LG OLED TVs confirmed for UK in Q1 2013

LG will start selling OLED TVs in South Korea from tomorrow, stepping up its battle with Korean rival Samsung for next-generation TV bragging rights.

And LG has confirmed that its OLED TVs are scheduled to launch in the UK "during Q1 2013" – and you can register for more information on LG's website right now.

Korean consumers will be able to order the 55in 55EM9700 (above) from tomorrow through more than 1400 LG retail stores, with deliveries of the KRW 11m (around £6350) TV due in February.

Only a few days ago LG was saying it planned to launch sales of OLED (organic light-emitting diode) sets, which use a superthin self-illuminating display panel, 'some time' this year; now it looks like the company has got the jump on rival Samsung, which is so far only saying it will start sales during the first three months of 2013.

The announcement comes just a week before the CES 2013 consumer electronics trade show, which opens its doors in Las Vegas next week. The event has of late seen the two Korean companies vying for attention with product launches and announcements, usually overshadowing their Japanese rivals.

Already we've seen an early announcement of more 4K models from LG, countered by hints of a revolutionary new TV technology from Samsung, and this move by LG looks likely to provoke a further response.

LG says that 'As the first and only company to announce availability of the next-generation TV technology, LG is prepared to ramp up quickly to take the lead in the OLED segment that is expected to grow to 7.2 million units by 2016.

Meanwhile the President and CEO of LG's Home Entertainment Company, Havis Kwon (left), says that 'We are extremely pleased to be able to make this announcement at the start of the new year because we believe that OLED will usher in a whole new era of home entertainment.

'Not since colour TV was first introduced 60 years ago has there been a more transformational moment.

'When high definition TV was first introduced 15 years ago, the public’s reaction was "wow!" but when customers see our razor-thin OLED TV for the first time, they’re left speechless.

'That’s as clear an indicator as any that OLED TV is much more than just an incremental improvement to current television technology.'

The 55in LG OLED TV is just 4mm thick, weighs less than 10kg, and uses the company's Four-Colour Pixel system in which a white sub-pixel is added to the usual red, green and blue to enhance colour output.

The company also claims the set offers 'an infinite contrast ratio, which maintains optimal contrast levels regardless of ambient brightness or viewing angle.'

LG says it will announce pricing of its OLED TVs in other markets 'over the next several weeks'.

CES 2013: what to expect from the world's biggest technology show

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.