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LG’s 2019 8K and 4K TVs get a new processor, support Alexa, AirPlay 2, HomeKit, and VRR

By Ng Chong Seng - on 3 Jan 2019, 5:11pm

LG’s 2019 8K and 4K TVs get a new processor, support Alexa, AirPlay 2, HomeKit, and VRR

Ahead of CES 2019 that’s happening next week, LG has today announced a few details of its upcoming TV lineup.

Expectedly, LG’s 2019 4K TVs will come with a new picture processor. Called α (Alpha) 9 Gen 2, this new chip is the successor to last year’s α9 and it’s in charge of all the image and audio processing on the new TVs. The key improvement is an algorithm that LG says will enable the TVs to output a more optimized picture after factoring in ambient conditions.

The α9 Gen 2 processor will also lend a hand in the sound department. There’s an intelligent algorithm that can up-mix two-channel audio to deliver convincing virtual 5.1-channel surround sound, and the TVs can now optimize audio output based on content type (you know, AI).

Like its 2018 TVs, LG’s 2019 models sport the WebOS-based ThinQ AI platform with built-in Google Assistant. New this year is support for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. There will be an Amazon Prime Video button the 2019 Magic Remote, which when pressed, will allow users to ask questions, check the weather, manage smart home devices, and access Alexa skills. LG’s own ThinQ AI is also gaining better conversational voice recognition, one which understands context and thus allows users to make more complex requests. This new feature is coming to 140 countries. Update: The new TVs will also support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit.


2019 lineup

In terms of TV models, we’re looking at four series in the OLED lineup: the Z9, W9, E9, and C9. All of them are powered by the α9 Gen 2 processor. The flagship is the 8K 88-inch Z9. Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos are once again onboard.

For LCD TVs, the 2019 lineup consists of the SM99, SM9X, and SM8X, with the flagship being the 8K 75-inch SM99. The SM9X and SM8X 4K TVs also use LG’s Nano Cell tech and are powered by the α9 Gen 2 chip. Like their OLED cousins, these NanoCell LCD TVs come with HDMI 2.1 ports, and support eARC, up to 120fps high frame rates (HFR) , auto low latency mode (ALLM), and variable refresh rates.


First published on Jan 3, this article was updated on Jan 8 (U.S. time) at CES 2019 to include more photos and details of the new TVs.