The 97-inch LG wireless 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 screens, ones that roll up and ones so big they’re basically video walls, but these usually come out as prototypes after a few laps, which dampens the shock. However, when I entered LG’s suite in a Las Vegas hotel, what I saw on the other side of the room was a big surprise.
And I mean big. It’s 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 pretty darn impressive in person at this size. But that wasn’t the surprise – LG introduced it last year. My breath caught when LG’s rep told me that the beautiful, massive 4K picture was streamed to the TV wirelessly.
Wireless TV is real, and it’s coming this year.
Read more: The biggest tech trends we saw at CES. Also, here are the key CES highlights so far.
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On the other side of the TV was the wireless transmitter box. The back of the box featured standard HDMI plugs and a handful of other ports, and an HDMI cable led to a Blu-ray player. The on-screen image was from a Blu-ray disc that was 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 towards the TV.
The TV comes with a transmitter box. The tab at the top denotes the internal antenna, which can be rotated to aim at the TV.
The TV itself didn’t have any video inputs at all, just bare metal where TV inputs are usually found on the back. The idea is to reduce cabling, the age-old specter of beautiful TV installations. You who can afford a 97-inch OLED TV stow your AV gear in a closet out of sight, along with the transmitter box that everything plugs into. All that remains is the power cable to the TV, a cable that LG has artfully hidden in one of the legs.
Sure, any number of TV stands can hold your gear too. However, the wireless connectivity allows the TV to stand on its own, which looks impressive on one of LG’s easel-like stands (pictured above) and can make a wall mount a lot easier.
According to LG, the box can be placed up to 30 feet from the TV. I asked if the wireless connection posed a potential hazard, especially when you’re sitting between the box and the TV, and company officials told me that wasn’t the case, since they use similar technology to standard Wi-Fi routers use. They also said it wouldn’t be affected by other Wi-Fi traffic. The signal can handle resolutions up to 4K and 120Hz, which is pretty much the max for today’s games. It’s also the highest resolution and frame rate that most TVs, including LG’s regular 4K OLED models, can accept.
Plug the device into the back of the connection box.
The box has three HDMI inputs, surprising since most high-end TVs have four, but that’s not a deal-breaker in my opinion. The rest of the connections are typical of a TV: antenna, two USB, Ethernet and optical digital outputs and a serial port for home automation control.
Wireless televisions 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 I’ve seen it built into a TV in years. A company called Displace TV also showed a wireless OLED model at CES, but it’s a 55-inch, battery-powered screen that’s built for portability.
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In addition to the 97-inch size, LG will release its wireless OLED, dubbed the M3 series, in 83-inch and 77-inch sizes. LG says it’s coming sometime in 2023, with pricing, like LG’s rest of 2023 TVs, still to be determined. For reference, LG charges $25,000 for its standard wired 97-inch OLED TV and $2,900 for a 77-inch TV, so the M3 won’t come cheap no matter its size.
In addition to the M3, LG also introduced three other series of wired OLED TVs at CES 2023.
This product was selected as one of the best products at CES 2023. Check out the other Best of CES 2023 award winners.