LG’s ‘wireless’ and wildly expensive 97
By Jon Porter, a reporter with five years of experience covering consumer tech releases, EU tech policy, online platforms, and mechanical keyboards.
LG’s eye-catching 97-inch Signature OLED M TV, which is almost completely free of wires save for a single power cord, finally has a price and release date outside of South Korea.
The TV is notable for its “Zero Connect Box,” that you plug your set-top boxes, games consoles, and Blu-ray players into and which beams content wirelessly to the TV at up to 4K 120Hz. So aside from power, you’re not plugging anything into the TV itself.
LG says the 97-inch OLED Signature (model 97M3) will be available in the UK from September priced at £27,999.99 (about $35,400). It’ll be joined by two other TV sizes, the 83-inch OLED evo for £7,999.99 (about $10,000) and the 77-inch OLED evo for £5,999.99 (about $7,600), which are equipped with the same “Zero Connect technology” for an (almost) wire-free experience. US pricing and availability is yet to be announced — LG’s press release notes that the 97-inch Signature OLED M will be available in North America and Europe “later this year.”
The TV was first announced back at CES in early January and is already available in South Korea for 45,800,000 won, which works out to roughly $35,168 — a price that includes tax.
I don’t quite buy LG’s “world’s first wireless OLED TV” marketing for the Signature OLED M because of the aforementioned power cord, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a cool piece of kit. The Zero Connect Box offers three HDMI 2.1 ports that you plug devices into, which theoretically means all your equipment can be placed as much as 30 feet away from the TV itself without the need for a cabinet placed directly beneath the screen.
At any rate, going fully wireless means relying on batteries like competitor Displace is trying to do, and that comes with significant trade-offs. The dream of a completely wireless TV goes back years, with companies like Sony and Haier having shown off various attempts at trade shows.
The Signature OLED M supports Dolby Atmos audio, Dolby Vision HDR, and has G-Sync to offer variable refresh rates with Nvidia hardware. There are three 4K 120Hz HDMI ports on the TV’s Zero Connect Box, alongside two USB-A, Ethernet, and optical audio. Aside from its wireless connectivity, FlatPanelsHD notes that the TV is all-but identical to LG’s G3 OLED.
LG says its proprietary AV transmission technology offers up to three times the speed of Wi-Fi 6E, but I’ll nevertheless be very interesting to see what kind of latency this wireless solution offers. OLED TVs are often recommended for gaming thanks to their nearly-instantaneous pixel response times, but it will be a tall order to minimize input lag wirelessly.
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