Is Samsung Giving Up On OLED TV? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Japan's Nikkei Asian Review business-news site posted a real shocker today entitled "Samsung hits the pause button on OLED TVs." According to the report, Samsung had been planning to build a new facility to manufacture OLED TVs at its complex in Tangjeong-myeon, South Korea—a place I've actually visited, where some of the best grapes in the world are grown—but the company decided to cancel that investment because OLED TVs are simply not selling very well.
 

Samsung showed a 4K/UHD OLED TV at CES last January, but don't look for it at retailers any time soon.

 

It seems clear that extremely high prices are to blame for the slow sales—$9000 for a 55" TV is ludicrous when you can get a much larger LCD TV for far less. Of course, OLED has superior picture quality is just about every respect, but manufacturing inefficiency and relatively low yields prevent the prices from dropping anywhere near those of LCD TVs. And Samsung's insistence on curved screens doesn't help either, at least in the enthusiast market, as indicated by the nearly universal disapproval within the AVS community.

 

The Nikkei report says that Samsung will concentrate on high-quality LCD TVs for now while continuing research on OLED. However, the next manufacturing facility will likely be designed to make small and midsize OLED panels for mobile devices.

 

I contacted Samsung for any further comments on this story, but May 5 and 6 are national holidays in South Korea. I'll add any comments I get from the company in an update to this post.

 

While Samsung seems to be pulling back from OLED TV, LG is forging ahead. I contacted Tim Alessi, LG USA's Director of New Product Development for Home Entertainment, for his comments on LG's OLED plans. "LG is fully committed to OLED TV," he says. "By the end of this year, we'll have five models in the market with 55", 65", and 77" screen sizes. All will be curved except for the 55" Gallery OLED, which is flat and surrounded by an artistic picture frame. And all models will be wall-mountable, unlike the first OLED TV we introduced last year. Even more exciting is that the 65" and 77" models will be 4K/UHD."

 

No pricing has been announced yet, except for the Gallery model, which carries a list price of $8500—still extremely expensive, though many retailers are selling it for much less. Even so, the 65" and 77" models will undoubtedly sport astronomical price tags.

 

What's your response to the Samsung news? And even with LG's strong support of the technology, do you think large-screen OLED TVs remain as expensive as unobtainium?

 

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post #2 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 02:39 PM
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I think some consumers will buy into the curve and that will work to Samsung's advantage, but the curve won't be enough to get people to buy into OLED at prices that are much higher than an equivalent-sized curved LCD. I think Samsung's move is savvy, even if it is a step backwards for videophiles.

 

Shame of LG for only offering a flat OLED in the form of a 55" 1080p model. Don't its company reps ever peek into AV enthusiast forums, to see what members (who buy an expensive new TV every few years) are really looking for? 


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post #3 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 02:46 PM
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short sighted decision, but unfortunately I'm not sure any manufacturer can afford a long sighted approach anymore.

it's pretty much written in stone from past history that making the best tv is business suicide.

the only thing I will say, is that without any new plasmas hitting the market, $8000 for a 55" oled seems like a steal compared to the alternatives out there. if they can prove reliability, and work some kind of future proofing into the design(like the evo kit from Samsung idea) then it'd be easy for me to justify that kind of expense. I'd much rather have one oled for the next 10 years than 3 LED's that still wouldn't work for me.

but for now, I'm gonna use my plasmas until they stop working or OLED replaces LED
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post #4 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 03:05 PM
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70" or larger check
OLED check
4K/UHD check
curved screen PASS
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post #5 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 03:09 PM
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55" for 9000 grand is a dream compared to what was the cost a FEW years ago.   LESS OLED TV's for sale the longer it is going to take for that 55" OLED TV to get down to one grand.

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post #6 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 03:16 PM
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55" for 9000 grand is a dream compared to what was the cost a FEW years ago.   LESS OLED TV's for sale the longer it is going to take for that 55" OLED TV to get down to one grand.

