LG Offering New LG 4K Smart-TV Owners Free Priority Membership to Nvidia Cloud Gaming Service

LG Electronics is offering new LG 2021 4K Smart TV owners in select markets free priority membership to cloud gaming service Nvidia GeForce Now for six months.

The promotion kicks off as GeForce Now moves out of beta on LG TVs in 80 markets, providing users worldwide with Nvidia’s cloud gaming service.

GeForce Now allows users to stream free-to-play games purchased from online stores such as Steam, Epic Games Store, Ubisoft Connect and Origin. Priority membership provides faster access to Nvidia’s servers, extended session times, ray-traced graphics with RTX On and high-res gameplay at up to 60 frames per second.

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GeForce Now priority membership is open to all customers who purchase an applicable LG 2021 4K Smart TV model during the promotion period in participating markets. The limited-time offer will run in the United States from Feb. 1 to March 20 and will require LG TV customers to download and install GeForce Now on their new LG TVs.

With no additional hardware requirement outside of a compatible controller, LG TV users can play supported games they already own or free-to-play titles available on GeForce Now, including Rocket League and Destiny 2, as well as titles such as Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Crysis Remastered Trilogy

CES 2022 Gets Underway With Revamped Floor Plan and Masked Attendees

LAS VEGAS — CES 2022 got underway the morning of Jan. 5 with a smaller floor plan, social distancing measures implemented by several large exhibitors, and a surprisingly large crowd of attendees, all of them masked.

And while the show has been shifting away from its legacy consumer electronics and toward innovation in such fields as mobility, digital health and space tech, CE manufacturers at CES 2022 continue to have the biggest booths and most elaborate displays.

LG Electronics commanded the marquee position in the Central Hall, but is using its space this year for a vast corkboard platform with little stations where visitors can get presentations on their iPhones, including a history of the CE giant’s signature OLED Experience exhibits, which in the past have seen screens arranged in waterfall, tunnel and canyon settings. Several visitors, however, reported that the virtual experiences either didn’t work or were too complicated, since they involved downloading and installing an app.

The LG Electronics booth at CES 2022

The Panasonic booth devoted half its space to a socially distant seating area, as did the Sony booth, where the focus this year is on two electric-vehicle prototypes the company hopes to build as it ventures into the automotive sector. Sony says it plans on establishing a car unit to enter the EV market. One of the vehicles the company is displaying at CES is a seven-set sport-utility vehicle with all-wheel drive.

Somewhat inexplicably, Sony also has a big display for the PlayStation 5, even though the device is still in short supply at retail.

Sony’s PS5 display in its booth at CES 2022

Several other big CE exhibitors, including TCL and Hisense, set up booths virtually identical to the ones they fielded in the pre-COVID days. 

The one commonality among CE exhibitors: Touting the advantages of their favored backlight technologies, OLED, QLED, and Mini-LED, the latter being the newest and hottest trend in TV displays.

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All are variations of LED, an acronym for light-emitting diode. LEDs are the tiny elements of a TV screen that light up in order to produce an image on an LED TV. LED technology became commonplace more than a decade ago after improvements in the technology spearheaded by Samsung.

OLED stands for organic LED, with each pixel made of a material that glows when it receives electricity. The electroluminescent materials used in OLED screens are organic compounds of carbon and other ingredients. OLED is emissive, with the pixels emitting their own light.

QLED is a Samsung technology introduced in 2015. The Q stands for “Quantum Dot.” It’s essentially a variation of LED and is transmissive, relying on an LED backlight.

The newest backlight technology is Mini-LED, similar to QLED, just with even smaller backlights. Mini-LED is a bridge between the older QLED technology and the newer OLED tech, with the same deep blacks that OLED promises.

Samsung has updated the Neo QLED technology that it bowed at last year’s virtual CES to improve the picture quality, but the Korean CE giant also is showing off its new line of Micro LED displays, which boast 25-million LED arrays and come in 89-inch, 101-inch, and 110-inch models.

Sony has QD-OLED, which combines OLED and quantum dot technologies for what it purports is the best of both worlds.

Meanwhile, Hisense and TCL both boast some Mini-LED models.

CES 2022 touched down in Las Vegas as the show’s producer, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), projects the consumer technology industry will generate more than $505 billion in retail sales revenue, a record high that’s up nearly 3% from 2021. The CTA attributes much of the gain to growing demand for smartphones, automotive tech, health devices and streaming services will help propel much of the projected revenue.

