LG spent a good chunk of its CES press conference talking about its lineup of TVs for 2021. You can expect bigger, slimmer and brighter TVs. I’m not going to list the specifications of new models. But there are a few new features that are worth mentioning.
LG doesn’t use Android TV for the operating system. Instead, the company has its own operating system called webOS. App developers have to release specific versions of their apps for LG’s smart TVs. And the company announced that Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now are coming to LG 2021 TVs.
Google’s cloud gaming service will arrive in late 2021. It won’t be available everywhere, as Stadia is only available in a handful of countries. But if you live in a country where Stadia is available, you will be able to unplug your Chromecast to access Stadia.
Stadia works a bit like a console that runs in the cloud. You can buy games and run them in a data center near you. The video feed is streamed directly to your screen and your gamepad controls are relayed to the server.
As for Nvidia’s cloud gaming service, it is coming later this year. This service is a bit different as you can take advantage of your Steam, Epic Games, GOG or Ubisoft Connect libraries.
Nvidia has favored its own set-top box in the past with a GeForce Now app on the Nvidia Shield TV. Recently, the Android app has been updated with support for more devices, and it looks like it’s expanding beyond Android TV with webOS support.
LG also announced that it is updating webOS with a brand new interface this year. The overlay menu at the bottom of the screen has been replaced with a full-screen menu. You’ll be able to find your favorite apps, access live TV and get some content recommendations — and, yes, there will be ads.
If you’re playing games, there will be a new game menu to access the most relevant settings. For instance, you’ll be able to switch from one TV profile to another from that menu depending on the type of games that you’re playing (FPS, racing games, etc.). It sounds pretty useless to me, as you mostly want to reduce latency as much as possible with any genre. You’ll also be able to turn on G-Sync and FreeSync if you’re using a compatible device.
When it comes to new OLED TVs, there are the entry-line A1 models with old processors, and the C1 models with support for modern game consoles thanks to variable refresh rate, low latency, etc. At the top of the lineup, the G1 models come in three different sizes (77 inches, 65 inches and 55 inches).