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LG’s 55-inch OLED TV gets coming out party in Monaco

LG 55-inch OLED TV unveiled in Monaco

Make sure to also check out our photo gallery Up close with LG’s 55-inch OLED TV.

LG is a sponsor of the famed F1 Grand Prix in Monaco, France, so it stands to reason it might take advantage of the posh event by holding an equally lavish unveiling gala for its highly anticipated OLED TV just before the racing action begins. Ironically, however, all the pomp and circumstance thrown behind the new TV’s introduction was totally upstaged by the TV itself. Yep, it’s just that good. 

We caught a glimpse of the new 55-inch OLED TV at CES 2012 and, like most, we were duly impressed. However, the prototype model that was shown at the time has since been revamped and, besides, no one was allowed within 15 feet of the TV at the show, so we weren’t able to go over it inch by inch or get the scoop on all the juicy specs, either. Today, Digital Trends was privileged enough to lay hands all over the TV and gather plenty of details on what makes the new display so special. 

In a nutshell, it all comes down to picture quality and design. LG is sticking to its passive 3D guns and smart TV integration, right down to the Magic Motion remote that allows Wii-style control of the TV as shown in our 55LM6700 review. The 55EM9600U, however, folds in some significant new design points. Foremost is the TV’s thickness, which comes in at a razor-thin 4mm. Its bezel is nearly invisible at 1mm thick and the TV’s weight is 50 percent lighter than its nearest LED counterpart at a wispy 22 pounds. According to LG, that makes it the lightest and thinnest 55-inch TV on the market today. 

The 55-inch OLED is stunning to behold. Black levels are so deep that you can’t tell whether the TV is on or not when the screen goes black, and the contrast capabilities are off the charts; darn near infinite, if you ask LG.  The back panel is made of a carbon-fiber material that is as tough as it is light, and the TV will come available with either a base stand or a pole stand for those not interested in wall-mounting. 

To pull off such thinness, however, LG had to stick the electronic guts in the TV’s base. Otherwise, users will have to deal with a set-top box. There’s just no room in the panel to hold it all. 

But perhaps LG’s most notable engineering feat comes by way of the use of a white sub-pixel which, according to LG, improves the accuracy of the color blue significantly and reduces power consumption and heat at the same time. The company calls it WRGB and claims this development is what allowed it to stabilize OLED, which has been difficult to scale up to sizes as large as 55 inches. 

Check out our video below or our photo gallery for an up-close look at this stellar new TV. Also, be sure to check back later as we’re going to dig deep into this new display and offer our opinion on what kind of impact the performance of this $10,000 over-achiever might have on the future of TV.