 

I would point to the Panasonic plasma fans who last year said they would wait one more year for the "ultimate" Kuro-killer, only to find that Panasonic pulled the plug. What few VT60 and ZT60 units remain now cost considerably more than retail. The same thing could happen to flat OLED. If Samsung successfully sells curved LCDs, LG will have the hardest time convincing people that flat OLED is better.

LG markets its only consumer-oriented flat OLED TV model as a way show art reproductions—static images that you scrutinize close-up—and it's 1080p. It makes no sense; if any application is perfect for a 55-incher with UHD/4K resolution, it's displaying art!

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post #7 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
 

 

I would point to the Panasonic plasma fans who last year said they would wait one more year for the "ultimate" Kuro-killer, only to find that Panasonic pulled the plug. What few VT60 and ZT60 units remain now cost considerably more than retail. The same thing could happen to flat OLED. If Samsung successfully sells curved LCDs, LG will have the hardest time convincing people that flat OLED is better.

As it stands, the one flat OLED TV LG sells is marketed as a way show art reproductions—static images that you scrutinize close-up—and it's 1080p. It makes no sense; if any application is perfect for a 55-incher with UHD/4K resolution, it's displaying art!

 

Yes.  But, you better be displaying a different "painting" every few minutes or you will have some burn in problems on that $8,500 display.

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post #8 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 03:37 PM
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I think we have the same thing that played out with 720p-1080i-1080p sort of happening with OLED. There is a difference. But it only matters with a very small subset of consumers. To the masses...No way they pay $10k for a 55 incher, when they can get the equivalent in LED/LCD for $1k or less on sale. And it looks the same to them. I think Samsung sees this handwriting on the wall and is wisely retrenching. Basically people are satisfied with quality and pricing already available. If something breaks...and is out of warranty...they just throw it away. And buy a new one at a great price. You can't play out that scenario with OLED. So I can appreciate LG's strategy to go upmarket with OLED. But they may find the air very thin up there. Because we high enders on AVS also tend to be the most inherently...habitual...dissatisfied group to please in any market.
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post #9 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 03:54 PM
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I would bet LG gets out of the OLED tv business within 2 years.
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post #10 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 03:54 PM
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I'll still take 1080p and flat for OLED especially if its cheaper than a 4k resolution set of the same. Nothing says you can't have the new color standards of the future put on a 1080 screen right?
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post #11 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 03:55 PM
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It's unfortunate, but I have always felt OLED has a tough mountain to climb. I hope it does it, but...

I think the masses are more than happy with cheap, low quality, but bright LED. If enough people cared about PQ and black levels, Panasonic plasmas would still be made and plasma would be doing really well in sales.

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post #12 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 04:02 PM
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Samsung stated in januari that OLED TVs are three to four years away. So no surprise here..
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post #13 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 04:03 PM
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Samsung stated in januari that OLED TVs are three to four years away. So no surprise here..

 

That translates to "don't hold your breath" in my book.

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post #14 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 04:04 PM
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a 10000$ TV not selling well

YOU DON'T SAY!

maybe tgey will bring back plasma biggrin.gif
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post #15 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 04:06 PM
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I would point to the Panasonic plasma fans who last year said they would wait one more year for the "ultimate" Kuro-killer, only to find that Panasonic pulled the plug. What few VT60 and ZT60 units remain now cost considerably more than retail. The same thing could happen to flat OLED. If Samsung successfully sells curved LCDs, LG will have the hardest time convincing people that flat OLED is better.


As it stands, the one flat OLED TV LG sells is marketed as a way show art reproductions—static images that you scrutinize close-up—and it's 1080p. It makes no sense; if any application is perfect for a 55-incher with UHD/4K resolution, it's displaying art!

