I’ve seen some sweet technology, but the new LG OLED Wallpaper TV blew me away. Its $16,000 price tag did too. But, despite its hefty cost, this design is a clear sign of where the TV industry is going.
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LG has done away with the guts of the TV, leaving just a 65” OLED panel. The result is a TV so light (7.6kg) and thin (4mm) it’s held to the wall “bracket” with 9 magnets. I had to put quote marks around bracket because it’s really no more than a flat piece of metal. Our friends at consumer organisation Choice in Australia were able to stick the TV to a wall using Blu-Tack … though this isn’t advised.
Of course you can’t have just a panel. Being so thin, there’d be nowhere to plug anything. Connected to the screen, via a nearly transparent, wide ribbon cable, is a large sound bar. This contains all the connections, tuners and speakers usually shoved in behind the screen. This is a trend for TVs as Samsung does something similar using an external box, but not to this extreme.
By having a sound bar as part of the design, LG has solved the problem of finding room for good speakers inside a thin TV. The sound bar uses Dolby Atmos to produce surround sound without surround speakers. The directional speakers bounce sound off the ceiling and walls, though its success depends on the shape of the room (a room with high ceilings won’t work as well).
However, the real selling point of any TV is the picture. This LG looks amazing.
It’s a 4K screen with Dolby Vision HDR technology, so the detail is incredibly fine and the contrast near-perfect. At the demo, I was allowed to bring content so watched a couple of Blu-Rays I know well (The Force Awakens and Rogue One).
The picture quality can’t be faulted. My older Blu-Ray content was upscaled nicely, it looked crisp and bright. Newer content shot in 4K and mastered in Dolby Vision was as close to real life as I’ve seen. This included various Dolby Vision-mastered Netflix shows I was able to stream.
The screen’s Achilles heel is the sun. When I pulled the curtains in the room back, the reflection was unavoidable.
After all of this, you still have to come back to the steep price. The 65” version of the Wallpaper TV is $16,000; the 77” version is $40,000!
While the picture quality is sublime and this is the future of TV, the price will keep it out of the hands of most for now.
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