LG has gotten behind OLED technology in a big way. The company made waves last year with the introduction of the E6 line of highly accurate OLED televisions, which received a studio reference quality rating from Display Daily. Since production of Panasonic Pro Plamsa HD monitors ended several years ago, post houses and color suites have been eager for a consumer price point monitor that is accurate enough to work as a client monitor in a color environment, and with the E6 it seemed like we were finally there.
LG also announced last year that they would be working with Technicolor to expand their color accuracy and HDR integration. The first results of those collaboration are here with the new line of OLEDs announced this week at CES that improve upon the E6: the E7, G7, and W7, along with the lower end C7 and B7 and the ultra-large SJ line.
LG had Francis Ford Coppola do an introduction to OLED technology last spring, and his words still apply here.
By selectively turning off an entire pixel, OLED is able to deliver darker blacks than you can get with any LCD backlit panel, and comes the closest to the plasma black levels we all fell so hard for a decade ago. The LG televisions have the potential to reproduce color and brightness very accurately for filmmakers. Combined with the wide viewing angle offered by OLED, this make them a great choice for post suites. Of course, consumer televisions will drift more than professional monitors and need more frequent calibration, but hopefully you'll have room for that in the budget after outfitting a suite with these more budget-friendly monitors.
LG Perfect Color
The press release touts "dynamic HDR," which should be a warning flag for every filmmaker and could cripple the usefulness of the monitor for professional applications unless it can be disabled through the menu systems. "Dynamic" image control is usually a feature that artificially brightens or darkens the image on your screen to automatically compensate for scenes where the brightness or darkness is outside what the display can comfortably replicate. While it's arguable whether this is useful for consumers, it's a nightmare for professionals, who want a device to respond consistently when fed a consistent image source. Nothing is worse than making a correction in a color grading application only to have the display "fight" you and undo the correction in the final image. It leads to impossible working situations and unpredictability of how your footage will look on other monitors, defeating the purpose of an accurate client monitor in the first place.
LG SJ Line of SUPER UHD televisions
The Technicolor integration appears to be more closely focused on even larger monitors, the SJ line. These are, surprisingly, built on LCD technology and are available up to 95". Technicolor has apparently helped LG create TVs that have "color to offer TV image that accurately recreate the artistic intentions of content creators," according to the press release. This accuracy, if its found to exist in tests, could be very useful, though as of yet consumer LCD monitors aren't very common in the post suite. Most filmmakers will likely stick with the E6 and E7, but if you have a real need for an absolutely massive monitor and don't want to go projection, the SJ line is something to keep your eye on.
LG Signature W
Less useful in the post suite but perhaps a great tool for the lobby, the new W7 line of monitors was also released at CES this week, with an incredibly thin design. Intended for decorative use, with W standing for wallpaper, the W7 is 2.57mm thick. For reference, a credit card is .75mm thick, so this monitor is as thick as three credit cards. Of course, as part of the "signature" line of monitors (along with the G7), it's price will likely be around $10,000, so maybe instead of a W in the lobby it might make more sense to outfit a few more of your color suites with E6s and E7s.
LG also announced their home entertainment laser projector. While filmmakers continue to wait patiently for the Red Ray Projector, we are finally going to be able to buy a laser projector in 2017, hopefully with the same level of accuracy that LG has been bringing to the table in other areas.
The LG E7 is available this spring for around $3000 for the 55" and around $5000 for the 65".
- 64.5 or 54.6 diagonal size.
- DolbyVision, HDR10 and HLG HDR support
- 3840x2160 UHD display resolution
- 4 HDCP 2.2 HDMI ports
- 3 USB ports
- 1 Ethernet port
- webOS 3.5
- 802.11ac wifi