LG’s Wireless 97-Inch OLED TV Is Full of Surprises
I’ve been covering TVs at CES for years, so it takes a lot to surprise me. I’ve seen some wild displays, ones that spin and ones so big they’re basically video walls, but those usually come after a few rounds of prototyping, which dulls the shock. However, when I walked into LG’s suite at a Las Vegas hotel, what I saw across the room came as a big surprise.
And I mean big. It is a 97-inch OLED TV and remains the largest OLED TV in the world. And since OLED offers the best picture quality available, it’s extremely impressive in person at that size. But this was no surprise – LG introduced it last year. For me, the jaw drop came when the LG representative told me that the beautiful and massive 4K image was being streamed to the TV without any wires.
Wireless TV is real and it’s coming this year.
Read more: The biggest tech trends we saw at CES. Plus, here are the highlights of CES so far.
Now playing: Check this out: LG’s wireless OLED TV is 97 inches of technological powerhouse
Across the room from the TV was the wireless transmitter box. The back of the box had standard HDMI sockets and a handful of other connections, and an HDMI cable went to a Blu-ray player. The image on the screen was from a Blu-ray disc, sent wirelessly — and flawlessly, to my eye — from the box to the TV. The top of the box can be rotated to point an internal antenna at the TV.
The TV comes with a transmitter box. The tab at the top shows the internal antenna, which can be rotated to aim at the TV.
The TV itself had no video inputs at all, just bare metal where TV inputs are usually located on the back. The idea is to reduce wiring, that old bugaboo of nice TV wiring. You, the person who can afford a 97-inch OLED TV, put your AV equipment inside an out-of-sight cabinet, along with the transmitter box that everything goes into. That leaves just the power cord to the TV, an LG wire cleverly hidden inside one of the stand’s legs.
Of course, any number of TV stands can also hold your devices. But the wireless connection allows the TV to stand alone, which looks impressive on one of LG’s easel-like stands (pictured above), and can greatly simplify wall-mount installation.
LG says the box can be placed up to 30 meters away from the TV. I asked if the wireless connection was a potential risk, especially if you’re sitting between the box and the TV, and company representatives told me it wasn’t because it uses technology similar to standard Wi-Fi routers. They also said it wouldn’t be affected by other Wi-Fi traffic. The signal can handle up to 4K, 120 Hz resolution, which is about the maximum for today’s games. It’s also the highest resolution and frame rate that most TVs, including LG’s regular OLED 4K models, can accept.
The back of the junction box is where you insert the gear.
The box has three HDMI inputs, surprising since most high-end TVs have four, but that’s not a deal breaker in my book. The rest of the ports are typical for a TV: antenna, two USB, Ethernet and optical digital output, as well as a serial port for home automation control.
Wireless TVs have been sold in the past, and wireless technology has also appeared in projectors. You can also buy wireless HDMI extender kits for $100 or less, but they generally can’t handle that much bandwidth. This is the first time in years I’ve seen it integrated into a TV. A company called Displace TV also showed off a wireless OLED model at CES, but it’s a 55-inch battery-powered display designed for portability.
Now playing: Watch this: Check out LG’s booth at CES 2023
In addition to the 97-inch size, LG will release its wireless OLED, called the M3 series, in 83- and 77-inch sizes. LG says it will arrive sometime in 2023 with pricing, like the rest of LG’s 2023 TVs, still to be determined. For reference, LG charges $25,000 for its standard 97-inch wired OLED TV and $2,900 for a 77-inch, so regardless of size, the M3 won’t come cheap.
In addition to the M3, LG also introduced three other series of wired OLED TVs at CES 2023.
This product has been selected as one of the Best of CES 2023. See other Best of CES 2023 award winners.