Two popular sources of television reviews agree on one thing: OLED HDTV looks fantastic. In first look reviews from Consumer Reports
, the pricey new curved panel clearly made a positive first impression on the critics.
"It's arguably the best all-around TV we've ever tested, with the highest overall picture-quality scores and no major shortcomings—except, perhaps, its steep $9,000 price." - Consumer Reports
Is OLED the true "Kuro killer," a TV that performs like no other?
Simply put, the Samsung KN55S9C produces the best picture I've seen on any TV, ever. Even with the unnecessary and distorting curved screen, I liked its picture better than that of the the ZT60, the Kuro, or anything else I've seen. But yes, I'd like a flat one even better."- CNET
Large screen flat panel OLED technology took a long time to come to market; Sony introduced the first commercial OLED TV, the XEL-1
, in 2007—but it measured a mere 11 inches diagonal and cost $2,499 at the time. More recently, consumers became familiar with the term OLED thanks to its use in portable devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Sony PS Vita.
2013 saw the introduction of two 55 inch OLED HDTVs—one from LG and one from Samsung—both featuring curved screens. LG was first out the gate with the $15,000 55EA9800. Samsung followed up shortly thereafter with the KN55S9C, charging $9000 for 55 curvy inches. Suddenly, there was a price war
in the OLED HDTV segment.
I recently attended the U.S. introduction of Samsung's KN55S9C, and I was lucky enough to compare the picture quality of the new OLED HDTVs to some of the latest and greatest LCD UHDTVs, like the Samsung UN65F9000. In that environment, the qualities that make OLED a contender for greatest flat-panel image quality of all time were relatively hard for me to see.At the U.S. debut of Samsung's curved OLED
Relative degrees of performance are easier to observe in a measurement lab, as they also would be in a darkened home theater—especially after professional calibration. I have yet to experience a large OLED screen in such an environment; but CNET and Consumer Reports both had this opportunity. And the early reports are very positive, it would seem that even the first generation of OLED could very well establish a new reference for picture quality—at least in the HDTV segment. Formal reviews need to be done, shootouts need to go down, but it does seem like the technology is capable of living up to the hype—as long as price is no object and a flat screen is not a requirement.Follow AVS Forum on Twitter