May 25, 2012 at 7:13 PM ET
LG unveiled the production version of its revolutionary 55-inch OLED to European dealers and journalists in Monaco this week against the backdrop of the final preparations for the weekend’s Grand Prix race. The prototype was first seen at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January.
The company is targeting the first shipments of the TV — which will cost $10,000 — to the United States, South Korea and select European countries, starting in July.
The 55EM9600′s screen is just 4 mm thick, and uses white organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) to produce a very bright, highly saturated image. LG developed its ”Color Refiner” filter technology (using four color sub-pixels — red, green, blue and white) to enhance image contrast and color.
Taking a cue from Formula 1 race cars, the 55EM9600 uses carbon fiber to strengthen and lighten the TV’s plastic exterior. The 9600 weighs in at just 22 pounds, a record low for a 55-Inch display (and about 29 pounds less than LG’s 55-Inch LM8600 LED LCD).
"With OLED TV leading our premium product line-up in Europe, we have a very strong case to become the No. 1 TV brand in this region," said Stanley Cho, head of LG’s Europe Operations. "Until that day, we will continue to develop the products that have made us the most innovative home entertainment company in the industry."
LCD and LED LCDs rely on light bulbs (whether fluorescent or a few dozen white LED lamps) to illuminate the image. The light from these lamps or bulbs must pass through the LCD panel before reaching the surface of the TV, causing most of the light to be beamed toward viewers sitting closest to the center of the screen. As one moves off-center, the LCD image dims, contrast decreases and colors tend to shift and desaturate.
OLEDs emits light directly from the surface, extending the viewing angle to 180 degrees and providing superb, highly saturated colors without the dimming, color shift or loss of contrast seen on LCDs and LED LCDs.
The 55EM9600 is a full-featured HDTV incorporating LG’s passive Cinema 3-D technology as well as Smart TV Internet connectivity and its own browser for streaming movies and Web surfing.
The TV will be available in three mounting versions: table top, wall mount and pole mount. Each configuration incorporates the same OLED panel but a uses a different case. The inputs and drive electronics are located within the stand on the table top model (see photo) and features a transparent arm between the base and panel. The wall mount version and pole mount models will have a separate box that houses the electronics.
We'll be sharing more information about the 55EM9600 in the days ahead, including specifications and other photos.
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Disclsoure: Our content partner, HD Guru, accepted travel expenses from LG for this press event.
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