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IFA 2018: LG shows off 8K OLED, Nano Cell technology, ThinQ AI and more

We had the chance to swing by the LG booth at IFA this morning to catch a glimpse of what the future has in store for us. There was plenty of talk about 8K TVs, with LG showing off the world’s first 88-inch 8K OLED, but the company has a few other interesting upgrades worthy of note. This includes development on Nano Cell Displays, an all new intelligent processor for better image quality and Google Assistant smart features.

We’ll start off with LG’s new Nano Cell Display developments. LG has been working on this for a while and its main selling point is better viewing angles. Nano Cell Displays are enhanced LCD panels with LED backlighting. This allows for Full Array Local Dimming for true blacks and enhanced whites. Most importantly, the flagship feature of Nano Cell technology is that it can be viewed from almost any angle without diminishing the experience, preserving the wide colour gamut.

LG also began talking about its new Alpha 9 Intelligent Processor. This is the chip inside of the TV that handles image processing. The newly upgraded chip uses a quad-step process to reduce gain and banding noise, paving the way for sharper images with greater depth analysis. At IFA, and LG rep informed us that this chip also provides colour accuracy that is “7.3 times more sophisticated” than previous TVs. It also allows the TV to maintain a silky smooth 120/100 frames per second, indicating that true high refresh rate TVs could be on the way. All of LG’s OLED TVs will run this new chip, including the prototype 88″ 8K display.

ThinQ AI is a little less exciting to us but could be of interest to others. Essentially, LG has partnered with Google to include Google Assistant features in its TVs. The particular example we saw was the ability to have the TV look up travel possibilities for locations you see on TV, whether you are watching a movie or a TV show.

This is the big one. We’ve known for some time that TV makers are already hard at work on future 8K TVs. LG has also been perfecting its flexible/curved OLED technology, which was on full display at the LG Canyon experience at IFA this year. A wall of curved OLED displays were present, showing just how far flexible panels have come over the years.

While LG is showing off its 88″ 8K OLED prototype here at IFA, according to LG’s Ken Hong, “8K is still a ways down the road”. Hong describes the jump as “miles better than 4K” and we were told that most, if not all, 8K panels will still utilise LCD technology. LG has a head start in that department with the first pure OLED at 8K resolution, resulting in 33 million pixels all capable of being individually controlled.

LG’s 88-inch 8K OLED is primarily made to show that the technology is viable and also perhaps to upstage Samsung, which arrived at IFA this year with its first 85-inch 8K QLED TV. Hong mentioned at IFA that 8K could feasibly hit the market “as early as next year”, but content would be hard to find as production companies wait for increased demand. Meanwhile, consumers will wait for more content before purchasing, thus creating a lengthy cycle.

KitGuru Says: LG’s Nano Cell displays look particularly interesting to me, but I would also like to see some true 120Hz TVs at some point too. Are any of you currently shopping around for a new TV?

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