Just last week we were talking about how Japanese manufacturers Sony and Panasonic were dissolving their partnership to make OLED panels, possibly indicating a general cooling on the viability of the technology for large-scale deployment in televisions. It’s obvious that in Korea, they don’t feel quite the same way, and LG is going all-in on OLED at this year’s CES, showcasing 4K curved screen televisions in a variety of sizes.
“All of the exceptional OLED models we’re showcasing at CES 2014 offer the ultimate in picture quality and refined, modern aesthetics,” said In-kyu Lee, Senior Vice President and head of the TV Division at LG Electronics’ Home Entertainment Company. “Driving the evolution of television into the next generation, LG will continue to employ its technological and design expertise to bring impressive OLED TVs to market.”
The 77-inch 77EC9800 is the headliner, featuring potentially incredible contrast thanks to its OLED panel; HDMI 2.0 support; onboard H.264 and H.265 decoders for both current and future MPEG transmissions; and the ability to handle 30 or 60fps sources. There’s no word about 24fps, but it’s likely. However, I wouldn’t put money on 48fps, especially since no current format supports it, and probably won’t unless the new Avatar movie accomplishes what the Hobbit hasn’t.
Along with the 4K models, LG will display two 55-inch 1080p sets, the curved-screen 55EB9600 and the flat-screen Gallery EA8800. An updated version of last year’s 55EA9800, the 55EB9600 features more recycled materials and fewer parts. The Gallery EA8800 includes a 2.2-channel, 100-watt Canvas Speaker hidden behind its frame, which could alleviate the need for a soundbar, depending on how good it sounds. The reason the TV is dubbed “Gallery” is likely due to its special modes–one that turns the TV into a picture frame and a new-agey “Healing & Remembering Mode” that “helps to create a warm and inviting atmosphere through mood-lifting sounds and images.”
While LG hasn’t announced price and availability on the sets, it looks like they’re going all-in on OLED, opening up new plants in Brazil, Poland, China and Thailand, with a special facility in Mexico specifically to service advanced products for the North American market. Here’s hoping that LG knows something that the others don’t, and that these sets deliver on the promises that have been made. All of LG’s new sets will be on display at their booth at CES 2014.