The latest generation of LG OLED TVs increase the brightness factor


At the big consumer tech show CES 2023 in Las Vegas, LG showed me its full range of new OLED TVs for 2023. The biggest new feature is literally a 97-inch OLED TV that is completely wireless.

Dubbed the M3 series, it looks great in person, as you can see in the video below, but it’s also probably incredibly expensive. (The company, as is usual at CES, did not announce prices.) Among the TVs that mere mortals can actually afford, one of the most notable models is the C3, the successor to the best high-end TV for the money, as well a G3 that promises improved brightness.

The biggest difference between current LG OLED TVs and the new ones is the higher brightness of the G3. New light-control architecture and light-boosting algorithms boost brightness by up to 70% over last year’s G2 in the 55-, 65-, and 77-inch G3 models. LG claims around 1800 nits, which is about double that of an OLED TV I’ve measured. What I saw actually looked very bright. But of course I’ll have to wait until I can review one to see exactly how bright it is.

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The company’s 8K TVs, the Z3, are also brighter than before, according to LG, on the order of 30 to 40 per cent. Available in 77- and 83-inch sizes, they are sure to remain very expensive and, like other 8K TVs, not worth the money for most buyers.

OLED TVs offer better overall picture quality than other high-end TVs, and in my experience are already sufficiently bright for most lighting environments. However, every bit – er, nit – of brightness helps, especially in bright rooms and with HDR TV shows and – Film. Perhaps the G3 will outperform competing QD-OLED models from Sony and Samsung. It won’t beat mini LED sets like the Samsung QN90B and Hisense U8H. But if LG’s brightness claim is true, it will come close.

Here with the soundbar attached, the C3 looks very similar to last year’s C2.

James Martin/CNET

The C3, which will be more affordable than the G3, is largely unchanged from last year’s model in terms of picture quality. I’ve personally seen a 65 and 48 inch version and they looked physically identical. LG’s rep even said the C2’s soundbar mount will match the C3, an indication of how similar they are. LG has told me that the C3 might look brighter in person thanks to the slightly higher average picture level, but it doesn’t measure up brighter and I’d be surprised to see a big difference.

None of the other improvements LG has teased are what I would call significant. The TVs have a new “α9 AI Processor Gen6”. But in my past testing, better processing was hard to spot. The company also gave the G3 a design that hugs the wall even more closely than before and “leaves no visible gap” when mounted on the wall. The company’s smart TV system, I Don’t Like, has been tweaked to add better categorization, personalized recommendations, and a “selection of trending content,” according to the press release.

LG has overhauled its smart TV system for 2023.

LG

LG also said its 2023 OLED TVs will be the first to be certified by the HDMI organization for Quick Media Switching VRR, which “can eliminate the transient ‘black screen’ that sometimes occurs when switching between content, being played back from various source devices connected via the TVs HDMI 2.1a compliant connectors.” This (again smaller) feature is intended for video playback as opposed to gaming and requires a QMS-VRR source device. The Apple TV gets 4K for example support soon.

In recent years, LG’s OLED TVs, particularly the “C” models, have delivered the best picture quality for the money among high-end TVs, and I expect the C3 will fight for that honor again . That said, the 2022 LG C2 remains my favorite, and none of the improvements so far seem significant enough to me to recommend waiting for a C3.

LG hasn’t announced pricing or availability for its 2023 OLED TVs, although the G3 and Z3 will no doubt cost more than the C3. The company typically doesn’t announce prices for its TVs until spring, when they hit stores.

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