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LG’s curved OLED: A glimpse into the future of TV technology

  • Updated
  • 06/01/2014

We're excited by LG's curved OLED because it's the most significant jump in TV technology since the invention of TV itself! ET soaks in a little bit of the future with LG's masterpiece while explaining a bit more about the technology inside.

 

Every once in a while, there's a paradigm shift in technology. We had the opportunity to test out LG's awe-inspiring 55-inch curved OLED for a few weeks. If you thought slim bezel LED TVs looked good, wait till you see this! If the 4.3mm thickness, edge-to-edge screen and carbon fiber back panel fail to impress you, the curved display will surely grab attention. Even when switched off, it is dazzling to say the least!

A primary trait of OLED panels is that they offer infinite contrast ratio. Contrast ratio, or the difference in brightness between the lightest and darkest pixel, is often used to judge the quality of a screen. In this case, black pixels are completely off. No matter what you watch, the effect is surreal — there's really no other way to describe it. Needless to say, OLED technology also delivers spectacular, brilliant whites and eye-popping colours.

The box includes two remotes (one is LG's Magic Remote), four pairs of designer 3D glasses & a top mounted camera that you can use for Skype calls (it is a 3D smart TV too, with built in WiFi). The Smart features work better than others because the interface starts up fast and navigation is quite zippy too. There are loads of built in apps plus features to stream multimedia from computers and mobile devices.

Spectacular Performance

The curve is very pronounced when viewed from above but sit directly in front and it disappears. The image on the screen captures your gaze in a tight grip. There is no distortion towards the edges. There's no real advantage to the curve. You may hear claims that it makes viewing immersive or that the entire display equidistant from the human eye. What it probably does is make the panel less reflective. But we think the main reason it's curved is because it can be — done because LG would like to gloat over their achievement (and they should).

As if that wasn't enough, there is more amazing technology right in front of you that you literally cannot see — transparent speakers. LG obviously didn't want anything distracting from the image. Sound is good with decent amounts of bass and clarity.

OLEDs are incredibly difficult to manufacture so a panel this size is nothing short of a technological wonder. Someday, all displays will be OLED. It's a glimpse at the kind of performance you can expect. If you can afford the insane price, you can own a bit of the future, today.

What is OLED?

OLED is an acronym for Organic Light Emitting Diode. It is made of an organic compound that converts electricity to light. The biggest difference between LED/LCD panels is that it does not require a separate light source — each pixel creates its own light. Thus the entire panel can be dramatically slimmer, lighter & even flexible.

Why is OLED Better?

Since each pixel can be controlled individually, it has the deepest blacks because pixels in dark areas can be turned off. They offer wider viewing angles with no distortion or colour shift when you move off centre. An interesting feature is that inactive pixels do not consume power.

Theoretically, if you watch movies with a lot of dark scenes, it will consume less power. In addition, OLEDs have way better response rates - the time it takes for a pixel to change state. An LCD panel can have a response rate of 1-10ms but OLEDs have a response rate of just 0.01ms.

Problems with OLED

A few nagging issues can impact widespread adoption. At the moment, OLED panels are difficult and expensive to manufacture. Additionally, up till now the maximum available size for an OLED TV is 55-inches and even that size was not easy to manufacture. Since the technology is new, there are doubts about the lifespan of an OLED TV compared to an LED/LCD TV.

Also, there could be other issues such as image burn-in (similar to older Plasma TVs).

LG 55EA9800 Curved OLED TV Rs 9,99,000

SPECS

55-inch 1080p curved OLED, 10W x 4 speakers, Cinema 3D (passive), smart features, touch control, voice control, LG dual play, WiFi, NFC, MHL ready, DLNA, Intel WiDi built in, 4 x HDMI, composite, component, LAN.

PROS: Incredible futuristic design, sure-shot attention grabber, amazing quality of images and video (infinite contrast ratio), loaded with all possible features.

CONS: Insanely expensive, cannot be wall mounted (has permanently attached table stand with built in speakers.