This article has been updates since initial publication, and this product won CNET's Best of CES award.
LAS VEGAS--Television manufacturer LG says that by 2016, its organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, televisions will cost the same as an LCD television.
This year, the company is working toward reaching that goal with the release of its first OLED TV in the American market, the 55-inch 55EM9600.
LG announced the TV in the week before CES 2012, but it wasn't only big OLED screen announced at the show; Samsung will ship its own OLED TV this year as well.
While the public may remember Sony's XEL-1 from a couple of years ago and be familiar with the AMOLED screens of various Samsung phones, LG's EM9600 features a unique spin on the technology that involves a fourth "white" sub-pixel. Of course both companies claim superiority--LG says its design cuts costs and produces a brighter picture, for example--but at this stage we don't know which one will actually perform better. Check out What is OLED TV for more.
The TV will feature all of LG's current bells and whistles, including smart TV with streaming and social media, the new Magic Motion remote with "four modes," including a built-in mic, and passive 3D. The last feature is a surprise, as OLED is arguably more akin to plasma than LCD--it doesn't require a backlight--and LG's 2012 plasmas feature active 3D technology.
As the EM9600 is LG's flagship TV for 2012, design is obviously paramount, and at only 4mm thick, the "virtually bezel-less" TV appears to deliver. A company representative we spoke with couldn't confirm bezel width by press time, but other reports cause us to suspect a bezel width of just 1mm. As for depth, the TV is so shallow, it includes a separate control box to house connectivity and other necessaries, connected to the panel by a proprietary cable. The EM9600 takes the "all screen" aesthetic to a new level.
But it's not just about looking good; a TV has to perform as well. LG says the TV uses a proprietary algorithm designed to improve and refine hues and tones when viewed from a wide angle. According to LG, other OLED TVs "exhibit drastic changes in hues from different viewing angles and abnormal color gamut."
The 55-inch LG EM9600 OLED is due to be released in the second half of the 2012, with September as the likely launch month. Look forward to more details and pricing then.