Despite a rash of last-minute cancellations due to the surge of the Omicron COVID variant, CES 2022 has more than 2,300 exhibitors, including more than 800 startups. Once again, the focus is not on legacy consumer electronics but, rather, on “the latest transformative technologies, including vehicle technology, artificial intelligence, digital health and smart home tech, as well as new categories: NFTs, food tech and space tech,” CTA said in a Jan. 5 press release.
 
The CES exhibit floor will be open through Jan. 7, a shorter run due to COVID concerns.

CES Diary, Day 3: Opening Day, at Last!

Ever since I arrived in Las Vegas on Monday, I’ve been curious as to how CES 2022 would turn out. The COVID curse led to calls for cancellations, but the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which produces the annual show, vowed to press ahead, albeit with strict health protocols. 

I walked to the show from my $32 room at the Sahara, an easy mile-long stroll along Paradise Road. Nearing the venue, everything seemed business as usual. A fast walker, I passed by at least a dozen other show-goers, easily identified by their badges (around their necks) and dark sport coats. I also saw a caravan of taxis heading toward the show. And just before I got to Convention Center Drive, I saw that the Spring Hill Suites by Marriott was charging $30 for “event parking” just as they always do.

Approaching the entrance, the crowd seemed a little light, but not by much. I went through security and entered the concourse. On one side were bins of show dailies; on the other, a rack with free masks and stickers: green, yellow and red. Over the three bins — one for each color — was a sign that read, “Please use a sticker to show others how you prefer to engage.” Green stickers implied “I’m okay with handshakes”; yellow stickers, “I’m okay with elbow and fist bumps”; and red stickers, “No touching. I’m happy just to wave hello.”

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I chose red — not so much because of COVID but because I’ve long felt that handshakes were an antiquated form of greeting (show me your hand so I know you’re not carrying a weapon!), while fist and elbow bumps are just silly. I also grabbed a couple of extra masks, since the one I was wearing smelled a bit like the chorizo chilaquiles I had just had for breakfast at the Sahara.

Entering the Central Hall, I at first thought LG Electronics, whose exhibit was front and center, hadn’t yet set anything up. There before me was a vast corkboard floor, sprinkled with little stations with QVC codes. I soon realized that LG was attempting to bridge the physical and virtual worlds by offering visitors a series of virtual presentations right there on the physical show floor, from a press conference to CES Innovation Award wins to a history of the company’s signature, and immersive, OLED Experiences at past CES shows, including the 2017 tunnel, the 2018 canyon, the 2019 waterfall and the 2020 wave.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me, neither figuratively (come on, corkboards?) nor literally (who’s got time to download an app and then follow a bunch of instructions to get video footage from earlier shows — isn’t that what YouTube is for?).

The rest of the show floor demonstrated CTA’s commitment to health protocols, such as wider aisles, some of them with one-way arrows, and social distancing. The arrows were disregarded by most attendees; social distancing was hit or miss. Some of the biggest exhibitors, including Sony, Panasonic and Samsung, set aside a good-sized chunk of their exhibit space for open areas with wide-apart seating. Others, including Hisense and TCL, had no discernible changes to their booths from prior years.

The big buzz on the home entertainment front was Mini-LED TVs, which everyone seemed to have. I also noticed quite a few CE companies were targeting specific groups with their TVs, including Hisense and TCL, both of which showed off TVs specifically geared toward gamers.

Early in the morning, our editor in chief, Stephanie Prange, challenged me to find a single 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

Fail.

 

LG Electronics Unveils New TVs, Services at CES 2022

LG Electronics unveiled its new TV lineup for CES 2022, headlined by the company’s 2022 OLED TVs.

In a CES eve virtual media event introduced by singer John Legend, Jinnie Kim, LG Electronics USA director of home entertainment marketing, said, “Our 2022 lineup of LG TVs consists of the most expansive range of screen sizes and the brightest and finest picture quality ever.”

A CES Innovation Award honoree for eight consecutive years, LG OLED TVs employ self-lighting pixels that can be turned on and off individually to deliver perfect blacks, natural colors and better contrast, according to the company. 

