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Who Will Win The Big Premium TV Battle, Samsung Or LG?

For the first time in nearly a decade, Samsung’s dominance in the Australian TV market is set to be challenged by arch rival LG, who after hiring the former Group Marketing Manager of Samsung’s TV Division Tony Brown, is set to kick start a battle royal for the top end of the Ultra High Definition TV market.

The battle will centre on four key elements:

1 Who has the best TV display quality, LG with their OLED offering or Samsung with their new QLED technology.

2 Design, and how a top end wafer thin OLED TV screen can be mounted on a wall.

3 Pricing, LG Australia has set a price list for their Premium TV’s that with some models already undercuts Samsung’s QLED pricing, what Samsung has is more choice and a wider range of TV’s including an 85″ model.

4: Marketing, and this is where Samsung excels.

A key part of LG’s marketing program is based on a strategy of trying to establish a “massive point of difference” with their top end OLED TV offering.

Their 65″ W7 OLED TV is a quantum leap in TV design, and what LG are punting on is that that consumers are prepared to fork out $13K to make a design statement with their new TV.

The Korean TV manufacturer not only wants to differentiate their TV offering from Samsung they also want to be the premium OLED brand up alongside Sony and Panasonic who are both set to launch OLED TV’s which come with LG made OLED panels.

What LG have up their sleeve is the LG OLED wallpaper thin TV which is just 2.8mm thick and when mounted on a magnetic back protrudes just 4mm from a wall, the bracket fixes on using magnets and a tiny hook. This TV comes with a Dolby Atmos soundbar that also has pop up speakers that retract when the TV is turned off.

This TV can only be attached using the magnetic wall mount as there’s no stand provided.

The rear of the soundbar houses all the TV functionality and connection is via a wafer thin optical cable.

All the top end TVs from LG deliver the same 4K Ultra HD (UHD) picture quality, and in the High Dynamic Range (HDR) stakes, all the sets support HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG and Advanced HDR by Technicolor.

Where the battle gets interesting is in the level below top end premium.

By dropping down a level with LG still get a choice between a 65-inch and 55-inch screen, yet the screen itself is slightly chunkier due to the attached Dolby Atmos surround sound system-cum-stand.

That’s not to say this set is at all cheap. The 65-inch model (OLED65C7T) will set you back $6,899.

Gone is the big-hitting sound system of the Signature range, and there’s a smaller stand as a result.

At this level the Samsung Q8 appears to be a better-looking option and like the LG offering consumers must buy a separate soundbar.

BELOW: New Samsung QLED TV offering. 

So, who will win this TV battle?

At the end of the day LG has an appalling marketing record, whether Tony Brown and recently appointed Marketing Director Angus Jones can make a difference is set to be seen.

There problem is that Korea controls the LG, marketing purse strings and they can be quite stingy when it comes to investing in high profile marketing that is needed for their new TV technology.

As for Samsung, they are a marketing giant, they already have billboards up for their new Samsung S8 smartphone which is due shortly and they are set to roll out a multimillion dollar marketing campaign for their new TV’s.

In the past LG, have had some great TV’s washing machines and the G4 and G5 smartphones as well as their LG V20 smartphones were as good as any smartphones out there, the lack of marketing spends and a decade long failure to invest in their brand could still come back and hurt their latest ambitions as it has with past LG products.

While LG has a great TV product it does not mean that their offering will translate into success at the cash registers.

Consumers invest in brands, you only have to look at Apple.

Their PC and smartphone products are significantly inferior to what the other brands are selling but they still have a passionate following of consumers and they accordingly sting them when it comes to the cost of owning a product.

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