Originally published 24 November 2021, last update 5 January 2022
Back in November 2021 several new LG OLED TV models appeared in Korea’s Radio Research Agency (RRA) certification database, confirming LG had submitted them for certification and unveiling their names at the time. We now have some further information about the new screens to share. There are a range of new sizes and models , but of most relevance to us at TFTCentral is the long-anticipated 42″ sized OLED display. The production of a 42″ OLED panel was announced back in January 2021 and it was expected at the time that LG would make use of this in their next TV line-up. It didn’t appear in the C1 2021 range but we now know for sure that this will be part of LG’s C2 2022 range.
48″ OLED TV’s have been popular, but are impractical for many
Over the last couple of years many people have opted to purchase LG’s current smallest OLED TV’s and use them as a desktop monitor. There are 48″ sized models available in the CX and C1 range, and this gives people the option to enjoy all the benefits of OLED technology, at a relatively affordable price, but still have a screen that is somewhat smaller and a bit more practical for desktop usage than most TV’s. LG have promoted these models as a cross-over between a TV and a monitor as well. These models included 4K @ 120Hz, HDMI 2.1 connectivity (with proper HDMI 2.1 features) and excellent HDR performance and contrast thanks to the OLED panel.
The size of 48″ has still been a challenge to many people though, obviously being a lot bigger than a normal desktop monitor and requiring you to have a large desk area, and deep viewing position to really make use of it sensibly. It’s certainly better than the wide range of 55 – 65″ sized TV’s for desktop usage, but 48″ is still massive. In our opinion 48″ is fine for gaming and multimedia if you can sit a reasonable distance away from the screen, for example when using a games console. For more general close-up, office work it’s still impractically large in our opinion.
We should note here that LG will release two new 48″ sized models next year, the lower spec A2 model and the more interesting C2 model as a follow up to the CX and C1 48″ options.
LG OLED42C2KNA will be the first 42″ sized OLED display
Of most interest from the 2022 line-up for this area is the long-awaited 42″ OLED TV which we now know will be part of the C2 range. The official full model name looks like it will be the OLED42C2KNA (regional variations likely to exist for the last 3 letters) but this represents an even better attempt to bridge the gap between TV and desktop monitor. It will be using LG.Display’s smallest WRGB OLED panel to date and could be extremely popular as a desktop monitor in certain situations.
The benefits of the new 42″ OLED C2 display are:
- The 42″ screen size will be more practical for many people. You’re going to need a large desk and be able to use a suitable viewing distance, but it’s quite a lot smaller than current 48″ options at least
- A 3840 x 2160 “4K” resolution but now on a smaller screen, offering an improved PPI (Pixels Per Inch) and smaller, sharper text size. This represents 99.05 PPI and a pixel pitch of 0.2564 mm. While the older 48″ models offered the equivalent pixel pitch and text size as a 24″ 1080p monitor (which is fairly large by todays standards), the 42″ model will be much closer to a 1440p resolution on a 30″ sized screen. This provides a better text size for desktop and general use
- Price point should be a bit lower than the 48″ models at the time they were launched. Obviously you could probably find the older 48″ CX or C1 models at a lower price when this new range is released, but this new 42″ model should be competitively priced.
- It allows you to benefit from OLED technology in the “monitor” space, without the massive price tags of current professional-grade OLED monitor options. Currently there are only a couple of true desktop monitors with OLED panels, like the LG UltraFine OLED 32EP950 that we reviewed.
- OLED will offer you infinite contrast ratio, true blacks and exceptional per pixel dimming for HDR. This avoids blooming and halos and provides an excellent HDR (and SDR) experience.
- Colour capabilities should be good with a wide gamut, lots of flexibility with preset modes and settings and a versatile hardware calibration support via LG AutoCal and Calman’s software.
