CES 2021: Best TV and Home Entertainment Tech

With innovative products from the likes of Sony, LG, and TCL, CES 2021 hasn't been short on TV and home entertainment tech.
Tom Fogden

TVs are always big news at CES and, even with CES 2021 not being the in-person spectacle it usually is, this year is no different.

With new models from the likes of LG and TCL featuring 8K resolutions and pre-loaded Google Stadia, TVs have rarely looked more interesting.

Let’s take a look into all the announcements from this year's show to find out more about the TVs that will be cropping up in people's homes in the very near future.

LG TVs at CES 2021

LG is one of the biggest TV manufacturers in the world ,and it some suitably big announcements at CES this year.

New LG OLED TVs

For starters, LG has announced the G1 series of OLED (organic light emitting diode) TVs. These models replace the GX series from last year and promise to be even brighter than their predecessors.

The new G1 series models, which come in 55-, 65-, or 77-inch flavors, feature a new “Evo” panel. This promises to ramp up the brightness for improved HDR and general luminosity. LG says this tech is as significant as the introduction of 4K HDR and 8K resolutions for OLED TVs.

LG's new Evo panel promises to ramp up the brightness for improved HDR and general luminosity

LG also announced the C1 series, which replaces the excellent CX series from last year. The C1 series is available with 55-, 65-, 77-, and even an 83-inch panel.

The C1 series also comes with a load of features for gamers including variable refresh rate, NVIDIA G-Sync (which synchronises the display refresh rate with your GPU).

Rounding out the range is the new A1 series. It gives you all the basics for an OLED TV, such as Dolby Vision, HDMI 2.1. You'll have to make do with fewer HDMI ports and an older processor LG a7 processor, but it should be more than enough for most households.

Pricing is expecting to be revealed in the spring.

LG OLED TV Lineup CES 2021

LG WebOS Software

LG has also taken the chance to updated its WebOS smart TV software with a design overhaul. The new look surfaces lots of apps, your smart home dashboard, and widgets that can tell you the weather, for example.

It also has space for a sponsored widget — LG clearly isn't content with just selling you a TV, and wants to extract maximum value from your viewing pleasure with adverts.

The new LG remote has dedicated buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, LG channels, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa

The LG remote has been updated as well, with dedicated buttons to open Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and LG channels as well as built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Google Stadia and NVIDIA GeForce Now on LG TVs

LG has also announced that Google Stadia and NVIDIA's GeForce Now, two leading game streaming services, will be added to its newest TVs later this year.

Google Stadia is set to arrive on LG's newest OLED, QNED, and NanoCell TVs when they start shipping later this year. Stadia will also come to LG's 2020 TVs as well, though slightly later.

GeForce will be coming a bit later than Stadia but we're not exactly sure when.

Sony TVs at CES 2021

Sony has been falling behind in the TV game recently. Not all of its 2020 TVs could take advantage of the next-gen gaming features on Sony's own PlayStation 5, for example — but, it is hoping a new range of TVs with some interesting new features might improve their standing.

Sony's 2021 Lineup

Sony's new Bravia XR lineup of 4K and 8K TVs support 4K at 120Hz as well as variable refresh rates, auto low-latency tech for smoother visuals and eARC for better audio.

Its Master Series TVs, which feature 8K LCD panels or 4K OLED panels have new sensors which can detect the color temperature of the ambient light in your room and automatically adjust the TV's white balance to compliment.

Light sensors on the new Sony Master Series TVs can detect the color temperature of the ambient light in your room and automatically adjust the TV to compliment it

The A90J Master series features brighter OLED panels than previous Sony TVs thanks to a new aluminum heat shield.

Pricing will be announced this spring.

Sony TVs with Google TV

Sony is among the first suppliers to switch from Android TV to Google TV. All of its 2021 TVs will offer a software experience very reminiscent of the latest Chromecast devices.

In fact, the For You page and content recommendations, as well as lots of other Chromecast features, will be almost indistinguishable from the software on Sony's new sets.

Sony Bravia Core

Of course, the thing we all really wanted was another streaming service. Just kidding.

Sony has also announced ‘Bravia Core' which allows customer to stream movies with the highest audio and visual quality on the market. Sony's Pure Stream technology allows for “near lossless” ultra high-definition visuals with Blu-ray disc quality, apparently.

Sony's Pure Stream technology allows for “near lossless” ultra high-definition visuals with claimed Blu-ray disc quality

It will also allow you to stream at up to 80 megabits per second — significantly faster than most of the other streaming services out there, meaning that you'll get faster downloads of your movies at a higher quality.

However, there are a couple of catches. Firstly, you'll need to own one of Sony's new Bravia XR models. You're then given a number of credits based on the set that you buy which can then be exchanged for movies. There's no word on whether you'll be able to keep those movies or whether they're just rentals. Secondly, you'll only be able to stream Sony Pictures movies at this higher quality.

It's not going to topple Netflix, but it might be a nice bonus if you're considering buying a new Sony TV.

TCL TVs at CES 2021

TCL, not content with announcing a new line of phones, has given us the lowdown on its new 2021 TVs at CES this year.

These new TVs look like they could be a great choice for anyone after a cheaper set with some high-end features. For example, its 6-series and 8-series TVs already feature Mini LED backlighting.

TCL's TVs look like they could be a great choice for anyone after a cheaper set with some high-end features

However, the new 2021 6-series sets feature 8K resolutions and the AiPQ processor will be able to upscale 4K content to higher clarity and sharpness. There's no word on whether this new model will be able to pull of 4K resolutions at 120Hz refresh rates, however.

TCL is also bringing new tech to its LCD TVs with a new panel called “OD Zero,” so-called because the gap between the display and backlight system is zero millimeters. This means that you get an “ultra-slim display with tens of thousands of Mini LEDs and thousands of contract control zones.”

TCL is also bringing out the XL collection which will give you a choice of 85-inch TVs at different price points and resolutions. These gigantic TVs will start at $1,599 with the cheapest 4-series model arriving “this quarter.”

Pricing and availability for the other models is yet to be announced.

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Tom Fogden is a writer for Tech.co with a range of experience in the world of tech publishing. Tom covers everything from cybersecurity, to social media, website builders, and point of sale software when he's not reviewing the latest phones.

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