The big news out of CES 2019 wasn't actually a part of Consumer Electronics Show, but that didn't stop it from pretty much taking over things. And that news was that Apple was licensing out HomeKit and AirPlay 2 to pretty much every TV manufacturer who wants it. Samsung was first out of the gate, but its national neighbor LG wasn't far behind.
The question, then, is when. When would we see TVs with Apple's proprietary phone-to-screen streaming tech. The answer? Soon. Ish.
LG today announced that it's 2019 lineup of premium TVs will start to ship this month in South Korea and the United States. (Asia, Europe and South America will come after that.) Pricing and specific availability will be announced later.
Those TVs won't actually ship with AirPlay 2 and Homekit just yet, though. LG says they'll get an update out "mid-year" for those onew features, which will allow iPhone owners to easily stream music and video, and control their HomeKit-enabled devices, through the LG sets. There also will be a future update to enable Amazon Alexa support. (Google Assistant is already baked in.)
You could look at that as a glass half-empty, we suppose. But on the other hand it gives you that much more time to save up.
LG KICKS OFF GLOBAL ROLLOUT OF 2019 TV LINEUP
New OLED TVs with Deep Learning Technology Boosts Company's Premium TV Leadership
SEOUL, Mar. 6, 2019 — LG Electronics (LG) announced today that its 2019 premium TV lineup featuring advanced OLED and NanoCell TVs will begin rolling out this week. This year, OLED models will make up 20 percent of the company's high-end TV portfolio and with demand for OLED TVs expected to grow to 3.6 million units this year, 7 million units in 2020 and 10 million in 2021, LG expects to extend its leadership in the premium TV segment. Customers in South Korea and the United States will be the first to be able to take home a 2019 LG TV starting this month with availability in key markets of Asia, Europe and South America to follow soon thereafter. Specific pricing and model availability dates in each region will be announced separately.
Featuring a wider range of screen sizes up to 86 inches, this year's OLED and NanoCell LCD TVs from LG will offer upgraded AI picture and sound quality thanks to the company's advanced second generation α (Alpha) 9 Gen 2 intelligent processor and deep learning technology. New LG TVs will receive an upgrade mid-year to support Apple AirPlay 2 and Apple HomeKit for easy streaming of video and audio content and connectivity to Apple's smart home products. 2019 LG TV owners can also expect to receive a firmware update that will add Amazon Alexa support to complement Google Assistant which is included out of the box, making LG the only TV brand to provide support for both leading AI platforms without the need for additional hardware.
The α9 Gen 2 processor in LG's W, E and C series of OLED TVs elevates picture and sound quality with deep learning technology and access to an extensive database of visual information. This allows the processor to optimize the images by recognizing source quality and implementing the best algorithm to display a stunningly real image. The processor also analyzes ambient conditions to achieve the optimal level of screen brightness.
LG's 2019 home entertainment lineup is led by its industry leading OLED TVs in a variety of screen sizes: W9 (model 77/65W9), E9 (model 65/55E9), C9 (model 77/65/55C9) and B9 (model 65/55B9). The world's first 8K OLED TV (model 88Z9) expands LG's premium TV portfolio while NanoCell, the company's most advanced LED TV offering, will deliver stellar picture quality, vibrant images, accurate colors and wider viewing angles all in a sleek package with ultra-thin bezels and in more large-screen options this year than ever before. Select 2019 OLED and NanoCell models support HDMI 2.1 for the viewing of 4K content at a fast 120 frames per second as well as offering 4K high frame rate (4K HFR), automatic low latency mode (ALLM), variable refresh rate (VRR) and enhanced audio return channel (eARC).
Moreover, 2019 TVs from LG intelligently adjust content compatible with Dolby Vision to ensure an outstanding HDR experience, even in brightly lit conditions. The α9 Gen 2 also fine-tunes audio according to content type, making movie and TV dialogue easier to understand and delivering crisp, clear vocals in songs. While the AI can adjust audio settings to ideal levels based on the environment, users can also make manual adjustments if they wish. LG's flagship TVs again feature Dolby Vision for an outstanding HDR experience and Dolby Atmos for realistic, immersive audio.
LG's NanoCell range for 2019 comprises fourteen AI-enabled models, available in sizes varying from 49 to 86 inches.* Other LG TV models in the lineup for this year include the 8K OLED TV (model 88Z9) and the one-of-a-kind rollable LG SIGNATURE OLED TV R (model 65R9) which wowed audiences at CES earlier this year.
"LG continues to push the boundaries of TV technological innovation, as can clearly be seen from our premium TV lineup for 2019," said Brian Kwon, president of Mobile Communications and Home Entertainment companies. "LG's advanced AI technologies to improve picture and sound enrich and expand the viewing experience."