While its competition has stepped back from aggressive OLED TV development, LG continues to push forward. After recently releasing a surprisingly affordable (if $3,500 is affordable) OLED display you can actually put in your living room, the company today announced it will be unleashing its two show-stopping Ultra HD 4K OLED models (the 65-inch 65EC9700, and the 77-inch 77EG9700) on the public as well, available for purchase later this year.
We first saw the 77-inch UHD OLED at Berlin’s IFA electronics show last year, and it looks like LG is hoping to make another splash with the TVs at IFA this September, with pricing and availability dates expected to be finalized at that time.
Both of LG’s UHD OLED jewels take on a curved form and come with leaf-like stands. The TVs are designed to distinguish themselves from the rectangular displays commonly seen on the market, and LG maintains the curve is meant to be more immersive, though we have a different take.
OLED, which stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, is thought to be the next evolution in display technology, able to glow with the bright burst of color that makes LED displays so popular, but with incredibly deep black levels for the kind of contrast that can replace near-extinct plasma displays.
LG’s latest displays also offer a blast of 33 million sub-pixels (around 27 million more than your average HD display), for “the most lifelike colors and infinite contrast ratio,” as well as much better motion rendering than LED TVs, so much so that LG calls their motion performance flawless. Though curved, the TVs can be wall-mounted, and also sport LG’s new Ultra Surround sound technology, and LG’s intuitive webOS smart TV platform.
“LG 4K OLED TV is the pinnacle of technological achievement and a new paradigm that will change the dynamics of the next generation TV market,” claims Hyun-hwoi Ha, president and CEO of LG’s Home Entertainment Company.
However, unlike the $3,500 55-inch 55EA9800 HD OLED display LG recently released, the new UHD/4K displays will likely be wildly out of reach for the average consumer. If our sources are to be believed, the 65-inch model will likely be priced around the $10K watermark, while the flagship 77-inch model may cost as much as $30,000. In other words, unless you’re a day trader, or Persian royalty, these new TVs are still just for show.
Still, LG’s decision to push forward with OLED is good for all of us – especially those who lament the bitter end of plasma. While these new TVs are pedestal prizes at best for most of us, they may help blaze the path for the rest of the industry, setting a display standard that will end up in living rooms, sooner than later. After all, once you’ve seen a TV this brilliant, it can’t be unseen.
If you’ve got that AMEX black card at the ready, LG will be taking pre-orders for both TVs starting in Korea this week, with availability rolling out in North America and Europe “soon after,” though it is expected that they won’t arrive until Q3 or Q4 of this year. We’ll be seeing both TVs again soon at IFA, and we’ll also be walking away with more details on pricing and availability, so stay tuned as we approach the big show on September 5th.