LG announced last week that consumers across the world will be able to buy its first 55 inch OLED TVs at some point in the second half of the year, just weeks after debuting the technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Many believe that LG`s OLED technology was the star of CES in 2012 and anyone who saw the screens in action will probably agree. The news that they will be on sale before the year is out should be as good a reason as any to start saving up the large amount of cash that will inevitably be required to buy one.
OLED (organic light emitting diode) technology has already been seen on TVs before, but so far these have been very expensive and very small, often measuring under 15 inches. Meanwhile most members of the public will have come into contact with an OLED display on a mobile phone. This is because OLED technology has been championed on models like the HTC Desire and more recently the Samsung Galaxy S2.
However, LG`s 55 inch OLED screens are far more ambitious in their size and capabilities. Not only will they be far more energy efficient and thin than current LCD panels using LED backlighting, but they will also be able to trump existing screens when it comes to contrast ratios and colour depth.
The first 55 inch OLED displays produced by LG will have a full HD 1080p resolution, which some see as a little bit of a letdown given that 4K screens are also starting to permeate the market, offering much higher levels of detail.
Despite this, many visitors to CES reported that they could easily have mistaken the OLED screens for being 4K TVs thanks to the sheer quality of the imagery that they can produce.
To keep up to date with current home cinema gadgetry the OLED screens from LG will be 3D ready and should also feature some network-ready smart functionality for web streaming and social networking. Given that this is squeezed into a package measuring just four millimetres thick and weighing seven and a half kilograms, the scope of the functionality is surprising.
Many fans of the Apple iPad are clamouring for their favourite company to consider using OLED technology for future devices, but for the time being it looks like no such updates will be available. Apple seems committed to increasing the resolution of the display for the iPad 3 and adding a new LED backlighting array to sustain brightness levels rather than looking into OLED technology. This could leave rivals like LG and Samsung with an open window to expand in this area.