TV Updates: 8K TV broadcast and LG chipset.

With CES 2019 just around the corner, Florian is already looking at the next-gen processor for upcoming LG TVs in this TV Updates Feature! In addition, news about 8K TV broadcasts, the HDR in Battlefield V and a small heads-up if you plan to purchase a new TV.

8K TV broadcast in Japan

Japan used to be way ahead when it comes to technology. The latest TVs and other hardware were the first in the shops in Japan, but fortunately for us, that has now been pretty straightened out. Where the Japanese are at the forefront are TV broadcasts in high resolutions. Where in the Netherlands (and just about the rest of the world) we are still talking about 720p or 1080i broadcasts, there are already a number of native 4K channels in Japan and an 8K channel has now been added.

TV Updates: 8K TV broadcast and LG chipset

It concerns broadcaster NHK and the new channel will broadcast films, documentaries, NASA content, sports, nature programs and concerts in 8K. NHK will also broadcast the 2020 Olympic Games in 8K. Sounds good, but now comes the joke of the week.

NHK broadcasts in 8K / 60 frames per second and there is no TV in the whole world that can receive that signal! This requires the new HDMI 2.1 standard, which will probably appear in the first high-end TVs in 2019. The 8K TVs available now can only handle up to 8K / 30 frames per second.

TV Updates: 8K TV broadcast and LG chipset

To watch NHK in 8K you now also need very special extra hardware and several HDMI cables to bring the signal to the TV. Once HDMI 2.1 is available it will just work like a ‘normal’ TV decoder, but let’s be clear that this is still a long way off. Ziggo here in the Netherlands will finally start with 4K broadcasts early next year, so luckily there is also progress here.

LG alpha 9 gene 2

What E3 is to games, CES is to new hardware and technology. The fair in Las Vegas is the most important of the year for TV manufacturers and as a consumer we get a great glimpse into the near future. In a month, the CES will be released and gradually the first teasers will appear. LG is already talking a bit about its latest generation chipset, for the newest TVs in 2019.

TV Updates: 8K TV broadcast and LG chipset

In the first place, the type of panel is a big part of the picture quality, but the processor is just as important to control the panel in the right way. For example, look at today’s OLED TVs, where all panels come from LG, but there is a difference in the image quality due to the different processors and software that manufacturers use.

LG has already announced that it will use a brand new chipset in the latest high-end TVs, called Alpha 9 gen 2. What exactly we can expect is not yet clear, but LG is again talking about support for High Frame Rate (HFR ), which enables images up to 120 frames per second. I say again, because the current Alpha 9 processor is also capable of this, so it is unknown why LG is shouting from the rooftops.

TV Updates: 8K TV broadcast and LG chipset

My expectation is that this Alpha 9 gen 2 processor is specially made for the 8K OLED TVs that are scheduled for release in 2019. LG has already shown a gruesome 88 inch 8K OLED TV at the IFA and a lot of extra power is needed to control all those pixels. The fact that LG is talking about HFR again will have to do with enabling a high frame rate in 8K resolutions.

Battlefield V Heatmap HDR

Just finished the technical bullshit and time to watch a really interesting video, which shows very well what HDR actually does. The ‘problem’ with HDR is that you cannot properly show what it does via videos, since 99% of the people who watch the video simply do it in SDR. This applies not only to moving images, but also to screenshots.

To be able to demonstrate what HDR does and whether it works correctly, a Luminance Heatmap system has been developed. Check out the system in action with Battlefield V in the video below, with an explanation from professional TV calibrator Vincent Teoh.

TV Updates: 8K TV broadcast and LG chipset

Now is the time!

Before I close things up again for this month I just have a heads-up. If you are planning to buy a new TV, now is the time! Stores stunt like crazy with prices and that has not only to do with the holidays, but also with the CES. In a month’s time, the current TVs will be ‘outdated’ as the 2019 models will then be presented.

If you don’t have the money for a top TV from 2018, this is also the time to look back at the high-end TVs from 2017, before they disappear from the shelves for good. In the coming months you can still find the 2017 models in stores, but as soon as the 2019 models are on the market (usually February / March), that will decrease very quickly.

Ed and Wouter also started to itch in recent weeks and after some consultation they are now both proud owners of a 2018 LG C8 OLED TV. Gentlemen, congratulations!

TV Updates: 8K TV broadcast and LG chipset