The company's third OLED TV to reach the market in 13 months breaks the $100-per-diagonal-inch price barrier.
Most members of AVS Forum know that OLED is the flat-panel technology to beat when it comes to deep blacks and vivid colors; in fact, many videophiles see it as the successor to plasma. However, the price of admission into the OLED club has been extremely steep—many times the cost of even flagship LED-LCD TVs of similar size. And reports that Sony and Samsung plan to back off from aggressive OLED development have not helped bolster confidence that the technology will ever make it into the mainstream.
Meanwhile, LG is forging ahead with OLED, announcing this week that its latest model, the 55" 55EC9300, will sell for only $3500, starting on August 24 at Best Buy, with pre-orders being accepted now on BestBuy.com
. That still isn't cheap by any means, but it's 75% less than the $15,000 price tag carried by the company's first 55" OLED TV, the 55EA9800, just over a year ago. At that rate, next year's models could go for under $1000! (Of course, prices probably won't fall at a linear rate, but it's fun to fantasize.)
The 55EC9300 is "only" 1080p, and its screen is curved, though the curve is more gentle than Samsung's comparable offering, and it can be wall-mounted, unlike its progenitor. At its thinnest, the screen is a mere 4.5 millimeters thick, and it has virtually no bezel, which certainly looks cool.
Like all LG OLED TVs, this one uses WRGB (white, red, green, blue) subpixels, and the viewing angle is far wider than any LCD TV. The 55EC9300 is the first LG OLED TV to feature the company's webOS smart-TV platform, which is said to provide nearly instantaneous switching between broadcast TV, streaming services, and external devices, and it offers sophisticated recommendation capabilities. Also included is LG's Magic Remote, which behaves much like an "air mouse" with voice commands.
I realize that few AVS members like a curved screen, but I think this news is important because of the dramatic drop in OLED pricing. While I was joking earlier about next year's models going for less than $1000, I am heartened to know that prices are falling fast. Now, if only LG would make more flat OLEDs with down-to-earth pricing for those of us who don't want a curved screen, I'd be all over that, wouldn't you?
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