LG shows off the AI brains powering images and audio on its 2019 TVs
With the mammoth annual tech expo that is CES right around the corner, LG is getting its announcements in early: it's unveiled some of the highlights of its 2019 TV range, including AI-optimized image and audio quality, 8K resolutions, and support for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Under the familiar ThinQ branding that LG applies to a lot of its devices now, including its flagship phones, the television sets that it's introducing at CES next week are going to apply deep learning techniques to analyze source content and work out the best way of presenting it.
That might mean upscaling it in a particular way, or setting the brightness and contrast to a particular configuration, and it can even take into account the ambient lighting conditions. On top of that, two-channel audio output can be upscaled to create a surround sound effect with the help of AI processing.
"In addition to content source detection, the new processor finely adjusts the tone mapping curve in accordance with ambient conditions to offer optimized screen brightness, leveraging its ability to understand how the human eye perceives images in different lighting," explains LG.
Essential the dedicated AI processing on board these sets means more calculations will be able to be done on the fly based on incoming data – your TV set will be able to make its own intelligent choices on how to reduce noise, and balance dark and light areas, in each frame of whatever show or movie you're watching.
These deep learning AI techniques get deployed in enabling voice recognition on sets too – with the new Alpha 9 Gen 2 intelligent processor on board, incoming sound waves can be quickly analyzed to better identify voices and the words being said.
Google Assistant has been built into several LG TV sets already, but this year we'll see Amazon Alexa join the party too, giving you a choice of digital assistants to make friends with. As well as answering questions, bringing up context-sensitive information, and interfacing with other apps (like Spotify and Uber), these assistants can also control compatible smart home devices.
As for the models that will be on show at CES in Las Vegas, LG is upgrading several of its OLED sets for 2019, with the flagship model the 88-inch, 8K resolution Z9 set. Dolby Atmos 5.1 sound is going to be present on the higher-end televisions.
HDMI 2.1 is arriving with LG's television line-up for 2019 as well. The new HDMI standard brings with it support for 8K resolutions at 60 frames-per-second (up from 30 fps), better HDR processing, and improved support for variable refresh rates. Any 4K content can now be shown at refresh rates of up to 120 fps (up from 60 fps).
CES 2019 gets underway on Monday, and we'll be sure to bring you any more news from LG on its 2019 TVs and AI algorithms, as well as plenty of other new gadgets and gizmos.