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The best TVs of CES 2018: LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony

TVs have once again taken centre stage at CES 2018.

There's been no shortage of show-stopping novelties, be it The Wall (Samsung's modular architecture concept that allows a TV screen to increase or decrease in size) or LG's 65in OLED TV that can be rolled up like a carpet. And it seems the TV industry is on a mission to make 8K an inevitability.

But in terms of what your 2018 TV might be, it's the flagship screens that tell you which way the wind is blowing...

LG: five new OLED ranges

LG has vowed it will make "the best TV even better" - and, as supplier of OLED TV panels to the TV industry as a whole, it's certainly in a position to do so.

It has five new OLED ranges for 2018, all available in screen sizes from 55in to 77in. Dubbed W8, G8, E8, C8 and B8, each promises 50% more processing power than the 2017 ranges they replace. They're ready to handle frames rates of up to 120 per second, too.

They're all part of LG's ThinQ concept, too - which at this stage means the ability to learn your watching habits and (for the US and Korea to begin with) direct Google Assistant interactivity.

LG's 2018 OLEDs are also packing HLG, HDR10 and Dolby Vision varieties of HDR - and, uniquely for a TV manufacturer, Technicolor's Advanced HDR.

And the company has widened the HDR debate yet further by announcing 'HLG Pro' and 'HDR Pro' modes, designed to replicate the effect of dynamic HDR from static HDR10 material using LG's "dynamic tone mapping" expertise.

MORE: HDR TV - what is it? How can you get it?

Panasonic: from Hollywood to your home

Understandly proud of 2018 being its centenary year, Panasonic is (in part) celebrating with two new 4K OLED TVs.

The difference between the Z950 and Z800 ranges is, basically, a soundbar - the model with the bigger number is supplied with a Technics-voiced 'Blade' soundbar. Otherwise, they're identically specified.

This means 55in or 65in screen sizes, support for HDR10+ (rather than the rival dynamic standard Dolby Vision) and Panasonic's latest picture-processing suite, HCX.

With HCX, and especially its 'Dynamic LUT' (which allows users tremendous scope to tweak luminance levels, especially at the darker end of the spectrum), Panasonic intends to bring "Hollywood to your home".

And like LG with its 'HDR Pro' processing, Panasonic's 'Dynamic Scene Optimiser' is designed to mimic dynamic HDR when playing standard HDR10 content.

MORE: HDR10+ - everything you need to know

Samsung: QLED > OLED

Samsung, of course, has no truck with OLED TV tech, preferring its proprietary QLED technolgy. And there's no denying we've been pretty impressed with some of the fruits of its QLED labours in the past.

But beyond confirming QLED as the technology to power its 2018 flagship TVs, Samsung has been uncharacteristically coy about what its 2018 line-up might consist of.

What we do know for sure is screen backlighting will be direct and local rather than edge-lit, which should allow peak brightness of over 2000 nits. And Bixby, Samsung's bespoke voice assistant, will find its way into your 2018 Samsung TV too.

MORE: OLED vs QLED - which is the best technology?

Sony: additions, not replacements

Entirely justifiably, Sony has left well enough alone with its A1 range of OLED TVs, which continues into 2018. But it has announced the AF8 range, which will slot in underneath its flagships.

Available in 55in and 65in screen sizes, AF8 is due in shops this Spring. HLG, HDR10 and (via an as-yet unscheduled firmware update) Dolby Vision are all supported - and, although there's no word about direct voice interaction, AF8 can be controlled via Google or Amazon smart speakers.

And, perhaps most pertinently of all, AF8 models come complete with a little stand that should make siting them a sight easier than the A1 is.

MORE: Dolby Vision - everything you need to know


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Sony KD-65AF8 hands-on