Not too long ago, reports from NPD DisplaySearch had us wondering at whether LG and Samsung might table OLED technology in effort to throw their full weight behind another burgeoning tech: 4K/Ultra HD. Well, LG has given its answer loud and clear.
Today we learned that LG Display has invested a whopping $657 million in the production of large OLED TV screens, a figure that will enable it to produce 26,000 mother glass sheets a month which are big enough to make six 55-inch screens per sheet. In other words: the company will be capable of churning out 156,000 panels per page turn on your calender. Since LG display is the largest flat-panel producer in the world, and since LG Electronics owns a 38 percent stake in it – it stands to reason that LG proper will be buying plenty of the new panels. This is news that should resonate industry-wide.
Though some have been quick to dismiss comparisons between OLED and 4K/Ultra HD, since the former is a new type of TV screen, while the later is a revolution in resolution, it’s difficult for a company to really go all-in on both. That said, by making a sizable investment in either, you’re also making a sizable bet that the one doesn’t obviate the other.
CES 2013 pretty much dispelled the notion that OLED would be a temporary fix while 4K/Ultra HD got fully revved up, but this recent development quashes that notion for good. LG Display’s decision to invest (and invest heavily) means that OLED technology will likely retain a presence in the TV market for years to come. The ultimate videophile’s dream – of course – is the eye-candy meets eye-candy marriage of OLED and 4K/Ultra HD that Sony and Panasonic showed off earlier this year. Those are just prototypes, however, and won’t be commercially viable for quite some time.
LG Display is expected to begin its new production line in June of 2014.