Berlin’s annual tech conference, IFA, is a time to showcase the latest-and-greatest advances set for the upcoming year. The 2014 incarnation of the conference has been a circular smorgasburg of smartwatches and tablets, however, that hasn’t stopped the likes of LG, Samsung, and Sony from bringing their latest and greatest displays to the showroom floor.
Bona fide debuts include everything from flexible OLED televisions to curved 4K offerings (or both), along with a smattering of smaller displays set to hit the market later this year. Not all of the products shown at IFA are ready for prime time quite yet — but the technology below is poised to set the tone for the near future. We obviously can’t guarantee if or when these sparkling new displays will go on sale in United States or abroad (or for how much) but they sure were pretty to look at while we wait.
LG’s 77-inch, flexible 4K OLED
LG might be one of predominant forces when it comes to high-definition TVs, but we had no idea just how quickly the company could roll its offerings off the production line. The 77-inch curved 4K OLED display we highlighted as one of our favorites at CES 2014 — a model that initially made its debut at IFA a year ago — is set to sell within a year with a price as yet undisclosed. It’s the world’s first 77-inch flexible OLED Ultra HD TV for sale, boasting phenomenal color accuracy, along with the deepest black levels and richest contrast set to go on the market to date.
However, LG also brought along its flexible incarnation of the 77-inch model. Not only does the TV boast resolution four times that of 1080p and the hallmarks of its non-flexible counterpart, but it also touts the ability to morph between curved and flat modes with the press of a button, thus reducing unwanted light reflections on the screen. The model LG brought to IFA 2014 was just as stunning as the prototype the company showcasesd at CES 2014.
LG’s 98-inch, 8K TV
Although consumers and content providers are still getting used to the notion of 4K content, that hasn’t stop LG from unveiling its first offering in the realm of 8K technology. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a 8K television in action — Sharp showcased an 85-inch 8K prototype at CES 2012 and Samsung revealed a 98-inch 8K TV at CES 2014 — yet LG’s latest endeavor only helps further the case for such technology.
The 98-inch display revels in 7680 x 4320-pixel resolution, which is 16 times the resolution of normal 1080p HD and four times that of 4K, producing an image that appears almost as real as the painting placed upon your living room wall. Hell, the pixel density is so fine we could barely decipher pixel from a mere 6 inches away, let alone 3 feet from the display. It’s likely not going to head to market any time soon, but we do expect it to hit shelves once 4K and OLED TVs become more affordable and consumers begin to embrace futuristic technology in lieu of their current 1080p offerings.
Samsung’s 105-inch, flexible 4K LED
Samsung is not stranger to the 105-inch, curved LED. However, though the company initially debuted a curved LED of that size at CES 2014, it used IFA 2014 as an opportunity to showcase a flexible version of the same size. The cinemawide Ultra HD TV bends on command from flat to curved in a similar fashion to LG’s aforementioned OLED, yet the effect is far more pronounced give the sheer size of the display.
Aside from ability to morph, the TV also highlights Samsung’s well-known knack for screen uniformity and rich black levels. Moreover, display brightness is also impeccable across the board and the device produces remarkable, vibrant colors. Samsung additionally showed off a gorgeous, curved OLED — evidence it has yet to abandon the technology despite the difficulty to produce the panels.
With renowned companies like Panasonic and Samsung having made their curved foray some time ago, it’s still a wonder that Sony waited so long to enter the mix. However, the Japanese company was on-hand to debut two curved 4K televisions at IFA 2014, both of which are set exclusively for the European market with prices exceeding $5,000 apiece. The 75-inch KD-75S9005B is the most noteworthy of the two, delivering excellent black levels and offering admirable sound via the TV’s virtual surround sound processing and angled speakers. The brightness isn’t as resounding as that of the OLEDs we checked out on the floor based on our initial impressions, nor is the uniformity quite on par with that exhibited by Sony’s flat offerings, but we’ll have to wait until we review the TV to make our final decision.
[Image of LG’s flexible OLED courtesy of TechBuffalo]