The OLED evo technology featured in both G2 and select C2 series delivers higher brightness for ultra-realistic images, according to the company. Powered by LG’s new α (Alpha) 9 Gen 5 intelligent processor, the company’s “Brightness Booster” technology enables G2 series TVs to deliver even more brightness through improved heat dissipation and a more advanced algorithm, according to LG.

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LG’s 2022 G2 series, with a flush-to-the-wall “Gallery Design,” introduces a new 83-inch model and the world’s first 97-inch OLED model to complement the 55-, 65- and 77-inch TVs already in the lineup. LG’s C2 series offers a diverse selection of screen sizes with a total of six for 2022: the 42-inch OLED TV, ideal for console and PC gaming, in addition to 48-, 55-, 65-, 77- and 83-inch models.

The latest version of LG’s  Smart TV platform features webOS 22 that introduces personal profiles for a more customized viewing experience. Under each profile, users can set up fast access to their favorite streaming services, get tailored content recommendations based on viewing history and receive real-time alerts to keep up with favorite sports teams, according to LG. Logging into profiles can be performed either from the TV browser or from a smartphone with “NFC Magic Tap.”

“NFC Magic Tap” can also be used to mirror a mobile device screen to an LG TV. Viewers can also mirror content from one TV to another in the home using “Room to Room Share,” which enables the viewing of cable or satellite content on another TV via Wi-Fi without an additional set-top-box. Also new for 2022, “Always Ready” turns an LG TV into a media display when not in use. It is activated with a press of the power button on the LG remote to transform the screen into a digital canvas for showcasing artwork, keeping track of time or playing music.

Upgraded ThinQ AI allows LG’s 2022 TVs to offer voice control and compatibility with other ThinQ-powered devices. ThinQ AI offers support for “Matter,” a new industry standard for a more secure and seamlessly connected smart home, which will allow LG TVs to work as a controller for connected devices, according to LG.

The panels in the 2022 OLED lineups have been certified by global product testing agency Intertek for 100% color fidelity and 100% color volume, according to LG. LG TVs also “make it easier for customers to see movies as their creators intended as they were the first in 2021 to offer auto switching to Filmmaker Mode when enjoying Amazon Prime Video content,” according to the company.

New for 2022, LG customers can easily select and switch between game-specific features and display presets directly from the TV’s Game Optimizer menu. The Game Optimizer menu provides quick access to the new “Dark Room Mode,” which adjusts screen brightness for a better gaming experience when the lights are off, according to LG. A new sports mode joins presets for first-person shooter, role-playing and real-time strategy games.

LG is also unveiling an expanded QNED TV lineup for 2022 with LG’s Quantum Dot NanoCell technology. LG QNED Mini LED TV is capable of “amazing contrast” with LG’s Precision Dimming Technology, according to the company.

LG is also adding new services to its smart TVs. The LIVENow app offers access to online live concerts, shows, sports and other live events. The 1M HomeDance app, created in collaboration with 1MILLION Dance Studio, one of K-Pop’s choreography teams, provides a selection of dance tutorials and allows users to check their form with “Camera Mode” while dancing along with 1MILLION’s professional choreographers, as well as watch their favorite dance clips.

LG is also introducing its first health platform, LG Fitness. According to the company, it helps users find the ideal workout plan based on the system’s recommendations or create their own by choosing from a variety of options such as fast-paced HIIT, full-body stretching or guided meditation, among others, keeping track of their activity and progress on the app’s dashboard.

With Independa, the first tele-healthcare service supported on LG TVs, LG’s TVs can help users care for family members remotely or assist seniors to be more independent, according to LG. Independa makes it easy for users to initiate a video chat with a caregiver or access a menu of relevant professional services, according to LG. Pop-up notifications inform when someone is calling and personal alerts can be set up for more reminders. Professional services available on Independa include Dentulu (online dental consultation), Capital Rx (discount pharmacy platform), Coverdell (dental insurance benefits), WebMD (medical grade educational videos) and Sprio100 (fitness programs for seniors), among others.

LG: New TV Models Feature Increased Style, Function

LG Electronics USA at CES 2022 will unveil its Lifestyle TV lineup “conceived and developed for today’s home-centric way of life,” according to the company.

“LG’s Lifestyle TVs can help transform a home into an office, gym, gallery, workshop or entertainment center, all while elevating the decor and making everyday living more enjoyable,” according to a company press release.

The lineup includes the LG Objet TV (model 65Art90) and LG StanbyME (model 27Art10), “two innovations that eschew conventional display design,” according to the company.

