CES: LG Unwraps Dazzling HDR OLEDs; Partners With Dolby, Technicolor

The ultra-thin OLED “wallpaper TV” supports four flavors of high dynamic range technology.

At the first major manufacturer press conference of CES, LG unveiled a dazzling LG Signature OLED W-series as its new top-of-the-line TV.

The W-series aims to “recapture the magic of the cinema,” said LG head of product marketing Tim Alessi. It's is just one-tenth of an inch thin (in the 65-inch model) for “wallpaper TV” wall mounting, and includes Dolby Atmos immersive sound and an “Active HDR” feature that allows the TV to support four flavors of high dynamic range technology. They include Dolby Vision, Dolby’s proprietary HDR format; HDR10, an open HDR format also used for Hollywood home entertainment content; HLG, an HDR format developed by BBC and NHK, that is getting attention particularly in the broadcast world; and Advanced HDR, Technicolor’s broadcast distribution system for various HDR formats.

Many Hollywood tech execs believe HDR can make a noticeable, thrilling improvement when displaying their content. But these multiple HDR technologies also underscore issues that still need attention. At least for now, Hollywood studios may need to create multiple masters of their content, requiring more work in postproduction. To that end, LG also reported at CES that Technicolor has selected LG OLED TVs as its exclusive reference monitors for its colorists and color scientists working on Hollywood content.

Another question is how these multiple HDR options can be communicated to consumers — something the UHD Alliance (whose members include Hollywood studios and manufacturers such as LG) is working to address.

These multiple HDR options not only will be available in LG's new OLED line, but also its newly announced LCD TVs. These displays also will offer a feature that LG calls “HDR Effects,” which aims to increase brightness and contrast ratios in standard dynamic range images.

In partnership with Technicolor, the LG displays also will offer Technicolor’s “Expert Mode,” which Technicolor chief marketing officer Sandra Carvalho said aims to improve “image and color accuracy ... whether the image is displayed in standard dynamic range or HDR.”

LG also unveiled its first 4K Blu-Ray Player, capable of playing both Dolby Vision and HDR 10 content, as supported by the Blu-Ray Disc Association technical specification.

And of course most critical to HDR’s success, LG emphasized support for HDR on the content creation side of the equation, which includes the Hollywood studios, Netflix, Amazon and others.

During the press conference, LG also showed a range of new technologies including a small Hub Robot, an intelligent assistant for the home; and an Airport Guide Robot, which stands about 5 feet tall and can provide travelers with everything from gate information to weather forecasts at their travel destination.

The 2017 CES exhibition opens Thursday in Las Vegas.