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What Constitutes A ‘Real’ 8K TV, Battle Lines Drawn At CES

The battle over what constitutes a “Real” 8K TV is still being fought out with LG throwing down another gauntlet at CES 2020 with a new range of 8K TVs.

As the battle looms over 8K certification and the roll-out of models that are 8K Association-certified, LG announced that two older OLED 77″ and 88″ models, along with six LCDs measuring between 65 and 75-inches, now qualify for the Association monocle. This means all these models will now deliver “Real 8K”, in what appeared to be a shot across the bow of arch South Korean rival Samsung.

The announcement marked a continuation of the war between the two TV giants over what exactly constitutes an 8K TV.

While both companies agree that 8K is a resolution of 7680 horizontal pixels by 4320 vertical pixels, the two TV makers have different ideas about how these should be measured.

LG uses the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) definition, which relies on a measurement called “Contrast Modulation” to define its pixels. Meanwhile, Samsung uses the 8K Association’s definition (an organization which LG is not a member of), which doesn’t list any such requirements.

Right now, there is no conclusive evidence as to who is right, maybe both claim observers.

John Archer, our sometimes TV reviewer, recently offered his in-depth explanation.

“Regardless of the resolution disagreements, LG’s newly announced TVs should offer much better support for 8K content,” Archer said.

“The TVs now support HEVC, VP9 and AV1 content natively, which is notable when its previous 8K TV required an external decoder box to decode the YouTube-backed AV1 codec.

“The TVs are also equipped with HDMI inputs, which can handle 60fps content at 8K resolution.”

Internally, LG’s TVs are equipped with the company’s new Alpha 9 Gen 3 processor, which it says uses deep learning technology to optimise both picture and sound quality.

The processor can upscale video to 8K, audio to 5.1 surround sound, and also has the ability to recognise faces and text on-screen, tweaking picture quality to improve the appearance of both.

Support for Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants returns from last year, as does HomeKit and AirPlay 2 compatibility. LG also says that the TVs will be upgraded with Alexa far-field voice compatibility in the future, and that the TVs can be used to monitor and control supported IoT devices from its dashboard.

Archer also claims that despite the amount of noise being made about the new resolution, LG and Samsung’s disagreement shows that 8K is a technology that’s still in its infancy.

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