED backlight with local dimming

ThinQ AI

Alpha 7 Intelligent Processor

HDR - HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR by Technicolor

Dolby Atmos support

Crescent stand

SK800 (49in, 55in, 65in)

LG 49SK800 - £1199 / LG 55SK800 - £1499 / LG 65SK800 - £2199

Nano Cell display technology

Edge-lit LED backlight with local dimming

ThinQ AI

Alpha 7 Intelligent Processor

HDR - HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR by Technicolor

Dolby Atmos support

Linear stand

MORE:

Panasonic 2018 TVs: 4K, OLED, LCD - everything you need to know

Philips 2018 TVs: 4K, OLED, LCD - everything you need to know

Samsung 2018 TVs: QLED, LCD, 8K, 4K - everything you need to know

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