LG’s 2024 TV Lineup Is Easier to Use Than Ever

As the haul of sparkling new 2024 TVs prepares to arrive this spring, some TV brands have invited A/V fanatics like me to get a glimpse of their latest and greatest models before they hit the streets. LG’s event came in the form of a trip to the company’s impressive new US headquarters in NJ for its Annual TV Reviewer Workshop.

In a crowded room loaded with reviewers and YouTubers, LG put its best and brightest new 4K TVs on display, including this year’s G4 and C4 OLEDs, as well as its latest mini LED TV, the QNED90. We only had a few hours with the TVs in a very controlled environment, so first impressions are limited, but it’s clear that LG isn’t rocking the boat much for its prized models, offering much the same performance as last year with a few enhancements.

The biggest change for 2024 may be the latest webOS smart platform, which gets a total facelift this year with some much-appreciated usability features. From a Chatbot that can help you adjust your picture to an available always-on info screen, webOS looks better than ever, which LG hopes will help the brand’s best TVs stand out.

Incremental Updates

Even when shown side-by-side, it’s hard to see a big difference in LG’s latest G-Series and C-Series TVs over last year’s. That is to say, the new TVs looked stunning, with excellent colors, contrast, and detail, but not notably better. LG has no big updates to its MLA (Micro Lens Array) technology, which means the G4 will see only a minor brightness boost this year. LG did add the tech to its 83-inch G-Series models for the first time, but the step-down C-Series once again misses out, so it too will offer only minor upgrades over 2023.

The G4 has the new A11 processor designed to further enhance picture and audio, while the C4 steps up to the A9 gen 7. The most interesting upgrade was the G4’s new Professional Mode which lets picture purists control TV brightness with more granularity to get a bigger burst from HDR content without losing detail. As LG describes it, complaints that its flagship OLED doesn’t blaze quite as brightly as top competitors derive from purposely limiting its peak brightness to preserve detail and prevent “clipping” in bright scenes like a lightning bolt or an explosion.

With Professional Mode, you can fine-tune the brightness at a micro level for content mastered at 1,000 nits, as well as 4,000 and 10,000 nits, well above what current OLED TVs can reproduce. We got to see the feature in action with scenes from titles like Mad Max Fury Road and it was cool to see how perfectly you can adjust the screen, letting you push the brightness limit without blasting away finer details.

Photograph: Ryan Waniata

While that may be inside baseball, any edge in the ultra-competitive OLED market is worth noting, as the best TVs continually get better and the race gets tighter. Other new features include a Filmmaker Mode picture setting for better accuracy with Dolby Vision movies and TV shows, a first according to LG, and a new AI Director Processing feature, which uses AI to adjust colors for each movie, TV show, or game to look more like the director’s intent.

In one demo, LG showed both its G4 and G3 OLEDs next to top 2023 competitors in the Sony A95L (8/10, WIRED Recommends) and Samsung S95C (8/10, WIRED Recommends). Some scenes showed a slight edge for both G-Series TVs while others were less noticeable—if you could see a difference at all. This points to something even LG concedes: The best TVs are getting so good, it’s harder than ever to differentiate. It’s a good problem for TV lovers, but not so much for TV makers. That’s why LG made a sizable overhaul to its webOS smart platform to make its new TVs easier to use.

A Chatbot You’ll Actually Like

The new webOS interface looks cleaner, with a smaller portion of the top screen for ads, and even the ability to turn them off entirely. That’s a stark contrast to rivals, from Google TV to Vizio’s Smartcast (aka Home), where banner ads have become not only more prominent but also more invasive.

Other new webOS features include an available Always Ready screen that acts as a screensaver and can incorporate custom info like your weather or Google Calendar and photos. There are also new accessibility features like the ability to connect a hearing aid to the TV, personalized profiles for different users, and a new Sports Mode to follow your favorite teams and players.

Photograph: Ryan Waniata

One of the coolest additions is LG’s Chatbot, which is designed like a built-in tour guide for TV settings. Wondering why your TV is too dark? Just ask the Chatbot, and it grabs the backlight setting right in the chat. Other inquiries LG previewed include “Why does no single appear?” or “The screen brightness changes.” For TV newbies or those who hate searching through settings, this is a big improvement. It worked pretty well in the few commands I tried, finding multiple settings with just the Chatbot and voice remote, so I’m excited to try more rigorous tests.

The best part? The latest webOS will come in all LG’s new premium TVs, as well as models going back to at least 2022, though LG said those models won’t get it until next year.

Quantum Dot Competition

LG is best known for its OLED models, but the company hasn’t abandoned backlit TVs, and the new 4K flagship LED TV, the QNED90T, looked quite good in the short time I spent with it. With the full monty of quantum dots for boosted colors and mini LEDs for enhanced contrast control, the TV showed off eye-tingling brightness, vivid colors, and impressive black levels when showcasing punchy HDR content.

Photograph: Ryan Waniata

I did notice a small amount of panel uniformity issues, sometimes called the “dirty screen effect” in a few scenes, but the TV’s picture looked gorgeous overall. It seems like it could make some waves in the space for those seeking a bright and colorful TV outside the OLED market, like those who might otherwise buy TCL or Samsung TVs.

As usual, LG’s QNED TVs will have serious competition in 2024, from Samsung’s new QN90D to more value-forward models like Hisense’s U8N, TCL’s QM8, and others. Our limited first-hand look showed real promise for the QNED90T, so it will be exciting to see how it stands up in a more in-depth analysis.