LG’s New W-Series OLED 4K HDR TVs From CES 2017 Aren’t Too Thin, They’re Downright Beautiful
Stephan Jukic – January 6, 2017
Following loosely from the ultra-thin picture-on-glass totally flat screen design of the 2016 flagship G6 and E6 OLED TVs with their squashed elongated speaker/hardware stand along the bottom, the 2017 OLED W-Series television (the W stands for “Wallpaper”) takes the basic design principles of the G6 and E6 models to a new extreme by which this model consists of nothing more than a single 2.6 mm screen that attaches to a compact, squashed speaker/hardware bar via a single large proprietary LG cable which contains all the main smaller cables between TV and this external speaker device.
With this in mind, some tech sites have criticized LG’s newest OLED flagship W-Series 4K TVs as being too thin in the sense that they can’t even be mounted to a wall bracket. On this we disagree. They may not have this one option but so what? They’re in fact thin and light enough that you can simply stick them directly to the wall itself and as far as we’re concerned, this is an even better feature to have for a niche television like this.
Now, because of this completely unique design, the W7 OLED TV’s display is a completely stand-alone single large screen with no other components attached directly to it. As a result, it’s ridiculously light, with the 65 inch version of the W7 screen weighing no more than 17 pounds and even the gigantic 77 inch model’s display weighing just 27 pounds. We’ve honestly never seen weight profiles like these before for such enormous 4K TV units! Is the W7 display also extremely fragile? Yes of course, but we suspect that most owners won’t be tossing theirs around after the price they paid for it. Is the W7 display limited in its installation options? Yes, that too, since it has to be mounted directly to a wall or some other stand-alone vertical surface and has no parts for standing upright by itself.
However does all of this make the new W7 display stupid? No of course it doesn’t. LG has also unveiled several other 4K OLED TVs in their 2017 lineup. These include the B7, C7, E7 and G7, and all of them do come with much more conventional free-standing designs that leave plenty of options for fans of LG OLED display technology who don’t like the W7’s concept design. In other words, LG has offered one new OLED TV that offers something unique which some people will love while also offering several more conventional options.
One complaint we do can tentatively understand with the W7’s speaker bar is that it connects to the TV through that one single proprietary cable. Users can connect their HDMI, USB and other connectivity cables to the bar as usual but the bar itself can only connect to the screen through the cable as far as we know at this point. This could potentially lead to future-proofing issues with the bar itself but it’s not a reason to hate on the TV’s display thinness itself.
As for the soundbar that comes with the W7 TV, it supports advanced Dolby Atmos surround sound and comes with two self-retracting/rising speakers that admittedly look damn cool when they’re emerging from the bar. LG also claims that the soundbar can be disregarded for a third party surround sound system if a user happens to have a better setup in their home.
Moving along, in terms of display quality, the LG W7 Series of OLED TVs promise a level of performance that’s as good as that of the flagship 2016 TVs and possibly better in some ways, with further improvements in spot brightness and color. On the other hand, black levels pretty much can’t get better than the perfection they already offer and of course local dimming stays about the same as it has been in previous OLED TVs since the nature of the technology brings it down to the single pixel level.
As we mentioned above, LG is also releasing several other OLED models with free standing body designs. These, the G7, E7, C7 and B7 TVs are all also supposed to offer improved brightness, better color and of course, all of the new OLEDs offer full HDR10 and Dolby Vision support just like their 2016 cousins. WebOS, the excellent native LG smart TV platform that we’ve loved since 2014 will also be used again but now in its version 3.5 form in the new OLEDs and all other 2017 LG 4K TVs with a few minor changes from its 2016 3.0 version.
One further cool addition to the entire 2017 LG OLED TV line has been the inclusion of the new HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) HDR standard for broadcast sources of high dynamic range entertainment that are supposed to emerge at some point in 2017. This last has the potential to be a powerful tool for accessing HDR movies and shows from non-internet or disc sources but we’ll have to see how it plays out with the content creators’ side of ultra HD HDR entertainment. LG has also added in a new “HDR Effect” feature for more advanced high dynamic range upscaling of the vast majority of SDR and non-4K content that most people will watch on these new TVs. This is another growing trend for 2017’s 4K HDR TVs.
Finally, we don’t yet have any pricing details about the whole lineup of LG’s 2017 OLED TVs but we’re expecting most of them to sell for prices similar to those of the 2016 TVs given their general display similarities. The W7 however will probably be a more expensive TV with its own special pricing schedule since it’s the signature model for this year. This was the way LG managed prices for its 2016 TVs as well, putting the flagship G6 into its own special category of expensive even though the TV performed pretty much the same as the E6 and even the “mid-range” C6 and B6 models for last year.
LG will start shipping the W7 Signature TV in February, with some models going on display in Best Buy stores with pre-order availability as of January 5th. We assume that the other LG OLED TVs will also start shipping by February.
Story by 4k.com