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CES 2012: LG announces thinnest, largest OLED TV

Consumer Reports News: January 09, 2012 12:08 PM

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LG Electronics has unveiled a prototype of a 55-inch OLED TV -- the largest model using the technology. The company also announced an 84-inch ultra-definition set it intends to make available in the back half of this year.

LG isn’t ready to announce pricing for its 55-inch OLED TV, which is expected to arrive toward the end of 2012. But during CES I’ve heard estimates ranging from $6,000 to $8,000, so it’s clearly not yet a mainstream product.

OLED technology isn’t new—it’s commonly used for displays in mobile device and Sony actually introduced an 11-inch OLED a few years back, which we favorably reviewed in our labs. We’re excited about OLED, as it combines some of the best attributes of LCD and plasma technologies, enabling ultra-thin, energy-efficient TVs with deep, rich blacks, great contrast, vibrant colors, and wide viewing angles. But the big news is that later this year we’ll see the first OLED models offered in real TV sizes.

Unlike LCD sets, OLED TVs don’t require a separate backlight, so they can be very thin—LG’s is just 5mm deep—and lightweight. LG’s OLED TV will be a 3D-capable set that ifeatures its updated Smart TV platform for Internet content, which includes streaming movie and TV services, full Web browsing, and access to LG’s apps market. The TV will ship with LG’s updated Magic Motion gesture-based remote control, which has the added ability of reponding to voice commands.

LG has hinted that it has developed a manufacturing process that will enable OLEDs to be made more affordably. LG’s version uses white OLEDs and a color filter; Samsung is reportedly working on one that uses colored (RGB) OLED technology. We’ll be writing more about OLED technology later at the show.

Likely to arrive first, however, will be LG's 84-inch ultra-definition (UD) 3D LCD TV, which has a resolution of 3840 x 2160, four times that of current 1080p (1920 x 1080) sets. As with the OLED TV, pricing for the ultra-definition set won’t be announced until closer to launch. The cpmaony is also looing at 60- and 72-inch screen sizes.

The UD TV will also be 3D-capable, and will include LG’s updated Smart TV Internet platform. Like some of LG’s newer 3D models, it will also have controls that allow you to adjust the depth of 3D image, a Sound Zooming audio feature taht works with 3D contrent, plus the redesigned gesture-based Magic Motion remote that includes voice control.

James K. Willcox

   

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