LG's 55in OLED to debut at CES
LG to start selling big screen OLEDs this year; rival Samsung will show a similar set, plans to assess the market before committing itself to sales

UPDATE 02.01.12

As we reported back in August last year (see below), LG has announced that this year's CES, which opens next week in Las Vegas, will see the debut of its 55in OLED TV, the first fruits of a massive investment in the technology by the Korean company.

The new model, which will be just 4mm thick and weigh 7.5kg, looks set to go on sale later in the year, the company having previously said it had plans to produce sufficient panels for 30,000 TVs a month.

The 55in OLED TV will use both LG's 4-Color Pixels – adding white to the usual array of red, green and blue – and the company's Color Refiner, which is said to improve colour rendition when the set is viewed off-axis.

The CEO of LG's Home Entertainment company, Havis Kwon, says that 'Working closely with LG Display, we have a product which not only delivers on all the advantages of OLED over LCD but at a significantly lower cost than what could be  achieved using existing OLED manufacturing technologies.

'OLED is clearly the future of home TV entertainment and LG is very focused on making this exciting technology as easy as possible for consumers to embrace.'

However, LG won't be the only Korean company with a 55in OLED TV at the show: rival Samsung is set to show a TV of the same size, but while LG has plans to launch this year,

Samsung says it will take a decision whether or not to launch its product based on variables such as market conditions.

But while the OLED TV will be a major attention-grabber on LG's CES stand, it's not the only TV technology the company is promoting. Also on show will be an 84in 3D Ultra-Definition set, part of the company's commitment to making the majority of its sets 3D-capable in 2012.

Along with new TVs, there will be lighter, more comfortable 3D glasses (above), including clip-on models for existing spectacle wearers.

The 84in LG model (above) has eight million pixel resolution, with a 3840x2160 pixel display giving four times the number of picture elements used in current HD TV panels.

Along with this advanced display, and compatibility with simple polarised glasses for 3D, the set will also offer 3D Depth Control to adjust the stereoscopic effect, and 3D Sound Zooming to match the picture.

Following another LG trend it will also have the improved version of the company's Smart TV platform, making it easier for users to access content streamed via the internet, and will also be one of the first sets with the LG's new Magic Motion remote control system.

Magic Motion offers four modes of operation, from the traditional Pointing (at onscreen elements) to Magic Gestures, such as using to remote to draw a 'V' to access video content.

In addition the remote will have a Wheel function similar to that on a computer mouse, and will also offer speech recognition for Voice operation of TV functions.

The remote will feature a curved arch shape for comfortable operation, and also a dedicated '3D' button for instant conversion of standard 2D content into 3D.

We'll be at CES next week to report on these new products and all the announcements from the world's technology leaders – stick with whathifi.com to keep yourself up to speed with the shape of home entertainment for 2012 and beyond.

POSTED 09.08.11

More after the break

LG is planning a massive investment in organic electroluminescence (OEL) panels for TV use, according to company president Kwon Young-soo (pictured), with about KRW 3tn (or just under £1.7bn) being suggested as the initial spend.

To get some idea of the scale of its plans, the company's LG Display division is planning to make what it calls a small quantity of OEL panels for LG Electronics to use in 55in TVs – just enough to enable it to sell 30,000 units a month, starting in the second half of next year ( as previously reported).

After that, Kwon says, it will examine the sales and costs involved, and decide whether to make the full KRW 3tn investment as early as 2013, with the aim of being in full mass-production from the second half of 2014.

Speaking to Japan's Nikkei business news service yesterday, Kwon said the plan is to be able to make the self-illuminating OEL panels, which use less energy and can produce sharper images than current technologies, using Generation 8 glass substrates, which are 2.2x2.5m.

Once up and running, the company will be able to produce 60,000 substrates a month, which could yield well over 250,000 TV display panels.

With mass-production established, using the 55in sets as a starting-point, the company is expected to increase the range of sizes available, including the introduction of 40in models.

LG has already shown smaller-screen ultrathin models, starting with a 15in version (above); last year it presented a 31in screen (below) at IFA Berlin.

So where's Japan?

Its big Korean rival, Samsung, is also known to be pushing forward  its plans for OEL TV manufacture, and the Nikkei comments that these latest moves will see the Seoul-based companies taking the lead from Japan's big TV names.

Sony may have led the way into OEL with its 11in XEL-1 TV (above) of a few years back, but production of that model has been discontinued, and Sony's OEL TV development stopped, as part of the company's efforts to stem the losses in its TV division.

And the Nikkei reports that Hitachi, Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba are yet to get beyond the basic research stage with the technology.

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