LG has announced the US release schedule and pricing for most of its 2019 OLED televisions. The first models will begin shipping next month, with some confirmed to ship through May and June.
The 55- and 65-inch C-series will ship in April for $2,500 and $3,500, respectively. A 77-inch variant will come a month later in May for $7,000. The E-series will see a staggered launch: the $4,300, 65-inch model will ship in April, but the $3,300, 55-inch will curiously ship a month later in May. Finally, there’s the high-end W-series. Those TVs will ship in June, for either $7,000 for a 65-inch model or a whopping $13,000 for 77 inches.
LG’s announcement didn’t specify a release date for the lower-end B9 model, which will be available in 55- and 65-inch configurations whenever it does arrive. Neither did it mention the rollable TV (dubbed the R series) that made such a splash at CES or the 88-inch, 8K option known as the Z9. All of those TVs are expected this year sometime, but it looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer to get final confirmation of release dates and pricing.
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There’s no real difference between the three models when it comes to features or specifications. They each add LG’s Alpha 9 Gen 2 CPU and HDMI 2.1 with support for 120Hz on 4K content as well as eARC for home-theater audio enthusiasts. They also support variable refresh rates (VRR) and automatic low-latency mode (ALLM)—two welcome technologies for gamers, though currently only the latest Xbox One consoles and high-end gaming PCs offer those things, not the PlayStation or Nintendo consoles. Like many TVs announced at CES this year, these new LG OLEDs support Apple AirPlay, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa, too.
The differences between the models laid out above are in design and aesthetics. The ultra-pricy W series is all about thinness, and the E series frames the display in glass on all sides, with a special glass stand. The cheaper B9 TV coming later this year will lack some of the features of the new TVs, though. Most notably, it will not have the latest Alpha 9 Gen 2 CPU, which is used for a variety of features, including real-time image enhancement using machine learning.
Not only is there not much practical differentiation between the new models, there’s likely no reason to upgrade if you have bought an LG OLED in the past couple of years. The panels in all these TVs are identical in terms of picture quality—not just compared to last year, but going back a couple of years across the B-, E-, C-, and W-series lineups. New features like HDMI 2.1 and 4K at 120Hz might be boons in terms of future-proofing, but as far as most present-day content and use cases go, if you’ve got one LG OLED, you’ve got them all. Only minor features (like slightly better anti-image retention) differentiate more recent TVs.
Listing image by LG