LG beats Samsung to the punch with their 55-inch OLED TV

By on January 2, 2013, 11:30 AM

LG was able to beat Samsung to the punch with regards to launching a 55-inch OLED TV. The technology isn’t new by any stretch of the imagination but thus far it has proven difficult to mass produce large OLED displays. But even with the milestone behind them, there’s no clear road to success with OLED sets as another technology looks to be the next big thing in home entertainment.

OLED sets offer more vivid image quality and can be as thin as 4-milimeters in thickness but their high price will likely keep most consumers at bay initially. For example, LG’s new 55-inch OLED TV that will be available to order later this week starts at 11 million won, or just over $10,000 each. Launch dates and pricing for other markets will be released over the next several weeks, we’re told.

As Choi Sang-gyu, the head of LG’s marketing division in Korea told the Wall Street Journal, it is proof of mass production. Hana Daetoo Securities analyst S.H. Chun echoed those sentiments, telling the publication that it’s more for show than boosting revenue due to the extremely high price tag.

It remains to be seen whether or not OLED technology will indeed be the next big thing. With the Consumer Electronics Show set to kick off next week, most experts believe we will see a big push for ultra high-definition televisions like this 60-inch model from Sharp released late last year. That set, by the way, sells for around $31,000.




User Comments: 6

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Sniped_Ash said:

Pushing UHD seems really premature to me considering how cable companies skimp on HD bandwidth as it is and how long it took HD to get going in the US. Netflix, Amazon, etc. would also have to eat the higher bandwidth costs for UHD since they're already in a tough spot between licensing fees and a customer base that's used to paying very little for a lot of content.

Seems easier to just figure out how to market OLED TVs so economy of scale can do its thing.

Renrew Renrew said:

Ouch, Ouch looks a lot like

new products price gouge.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I wouldn't say LG beat samsung... the first one to make them affordable will earn the bragging rights.

@Sniped_Ash, I would expect UHD content would be achieved other ways first. Like a DVD player that can up-convert a blu-ray for example. I think content is only one thing that will hold back UHD. Just the fact that you need a huge screen to reap the benefits will keep sales down. Many people don't want an 84 inch TV. Although, many may feel differently once they see one.

How cool would it be to have the NFL sunday ticket with a huge UHD TV that could split into 4 different HD pictures!

wiyosaya said:

Pushing UHD seems really premature to me considering how cable companies skimp on HD bandwidth as it is and how long it took HD to get going in the US. Netflix, Amazon, etc. would also have to eat the higher bandwidth costs for UHD since they're already in a tough spot between licensing fees and a customer base that's used to paying very little for a lot of content.

Seems easier to just figure out how to market OLED TVs so economy of scale can do its thing.

It is not actually marketing them that is keeping the price high at this point. It is the manufacturing process and its difficulty.

As I see it, even at this price, OLED sets will sell, and as long as they sell, the price will drop eventually.

Personally, I don't see UHD becoming big anytime soon simply because there is no content, yet, and upscaled content is just not the same as content in UHD to begin with. I'm willing to bet that side-by-side, the 55" OLED from LG (or the supposedly upcoming one from Samsung) will far outsell UHD sets. The article does not say anything about the tech behind the UHD set. If its still LCD, OLED will surpass it in color gamut if not other areas as well - meaning, at the least, colors will be better on the OLED.

At this time, about the only thing that will come close to the picture quality of an OLED is plasma displays.

Sniped_Ash said:

@Sniped_Ash, I would expect UHD content would be achieved other ways first. Like a DVD player that can up-convert a blu-ray for example. I think content is only one thing that will hold back UHD. Just the fact that you need a huge screen to reap the benefits will keep sales down. Many people don't want an 84 inch TV. Although, many may feel differently once they see one.

How cool would it be to have the NFL sunday ticket with a huge UHD TV that could split into 4 different HD pictures!

Upconverting non-UHD to UHD pretty much defeats the purpose of UHD. And it's hard enough to follow the ball when RG3 is doing his play action trickery, so following 4 games at once is right out!

It is not actually marketing them that is keeping the price high at this point. It is the manufacturing process and its difficulty.
Healthy demand will help with that if for no other reason than more easily secured financing for R&D and lower materials costs.

And both UHD and OLED TVs will need some serious marketing to create that demand. I'm don't think that the common consumer really gives a crap about UHD's higher resolution or OLED's better picture.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

10K for OLED-TV + 1 BJ? - it better be, she's pretty!

Otherwise I'll better go for 1K LCD-TV + 10 BJ, cheap and practical.

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