LG has unveiled its 2024 OLED TV lineup and while there are some exciting upgrades coming to the more premium and mid-range models, it’s the entry-level LG B4 that has caught my eye, thanks to two exciting announcements.
The LG B3 was the TV I called the dark horse of the OLED TV world in 2023, thanks to its excellent picture quality, great gaming performance and competitive price. It features amongst some of the best TVs available and was easily one of my favorite TVs of 2023.
Unfortunately, it did have a couple of setbacks. It had a lacking sound system (rectified by pairing it with one of the best soundbars), came in a limited number of sizes (55-77 inches), lacked the brightness levels of other OLEDs and only had two HDMI 2.1 ports for gaming. Despite this, I couldn’t help but enjoy my time with the B3, to the point where I seriously considered buying one.
Now that details regarding the LG B4 have been released, my anticipation for it has grown even further as two of the setbacks I mentioned above have been answered. The LG B4 will now come with four HDMI 2.1 ports for gaming and it will come in a new smaller 48-inch size, for those with smaller rooms. Not just this, but it will come fitted with LG’s new Alpha 8 AI processor.
Of course, there are some other features I’d like to see and other features probably still to be announced, but on paper this is why the LG B4 is my most anticipated TV of 2024.
Performance and convenience go hand in hand
The LG B3 is one of the best gaming TVs available, thanks to its superb picture, excellent array of gaming features such as LG’s Game Optimizer (which allows players to tweak various settings to suit the game they’re playing) and HDMI 2.1 features including VRR and AMD FreeSync.
Sadly, similar to many otherwise fantastic gaming TVs, it came with only two HDMI 2.1 ports, in comparison to more premium models such as the LG C3 and Samsung S90C, which came with four. The issue with only having two HDMI 2.1 ports is it limits gamers who have both next-gen consoles, the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and a soundbar, as it means (most likely) only one console will get the full HDMI 2.1 benefit, including the 120Hz refresh rate.
However, LG has announced that the B4 will now have the full stock of four HDMI 2.1 ports, meaning this will no longer be an issue for gamers. That is a welcome addition and one that is sure to sit nicely alongside the LG B4’s other gaming features, which I assume will carry over from the B3.
Next, the new Alpha 8 AI processor (which LG says will share similar specs to the Alpha 9 Gen 7 found in 2023’s LG C3) built into the B4 is sure to provide improvements to both picture and sound quality. The B4 will carry a lot of the same AI Picture Pro features as the C4, including Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro and AI scaling for better textures, and it will even have the same ability to upmix virtual surround to 9.1.2ch (whereas the B3 was limited to 5.1.2 virtual surround). Presumably, this will mean even further improvements over the B3’s fantastic picture and decent sound.
Another welcome announcement is the introduction of a 48-inch B series model. One of the LG B3’s limitations, especially for an entry-level OLED TV, was its limited size range of only 55-77 inches. Based on my experience in AV retail, 48-inch became a popular size for many customers (in the UK anyway), and it was a shame the B3 missed out. With the introduction of a 48-inch size, those with smaller rooms can now access the B series. It also means there will now be a cheaper option than last year’s 55-inch B3 (fingers crossed).
Speaking of cheaper, there are a couple of things that could potentially trip up the LG B4. The first? Price. When the LG B3 was released last year, it was only $100 / £100 cheaper than the C3, which had more features and a brighter picture, so the B3 fell into obscurity. Thankfully, those prices did drop…for a while. We’re seeing a sort of yo-yo of prices between the B3 and C3 where the B3 goes from being excellent value to negligible value over and over.
If LG can get the price right with the B4, especially the smaller 48-inch size, it could be a real contender for one of the best value TVs on the market. LG hasn’t officially announced any pricing yet for its 2024 OLED TV lineup, but I’m really hoping that the B4 gets a better value price tag than its predecessor did on its release.
The next place the B4 could trip up is its brightness. When I measured the LG B3, it hit a peak brightness (on a 10% window) of 619 nits, over 200 nits lower than the LG C3. A lot of other OLEDs are also now measuring around 1,000 nits so the LG B4 needs to improve on the B3 if it’s going to be as competitive in the 2024 OLED market. Unfortunately, LG hasn’t really commented on the brightness of the B4 like it has the other models in the 2024 OLED lineup. But with an upgraded chip, which again LG said could have similar specs to the C3, the B4’s brightness could very well improve, even though we know for sure that the Alpha 8 AI chip doesn’t have the same brightness booster tech found in the Alpha 9 or 11.
Despite the potential for a couple of mishaps, I still believe the LG B4 could be a real contender in 2024. The LG B3 laid the foundations for a fantastic TV that presented an entry-level option for people looking for an OLED in 2023 that didn’t make any major sacrifices. But those few potential pitfalls I mentioned above could still be a problem for the LG B4. If LG can avoid these, though, the LG B4 could easily be one of the best TVs of 2024.
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