February 8, 2023

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LG OLED C3 and G3 preview

LG OLED C3 and G3 preview

LG Electronics is showing off several new TVs at CES, including the “Wireless” Signature OLED M. and OLED T, the first consumer transparent OLED TVs. They’re great innovations, but secretly we find the new C3 and G3 OLED TVs to be more interesting. The C series has been the best selling OLED TV in the Netherlands for years, and the more expensive G series is also popular. The 2023 models of this series will receive a number of interesting new features, with the G series in particular taking a big step with a new META OLED panel from LG Display with Precision lens groupor mla. The C3 doesn’t have MLA, but it uses LG’s improved image processor and the latest version of webOS, with a clean home screen and interface that features some welcome improvements.

Mullah-walad

The news in the OLED field this CES is the submission of an MLA by panel manufacturer LG Display, which is a sister company to the LG Electronics we know from TVs. Not only will we run into the new META OLED panels that are being used this year in TVs from LG Electronics, but Panasonic now has them too. announce Sony and Philips are also expected to offer TVs with MLA panels later this spring.

Mla isn’t an entirely new panel technology per se, but it is an addition to the WBE panels, or OLED EX panels, that LG Display introduced last year. Mla adds an extra layer to those panels, nullifying the internal scattering of light within the panel’s substrate and actually emitting a larger portion of the light towards the viewer. With the same electrical input, this means more light output, while the viewing angle of the screens is not affected.


The new META panels with MLA (right) direct more light toward the viewer.

In fact, in the demos of the LG G3 with MLA that I saw, that screen’s viewing angle was actually better than that of last year’s G2, as the purple tint of the regular OLED EX panels on the newer panels was particularly noticeable as the screens disappeared. The light output of the new MLA-equipped TVs appears to be much higher than last year’s OLED EX panels. First measurements HDVTest of the Panasonic MZ2000 with mla shows that in calibration mode with the D65 white point, the TV achieves over 1,500cd/m² when measuring white area covering ten percent of the black background, while full-screen brightness shows just over 200cd/m². With that said, MLA really does seem to bring the polish it promises; The previous generation stuck at around 1,000 cd/m2.

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don’t mention mla

Thus, Mla is a welcome addition to LG Display’s wool slabs, especially now that Samsung’s 2023 QD OLED TVs also promise higher brightness compared to the 2022 models. However, LG Electonics has chosen not to use the term “mla” in conjunction with its TVs. Officially, we don’t know if the G3 will ever board with an MLA, but we’ve heard through unofficial channels that this is indeed the case. At least, for the 55-inch, 65-inch and 77-inch models. According to LG Electronics, these TVs have Light Control Achitecture and Brightness Booster Max, which makes the G3 70 percent brighter than the new B3 OLED, which will come with a standard OLED panel.

They say the reason LG Electronics avoids the term “mla” is because the panel is only part of the story, while the manufacturer’s control would be just as important. LG Electronics doesn’t want to say anything officially about the panel used, but says the higher light output is a combination of the panel’s “hardware” and LG’s algorithms.

LG OLED G3 with META OLED panel

For the larger 83-inch variant of the G3, LG claims not 70 percent brightness improvement, but 30 percent. This makes sense, since sister company LG Display only makes 55-, 65-, and 77-inch MLA panels at the moment. So it should be the 83-inch version with a “normal” OLED EX panel with heatsink, which, like last year’s G2, is about 30 percent brighter than a standard OLED panel.
The OLED G3 models are also equipped with a new Super Anti Reflective Film that should prevent annoying reflections. So far this film has only been used with Flex OLED, but this year it will also be used with wireless G-series, 8k-Z3 and OLED M models.

The new LG OLED C3 models won’t get MLA panels anyway. As far as we know, the C3 TVs use the same OLED EX panels as last year’s C2, the heatsink-less version. So the brightness of the C3 should not be higher than that of the C2, which means that the gain compared to a standard OLED panel is about 20 percent.