- OLED will offer you near instant response times, making it an excellent gaming choice, especially at high refresh rates and with BFI (a blur reduction technology) used
- The screen should offer a high refresh rate of 120Hz
- BFI (Black Frame Insertion) is an excellent blur reduction technology on OLED panels thanks to the super-fast response times
- Variable Refresh Rates are supported including HDMI-VRR for consoles (courtesy of HDMI 2.1), AMD FreeSync Premium Pro certification and even NVIDIA G-sync Compatible certification.
- HDMI 2.1 will be included, offering support for modern PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles, including 4K 120Hz 10-bit and features like VRR (Variable Refresh Rates) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)
- You will get all the TV features included that you wouldn’t get from a normal desktop monitor like all the Smart TV apps etc
Keep in mind that there will still be some limitations with even the new smallest 42″ model:
- 42″ is smaller than current options, but that’s still massive as a desktop monitor and may be impractical
- There’s still the ever-present concern of image retention and burn in from OLED technology to keep in mind
- PC connectivity will not be as easy as a desktop monitor, with the TV expected to have HDMI 2.1 but no DisplayPort. This means that unless you’ve got a modern top-end graphics card, you won’t be able to enjoy the full 4K 120Hz capabilities. Factor in a new graphics card cost as well if you don’t have one!
- HDR peak brightness should be good, but won’t compete with modern LCD panels with FALD backlights. Current CX and C1 models top out at around 700 nits. There will also be a limited SDR max brightness relative to desktop monitors.
- Being a TV the current CX and C1 models have a fairly aggressive “auto brightness limiter” (ABL) feature that makes desktop usage a bit tricky. We will see how this is implemented on the new C2 models though
- Input lag was certainly improved on the modern OLED TV’s but is very likely to be higher than most gaming monitors
We reviewed the LG CX TV previously, looking at its performance usage specifically as a desktop monitor. You can check out that review here for lots more information.
New “OLED Evo” Panels
With the launch of the new 2022 OLED TV range you will see discussion of LG’s so-called “OLED Evo” technology. This is an existing OLED technology enhancement basically designed to improve brightness, an area that is a limitation of this technology compared with LCD panels with their separate backlights. LG uses an OLED panel that consists of an additional green emitting layer to reach these higher peak brightness levels. Additionally, the OLED Evo panel improves the blue OLED material’s efficiency, which helps boost the colour range. A correction to what we originally published is that the C2 range, including the 42″ and 48″ models will feature OLED Evo panels, and should offer some improvements in brightness compared with previous CX and C1 generations. LG say that this might not be quite as bright on these smaller models as on the 55″ C2 and larger though.
You may also see LG even about some of their new OLED Evo panels having “Brightness Booster” on many of their new 2022 models, but that is not applicable to the C2 range at all, only some of the others like the G2 range – and there isn’t a 42″ model available in the G2 range.
Other updates to the C2 2022 Line-up
The LG C2 displays will feature an upgraded Alpha 9 Gen 5 processor with improved ‘Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro’ and the company’s latest “AI” video and audio processing features. The new OLEDs will ship with the latest version of LG’s webOS 22 operating system. The updated software adds support for individual profiles, allowing you to customize the menu for quick access to your favourite streaming services. By creating a profile, you’ll also get personalized content recommendations and notifications related to your favourite sports teams.
Another new webOS feature allows you to mirror what you’re watching to a second LG TV in your house. You can therefore watch cable and satellite content on two television sets without an extra set-top box. LG’s 2022 TV line-up will support the smart home industry’s new “Matter” standard, allowing you to control devices lights and thermostats from the TV. LG also promises a better gaming experience thanks to its updated Game Optimizer. The company is adding additional feature and preset toggles to the menu to make it easier to access those when you need them.
The new C2 range including this 42″ model are expected to be unveiled at the CES event running 5 – 7th January 2022, and should be released in spring 2022. More information as soon as we get it. For more information about the other LG OLED TV’s in different ranges and sizes, check out this news piece at FlatpanelsHD.
More information: LG
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