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Samsung and LG prove that the world of OLED TV is not necessarily flat

Samsung and LG prove that the ...
LG (main) and Samsung (inset) have both unveiled curved 55-inch OLED TVs in Las Vegas, which are claimed to offer users a more immersive viewing experience
LG (main) and Samsung (inset) have both unveiled curved 55-inch OLED TVs in Las Vegas, which are claimed to offer users a more immersive viewing experience
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Three of LG's new 55-inch EA9800 curved OLED TV were positioned before a sign introducing them as the world's first curved OLED TVs
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Three of LG's new 55-inch EA9800 curved OLED TV were positioned before a sign introducing them as the world's first curved OLED TVs
The EA9800 benefits from the company's proprietary WRGB technology and Color Refiner previously seen in LG's flat-panel OLED TV
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The EA9800 benefits from the company's proprietary WRGB technology and Color Refiner previously seen in LG's flat-panel OLED TV
CINEMA 3D passive technology is supported, and LG says that a narrow bezel and Smart Touch Controls (located below the screen) ensure distraction-free viewing
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CINEMA 3D passive technology is supported, and LG says that a narrow bezel and Smart Touch Controls (located below the screen) ensure distraction-free viewing
LG's 55-inch curved OLED TV is constructed from lightweight-but-strong carbon fiber reinforced plastic and is described as being about the same thickness as three credit cards
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LG's 55-inch curved OLED TV is constructed from lightweight-but-strong carbon fiber reinforced plastic and is described as being about the same thickness as three credit cards
LG's 55-inch EA9800 model features what's described as a gentle inward flex that's said to place the entire screen surface at equal distance from the viewer's eyes to eliminate screen edge distortion and loss of detail
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LG's 55-inch EA9800 model features what's described as a gentle inward flex that's said to place the entire screen surface at equal distance from the viewer's eyes to eliminate screen edge distortion and loss of detail
Samsung's not saying a great deal about its Curved OLED TV, expect to confirm that it's 1080p and that the curvy panel offers viewers the same image quality from any angle
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Samsung's not saying a great deal about its Curved OLED TV, expect to confirm that it's 1080p and that the curvy panel offers viewers the same image quality from any angle
Samsung's Curved OLED TV attracting a lot of attention in Las Vegas
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Samsung's Curved OLED TV attracting a lot of attention in Las Vegas
Seeing is believing – Samsung's new curved OLED TV at CES 2013
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Seeing is believing – Samsung's new curved OLED TV at CES 2013
Seeing is believing – Samsung's new curved OLED TV at CES 2013
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Seeing is believing – Samsung's new curved OLED TV at CES 2013
Samsung says that its technology creates a panorama-effect, surrounding the viewer with captivating scenes from nature or vast landscapes
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Samsung says that its technology creates a panorama-effect, surrounding the viewer with captivating scenes from nature or vast landscapes
LG (main) and Samsung (inset) have both unveiled curved 55-inch OLED TVs in Las Vegas, which are claimed to offer users a more immersive viewing experience
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LG (main) and Samsung (inset) have both unveiled curved 55-inch OLED TVs in Las Vegas, which are claimed to offer users a more immersive viewing experience

I was lucky enough to sample firsthand the incredible viewing experience offered by big screen OLED TVs at the IFA 2012 booth of consumer electronics giants LG and Samsung last year. Both companies have new models scheduled for commercial availability in early 2013 and both, it would appear, are claiming a world first at CES in Las Vegas this week ... each claiming to be first to debut a curved OLED TV.

Unfortunately, it's early days for detailed information, but here's what we've learned about both of these impressive-looking goggle-boxes. First up, LG's 55-inch EA9800 model features what's described as a gentle inward flex that's said to place the entire screen surface at equal distance from the viewer's eyes, to eliminate screen edge distortion and loss of detail.

LG's 55-inch EA9800 model features what's described as a gentle inward flex that's said to place the entire screen surface at equal distance from the viewer's eyes to eliminate screen edge distortion and loss of detail
LG's 55-inch EA9800 model features what's described as a gentle inward flex that's said to place the entire screen surface at equal distance from the viewer's eyes to eliminate screen edge distortion and loss of detail

The 3D HDTV is constructed from lightweight-but-strong carbon fiber reinforced plastic and is described as being about the same thickness as three credit cards. It benefits from the company's proprietary WRGB technology and Color Refiner previously seen in the flat panel model, and its infinite contrast ratio includes an HDR algorithm for vivid colors and deep blacks. CINEMA 3D passive technology is supported, and LG says that a narrow bezel and Smart Touch Controls (located below the screen) ensure distraction-free viewing, whether the EA9800 sits on the cabinet in the corner or hangs on the wall courtesy of the included easy-to-install wall mount.

As you might expect, there's no word on price or availability at this time. However, with the flat panel 55-inch OLED model set for U.S. delivery in March 2013 with a price tag of US$12,000, this new family member is unlikely to be aimed at the thriftier end of the consumer market.

Try as we might, we just couldn't persuade the LG rep at CES to part with any more information, though we were very impressed with the image quality and smooth delivery. The impressively clear 3D images really popped out from its screen and the curve certainly made viewing a good deal more immersive.

If you thought that LG was keeping things close to its chest, then you'll be a little frustrated at the distinct lack of information from Samsung. The company hasn't yet given a model number to its 55-inch, 1080p offering, referring to it simply as the Curved OLED TV. According to the official line, the curvy panel offers viewers the same image quality from any angle (not just dead-center, as you might assume).

Seeing is believing – Samsung's new curved OLED TV at CES 2013
Seeing is believing – Samsung's new curved OLED TV at CES 2013

This creates a panorama-effect (something akin to an IMAX experience, perhaps) that's not possible with flat-panel TVs, appearing to surround the viewer with captivating scenes from nature or vast landscapes.

As with LG, there's been no mention of when consumers will get the chance to sit in front of this new model (the Super OLED TV earmarked for release last year has yet to appear), or how much it will cost.

We'll be keeping a keen eye open for more details, so do keep checking back.

Source: LG, Samsung

1 comment
Gregg Eshelman
If they really want to impress, renovate an old Cinerama theater, replacing the giant, curved screen with OLED.