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Resembling a canvas, the LG Objet TV has a minimalist style and neutral colors. The TV includes an LG Remote that raises or lowers a fabric cover as the viewer sees fit. Viewers can lower the cover to reveal the full extent of the screen or partially cover the display to only see a curated selection of lifestyle functions. “Full View” mode reveals LG Objet TV’s 65-inch OLED evo panel. In addition to an advanced processor, the TV also has an 80W, 4.2-channel sound system. When set to “Line View,” the TV features the date and a clock, transforms into an audio player in “Music” setting or displays a collection of exclusive space and nature-themed images when set to “Gallery.”

The interchangeable fabric cover is a product of Danish textile company Kvadrat. The three available colors — Kvadrat Beige, Kvadrat Redwood, Kvadrat Green — have all been carefully selected for their ability to match a wide color palette and blend in with a range of interior designs, according to LG.

The TV is designed to be positioned against a wall at an angle of up to five degrees. The TV’s in-cable frame system allows viewers to connect external devices such as a cable set-top box or game console. It can also be installed flush to the wall.

LG StanbyME

The LG StanbyME is a wireless private TV screen with a built-in battery attached to a moveable stand with concealed wheels that allows for three hours of viewing before recharging. LG StanbyME, featuring a 27-inch display, can be moved from room to room. The screen can be swiveled, tilted and rotated while in both landscape and portrait orientation. The height can be adjusted, allowing the viewer to customize the position according to the usage scenario. Mobile Screen Mirroring works with Android and iOS smartphones and NFC. A removable cradle lets the viewer place a phone on top of the LG StanbyME for video calls, online classes and streaming content. Users can also connect their laptops or PCs to StanbyME via a wired (USB, HDMI) or wireless connection. Control options include remote, touch and gesture recognition. The TV includes a rear cover clad in a textural fabric and finished in an exclusive “Pure Beige” color, according to the release. When not being used as a TV, LG StanbyME can display artworks, photos or a calendar with clock.

Redbox Licenses FAST Streaming Platform to LG Televisions

Redbox Dec. 13 announced it has signed a distribution agreement with LG Electronics to include its branded free ad-supported television (FAST) channels on LG Smart TVs, including their LG OLED Smart TVs.

LG Channels is a free streaming service, providing users with a wide selection of programming, including movies, TV shows, news, sports and children’s content.

“Redbox is known for being a destination for movies, and these FAST channels will bring a wide range of great movies and TV for viewers via LG Channels,” Chris Yates, GM of Redbox on Demand, said in a statement.

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Redbox will begin streaming the following via the LG Channels platform:

Redbox Free Movies — Movie lovers can watch the most-popular movies streaming 24 hours a day, completely free. Now streaming is the Academy Award-nominated City of Angels starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan, The Postman starring Kevin Costner, and First Kill starring Hayden Christensen and Bruce Willis.

Redbox Rewind — Watch favorite movies from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Films streaming in December include Forever Young, starring Mel Gibson, JFK, starring Kevin Costner, and The Muppets Take Manhattan

Redbox War and Westerns — Movies streaming now include The Duel, starring Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth, In the Line of Fire, starring Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood, and The Homesman, starring Academy Award Winner Tommy Lee Jones and Academy Award Winner Hilary Swank

Redbox Holiday — Movies streaming this month include A Very Country ChristmasSnowbound for ChristmasBorrowed HeartsA Very Corgi Christmas and A Puppy for Christmas

Redbox Romance — Coming in January, titles include The Seat Filler, starring Kelly Rowland, Duane Martin and Mel B.; Reality of Love, starring Bradley Cooper, Jason Priestley and Emma Caulfield; and Broken English, starring Parker Posey, Drea de Matteo and Melvil Poupaud.

LG Creating Physical and Virtual Experience at CES

CES exhibitor LG Electronics will create a physical and virtual experience at its booth during CES 2022, taking place Jan. 5-8.

At its traditional location — the 22,000-square-foot booth at the main entrance to the Central Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center — LG will connect visitors from the physical space to LG’s virtual experience leveraging both virtual and augmented reality. Constructed of upcycled, recycled and recyclable materials, the space will feature a series of kiosks where visitors can experience LG products.

