One of the things we're most looking forward to from CES 2021 is learning about LG's next-gen OLED TVs. To up the ante weeks ahead of a reveal date, LG has already announced that its OLED TVs have been given a CES 'Best of Innovation' Award.
Which OLED TVs have won, exactly? Well, LG says we'll have to wait for its press conference on January 11th to find out, but we can already take a guess at that too – the name LG C1 has been spotted in a Korean regulatory system. That'll be the successor to the mid-range LG CX that's currently on-sale, and riding high in our list of the best OLED TVs and best gaming TVs.
We'd also expect to see versions of LG's other OLED TVs to match, then – an cheaper LG B1 (a follow up to the LG BX), a more expensive LG G1 (an update to the LG GX) and probably an LG Z1 8K screen to replace the ZX models.
The '1' naming convention makes more sense than it first appears – for the last few years, LG's number convention has been based on the year, so the LG C9 came out in 2019. The 'X' models were the outlier for 2020, presumably because '0' looked a bit odd. Or maybe they just thought X looked cool.
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What will be new in LG's new OLED TVs?
We're not expecting to see huge leaps forward in OLED technology this year – we seem to be in a bit of a development plateau there. Most planned OLED improvements are around fixing the one area where LCD TVs can beat it: brightness.
Bringing up both the average brightness of OLED sets and the peak HDR brightness will help make even more of their huge contrast range, and will make them less prone to reflection and washing out in sunlight.
We're not sure that the key new tech to make a leap forward here will be available yet, so we're not expecting a big change – but we'll still keep our fingers crossed.
But the good news is that OLED's other key issue might take a step towards being solved: the price.
Next-gen panel factories are now said to be up and running, which could particularly help to bring down the cost of making 48-inch and 77-inch panels, making OLED more affordable to get into at a smaller size, or making a huge TV a bit more realistic for people who didn't invest heavily in Apple in the ’80s.
We'd also expect the usual developments in image processing and the usability of the webOS smart TV platform, of course.