I would agree that this is a problem, but I don't think it's fair to 'rush' a product to market before it's ready and expect consumers to fund the R&D by buying these early models are crazy prices.

this is the dilemma we now face. it takes HUGE amounts of money to develop a new tech. and consumers don't want to pay for something that isn't ready yet. if a company was willing to gamble and increased production BEFORE sales, and was able to bring costs down so they could be selling these for 3k instead, I'm positively they would sell TONS of them. they'd have pretty much every plasma fan that waited too long, but they also have a huge majority of LED buyers too.

it's just kind of sad that something we ALL no has more potential, has a very real possibility of failing if it's not marketed correctly

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post #16 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 04:18 PM
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Right now I would estimate that 90% of new TV buyers out there consider the 4K displays to be the ultimate TV to own because they can see a PQ upgrade when they vew one in a showroom like Best Buy or Costco or Sams Club. The added cost of 4K is just enough to aspire to. Unless OLED can fill that void now occupied by 4K it will join SED in the nether world.
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post #17 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 04:27 PM
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It also doesn't help that in the grand scheme of things, regular old flat screens really in any form and display type have only recently become widely adopted. I still know (many) people who's everyday tv is a tube tv, and plenty of people who have flat screens but no HD cable, "What the hell's the difference?" "I'm not paying the extra $X for that. Who cares?" We all know these people (and probably want to strangle them) but there's no changing them.

I digress...

What I'm getting is that a lot of people have just bought new tv's within the past few years and really aren't in the market for anything, be it plasma, led, 1080p, 4K, what have you. Let alone a $9000 job that features technology that, let's face it, only enthusiasts really know anything about. The bigger problem here is companies pushing technologies that no one is in the market for just yet. And those people I was talking about, the boob tube channel flipper, sure as God made green apples you know they're not buying a curved screen 77" 4K OLED monolith that cost more than their Taurus is worth.
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post #18 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 05:51 PM
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Right now I would estimate that 90% of new TV buyers out there consider the 4K displays to be the ultimate TV to own because they can see a PQ upgrade when they vew one in a showroom like Best Buy or Costco or Sams Club. The added cost of 4K is just enough to aspire to. Unless OLED can fill that void now occupied by 4K it will join SED in the nether world.

nah, it's because they can see a PQ upgrade on the box. I doubt very much any of those ppl could see the difference in PQ, these are the ppl buying uber cheap edgelit LED's with 100:1 contrast ratios and blacks bright enough to read by

this is a marketing war between 4k and oled. but the thing is, oled can be 4k too. so I don't see why anybody would be pushing LED over oled at this point, other than those selling the TV's because I'm sure there's a MUCH higher margin on them
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post #19 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
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What's your response to the Samsung news? And even with LG's strong support of the technology, do you think large-screen OLED TVs remain as expensive as unobtainium?

 

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I'm disappointed, not surprised but still hopeful they can work the manufacturing kinks out on the “small screen” phone market.  It makes since really, the risks are lower for smaller screens.  I'm hoping Samsung hasn’t given up just made a delay, wait and see if the world economy continues to improve or not.

 

LG’s still moving forward.  Why not, Samsung blinked first, there’s not enough market to support a lot of makers so there’s a good chance LG will do fine.

 

Curved?  What’s up with that on such a tiny screen?  I’m human sized not Mercat sized.  Get real.


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post #20 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 11:13 PM
 
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Not a shocker to anyone paying attention to the remarks at CES and are familiar with the yield difficulties they are having with the RGB method of manufacture. My faith is dwindling in LG's ability to make their solution less susceptible to uneven wear than plasma (nay, to even match its susceptibility because plasma has come a long way).
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post #21 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 11:23 PM
 
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Right now I would estimate that 90% of new TV buyers out there consider the 4K displays to be the ultimate TV to own because they can see a PQ upgrade when they vew one in a showroom like Best Buy or Costco or Sams Club. The added cost of 4K is just enough to aspire to. Unless OLED can fill that void now occupied by 4K it will join SED in the nether world.
I'll never understand the SED analogy doesn't. When did anyone achieve 70% yield on that technology, and when were they ever on sale? wink.gif I know we're in a different world now, but OLED has already made it past that goalpost.
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post #22 of 200 Old 05-05-2014, 11:48 PM
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at least oled seems to have a future in the tiny screen market.

funny how somebody can tout the benefits of their oled on their 5" phone screen and will pay 300bux to upgrade their phone for it, then go home and watch a TV that cost only a few dollars more than their phone

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Size and brightness, deceivingly alluring images talk.
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post #24 of 200 Old 05-06-2014, 12:27 AM
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...and plenty of people who have flat screens but no HD cable, "What the hell's the difference?" "I'm not paying the extra $X for that. Who cares?" We all know these people (and probably want to strangle them) but there's no changing them.

