It turns out that LG’s latest OLED and LCD televisions aren’t as future proof as we were led to believe. In a statement to Forbes, the display giant clarified that its 2020 4K lineup wouldn’t actually have full-bandwidth HDMI 2.1 ports, which means that the TVs cannot take full advantage of the standard’s maximum 48 Gbps data rate.
Is this a deal breaker? For most folks, probably not. The setback here is that uncompressed video output will be limited to 10-bit 4K at 120 Hz with RGB 4:4:4 chroma sampling, rather than 12-bit. Technically, that’s around a billion colors vs. 68 billion colors – but many would find it difficult to tell the difference without a side-by-side comparison.
“While LG covered most of the HDMI 2.1 related specs in its 2019 TVs, including full bandwidth support in all of the HDMI ports for its 4K and 8K TVs, the market situation evolution indicated that real content that requires 48Gbps is not available in the market,” wrote the company.
“Based on market situation, LG decided to re-allocate the hardware resources of 2020 chipsets optimizing for AI functions including CPU&GPU and supporting full bandwidth in only 2 ports of 2020 8K TV series (ZX series, NANO99, NANO97, NANO95). And the rest of the ports of 8K TVs and all HDMI 2.1 ports of 4K TVs have lower bandwidth than 48 Gbps but support up to 4K 120P 4:4:4/RGB 10bit. We apologize for not flagging this earlier to you.”