LG launches 4K Ultra Definition TV in Australia

“Today we usher in the next chapter in the story of television in this country”, for $15,999

LG’s biggest, most detailed and most expensive television, the 84LM9600 Ultra Definition TV, will be available in Australia in mid-November for $15,999.

LG’s marketing director Lambro Skropidis described the TV’s launch as “a historic day for the development of the LG brand here in Australia.”

“Every few years the industry reinvents itself, and continues to raise the bar in terms of picture quality, and today is no different.”

Skropidis laid out some trends in Australia’s television market, saying that screen size was the most important factor in consumers’ TV purchasing decisions and that although the TV market had shrunk six per cent in the last year, sales of screens 55in and above had grown 56 per cent. Trend data for the year to date shows that one third of screens sold in Australia are 55in or above.

Similarly, retail data points to the fact that the average selling price of Full HD TVs is almost three times as high as HD and lower-resolution televisions, but Full HD televisions make up almost 80 per cent of the market. Where LG had a 16.5 per cent share of the market two years ago and was the third largest seller of televisions, as of August this year it is solidly in second place with 23.7 per cent.

LG calls its new television “the world’s first 84-inch UD 3D TV”, but this is somewhat of a misnomer given that Sony has already announced a similar 84-inch LED television, the BRAVIA XBR900 — although it uses the term ‘4K’ rather than ‘UD’.

4K (or UD) TVs have a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels (roughly 8 megapixels), four times the number of the Full HD standard’s 1920x1080 pixels (roughly 2 megapixels). This means that a UD TV displaying content at its native resolution will technically be able to show four times the detail of an identically sized Full HD TV displaying content at its native resolution.

The new UD TV will also be able to up-scale Full HD and lower-resolution content to its native 4K resolution, although LG did note on its promotional material that “gridlines may appear on some Full HD images when they are stretched into large size screens”. The television has a 50 Watt speaker system using two 10W speakers and two 15W woofers, uses LG’s passive Cinema 3D system and includes the now-standard suite of Smart TV services controlled through the Magion Motion Remote.

Skropidis also spoke about the current dearth of 4K content available to consumers, saying “the natural question remains — what can consumers access for themselves?

“It is important to note, that with all new technology breakthroughs of this nature, hardware technology leads content creation. While no TV networks... broadcast UD content at present, film studios have been making 4K films for some years now.”

4K content is available on the Internet — there is a full-length film created from time-lapse photography and short content from YouTube — and consumers with digital cameras of 8 megapixels and above are able to use the ‘UD’ resolution of LG’s new TV to display their images. 4K cameras are currently available at a professional level, and Skropidis spoke of LG’s expectation that 4K ‘camcorder’ consumer products are expected to hit the market in the middle of next year for a roughly $5000 price point.

LG won’t target the mass market with its UD TV, instead aiming for a ‘sniper’ approach targeting individuals with “very high disposable incomes, almost like an exclusive club.” The television will be stocked in 30 key stores hand-picked by LG around Australia, and LG will host experiential events and create buzz over social media.

The new 84LM9600 UD TV is expected to be in stores from November 19, and will carry a $15,999 price tag as recommended by LG.