LG Coming Out With the First 4K OLED TVs for the Consumer Market in September

by on August 30, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – August 30th, 2014

The electronics giant LG has announced that it will be selling a new line of televisions that contain both 4K resolution and OLED panel technology in their screens. These sales will be starting in September with the release of a 65 inch 4K OLED set for the European market as well as for North America, and South Korea, LG’s native country.

According to the company, these new TVs will be a first in the display electronics market since no other company currently sells both OLED and 4K resolution in their TVs, only one or the other.

However, despite LGs apparent enthusiasm for their new consumer product, some experts have claimed that the sales move doesn’t make much economic sense.

Both Sony and Panasonic have also given public displays of their own prototype 4K Organic light Emitting Diode (OLED) TVs, most recently at CES in Las Vegas all the way back in 2013 but neither company has yet decided to create production lines for their models.

Instead, all of the current 4K TVs on sale from Sony, Panasonic and other manufacturers use synthetic LED panel technology.

The difference between OLED and synthetic LED is that OLED uses a literally organic process of creating light by striking a carbon based compound with an electric current. The overall lighting effect of this process is far superior to conventional LED and TVs with OLED technology, while expensive, can do away with backlighting and thus have pixels which offer far richer, deeper blacks when they aren’t illuminated. Thus, the overall contrast ratio of an OLED screen is much better than what would be found in a synthetic LED display.

Samsung, another major LG competitor, has released OLED TVs, but all of them have been Full HD 1080p models, while all of Samsung’s top of the line 4K TVs still use synthetic LED backlighting.

So far, the major obstacle to the release of OLED TVs in any form, and especially with 4K resolution is that they are extremely difficult to manufacture relative to TVs with regular LED technology. This means that they are way too expensive for most TV hungry consumers and according to Samsung itself, this isn’t likely to change for at least 3 more years.

This is where the comments about LGs upcoming release of 4K OLED TVs not making sense come into play. 4K Ultra HD television is already still expensive (though it has become much cheaper in the last two years) and including OLED technology will raise that price astronomically, putting the new LG TVs well out of most peoples reach.

The prices of the new LG models reflect this nicely: the 65 inch sets are expected to retail for just under $12,000 each, meaning that they will cost between three and four times as much as a normal higher end 4K LED TV of the same size!

However, according to LG, the technology of organic light emitting diodes is the future of TV display lighting and offers “a new paradigm” for TVs.

LG expects OLED to overtake liquid crystal display within the next few years and because of this, the company wants to be ready for the market well before anyone else.

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