FIRST LOOK: LG SIGNATURE 88” 8K OLED TV
It wasn't all that long ago we read of LG's ambition to become a prominent player in the high-end TV market. It's great to set high goals, but even more satisfying when it comes to fruition.
Just last night, we found ourselves standing in front of Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art, viewing LG's latest technological triumph.
And a triumph it is - all 88 inches of it, as LG introduced its Signature OLED 8K.
Once just a pipedream, the 88” Signature OLED 8K will be available in Australia in October. However, it's not for the faint of heart, nor light of purse, commanding a recommended retail price of $59,999.
'Outdoors' is not the environment you would usually expect to find yourself for the launch of a new TV, but such is the confidence that LG now has, they were out to prove a point. LG demonstrated first-hand that their new OLED was bright enough for well-lit environments, a criticism often raised against OLED TV technology.
Housed in a custom-built glass bubble, the 88” Signature produced a beautiful and stunning picture, despite the full and direct sunlight. It also produced incredibly sharp images, with a photo like realism that required putting your nose right up against the TV for the image to lose any fidelity.
Naturally, at this price-point and size, nothing's been spared on the technology with the 88” Signature TV boasting a pixel count of 33 million, and a density of 100PPI (Pixels per inch). Even though these pixels are much smaller in size compared to other 4K OLED models in the range, LG says the 88” still delivers the impressive HDR peak luminance and wide viewing angle that OLED is renowned for.
LG points out that in addition to pixel count, a display must have a CM value of that exceeds 50% to be true 8K.
Regardless of where you sit on the whole 'true 8K' topic which we reported on earlier this month, the Signature boasts a CM value of around 90%. It's also equipped with LG's latest Alpha 9 Gen 2 processor, with its onboard AI applying both six-step upscaling and colour correction to images.
The Signature also sports Advanced HDR10 with Technicolour, in addition to Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos via its built-in soundbar. LG's largest OLED TV, the 222cm giant, according to LG is the ideal size to appreciate the visual clarity that 8K offers.
The big OLED has a seriously attractive design with the screen 'floating' on an aluminium stand which houses both an invisible Dolby Atmos soundbar, and much of the television’s electronics. It's overall appearance more akin to a modern sculpture, rather than an electronic product.
From its deep dark blacks and amazingly vibrant and immersive picture, LG's Signature 88” OLED 8K TV offers a level of picture quality that for us, so far, is unparalleled.
Another interesting but often not overlooked feature of LG's high-end televisions are their compatibility with Video Calibration software, CalMAN. In the hands of a professional calibrator and with the right equipment, the Signature can be calibrated to produce a studio-like level of colour accuracy, previously unheard of in the home.
The 88” Signature has four HDMI 2.1 ports allowing playback of compatible 8K content at 60 frames per second. While high frame rate video content is a little scarce, the HFR capabilities of HDMI 2.1 will be of interest to gamers.
As for smarts, the Signature is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, courtesy of LG's ThinQ ecosystem. To the best of our knowledge, LG is currently the only manufacturer producing televisions that support both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
The 88” OLED will also have Apple Airplay 2 and HomeKit integration via a firmware update which is planned for release in Q4 2019. In addition to smart home features, the technology will enable owners to stream titles directly from compatible Apple devices to compatible TVs.
LG told us it is opening a new OLED panel factory this year and another in 2022. All LG's 8K OLED TVs are hand-built for now, but as demand increases, LG will ramp up production capability.
Of course, we've asked for one of LG's Signature 88” displays for review and of course calibration, but we imagine that's a long waitlist.
LG's premium Signature 88” OLED 8K television will be available at Harvey Norman stores across the country from October.
For more information visit LG Electronics.
As the owner of Adelaide based ‘Clarity Audio & Video Calibration’, Tony is a certified ISF Calibrator. Tony is an accomplished Audio-Visual reviewer specialising in theatre and visual products.