For flat-panel televisions, the choice for years has been between plasma and LCD. This year consumers will be offered another choice, at least if they are prepared to spend big.
LG Electronics Inc says it is planning to sell a 55 inch television based on organic light--emitting diodes (OLEDs). The South Korean company is set to show off its new product at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, which starts on Tuesday next week.
Samsung Electronics Co, will reveal a nearly market-ready OLED television at the show, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. They spoke on condition of anonymity because Samsung has yet to make an announcement. Its Web site says that CES announcements will be made on Monday.
Tim Alessi, director of home electronics development at LG’s US arm, said its product would likely go on sale in the fourth quarter of the year. The company declined to reveal the price.
Paul Gagnon, an analyst at DisplaySearch, estimates that OLED televisions would start out above US$5,000.
The screen technology is already in use in high-end smartphones and provides deeply saturated colors and high contrast. However, it has proven difficult to make larger screens with consistent results. In late 2007, Sony Corp started selling an 11 inch OLED television for about US$2,500, but did not follow that up with a larger model.
Since then, LG and Samsung have shown prototype OLED televisions at the annual CES show, but have yet to unveil any marketing plans.
Apart from providing improved picture quality, OLED televisions can be very thin. LG’s set will be 4mm thick and weigh 7.5kg.