OLED TVs have been promised for years and each time CES comes around the world’s top TV manufacturers say “they’re coming, no really they’re coming” well apparently this year is different: they’re finally available to buy – if you have very deep pockets, of course.
Apparently LG has begun taking orders for its 55-inch 1080p display this week, but on the face of it you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the LED and OLED. So what’s the point? Well, LG has finally managed to navigate the numerous stumbling blocks for the tech, which there have been many; there’s been low yields; a weak global economy; low OLED lifespan; and teething problems with the manufacturing process. But apparently those early problems have finally been ironed out, and it only took 8 years.
Like previous years, CES is packed to the rafters with OLED TVs – but is it too late for 1080p OLED screens? Especially as Ultra HD TVs look like a far more impressive technology and offer far better value for money – well that might be true, but in actual fact almost all UHD TVs at this year’s show are based on OLED tech – so it clear the tech is hear to stay, it just won’t make a massive impact on the saturated 1080p market, especially considering the hefty price tag. LG’s 55EM9700 is set to launch in South Korea in February, with the US launch in March, the asking price? A cool $12,000.
Elsewhere OLED has been making a far bigger splash under the guise of Ultra High Definition TVs (UHD), which if were lucky might find their way to market this year. Sony and Panasonic showcased a couple of OLED Ultra HD TVs with the thickness of your average tablet. Sony’s offering is built on a metal oxide semiconductor technology, which Sony explains gives them a significant manufacturing advantage over its rivals.
Samsung also have OLEDs on display at CES, but there’s were a little wonkier than the competition, they showed a stunning curved 55-inch OLED display, which is meant give users an immersive “Imax-like” viewing experience. And interestingly it looks strikingly similar to those Apple TV concepts that did the rounds online last year. There weren’t any details on resolution, how curved the display is, or price. But apparently it’s going on sale in the second half of 2013. We can’t wait.