Korea’s LG Electronics kicked off the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas by unveiling a prototype of the world’s biggest television to use next-generation organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology.
Though the technology remains prohibitively expensive for large-screen applications — the 55-inch TV is expected to cost up to US$8 000 when it goes into production this year — it is expected to be commonplace in TVs later this decade, paving the way for much thinner and lighter devices.
OLED technology is already popularly used in high-end smartphones and other portable devices with small screens. Unlike LED-backlit LCD TVs, OLED systems do not require a back-light, making them much thinner.
LG’s OLED TV, the 55EM9600, is just 4mm thick, with an almost invisible bezel. The 7,5kg unit has a contrast ratio of 100m to one, 50 times greater than LCD panels. It also supports 3D content and is compatible with LG’s passive 3D eyewear.
LG’s director for new product development, Tim Alessi, says the company has fellow Korean company and biggest rival Samsung “squarely in our sights”.
Other than its OLED TV, LG used CES to introduce a range of large-screen LED-backlit LCD panels, including an 84-inch monster that offers four times the resolution of standard 1080p sets with a 1mm bezel and 2,8mm thickness.
Responding to criticism — LG has been accused by rival Samsung of using cheaper but allegedly inferior passive 3D eyewear — Alessi says passive technology has taken 30% of the market and is continuing to grow strongly at the expense of the active-shutter systems preferred by Samsung.
It is expanding its Cinema 3D technology to 50% of its TV models, is upgrading the Web browser on its “Smart TVs” to support HTML5 and Flash 10, and has introduced 3D gesture technology not dissimilar to what’s available in the Xbox Kinect system from Microsoft.
At the same time, LG has unveiled its own chipset, known as the L9, which features a dual-core Arm processor and quad-core graphics processor to power its next-generation Smart TVs. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral, at CES
- Samsung is due to hold its own CES press event later on Monday, US time
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