LG’s curved OLED TV wants to make flat screens obsolete

Now that flat, rectangular screens have become the norm for televisions, it’s hard to believe we were ever satisfied with the huge cube TVs of yesteryear. You might think it doesn’t get any better, but you’d be wrong.

At the 2013 CES in Las Vegas, LG revealed a 3D OLED screen that featured a curved design. While audiences were wowed, we assumed it was only for show. Now, the company has announced plans to bring the uniquely shaped monitor to market. So what does this mean for the faithful flat screen?

OLED stands for ‘organic light emitting diode’ which means there is carbon within the molecules of the emissive (light producing) layer of the panel. Thus, large-screen OLED panels need no lamps — they are self illuminating. The lack of lamps in OLED technology allows HDTVs to be amazingly thin, and, as LG’s newest experiment proves, differently shaped.

LEDs were a big improvement over the energy-sucking tube and plasma televisions, but OLED televisions raise the bar. They are quite energy efficient, beating all other flat panels in low power consumption.

Now, with a curved option available, the true blacks and vibrant colors of the OLED will really pop. It also creates a concave perspective inside which 3D images can come to life.

“The effect is very dramatic,” wrote Gizmodo’s Mike Aguilar after seeing the display at CES.”This could be the whole reason 3D and curved OLED exist… The content doesn’t pop out at you the way some people imagine 3D. Rather, the panel’s curve pulls you in. With three lined up into a mega curved 3D OLED, the immersive effect is even more intense.”

LG’s Vice President of Home Entertainment Europe, Thomas Lee, has confirmed that the curved OLED TVs will launch some time in the second half of this year, probably in South Korea. But after that, the sky’s the limit. Even if it does reach America, it’s unlikely that the curved OLED will make flat screens obsolete. Most OLEDs still have prohibitively high price tags, and not everyone cares that much about 3D.

* Beth Buczynski, EarthTechling