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TrendForce says focus will be on OLED and large TVs in 2021
by Paul Hill
The analyst firm TrendForce has said that it expects to see TV manufacturers focus on large and OLED TVs. It noted that demand for 55-inch+ TVs have seen increased among the public so manufacturers will respond to this. On the OLED front, the analyst said that LCD panels have seen a big price hike making OLED more attractive to both brands and consumers.
In terms of figures, TrendForce believes that 55-inch TVs will account for 20% of the total TV shipments this year and that 60-inch TVs will represent 17.7% of shipments. Compared to the year before, demand for 55-inch TV sets will stay the same but 60-inch TVs will see a 3.3% growth compared to last year. This growth rate is notable because in previous years growth didn’t go higher than 1-2%.
On the OLED front, TrendForce noted that 55-inch UHD OLED panels were four times the price of the equivalent LCD products at the start of 2020, by the end of the year the difference was 2.9 times and in the first quarter of this year, UHD OLED was only 2.2 times more expensive than the LCD equivalent – this is all down to LCD price hikes. As a result, OLED TV shipments are expected to reach 6.76 million units which is a year-over-year increase of 72%.
It’s expected that global TV shipments as a whole this year will reach 223 million units which represents a growth of 3.1% year-over-year. TrendForce said that two drivers of the growth will be the UEFA Euro 2020 and Tokyo Olympics which were both delayed from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
LG's 2021 lineup of OLED TVs starts at $1,399, and it's available from this month
by João Carrasqueira
LG has announced the pricing and availability for most of its refreshed OLED TV lineup for 2021, which was originally announced at this year's CES. OLED TVs sit at the top of LG's range, since OLED panels are still the only viable way to get individual lighting per pixel, meaning you get true blacks and more vivid colors. The lineup includes the A1, C1, and G1 series, which succeed the AX, CX, and GX series.
Starting at the top of the range, we have the "Gallery" G1 series, which is the only one to feature LG's new OLED evo technology. These new OLED panels are more power-efficient, and thus promise a brighter image and more vivid colors compared to its previous OLED technology. The Gallery series is also designed to be used as a sort of digital frame, with smaller bezels and a wall mount that leaves very little space between the TV and the wall. The G1 series will come in three sizes: 55-inch, coming in April for $2,199; 65-inch, coming this month for $2,999; and 77-inch, costing a whopping a $4,499, also available this month.
The C1 series is the more mainstream offering and it spans the widest range of screen sizes. It starts at 48 inches for $1,499, coming in April. Then there's a 55-inch model for $1,799 this month, a 65-inch model for $2,499, and a 77-inch panel for $3,799, all available this month. Finally, an 83-inch variant will be coming in May for $5,999. Both the G1 and C1 series are valid options for gamers, featuring four HDMI 2.1 ports with support for 4K 120Hz, variable refresh rates, auto low latency mode, and eARC.
If you don't need all those gaming features, the A1 series is the cheapest of the bunch, though it also misses out on the new α9 Gen 4 AI processor. The 48-inch model will be available in June for $1,299; the 55- and 65-inch models will launch in April for $1,599 and $2,199, respectively; and the 77-inch model will also launch in June, for $3,199.
While LG didn't mention the Z1 lineup today, it did say that the ZX series, which it calls the Signature OLED TVs, is already available and will be available through the year. The 77-inch model costs $19,999, while the 88-inch goes for $29,999.
Sky re-brands NOW TV and introduces NOW Membership
by Paul Hill
Sky has announced that it’s re-branding NOW TV with a new name and look. From now on, the service will simply be called NOW and NOW Passes have been replaced by NOW Membership which begins at £3.99 per month, just like Passes. According to Sky, the new and less convoluted name aims to reflect the simplicity of the service.
Sky’s NOW service offers several NOW Membership offers refined for what you want to watch, they include Entertainment, Cinema, Sports, Kids, and hayu. Each of the Membership options can be enhanced with a £3 Boost each month which enables streaming across three devices at the same time in full 1080p HD and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound.
Commenting on the re-branding, Marina Storti, Managing Director at NOW, said:
The re-branding will begin in the UK before being adapted and rolled out in Italy, Ireland, and Germany. In the UK, the re-branding has already gone live on the NOW website.
Comcast has a pair of new betas of the XfinityTV streaming application - for Roku and Amazon's FireTV devices; the two are simultaneous. This review covers both devices, as I have one of each.
In both cases, the application installs alongside your existing loadout, and uses a similar authorization process; also, as is suggested with any streaming software, 5 GHz N is preferred (or better). You have all the features of the existing streaming software (or STBs for that matter); therefore, it COULD actually obviate them altogether. (You only need Xfinity Internet - not cable TV - to participate in the beta. Rather surprising.) And considering how much even the base STB costs per month in lease fees, a FireTV Stick 4K pays itself back in a mere three months of lease-fee avoidance per STB replaced. We have two full-size STBs that are thus candidates for replacement with 4K FireTV sticks - one of them is attached to the only 4K HDTV currently in the house. (At this price - and given that it is rock-solid in ooperation - as my own usage is showing on a day-in and day-out basis - why wouldn't I consider it - or you if you are a Comcast customer willing to actually cut the cord?
LG announces the rollout of its new TV line-up
by Paul Hill
LG has announced the global launch of its 2021 TVs that includes OLED, QNED Mini LED and NanoCell screens. The new range will appeal to customers with different tastes thanks to the range of screen sizes available, the sets begin at 43-inches and go up to a huge 88-inches.
In the OLED category, LG has the Z1, G1, C1, B1, and A1 series. The A1 and B1 series are the most price-competitive while the C1 range features the most screen size options starting at 48-inches going up to 83-inches. The TVs in the G1 series feature the company’s new OLED evo technology that provides better luminosity for heightened brightness and “punchy images”.
LG’s QNED Mini LED TVs are available in 8K (models QNED99, QNED95) and 4K (models QNED90, QNED85). They all utilise Quantum Dot NanoCell technology developed by the Korean firm to make the picture quality that much better; they provide deeper blacks and more vibrant colours.
Finally, the company is introducing new NanoCell 8K (NANO99, NANO95) and 4K (NANO90, NANO85, NANO80, NANO77, NANO75) TVs. As the name suggests, all of these devices feature LG’s NanoCell display technology that uses nano-particles to remove colour impurities resulting in more life-like images.
These premium TVs are powered by webOS 6.0 which the firm announced in January. This year’s TVs also come with the latest α (Alpha) 9 Gen 4 AI that improves deep learning and improves upscaling performance. If you want to play games on the new TVs, LG includes a feature called Game Optimizer that automatically applies the best picture settings depending on the game you’re playing.
To improve your experience connecting the TVs up to your sound system, every model supports the HDMI 2.1 feature enhanced audio return channel (eARC). The TVs also support automatic low latency mode (ALLM), which provides a seamless gaming experience and lag-free viewing.
If you’re thinking about picking up one of the new TVs be on the lookout for them at local retailers as they will each have separate launch dates but expect sales to begin during the first quarter of the year.