LG has focused almost exclusively on its new C1, G1 and Z1 OLED TV series in its main presentation at CES and in press material. The company has also hinted at a couple of other more affordable series that will also arrive in 2021, but later than the Big Three.
The B1 series also hit the footnotes in LG’s press release at CES. Many people know that the “B” series from LG has always been the most budgetary option among OLED technologies. Now new for 2021 is the A1 series, which LG also mentioned during its presentation at CES.
Judging by the letter, the LG A1 OLED series will be a more budget option than the LG B1 OLED. Now we just have to figure out how the LG A1 differs from the LG B1 apart from the price. Are there any serious downsides to the new series and is the LG A1 worth buying? At the same time, we will consider this issue only from the video point of view, and will not pay attention to the design and number of speakers.
LG A1 and LG B1 differences
The LG A1 TV will usher in an all-new OLED offering from LG. The company has launched a new series to make OLED affordable at a lower price point than before. The LG A1 TV achieves this by compromising its specification over any other LG 2021 OLED series in two key ways.
First, the LG UHD TV A1 uses a 50 / 60Hz panel, not a 100 / 120Hz panel. Second, the series ditches high-speed HDMI 2.1 connections in favor of HDMI 2.0b versions . The implications of these steps will be immediately clear to anyone who has followed the history of LG OLED over the past few years. Basically, this means the LG OLED A1 is targeting the traditional home cinema market, not a new legion of gaming fans.
Not for gamers
After all, without a 120Hz panel and HDMI 2.1 support, there is clearly no support for the 4K / 120Hz graphics that came with the PS5 , Xbox Series X, and the latest generation of premium PC boards. A1 LG will also not support variable refresh rates.
So, OLED A1 is by no means ideal for games. Of course, HDMI 2.0 ports can support some HDMI 2.1 features. LG also says the HDMI A1 will continue to support automatic low latency mode switching. This refers to the state where the TV enters and exits the game mode, depending on whether it detects a game or a video source.
Additionally, HGiG HDR gaming graphics will continue to be supported. So if you haven’t upgraded to one of the new PC consoles or cards and / or are not particularly concerned with the cutting edge graphics features of the next generation gaming, the A1 series should still deliver at least decent gaming performance.
What do the LG A1 and B1 TVs have in common? The A1 also has eARC support for lossless HDMI pass-through to AV receivers and soundbars for object-oriented audio formats. As you would expect, they will all still be 4K models.
Even more surprising, the A1 will receive both the latest version 6.0 of LG’s webOs smart platform and the new LG Alpha 7 Gen4 image processor. Both series will continue to support installed LG TV features such as Dolby Vision, Filmmaker Mode , Google Assistant, and Apple AirPlay 2 Homekit.
Plus, of course, the A1 series will continue to benefit from the inherent contrast benefits associated with self-emitting OLED technology. The A1 series will be available in 48, 55, 65, and best of all, 77 inches. Aside from confirming that this will be a new entry-level series, however, LG has yet to reveal how much cheaper the A1 will cost than other OLED displays.
LG A1 vs LG B1. Which is better?
The most important question rests on the price, which, unfortunately, is still unknown. However, it should be noted that the main “degradation” is the OLED display with a refresh rate of 50 Hz (for Europe). This factor can significantly reduce the cost of the LG A1. If you are not an advanced gamer (and there are a lot of them), then why not opt for the LG A1 Ultra HD among budget LED TVs.
LG’s A1 TVs will definitely be on sale. Unfortunately, there is no confirmed information yet as to how much the A1’s overall performance could be compromised, in particular when switching to a 50 / 60Hz panel. After all, the A1 OLED TV will not receive the highest level of motion processing system.
However, given the type of pricing we saw on last year’s BX range, it’s fair to say that LG’s announcement of the A1 series could very well have caused a lot of discomfort for many mid-range and even premium 2021 LCD TVs.