2019 is the year where TVs saw a decent leap in technology, albeit under the hood more than panel technology. HDMI 2.1 has made its way to flagship TVs giving users access to features like variable refresh rate, eARC and 4K at 120fps and 8K at 60fps. Not all TVs have implemented all HDMI 2.1 features, so take note of the features available before making a purchase decision. OLED TVs still helm the flagship market in India with companies like Sony and LG showcasing their 2019 OLED offerings. TVs have also gotten smarter with Google Assistant and Alexa support, along with AI integration. In terms of sound, we have seen some TV manufacturers like OnePlus build a soundbar into the TV but apart from that, audio in TVs hasn’t changed much.
The C9 is LG’s OLED offering for 2019. It runs on LG’s Alpha 9 gen 2 processor, has an OLED panel with support for Dolby Vision and a resolution of 4K. The OLED panel is well-calibrated out of the box and has fantastic picture quality. The picture presets automatically change based on the content being played. The TV panel is extremely slim. All the 4 HDMI ports are HDMI 2.1 full bandwidth enabled which means you get features like variable refresh rate, 4K at 120hz and eARC. With a new update, the TVs work with NVIDIA’s 16 series and 20 series GPU’s to give PC gamers VRR. When it comes to smart capabilities, the TV runs on LG’s WebOS with access to both, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. If you have IoT enabled devices at home, you can connect them to the TV giving you seamless control over them. With fantastic picture quality, a host of connectivity options, future proof via HDMI 2.1 and a slim design, the LG C9 is the winner for the Digit 2019 Zero1 Award in this category.
The A9G is Sony’s OLED offering for 2019. In terms of picture quality, the C9 and A9G are neck to neck with each other. But, put a gun to our head if we had to choose one, we’d go with the C9 and hence, the runner up for 2019 is the Sony A9G. Still, the Sony A9G brings with it fantastic picture quality, 4K HDR and Dolby Vision capabilities along with a Netflix Calibrated mode for added fidelity to the content. The TV is powered by Sony’s X1 Ultimate processor which is capable of some impressive object-based rendering making 4K HDR content look way more desirable. Sony’s Acoustic Surface technology makes an appearance here as well giving the Sony TV one of the best builtin speakers we have heard on a TV. The TV can also be used as a centre channel speaker in your home theatre. Running on Android TV out of the box, the UI is smoother and simpler to navigate with the ability to control your smart home appliances from the comfort of the TV. When left in standby mode, a user can switch on the TV using his/her voice, eliminating the need for a remote control entirely. The Sony A9G supports eARC but doesn’t bring with it other HDMI 2.1 functionality.
The LG B9 OLED TV brings with it all the features available on the C9, be it the display panel, picture quality, UI, smart capabilities, HDMI 2.1 and 4K HDR support including Dolby Vision. The only difference between the LG C9 and B9 apart from the tabletop stand design is the processor. The LG B9 has LG’s older Alpha 7 gen 2 processor. Honestly, placed side by side, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference in picture quality between the two.