Insanely beautiful, and almost certainly insanely priced, LG's anticipated 55-inch OLED TV was officially unveiled at the company's press event this morning at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. We'll have the opportunity to take a closer look at it in the coming days, but for now, and at first glance, the TV seems to be every bit the masterwork that was expected, with some, such as CNET, saying that it could be "the best TV ever."
Worth the wait, worth the price?
OLED displays found on smaller devices such as higher-end smartphones and Sony's XEL-1 (an 11-inch, $2,500 consumer TV first offered in 2008 but never updated), typically draw raves for their vivid colors (albeit a little too vivid in the opinion of purists) and deep blacks. OLED also overcomes most of the major downsides with LCD TVs (such as weaker blacks and motion blurring) and plasma TVs (image retention and energy inefficiency). It also makes possible a literally razor thin profile and lightweight. LG's TV is just 4mm thick and weighs just 16.5 pounds.
According to LG, the company's 55-inch set uses a little different technology than previous OLED efforts, relying on a white OLED (WOLED) panel with overlaid color filters and adding a fourth, white subpixel to the usual triumvirate of red, green and blue. The result, LG claims, is improved picture quality and "lower" production costs. How low? That's still to be announced, though guesstimates we've seen say $8,000 might be the right ritzy neighborhood. Availability is also still not officially announced, though reports say it will be in the second half of 2012.
And LG's announcement might not be the end of the OLED TV news at this year's CES. Though the company won't confirm, rumors are that Samsung will be unveiling a big-screen OLED TV at its press conference later on today.