LG's 2018 4K TVs include AI and smarter HDR

The W8, E8 and SK9500 are evolutionary but welcome upgrades.

After a fair amount of teasing, LG is ready to take the wraps off of its 2018 4K TV lineup -- and in many ways, it's an evolution of what you saw last year. Its flagship OLED lines (the Signature-badged W8 and more-conventional E8) and the LCD-based SK9500 have designs that are largely familiar to their predecessors but carry some significant upgrades under the hood. The centerpiece, as LG mentioned earlier, is AI: All three lines support deep learning and Google Assistant control to allow for natural language voice control over everything from the TV itself to smart home devices. They also bring active HDR that improves the image quality of HDR10 and Hybrid Log Gamma content by analyzing individual images.

The headliner, as with last year, is the Signature-badged wallpaper OLED model -- in this case, the W8. The new version is still designed to cling to your wall and stuffs most of its hardware into the soundbar below. It packs LG's fastest chip, the Alpha 9, which drives AI, picture quality and "ultra-fast" response times. LG had already teased support for 120FPS high frame rate video.

The E8 is a direct parallel to the E7 and brings the W8's technology to a more conventional TV. It too has the Alpha 9, but it integrates a 60W 4.2-channel soundbar (complete with Dolby Atmos). The G8, C8 and B8 are straightforward evolutions of last year's models as well. And if you'd rather stick to LCD, the SK9500 goes with the Alpha 7 processor while bringing display upgrades that include an IPS panel (for better color at wide viewing angles), upgraded Nano Cell display tech and denser LED local dimming. The upgrades promise more accurate colors, deeper blacks and higher peak brightness.

LG still hasn't outlined the pricing or release dates for these sets, but it's safe to presume the W8 and E8 will cost a pretty penny while the SK9500 will be (relatively) affordable. All told, there's no rush to upgrade if you scored one of LG's higher-end TVs in the past year or two. If you're new to the 4K game and have money to spend, though, these might be worth a glimpse.

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