LG Eyes OLED Throne

In NZ, LG is promoting its 2019 range of OLED TVs with sponsorship of Three’s Saturday night Star Wars season.

But in the US the company has seized upon the heightened interest in Game of Thrones’ controversial final season with this clever promotion:

It capitalises on the furore over the epic episode, The Long Night, much of which was hard to view because of the cinematography, compression and capability of most TVs.

The broadcast/streaming generated intense debate about the best way to watch GoT, with Digital Trends reporting it wasn’t a problem on LG’s new C9 OLED TV:

TVs have a hard time reproducing low-luminance video content. When an object on a screen gets very dim, the TV must apply just the right amount of voltage to make it show up — too much and the object is too bright and blows out everything around it, too little and the object might not even be visible. And when the entire screen is dim, an LED/LCD TV is actively working not to turn black stuff gray by lighting it up too much. On a technical level, an LED/LCD TV is being asked to defy the laws of physics in a big way.

Widely dark content is less of a problem for OLED TVs because the technology is naturally good at doing black levels, so it has an easier time lighting up just what it wants, but handling low levels of light is still a challenge from an electrical perspective …  I watched the episode in question on an LG C9 OLED by streaming HBO through a Hulu app on the TV and when the low, low bitrate wasn’t showing its ugly face, it looked glorious. And the room wasn’t totally dark, either. Most people simply don’t have such a nice TV, though.

The C9 has just hit shops here in three sizes: 55-, 65- and 77 inches. It’s the sweet spot of LG’s OLED range, although the C series is still priced as premium TVs ($5300 for the smallest, $17,000 for the largest and $7300 for the 65-inch).

But it’s not just Digital Trends that rates it highly. What Hi-Fi reckons it “defies expectations“, C|Net claims it has “better image quality than any television we’ ve ever tested” and Wired, “easily the smartest OLED TV ever made”.

Even better news for consumers with the cash is retailers have been quick to discount the C9’s launch price. Noel Leeming, for instance, is selling the 65-inch for $5992 and Harvey Norman for $5496 (with a trade-in).

It’s too late to snap one up in time for today’s GoT grand final but it’s worth saving up to have one on hand when the season is released on Blu-ray and 4K-UHD. Then, in terms of picture quality, it really will be game over.

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