CES 2024: New LG OLED TV sets focus on software

Panels largely unchanged, brightness marginally boosted but new processing implemented and extra functionality added to all models


Big-screen TVs will be one of the key trends for 2024 and LG’s choice to offer it’s top MLA-OLED tech at 83 inches for the first time is proof of that. The company will be offering even bigger OLED TVs this year, albeit without an MLA-OLED panel. (Image: LG)


Nobody really believed that LG would pull off a surprising move two years in a row with its new OLED TVs – as it did last year with the introduction of its MLA-OLED technology – but what the company unveiled in this category for 2024 wasn’t even mildly unexpected. It was, in fact, the opposite: precisely what one would expect based on LG’s OLED track record over the last decade. Just as various leaks during the last three months suggested, LG introduced its B4, C4, G4 and M4 lines of TVs based on the same OLED or MLA-OLED panels, all hitting the same levels of overall brightness as before, all looking pretty much the same as their predecessors.

Under different circumstances all of that would almost be too boring to write about, save for one thing: the software. Which, come to think of it, may actually be LG’s whole point this time around. Here’s why.

LG OLED TVs 2024: More sizes, some changes, a couple of improvements

The Korean manufacturer formed its four ranges of new OLED TV models in the same way as last year, but there are a few notable differences this time around. The M4, the “wireless” ones, are LG’s flagship (“Signature”) models going forward, while the G4 are “just” the premium ones now. The C4 is still LG’s mainstream line of OLEDs and the B4 once again serves as the entry-level one. Here’s a simple table listing the most important features and differences between LG’s four lines of new OLED TVs.

B4 RangeC4 RangeG4 RangeM4 Range
OLED TypeOLEDOLEDMLA-OLED (excl. 97″)MLA-OLED (excl. 97″)
Resolution4K4K4K4K
ProcessorAlpha 8Alpha 9 Gen 7Alpha 11Alpha 11
Maximum Refresh Rate120Hz144Hz144Hz144Hz
HDMI 2.1 Ports4443
Built-in ChromecastYesYesYesYes
WebOS 24YesYesYesYes
Zero Connect BoxNoNoNoYes
Sizes48″, 55″, 65″, 77″42″, 48″, 55″, 65″, 77″, 83″55″, 65″, 77″, 83″, 97″65″, 77″, 83″, 97″
LG’s 2024 OLED TV lineup is pretty much what everyone expected, but there’s a handful of changes worth mentioning. (Data: LG)


Things worth noting in that table: LG’s top MLA-OLED tech is still exclusive to the most expensive models – some hoped the C4 range would also feature it this year but it’s only natural that they didn’t – but it’s now available at 83 inches too (up from last year’s 77 inches). MLA-OLED will not be available at 97 inches (but the wireless M4 will be offered at 65 inches too). The B4 range also gains a new size (48”) and two HDMI 2.1 ports (for a total of four), while the C4 gains a higher maximum refresh rate (144Hz up from 120Hz). This is only of interest to PC gamers and, to be honest, it’s not clear whether an additional 24Hz over the most common 120Hz offered by the PS5/Xbox Series can make much of a difference in gameplay for most people.

In terms of OLED brightness, LG remained vague yet again about the performance we can expect from these new TV models, but it sounds like the differences will be pretty minor compared to last year’s models: the panels themselves do not sport any significant changes, so any possible improvements can only be software-based. Talking about software, every LG 2024 OLED model makes use of WebOS 24 and the company confirmed that these TVs (as well as all 2022 LG OLED TV models) will be able to take advantage of the newly-announced WebOS Re:New program in order to receive WebOS upgrades for the next four years.

LG’s M4 is now considered the company’s flagship range of OLED TVs, although the wireless Zero Connect Box is the only significant difference between that and the G4 range. Image quality should be identical between these models. (Image: LG)


It’s also worth noting that LG’s announcement regarding its 2024 OLED TVs did not mention anything about (a) the company’s cheaper OLED TVs to date, the A range, as well as (b) a new 8K OLED model, a hypothetical LG Z4. Considering the latter’s probable exorbitant pricing – the Z3 and Z2 went for $30000 for 88 inches at launch – and the general lack of consumer interest in 8K, LG may have decided to skip 8K OLED altogether this year. The A range, on the other hand, is supposed to be mildly successful in certain markets but it does not look like it will be globally available in 2024. Which, truth be told, is just as well: the new B4 is, realistically, the point of entry that makes sense as a modern OLED TV today.

