LG has made a habit of wowing us with new 4K OLED TV sets at CES for the past few years, and this year isn’t any different. With its insanely thin W-series, the company has managed to outdo its still impressive G6 "Picture on Glass" TVs. LG’s tagline for the W-series 4K sets — "Picture on Wall" — sums up their appeal. At just 2.6mm thin across their entire frame, they can be mounted completely flat against your wall. They look more like a work of modern art than any television I’ve seen.
You might also be wondering how such thin TVs manage to include input ports. Well they don’t… technically. Instead, they use a thin cable to connect to companion soundbars, which house all of your necessary inputs (including 4 HDMI ports, 3 USB connections and an optical audio port). Those soundbars are also Dolby Atmos capable, by the way, and they’ll come with every W-series set. They’re an elegant way to deal with the mess of wires, much like the single optical cable used by Samsung’s new QLED TVs. The downside? You’ll need to have a credenza or some other piece of furniture below the TV to hold the soundbar.
The W-series TVs will be available in 65-inch and 77-inch sizes — and no, we don’t know anything about their pricing or availability yet. Given that last year’s G-series started at $4,999, I’d wager the new models will be well above that. Since they’re so thin, they’ll also be much lighter than any sets we’ve seen before. Samsung says the 65-inch model weights just 17 pounds, while the 77-inch model clocks in at 27-pounds.
As impressive as the W-series TVs are, you’re out of luck if you don’t have a flat wall to hold them. After exploring some stands for the lineup, LG decided to make them only wall mountable (I’d imagine it’s tough to keep such a thin display sturdy). And reps also confirmed that you won’t be able to install them on curved walls, either. Of course, LG’s G-series TVs are still around if you must have an elegant OLED on a stand.
All of LG’s new OLED 4K TVs — which also includes the B7, E7 and G7 sets — will feature slightly improved panels which offer better color accuracy (they now cover 99 percent of the DCI-P3 gamut), 25 percent higher peak brightness and improved anti-reflectivity. They also support "Active HDR," which plugs in metadata to help with high-dynamic range scenes, and they’ll also be able to support Technicolor’s "Advanced HDR" technology in the future.
In a brief demonstration, LG’s 65-inch W-series looked impressive, with bright and vibrant colors. I couldn’t tell a huge difference from last years B6 OLED, though, which was stunning enough to make me pick one up when its price fell. The Dolby Atmos soundbar was loud, clear and had an impressive amount of bass, though you’d never mistake it for a traditional home theater setup. I also couldn’t detect much of an Atmos surround sound effect from its upward firing speakers, though that might have been due to the sample movie being played.
Sure, there are limitations with the W-series OLEDs, but they’re also one of those rare CES announcements that hint at the future. You might not be able to afford them yet, but it won’t be too long before we see ultra-thin displays like these everywhere.