Yeah, I just wanted to put in my two cents worth here and say that ALL hotels who have wide screen TVs in their rooms should be REQUIRED to have (and use) an HD feed. They all have flat/wide screens now and they are all in stretch mode. I want to shoot myself when I try and watch TV in a hotel!!

Regarding the topic, all I can think of is that song...

OLED, "I'm giving up on you SAY SOMETHING."
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post #25 of 200 Old 05-06-2014, 04:21 AM
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nah, it's because they can see a PQ upgrade on the box. I doubt very much any of those ppl could see the difference in PQ, these are the ppl buying uber cheap edgelit LED's with 100:1 contrast ratios and blacks bright enough to read by

this is a marketing war between 4k and oled. but the thing is, oled can be 4k too. so I don't see why anybody would be pushing LED over oled at this point, other than those selling the TV's because I'm sure there's a MUCH higher margin on them

This post really makes me want to cry like the end of The Horse Whisperer. I really find it so saddening as it proves the only people who know about most of this stuff are graphic designers, photographers and video enthusiasts. They all care about image fidelity.
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post #26 of 200 Old 05-06-2014, 06:54 AM
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What's my response to the news about Samsung putting the breaks on OLED? Not really surprised. They figured out the same thing Sony and Panasonic did and that's that with the high prices they charge for OLED TV's the general consumer aint going to buy an OLED tv period. Right now they are going to try and milk 4K for everything its worth and leave OLED on the back burner, at least for now. As for LG going forward with OLED? I salute them for giving it a try at least but in the end they will find out the same thing Sony, Panasonic and Samsung did and that is with the high prices it wont be worth going forward with the tech and they to will put it on the back burner. OLED is an awesome tech but it costs to much to produce for TV's which pisses me off because I wanted it to be my next display in the future.
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post #27 of 200 Old 05-06-2014, 06:59 AM
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Sad... I went to Samsung's website to check out OLED and didn't see it anywhere. I come here and see this article. Sad day. I really hope OLED makes it to the 3k market but it sounds like it's going to take a decade to get to us peasants.

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post #28 of 200 Old 05-06-2014, 08:27 AM
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There may be a dark horse in this race, and that horse is not from Japan or Korea.
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post #29 of 200 Old 05-06-2014, 09:16 AM
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How are the guys in the Flat Panels General and OLED Technology forum taking this?

I have a 9 year old 42" Sony slimline 720p ($2.2k back then) that I've been patiently keep using in my family room hoping OLED would get affordable....was guessing 2016 but now looks like 2018/2019 till a 50" will break the $1.5k barrier.

Looks like I need to re-think that strategy, I've told myself get off the "fund the R&D cycle" by not being early adopter anymore, been there done that way too many times.

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post #30 of 200 Old 05-06-2014, 09:19 AM
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There is wishful thinking being given to OLED technology by videophiles. The thinking is that it will be the better-than-CRT solution awaiting us around the corner to solve all the problems with LCDs. But the problems with applying the technology to television are significant, persistent and look further away from being solved now than they did years ago. Even if they are able to sort out the production problems, the panels themselves may never reach plasmas' level of durability before being superseded.

There are many years of edge lit LCDs ahead of us.
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Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

I have a 9 year old 42" Sony slimline 720p ($2.2k back then) that I've been patiently keep using in my family room hoping OLED would get affordable....was guessing 2016 but now looks like 2018/2019 till a 50" will break the $1.5k barrier.

My guess was 2021. I wouldn't expect the panel to look too good after nine years of use too.
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