LG C3 OLED TV: 4 upgrades we expect to see

LG C@ OLED TV on green background
(Image credit: Future)

At CES 2023, we expect the LG C3 OLED TV to be unveiled, which will be the latest in the line of LG's massively popular (and truly excellent) C-series of OLED TVs. The current version is the LG C2, and it was the LG C1 before that, so we're going out on a limb to say the next version will probably be the LG C3…

The LG C2 OLED TV had an outstanding year, with praise heaped on it by this and many other publications. Notably, it earned our TV of the Year Awards in the TechRadar Choice Awards 2022.

What vaulted LG’s C2 series to the top of our list of the best 4K TVs, and sealed the award, was its perfect balance of features, performance, and value – we can’t think of another TV that offers as much for the price. 

More specifically, the C2 series has the company’s next-gen OLED Evo panel, an upgrade that offers higher brightness than previous OLEDs plus a new Alpha a9 Gen 5 processor to improve HDR handling. It also offers a complete suite of HDMI 2.1 features to make it fully compatible with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S game consoles – it's the best gaming TV as well as being great for movies.

As much as we admire the C2 series TVs, we’re looking forward to LG’s next generation. What upgrades could LG have cooking that will make the C3 an improvement over the C2? Right now, we can only speculate on that, but based on OLED tech developments during the past year, developments in the TV industry as a whole, and some knowledge we've learned from OLED display insiders, there are a few things we anticipate seeing in a C3 series TV – all of which would help it to hold its predecessor's position as the best OLED TV for most people.

1. Improved picture quality 

Most new generations of TVs come with picture quality improvements, but the LG C3 series could have something special in store. LG Display recently announced that it has transitioned its OLED production plants to exclusively make OLED.EX panels, a new version of the display that was used in both the LG G2 and C2 series TVs. 

A key benefit OLED.EX brought was improved brightness: up to 30% higher light output, according to LG. But another feature of the flagship G2 series, a Brightness Booster (essentially, a heat sink built into the OLED panel that allows for it to be driven harder for even higher light output), is one we hope will migrate to the C3 series. The result here would be that the company’s more value-oriented high-performance OLED line will offer the same powerful peak brightness as its previous flagship model.

2. Better speakers

The C2 series isn’t a bad TV choice when it comes to audio (it sits on our list of the best TVs for sound, though at the bottom), but the sound certainly isn't at the same level as the pictures, so audio is an area where a new C3 series could offer improvements.

When LG debuted its 97-inch OLED model at the K-Display 2022 exhibition, one of the features touted was high-performance audio. The company’s release on the TV describes this sound feature, which it calls Film CSO (for Cinematic Sound OLED), as “a 5.1 channel surround sound system embedded into the screen,” and one that uses film-based actuators rather than the voice coils typically used in speakers.

LG’s description makes the feature sound comparable to Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio, a technology found in the Sony A80K TV that similarly uses sound actuators embedded in the display panel. Whatever the details of the tech, which we’ll likely learn more about at CES 2023, we wouldn't be surprised at all to see it in LG’s C3 series OLEDs.

LG 97-inch OLED.EX TV being demonstrated at a trade show

LG's 97-inch OLED.EX TV being shown at K-Display 2022. (Image credit: LG)

3. Bigger screen size 

Okay, this one is more of a wish than an expectation. LG’s C2 series ranges in screen size from 42 inches up to 83 inches, with 42-, 55-, 65-, and 77-inch models in-between. The only larger TVs the company offers are the 88-inch Z8, an 8K model, and the 97-inch G2.

We're not overly hopeful that LG will bring the 97-inch screen size to a step-down series like the forthcoming C3, since that’s a distinguishing feature it would want to reserve for its high-end “Gallery” series sets. But if not, perhaps we could get a model in the 88-inch range, and it would likely cost much less than the $25,000 LG charges for the current 97-inch G2. The 83-inch C2 sells for under $4,500, so a larger model priced even just a few thousand above that would make it a compelling alternative to one of the best 4K projectors

4. Wireless sound

LG wireless audio support for the current C2 series is via Bluetooth output and an optional WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Audio Association) dongle for uncompressed audio streaming to WiSA-compatible speakers. The latter has not exactly been setting the world alight, even as more people have been getting hot for home theater and have been looking at the best Dolby Atmos soundbars to give it to them.

For the C3 series, we would hope to see a feature that allows for a wireless Dolby Atmos connection between the TV and compatible external soundbars. Such a feature – which is found in 2022 Samsung TVs and soundbars, so is 100% possible – would eliminate the need for an HDMI connection between the TV and soundbar, making installation more elegant and simple… plus, you get one of your ports back!

LG's latest soundbars, such as the LG S95QR, actually do support wireless sound transmission to the soundbar, using a technology called Wowcast. But this requires an adapter to connect to your HDMI ports still. Wowcast being built into the C3 seems like a slam dunk.

What else is possible?

What other upgrades could LG bring to its C3 series OLED TVs? The addition of HDR10+ high dynamic range, along with DTS:X audio support. And although the C2 series is already a great gaming TV, extra support for a 144Hz refresh rate would make it even better. And it'll have a new and more advanced image processor, almost certainly.

LG’s current C2 series OLED TVs are already good enough that there’s not a huge amount of improvement to be made, though we’re sure the next-gen C3 models will sport at least one, if not all, of the upgrades listed above. We’ll have more to report on that at CES 2023, when LG introduces its new TVs, along with potential additions to our lists of the best soundbars and best 4K projectors.

Al Griffin
Senior Editor Home Entertainment, US

Al Griffin has been writing about and reviewing A/V tech since the days LaserDiscs roamed the earth, and was previously the editor of Sound & Vision magazine. 

When not reviewing the latest and greatest gear or watching movies at home, he can usually be found out and about on a bike.