TV feature is supposed to put HDR and Co. in the shade, but what’s the point?

Tangled cables are the biggest mood killer in the living room. TVs are made to work in a practical way. Only in the last few years should they really serve as a design element. In 2024, LG will launch the M3, a cable-free TV. How good is the idea? And above all: how new?

How does it work with wireless?

Admittedly, the M3 has cables, of course, they just don’t go all the way to the display. Strictly speaking, it’s not a cable-free TV, it’s a cable-free screen. All inputs instead sit on a separate box, called Zero Connect Box (which of course is not without a certain irony). According to Techradar, it’s roughly the size of an Xbox Series X.

What: IGN

What: IGN

The display itself is powered by a lithium battery. This should last about a month with a use of 6 hours a day. This is not at all practical or even environmentally friendly. The Zero Connect box sends all incoming signals wirelessly to the display. But what’s in the box now?

  • Single-Tuner
  • 3 HDMI-Slots
  • 3 USB-Ports
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Speakers with Dolby Audio and DTS Audio

We haven’t been able to find out more at the moment. The TV, which was presented at CES 2023, was a prototype model anyway. The device will be released in the second half of 2024. Until then, a lot can still be done.

For whom is the TV worthwhile?

What: Future

What: Future

The display of the M3 is OLED and has the usual LG quality. The wing has the following specs:

  • 120 Hz
  • 4K resolution
  • Alpha 9.6 processor
  • G-Sync/FreeSync
  • HDR10
  • Dolby Vision

Tests will have to show peak brightness and contrasts. Nothing unusual so far, except that the Zero Connect box can transmit a signal of 120 Hz at 4K resolution – remarkable and especially interesting for gamers. Incidentally, neither Bluetooth nor WLAN are used. The connection between the radio boxes and the screen is proprietary.

The sizes alone show that the M3 is not for the small buck:

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77 inches195 centimeters
83 inches210 centimeters
97 inches246 centimeters

There are no prices yet. Insiders assume that the 77-inch model will cost between 4,000 and 12,000 euros.

Wireless TV: is it a new idea?

No, in fact LG has forestalled the competition from its own country. Samsung has been producing TVs with a One Connect box for years – basically the same as the Zero Connect box. There the box and display are connected with a transparent fiber optic cable.

The One Connect box from Samsung is about 45 centimeters long.  Not in the picture: the fiber optic cable to the TV.

The One Connect box from Samsung is about 45 centimeters long. Not in the picture: the fiber optic cable to the TV.

Is the M3 ready for the market?

Yes and no. The technology that is in the TV itself is definitely ready for the market. At Samsung, televisions with a One Connect box have been sold over the counter for years. I don’t think the M3 is so expensive because of the tech, but because of its size.

The broken neck will be the battery. Lithium batteries are not environmentally friendly, but in a heavily used and especially energy-hungry device like a television, it is simply impossible to use rechargeable batteries profitably. After all, a conventional TV already consumes a lot of electricity. But of course, there are always early adopters.

The TV as a design object

As televisions have become slimmer, manufacturers have tried to sell them as designer furniture and status symbols. Not only the M3 hits this notch, but wireless TVs as such. Nobody likes cable clutter, so it only makes sense to separate the display from the technology.

What have the manufacturers already tried: ornate feet, borderless and ultra-slim displays or even TVs that become transparent when switched off. However, the mesh is not really working yet. We still see the television too much as a commodity.

Even the black hole that you see in the living room when the screen is off isn’t to everyone’s taste. Samsung countered this with The Frame, which you can use to record photos in screensaver mode – and our colleague Alana was dazzled:

Many advantages, many disadvantages

There is no question that such a cable-free television has its advantages. It looks tidier, thanks to a separate box not only is cable management easier, but it is simply easier to get to it; no more crawling on the ground.

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If you think further on the technical side, there is a big plus: If you have to replace the technology, then the entire TV does not have to go. Changing the box is enough. Even upgrading to a larger diagonal is so easy.

The battery is definitely on the target side. Replacing every few months is hair-pulling and at most practicable for owners who have such a screen in their holiday home and want to brag about it. With a box as the source box, you definitely need a dedicated sound system. Where else is the sound supposed to come from?

In addition, the block is simply too big and too attractive. Samsung’s One Connect box isn’t small either, but it fits comfortably in the drawer of the phono cabinet and is therefore out of sight. As it stands, the M3 needs its companion right by its side.

Max Schwind

I myself am the owner of a QLED from Samsung including a One Connect box and think the idea of ​​outsourcing the technology is excellent. My better half can confirm that, as it is often the ladies of the house who are bothered by the cable clutter. So the idea behind the M3 doesn’t surprise me. Until a few years ago, Samsung refused to include OLEDs in its range, but LG is now copying the One Connect box. Fair!

To me, the fuss over TV is unjustified. LG wants to put the device on the shelves in 2024, until then a lot of water will flow down the Han River in Seoul. However, if they don’t solve the battery problem, I see black. It is to be hoped that this was only an emergency solution for a showcase at CES 2023 and that the South Koreans already have an alternative up their sleeve. I would suggest a fiber optic cable.

It’s not just LG that’s throwing off the ropes: Displace, the manufacturer, has its own vision of the future of TV. Are you still looking for the right TV for you? We have the right tips for gamers and film fans.

A lot is happening with televisions. Whether micro-LED, OLED or new design ideas, the manufacturers are not at a loss for new ideas. A TV without cable is actually just the logical next step. What TV do you have at home? Maybe even a Samsung with a One Connect box? Let us know what you think of LG’s M3.

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