This makes the difference in brightness between the C3 and the G3 even greater compared to the difference between the C2 and the G2 last year. The G2 was brighter because that TV used a much more expensive OLED EX panel with a heat sink, while the C2 had to do without the extra heat sink. The G3 retains this advantage over the C3, but receives a significant additional brightness boost from the MLA. This makes the G3 even more interesting.

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Alpha 9 Gen 6

The C3 and G3 both use LG’s latest Alpha 9 Gen 6 processor, which is the successor to last year’s Gen 5. In terms of functionality, the new processor offers quite a few extras: The new TVs, like their predecessors, have four HDMI 2.1 ports with full bandwidth, FreeSync Premium support, G-Sync, and vrr up to 144Hz. TVs can handle HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG, and Dolby Atmos audio. The only new feature we could spot is Quick Media Switching, or QMS, an HDMI 2.1 feature that allows TVs to seamlessly switch between signals with different refresh rates. QMS should prevent the image from turning black for a moment if you switch from a 24Hz signal to 60Hz, for example.

Like every year, LG claims that the Alpha 9 Gen 6 processor’s image processing has once again improved over its predecessor. For example, the new processor will divide the image into four times the number of regions to add local HDR tone mapping, and it should also be better upscaling SD and HD images to 4k. Be that as it may, we’ll have to judge when we can try out the TVs in our test lab soon; During the C3 and G3 demos I saw, only high-quality HDR content was played.

web operating system 23

A few years ago, LG switched from a simple bar at the bottom of the screen to a full-screen interface for its webOS operating system, cramming a massive amount of (sponsored) content and recommendations onto the home screen. The downside to that was not only that you had to scroll a lot; It also seemed crowded and crowded.


LG webOS 23 home screen interface

With the 2023 release of webOS, the full screen interface remains, but LG has cleaned it up. The most important functions are now located in Quick Cards, where frequently used applications and services can be found grouped by topic. The first demo gave the impression that it’s actually improved, but it’s not clear how much you can block recommendations, or ads, from services you don’t have a subscription to. I’m curious if webOS 23 is any different in practice than its predecessor, and it’s something we’ll come back to when we start testing new hardware soon.


Customizable LG webOS 23 settings

The addition of a fully customizable quick menu is a welcome addition as far as I’m concerned. This menu, which appears on the left, presents twelve shortcuts to settings and functions, since you as a user can choose which settings you want here.


Custom image processor in LG webOS 23

Also new in webOS 23 is the Custom Image Wizard, which helps you adjust the image to your personal preference based on a number of sample images. The TV successively displays several screens with six pictures each, where you have to select the one you like best. Based on your choices, the TV then creates a personalized picture preset with settings fine-tuned for brightness, contrast, sharpness, and color, among other things, based on the preferences you indicated when selecting pictures.

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Appearance and availability

The appearance of the new G3 and C3 has not changed from C2 and G2 models From 2022. The G3 is about 2.5cm thick, just like its predecessor, and is intended to hang seamlessly on the wall. The TV comes with a special stand that disappears into the TV, so you can actually hang the screen flat on the wall. The C3 also looks like two drops of water on the C2 in terms of looks. The new model is on the same base and has the same composite rear as its predecessor.


The new LG OLED C3 looks like two drops of water in the 2022 C2.

The C3 and G3 are likely to be available in the Netherlands at the end of April. The C3 will be available in picture sizes from 42 to 83 inches and the G3 from 55 to 83 inches.

Although LG won’t be showing the cheaper A and B series at CES, we understand there will be an A3 and B3 series. The B3 will have a non-EX OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate, HDMI 2.1 inputs only and the less powerful Alpha 7 Gen 6 processor. The OLED A3 installed for 2023 should be with a 60Hz panel and it doesn’t get HDMI 2.1 inputs. LG has not announced prices for all of the new TVs at this time.