LG has been pretty vocal about its OLED-laden 4K TV lineup ahead of this year’s CES show in Las Vegas, but the company is giving precious little information about what other capabilities its next generation of ultra high-definition (UHD) TVs might possess. Piecing together a few details from several press releases, we now know that LG’s 2014 Ultra HD 4K displays will feature HDMI 2.0 compatibility, as well as onboard 10-bit HEVC/ H.265 decoding.
The South Korean TV manufacturer announced yesterday that it plans to show off at least three OLED televisions at the Consumer Electronics Show next week, with the cream of the crop likely to be a 77-inch curved 4K UHD OLED television that promises to deliver “a whole new level of picture quality.” LG seems to be taken with the curved screen concept for OLED ever since last year’s CES where the brand showcased its first prototype. Since then, the LG EA980 curved OLED TV has gone on sale in several countries in North America and Europe, though we’ve yet to see any OLEDs that are capable of 4K resolution hit the store shelves.
LG hasn’t said as much, but it’s likely that at least one, if not all of the new models in its 2014 range of Ultra HD 4K TVs will come with HDMI 2.0 and inbuilt 10-bit H.265 decoder, allowing for direct streaming of 4K content, and playback of 4K media (when we finally get some!).
The hint is in the following blurb in LG’s press release announcing its new lineup of OLED TVs:
“Consumers will appreciate that LG’s ULTRA HD CURVED OLED TVs are future-proof, able to decode broadcast signals in both H.264 and HEVC H.265 formats, at 30p or 60p. A convenient built-in decoder makes it possible to display Ultra HD content from external devices connected via the TV’s HDMI, USB or LAN ports.”
An inbuilt HEVC decoder is not entirely new of course, as LG’s LA970 series of UHDTVs released last year also offered the same feature. However, the company’s latest 4K Ultra HD TVs due to be unveiled at CES 2014 will use a ViXS XCode 6400 SoC (system on chip) that can decode HEVC-based content at 3840×2160 resolution with support for 60p frame rate and 10-bit colour depth, a world’s first. LG had previously used an older ViXS Xcode SoC on its PVR set-top boxes.
CES 2014 will also mark the first time LG will be joining the HDMI 2.0 movement. None of its current crop of 4KTVs are compliant with HDMI 2.0, but that’s likely to change after CES with the introduction of new Ultra HD models, given the number of references the company has given to 3840×2160 with 60fps support.