At CES, we usually see two types of TVs: the kind that many people (can) actually buy and the kind that are technologically impressive, but inaccessible to many. The latter is therefore no less interesting, since this is where we find the greatest innovation. This also applies to LG’s new Signature OLED M series, which it calls “wireless” TV. No, you don’t get power through the air through a Tesla coil; It just goes with the rope. However, it has no outlets. You connect all of your sources to a separate box, the Zero Connect Box, which hooks up wirelessly to your TV.
Why are you developing this? Because you can place or hang your TV in a better way without having to deal with a mess of cables that have to be removed. Competitor Samsung solves this with its OneConnect box and a single thin cable, which is a much simpler option in practice. What LG has come up with now sounds rather complicated, but that doesn’t make the concept any less interesting.
Zero contact box
During a private session in a hotel room somewhere on the 60th floor of a Las Vegas hotel, we were able to take a closer look at the OLED M and ask questions to LG experts. Unfortunately, it was sometimes difficult to find technical answers and details. However, we were able to learn a few things about the functioning of the whole.
First of all, LG says it has developed the technology itself. We can interpret this statement in different ways. It could be something from LG from zero It is built in, including all hardware, antennas and the full software suite. It is also possible that the manufacturer has expanded an existing standard and made modifications. For example, there is a file 802.11ay specificationwhich supports up to 40 Gb per stream and can act as a backbone.
Whatever the case, what I particularly liked was the stability of the system. I once wore a pair of WiGig-enabled HTC Vive VR wireless glasses, and once someone opened line of sight He pierced between the glasses and the WiGig transmitter by walking, and the image started to stutter. That’s not the case at all with the LG OLED M. I tried extensively to disable the signal by shielding the box with my body, but that did nothing with the picture on the TV. According to an LG expert, the system itself looks for the best “path” through space, though we don’t know exactly what that means under the hood.
It was also said that the frequency used is one that is not used by other appliances in the house, but we don’t know which one it is exactly. Due to the higher bandwidth required, this will likely be somewhere in the 60GHz region, just like WiGig.
LG claims the Zero Connect Box’s range is at least ten meters. In the demos we attended, he stood about three meters away. It’s a big boy and I personally prefer hiding it in a closet, but LG advises against it. It was joked that you could put a plant in front of it, but the fact remains that it is something amazing. It is also not recommended to hide it somewhere behind the TV. At the top of the box is a spinner that acts as an antenna and is supposed to always point at the TV.
On the back of the box you’ll find all the connections you’d expect: triple HDMI 2.1, coax for tuner, S/PDIF, USB and Ethernet. There’s also support for FreeSync, G-Sync, VRR, and QMS, so wireless doesn’t seem to affect the various features of HDMI 2.1. Except for the maximum frame rate at 4k, which maxes out at 120 instead of 144 Hz.
The main question we went to in the session was simple: is compression used and does it affect the quality of the picture or sound? We got an approximate answer to this question, but not quite. The LG expert reassured us that the quality is not affected by the wireless signal and that you can expect the same quality as with an LG TV simply working with a cable. However, we have not received conclusive confirmation that there is no pressure at all. By the way, the TV looked nice at first sight, so if there’s wasted pressure, it wouldn’t be noticeable anyway. We also couldn’t get any hard answers about possible latency, though it will no doubt be there. How noticeable it is, it must be seen in practice.
By the way, the OLED M doesn’t have the same panel as the new OLED G3. It is equipped with Precision lens group Thus it has a much higher brightness. However, the M series, like other new models, is running on the 2023 release of webOS.
Is Signature OLED M an impressive piece of technology? Definitely. Does it sound like a complicated solution? Also this. In the end, you still have to hide the power cable, so if you hang the TV, you still need a cable tube. In addition, you get a black box that you have to give him a place somewhere. However, we’re looking forward to putting the OLED M through its paces in our test lab. That will be sometime in the second half of this year when it comes in sizes 77″, 83″, and 97″.
“Professional web ninja. Certified gamer. Avid zombie geek. Hipster-friendly baconaholic.”