Visitors will take a self-guided tour using QR codes as they navigate through the physical experience, interacting with LG consumer electronics and home appliance products via AR. Other kiosks will feature immersive VR digital art, including LG’s immersive curved OLED video walls.

Audiences around the world will be able to access the same content and participate digitally in the LG CES experience.

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LG has again been named official CES technology partner for the press rooms and member lounges, which will feature LG OLED TVs.

“We look forward to seeing what LG, a long-time innovation leader at CES, has in store for visitors in January,” Karen Chupka, EVP of CES at the Consumer Technology Association, said in a statement. “CES 2022 will enable attendees in Las Vegas to experience LG’s technology using AR and VR. Audience joining CES digitally from across the globe will be able to experience the same ground- breaking tech, through LG’s digital activation.”

Pluto TV, LG Electronics Expand European Content and Distribution Partnership

Pluto TV and LG Electronics June 3 announced the expansion of their partnership to offer Pluto’s ad-supported channels on all 2016-21 LG televisions running webOS in select European markets.

The Pluto TV channels were first launched on LG Channels in 2020 in the U.S. market. ViacomCBS acquired Pluto TV in 2019 for $340 million.

With LG TV owners in Germany and the U.K. being the first to access the Pluto TV app earlier this year, consumers in France and Spain can now access the entire library of original and unique channels on their LG monitors.

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LG Smart TV owners in the regions can access an extensive selection of movies, from international favorites like Star TrekFighting Temptations and The Ring, to local gems like Mientras duermes. A wide variety of series across genres like crime and investigation, cooking, telenovelas and drama will also be available, from “Derrick,” “Ana y los 7” and “Plus Belle La Vie” to “Jamie’s Superfood,” “Midsummer Murders” and “The Hard Times of RJ Berger.”

Pluto TV’s lineup includes selected channels for younger audiences with Nickelodeon shows and animated series such as “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Dora the Explorer” and “Blue’s Clues,” while audiences will also have a vast range of dedicated lifestyle channels to choose from, spanning gaming, poker, animals, cooking, nature and sports.

LG Electronics Touts Record 2020 Sales, Profits

LG Electronics Jan. 29 announced record 2020 revenue of KRW 63.26 trillion ($56.45 billion) and record operating profit of KRW 3.20 trillion ($2.85 billion), an increase of 31.1% over 2019, and driven primarily by higher sales of OLED TVs and home appliances, among other products.

Sales in the fourth quarter (ended Dec. 31) of KRW 18.78 trillion ($16.76 billion) grew 16.9% from the same period of 2019 and were 11% higher than the previous quarter. Despite the impact of COVID-19, the quarter’s operating profit of KRW 650.20 billion ($580.19 million) increased significantly by 539% compared with the fourth quarter of 2019.

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While COVID-19 and slow economic recovery remain concerns for 2021, LG said it expects the global economy to normalize under the successful implementation of vaccinations.

LG Home Entertainment reported 2020 revenue of KRW 13.18 trillion ($11.76 billion) and operating profit of KRW 969.70 billion ($865.29 million), a 22.9% increase over the previous year. Sales in the quarter of KRW 4.28 trillion ($3.82 billion) were 7.9% higher than the fourth quarter of 2019 and up 16.7% from the previous quarter. Quarterly operating profit of KRW 204.50 billion ($182.48 million) reflected increased sales in North America and Europe.

 

LG Electronics Announces Gaming Pact With Google Stadia

LG Electronics is adding Google’s online gaming platform Stadia to its line of webOS smart televisions rolling out later this year. The deal — announced at the virtual CES 2021 — will enable smart TV owners access to popular games such as Cyberpunk 2077, NBA 2K21, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion on their TV using the Stadia controller and without a requisite separate game system.

Stadia, which streams games directly to a desktop, laptop, cell phone, tablet or TV, is part of a growing wave of streaming-based platforms such as Nvidia’s GeForce Now, Microsoft’s xCloud and Amazon’s Luna looking to circumvent traditional game systems and offer content directly to consumers through CE devices.

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“Supporting Stadia on LG TVs is our commitment to customers that gaming is an increasingly important feature expected by LG TV owners,” Lee Sang-woo, SVP of at LG Electronics Home Entertainment Company, said in a statement. “Stadia is changing how people access their favorite games and by providing webOS compatibility, we’re making an early commitment to the platform.”

Stadia offers more than 130 games, with titles available individually or through a subscription to Stadia Pro.