LG’s Impressive Super UHD HDR TVs With “Nano Cell” Technology Unveiled for CES 2017

by on January 3, 2017

Stephan Jukic – January 3, 2017

First we had the new QLED Quantum Dot 4K HDR TVs of Samsung now apparently about to be unveiled and now LG is coming out with its own unique twist to brilliant high dynamic range display in the company’s 2017 LCD 4K TV lineup, which goes under the same “Super UHD” name as their 2016 LCD range.

The new 2017 LG TVs are going to deliver a new level of picture performance whose main value proposition is the capacity to offer pristine color accuracy and contrast even at wide 60 degree angles. This is something that only LG’s OLED 4K TVs have mostly delivered so far though the company’s 2016 and older LCD TVs did a fairly decent job of it thanks to their IPS display panel technology. However, the 2017 models will take off-center viewing and overall picture quality to levels never before seen in an LG LCD 4K television thanks to what the manufacturer calls Nano Cell LCD display.

What the new Nano Cell technology promises, according to LG, is an array of uniformly sized 1 nanometer wide particles in the Super UHD TV displays that are designed to deliver more accurate and consistent color quality at wide off-center viewing angles. The new display technology will pull this off by absorbing excess light waves and as a result cutting down on color bleed from RGB colors in the TVs’ pixel arrays. With this, faded color patterns and even contrast decreases will become much less visible to viewers who are sitting off to one side of one of these new 2017 HDR models.

The new TVs themselves consist of three different models which go by the serial numbers SJ8000, SJ8500 and SJ8500 and all offer dual standard HDR specs along with other major improvements on the display quality of the 2016 Super UHD models such as the UH9500 and UH8500.

LG's SJ8500, SJ9500 and SJ8000 Nano Cell Super UHD TVs

LG is also partnering up with Technicolor in an additional effort to beef up the color accuracy of its new HDR televisions and with this cooperation there will be a new Technicolor Expert Mode built into the calibration settings of the SJ-Series Super UHD models. This will allow for more robust HDR settings calibration settings for color accuracy, contrast and brightness.

What’s even more exciting about the 2017 lineup of LG TVs is the inclusion of a third HDR content/display standard. The 2017 models will come with the same HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range compatibility as their 2016 cousins but will now also include support fo the Hybrid Log Gamma HDR spec that has been developed by the BBC and NHK of Japan for delivering real broadcast 4K content in HDR to consumer homes.

In a further improvement, LG is also hyping its new “Active HDR” display feature in the 2017 Super UHD models. This technology supposedly promises to insert HDR picture meta-data into specific parts of each video frame for a piece of content for even more refined dynamic range delivery in HDR video sources. Then there’s the LG HDR Effect feature which comes with the Super UHD models. This delivers the same basic thing as HDR+ in Samsung’s premium HDR TVs and basically attempts to upscale non-HDR content so that its color vibrancy, saturation and contrast levels look more like they have high dynamic range integrated into them.

Then of course there is the new WebOS 3.5 platform for the 2017 LG lineup of TVs. We loved both the 2015 2.0 and 2016 3.0 versions of WebOS and while the 2017 version of this smart platform won’t be a revolutionary upgrade from its predecessors, we expect it to offer the same high user friendliness and flexibility. LG is promising that WebOS will be easier than ever to use and will also deliver quicker access to key 4K content apps. There will also be new content information, zoom and 360 degree VR content features added to the new 2017 WebOS platform.

To finish things off here, we’d like to mention that while we genuinely liked the overall performance of the premium 2016 Super UHD LCD 4K TV lineup (and especially the performance of the LCD flagship UH9500 and UH8500 models), one thing that they were all weak on was delivering deep black levels and high brightness, mainly due to their IPS display panels. Thus, the 2016 TVs did wonderfully on HDR color and wide viewing angles but skipped out on also important HDR contrast levels as a consequence of IPS. We’re hoping that the Nano Cell technology of the 2017 lineup at least somewhat improves on those crucial black/contrast levels.

We don’t yet have any solid information on LG’s 2017 OLED 4K TVs but we expect them to include many or even all of the same WebOS improvements and even Active HDR features as the Super UHD televisions.

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