LG OLED TVs 2024: Processing, AI and extra functionality taking center stage

With these new TV sets carrying pretty much the same panels as their predecessors, any picture quality upgrades will be down to processing. LG seems to have focused on that area more than ever before. Both its entry-level and mainstream ranges, the B4 and the C4, sport updated processors (featured in more expensive LG OLED models in the past), the Alpha 8 and Alpha 9 Gen 7 respectively, so more detail, more accurate colors and better motion handling should be evident in these affordable models. But LG’s the star of the show for 2024 is none other than the Alpha 11 “AI” processor built into the G4 and M4 models, a chip so advanced that it skipped a whole generation (Alpha 10) in order to demonstrate how artificial intelligence promises to help with OLED picture quality from now on.

LG’s 2023 MLA-OLED tech produces the brightest picture one can get from a “traditional” WOLED panel and it seems largely unchanged in 2024 G4 or M4 models. Any possible improvements will be down to processing. (Image: LG)


Not only is the Alpha 11 processor significantly more powerful than any other picture processor LG has offered to date, but it can also do its magic on any content coming from any source, regardless of whether it is DRM-protected or not. LG promises that its upgraded AI Picture Pro image processing system is smarter than ever in every aspect of this process – genre and scene analysis, resolution upscaling, noise reduction, dynamic tone mapping etc. – while also introducing two new features: object enhancing by visual perception and “AI Director” processing. The former makes objects it deems more important “stand out” more and works on a pixel level (!), while the latter will even attempt to “adeptly refine colors by analyzing frequently used shades that best convey the mood and emotional elements intended by filmmakers”. Talk about trust in AI to know “the creator’s intent” better than the creator itself!

Purists – let alone film directors… – may scream in horror when reading this, so the option to turn off the AI processing done by the Alpha 11 in a granular manner is definitely welcome. LG’s latest processor is also using AI to enhance sound in various ways, from creating virtual channels to more effectively separate dialogue (here’s hope that those features are optionally applicable too). While the Alpha 11 does indeed seem to be a powerful chip, it will be interesting to see whether it actually gives the G4/M4 ranges an edge over the competition when it comes to cinematic picture quality – the most important aspect of content presentation in the eyes of consumers interested in purchasing expensive flagship TVs like these.

All 2024 OLED TVs unveiled by LG during CES, regardless of the processor they’re based on, offer some extra functionality built into the latest version of their operating system, WebOS 24. They all now feature Chromecast and AirPlay 2 compatibility, for instance, which makes pushing content wirelessly from Android and iOS devices a breeze. All models also support multiple (up to 10) WebOS user profiles, so all e.g. members of a family can each have their own apps, settings and preferences stored separately. These profiles are even voice-activated and voice controlled, either through the TV remote or from a distance (specific models incorporate capable microphones).

LG’s WebOS 24 operating system is even more image-heavy than last year’s WebOS 23, featuring even more ad space too. This will be a recurring theme with future versions of WebOS, apparently. (Image: LG)


In addition to these features, the G4 and M4 ranges sporting the Alpha 11 processor offer a few more, such as the option to split the TV screen to four parts (MultiView) in order to display different content in each one of them from various sources – live TV, HDMI, YouTube, webcam, browser, Miracast, Spotify or Airplay – all at once and in real time. That 97-inch model suddenly makes much more sense, doesn’t it?

LG OLED TVs 2024: Pricing and availability

As is usually the case with CES announcements of this kind, LG did not provide recommended retail prices or specific release dates for any of the new TV models mentioned above. That information will become available at a later date, but prices are expected to largely remain the same compared to equivalent 2023 models. It will be interesting to see, however, what prices LG has settled on for the larger OLED TV sizes this year, given the attractively priced jumbo-sized LED/LCD models on offer by several manufacturers already.

In any case, the first series of these 2024 LG OLED TVs – the C4 range, most probably – are expected to arrive at some point during April or May in most regions. Does LG have a different marketing plan this year, one that matches its different, software-focused approach for these new models? We’ll just have to wait and see.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Kostas Farkonas

Veteran reporter with over 30 years of industry experience in various media, focusing on consumer tech, entertainment and digital culture. No, he will not fix your PC (again).

Veteran reporter with over 30 years of industry experience in various media, focusing on consumer tech, entertainment and digital culture. No, he will not fix your PC (again).

LATEST STORIES

OTHERS ARE READING

THE POINT NEWSLETTER

Let us keep you up to date with the latest in tech and entertainment