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LG releasing first large screen OLED TV next month


January 1, 2013

LG's 55-inch 55EM9700 is the first large screen OLED TV available to consumers

LG's 55-inch 55EM9700 is the first large screen OLED TV available to consumers

With stunning picture quality and ultrathin panels, the OLED TVs trundled out at trade shows by major manufacturers over the past few years have had many salivating. But unless you’re willing to settle for smaller screen sizes, manufacturing hurdles have seen OLED TVs struggle to make the jump to retail stores. That is now about to change with LG announcing its 55-inch OLED TV will be available in South Korea from February, with pricing and availability for other markets to be announced in the coming weeks.

Measuring 4 mm thick and weighing less than 10 kg (22 lb), LG’s 55EM9700 model is an updated version of the OLED TV that turned heads at CES 2012 and earned a “Best of Show” award. Similar to Sharp’s Quattron LCD technology, LG’s OLED TV uses a “Four-Color Pixel” system, but with a white sub-pixel joining the standard red, green and blue (RGB) sub-pixels, rather than the yellow used by Sharp.

LG claims this WRGB setup creates the “perfect color output,” while the company’s Color Refiner enhances tone for more vibrant and natural images. Consumers unimpressed by the contrast levels and limited viewing angles offered by LCD TVs are likely to be more satisfied with the 55EM9700’s “infinite contrast ratio” that LG says provides optimum contrast levels regardless of ambient brightness or viewing angle.

LG will be begin taking orders through its more than 1,400 retail stores in South Korea from January 3, with deliveries beginning in the first week of February. The set won’t be cheap, costing KRW 11 million (approx. US$10,335). But LG says it is prepared to quickly ramp up OLED panel production in an effort to take the lead in the OLED segment, which (along with competition from other manufacturers) will hopefully help bring down prices in the not-too-distant future. Pricing and availability info for other markets will be announced in the coming weeks.

Source: LG

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Have they solved the short OLED lifetime problem yet?

I'd hate to spend that much money on a TV and only have it last a couple of years before fading out.

Anne Ominous

Yet another flatscreen with no controls on the front, not even the power button.

The 720p Magnavox I had, had power, volume and channel up-down and a menu button on the top edge. The 1080p Vizio I have now has all the buttons hidden around behind the left end.

I want to see a roll-up OLED screen that can be shipped in a tube with some rigid struts for a frame. Unroll, assemble frame, attach screen to frame. The bottom frame bar would have the accessible from the front control buttons plus I/O connections for video and audio.

Gregg Eshelman
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