Yesterday, Netflix started rolling out Dolby Atmos. This is of course exciting but it also highlights a core issue, which is the lack of Smart TV updates. You are stuck choosing between the best picture or the best sound. Hundreds of owners are petitioning for Dolby Atmos support on LG’s 2016 OLED TVs.
No love for 2016 OLED TV owners?
A petition on Change.org, which at the time of writing has 630 supporters, is asking LG to add support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital Plus to the HDMI ARC connection for the 2016 OLED TV line-up (B6, C6, E6 & G6).
- “LG just announced this feature for its 2017 line of Devices, but users of the last generation should not be left out. This is an important feature in this day and age, because Dolby Atmos and DTS:X Sound formats are becoming more and more important on the market,” the petition argues.
The petition notes that Sony is already offering this functionality on its 2016 TVs.
As Nilay Patel, Editor-in-Chief at The Verge, so expertly puts it:
- “Why is this a problem? Because LG OLED TVs are among the few devices that support Dolby Vision HDR, but you have to use the built-in webOS apps to get it. Since the TV doesn’t support sending Atmos audio out through HDMI to your speakers, you’re basically stuck choosing between the best picture quality or the best audio quality on a year-old TV that cost thousands of dollars.” (emphasis ours)
To get Dolby Atmos from Netflix you currently have to use an Xbox One or Xbox One S but the problem is that Xbox One does not support Dolby Vision HDR. LG’s 2017 OLED TVs will soon support both formats from Netflix but owners of 2016 LG OLEDs should not be required to upgrade less than one year old TVs.
LG has in the past reacted to a petition by deciding to issue a firmware update to reduce input lag on its 2016 OLED TVs. However, if LG – or any other company – wants to deliver on the promise of Smart TVs with operating systems, petitions should be superfluous. TV manufacturers should ideally update their TVs every year for at least 6-8 years, which is the average buying refresh cycle for TVs.