LG bets on pricey OLED technology as future of TVs

Aug 25, 2014 by Youkyung Lee
Models pose with LG Electronics' 77-inch Ultra organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV during a press unveiling in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. LG Electronics Inc. is sticking with its strategy of using the exceptionally expensive OLED display technology for TVs, announcing two new giant models with ultra-high definition screens. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

LG Electronics Inc. announced two new giant OLED TVs with ultra-high definition screens Monday, sticking with its strategy of using the exceptionally expensive OLED display technology.

The South Korean company said it will ship 65-inch OLED TVs starting September in South Korea, Europe and North America. A 77-inch model will hit shelves later this year.

While major TV makers are pushing to make ultra HD TVs mainstream, they use LCD screens. The super-high resolution picture, also known as 4K, packs four times more pixels than regular HD televisions.

Making ultra HD quality TVs with OLED screens remain costly. LG's 65-inch model will cost 12 million won ($11,765). Other types of ultra HD televisions sell for less than $3,000.

OLED features deeper color saturation and a sharper image quality than LCD. But for years, its cost and high production error rate prevented the technology from catching on among mainstream consumers.

LG said it is committed to OLED because the cost will come down and its advanced screen will eventually replace LCD screens. It forecasts that OLED TV sales will overtake LCD TV sales "within a few years."

"OLED is where we must head next," said Ha Hyun-hwoi, head of LG's TV business. "It is a matter of time."

Models pose with LG Electronics' Ultra organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TVs during a press unveiling in Seoul, South Korea. Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. LG Electronics Inc. is sticking with its strategy of using the exceptionally expensive OLED display technology for TVs, announcing two new giant models with ultra-high definition screens. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

LG's aggressive bet on OLED TVs is in contrast with its rival Samsung Electronics Co. After rolling out a 55-inch curved TV that uses an OLED display last year, Samsung has not announced an upgrade to its OLED TV for this year. Samsung uses OLED technology mostly for small devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers.

A journalist takes pictures of a LG Electronics' Ultra Organic Light-emitting Diode (OLED) 3D TV during a press unveiling in Seoul, South Korea. Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. LG Electronics Inc. is sticking with its strategy of using the exceptionally expensive OLED display technology for TVs, announcing two new giant models with ultra-high definition screens. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Visitors wearing 3-D glasses look at LG Electronics' Ultra Organic Light-emitting Diode (OLED) 3D TVs during a press unveiling in Seoul, South Korea. Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. LG Electronics Inc. is sticking with its strategy of using the exceptionally expensive OLED display technology for TVs, announcing two new giant models with ultra-high definition screens. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)


Explore further: Samsung sells 110-inch ultra-HD TV for $150,000 (Update)

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