If you’ve been patiently waiting for your chance to buy LG’s giant, new 88-inch 8K OLED TV, it will not cost a whopping $42,000, as was previously reported. That price was obviously ridiculous. Instead, the record-breaking TV will only set you back a comparatively measly $30,000, according to LG, which just announced the U.S. availability of the monster OLED TV. If you’re looking for some big-screen 8K excitement at a more reasonable price, today is also your first chance to buy one of LG’s 75-inch 8K NanoCell TVs, for a mere $4,999.
The 88-inch TV — which LG calls the OLED88Z9 — isn’t just the first 8K OLED TV. It’s also the biggest OLED TV so far, at 88 inches. That’s a mere 11 inches bigger than the 4K, 77-inch C8 series (until now the biggest OLED TV LG has sold), and yet the C8 currently sells for just $5,500, which is a stark reminder of how difficult (and thus expensive) it is to produce increasingly large OLED panels. Of course, it likely won’t be long until the Z9’s still-stratospheric price tag begins to fall to earth. And for what it’s worth, our review of the LG Z9 describes it as “the most beautiful TV we’ve ever seen.”
LG will soon have its first real OLED competitor. Samsung has announced that not only will it be getting back into the OLED game — which it had abandoned in favor of its quantum dot QLED technology — but it will also be bringing some of those tiny dots to the OLED table, possibly improving on what is already the best display technology you can currently buy.
Quantum dots won’t make it cheaper or easier to create massive-scale OLED displays, so we suspect microLED TV will soon be the king of the hill for big screens. With its approach based on many smaller panels, it can achieve the kind of scale and cost-effectiveness that will likely never be possible with traditional OLED, or even LED, TVs. That’s not for lack of trying — ahead of this year’s 2019 IFA electronics show, Sharp showed off the largest LED TV in the world, which it says will also have 5G connectivity.
Interestingly, LG is using the launch of the Z9 as an opportunity to subtly take a swipe at all of the other 8K TVs that will likely start to flood the market in the next 12 to 18 months. LG wants you to know that not all 8K TVs are alike and that you should be paying close attention to the fine print. LG has worked with the International Committee for Display Metrology (ICDM) to ensure its 8K TVs meet the organization’s minimum standards, which describe how TV resolution is perceived by the human eye. Their key measurement unit for this standard is Contrast Modulation (CM). The higher the CM percentage, the better, but the minimum is 25% for images and 50% for text.
“An 8K TV with a CM value that is lower than these required thresholds does not deliver real 8K, even though the TV may in fact have the sufficient number (7,680 x 4,320) of pixels,” LG claims. Needless to say, both the 8K OLED Z9, and LG’s new Nanocell 8K TV, both exceed these thresholds by a lot, with CM values in the 90% range for both measurements.
Both TVs also pack the latest in voice and wireless technologies, with Apple AirPlay 2, HomeKit, and built-in versions of the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
LG says the Z9 OLED TV is available from select LG retailers, but so far it hasn’t published a list of these businesses. We’ve only found two retailers online so far, but if you keep an eye on LG’s product page, we imagine it will be updated soon with more locations.