While 2023 was more evolution than revolution for TVs, a few standout innovations this year set the stage for big competition among TVs in 2024.
In 2022, Samsung Display’s QD-OLED display technology made headlines as the most innovative display technology since OLED was introduced to consumer TVs by LG some 10 years prior. In a remarkably timely effort to clap back at Samsung, LG Display unleashed the most meaningful update to its OLED display technology in 10 years, and this year, that tech earns our top award for the most innovative TV tech of 2023.
You might be surprised to learn, however, that the TV that uses that innovative TV tech didn’t earn our Most Innovative TV award for 2023. Instead, it was an entirely different kind of TV, also made by LG. Let’s dive in.
Want to see the rest? Check out our full list of the most innovative tech products of 2023!
When Samsung made waves with the QD-OLED technology in its S95B OLED TV, LG immediately shot back with MLA OLED technology, making it look like the tech had been set aside for just such an occasion. Whatever the true inside baseball story may be, we were delighted to see it unleashed this year.
Practically speaking, MLA — or, Micro Lens Array — technology makes LG’s OLED panels significantly brighter than they’ve been in the past. This is notable not only because one of the few complaints about OLED TVs and monitors was that they couldn’t get as bright as QLED TVs, but because Samsung Display’s QD-OLED technology was posting some unprecedented brightness numbers.
LG achieved this boost in brightness in a really interesting way. Rather than tweaking organic compounds, juicing up electricity, or adding clever new heat-dissipation technology, LG Display solved its brightness limitations by homing in on efficiency.
In effect, MLA is a thin sheet of material upon which millions of tiny convex lenses have been printed. Those lenses capture light that normally gets scattered inside an OLED panel, and focuses it at the desired destination: your eyeballs.
It may sound like a simple solution, but its implementation is a true feat of engineering. The result of MLA, paired with other brightness-boosting efforts made by LG, sees brightness increases of up to 70% over traditional W-RGB OLED TVs. In the end, LG’s Gallery Series G3 OLED wound up being the brightest OLED TV I’ve ever tested.
With OLED brightness now of significantly lower concern than before, LG has made it even harder for QLED TV makers to claim their TVs are superior. This, naturally, will incite the next salvo in the ongoing TV brightness war that’s been raging for several years already.
While MLA OLED panel tech may be the most innovative TV tech of 2023, it was ironically outshined by an LG TV that didn’t include it. For our money, the LG M-Series wireless OLED TV struck us as the most innovative TV this year.
Since MLA technology is still being scaled up, it isn’t available in the 77-inch screen size that LG Electronics opted to use when fashioning an OLED TV with wireless signal delivery. While you still have to plug LG’s M3 OLED into the wall for power, that’s the only wire tethering it to anything at all.
With the LG M3 wireless OLED TV, all cable connections are made to a wireless transmitter box that LG wryly calls a “zero-connect” box (Samsung has long touted its “One-Connect” box with a single cable connection as a hallmark of its TV innovation). While the Zero-Connect box’s wireless transmission range is limited to about 30 feet and requires a clear line of sight for uninterrupted signal delivery, it’s still a huge leap toward a wireless TV future that eliminates the rat’s nest of cables commonly associated with home entertainment systems of the past.
Samsung’s second-gen QD-OLED tech managed to find its way into two of the best TVs we tested this year: the Samsung S95C and the Sony A95K — the latter of which has been crowned as the best TV of the year by myself, and at several industry shootout events. However, it is one of Samsung’s lifestyle TVs that impressed me most in 2023.
Samsung’s The Frame TV is a QLED TV that’s packaged up in a way that it already looks more like framed art than a TV, but the 2023 version of The Frame has a new matte screen finish that, paired with level backlighting and color management, yields an image that is a dead ringer for a piece of art on canvas. The texture is so realistic, I just had to reach out and touch the screen the first time I saw it. The illusion is remarkably convincing and makes for a TV that can seamlessly blend in with just about any decor concept.
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