Originally Posted by rogo
43/49/55/65/72 isn't a bad lineup. It's not a great one because of that 10-inch gap in the middle though. They might be able to make it work by essentially going bezel-less on those 65s and 72s. I should be clear I don't think your theory is wrong, but I do think it's going to be challenging to have that nice clean set of 6-inch gaps and basically not have a 60/61-inch display in there.
I'm not sure which Gen LCD fabs are best for putting out 60" LCD panels (other than Sakai
), but perhaps LG can convert one of those
LG does offer IPS TVs in 60": http://www.lg.com/us/tvs/lg-60UF7700-4k-uhd-led-tv
, so either they manufacture those on Gen 8.5 substrates or some older generation. If 60" proves important for the development of the OLED TV market, I'm sure LG knows how to manage it - cost will probably just be less optimized than it is for the other sizes.
Planning a new fab to optimize 60" and 70" just seems like the wrong move given where the market is and where it seems to be going. Checking Amazon or Best Buy, there are way more (3-4 times) 65" TVs than 60" TVs. So a 6-up or 8-up substrate for 65" just seems like it will position LG to drive forward the advantage they have established for themselves at that critical size in the premium / large-screen TV market.
6-up at 65 is also very efficient at 55" (8-up), but so what - the existing 8.5G lines are already optimized for 55", so that overlap buy them almost nothing (a bit of manufacturing flexibility).
Looking 7-10 years out, an optimized 70"+ panel just seems like a wiser investment for the future. And the fact that that investment also provides an optimally-efficient 43" panel is just icing on the cake.
Also, I think there is no magic at 77. I wouldn't be surprised to see it replaced even though it's neatly 6 inches above the 72. I expect 80. I've wonder honestly if the size wasn't partly picked because of rigidity issues with the physical backplanes. The flexi-back models suggest that's not a limiting factor anymore
If you do the math on a 6-up 65" substrate, once you discover that the largest size for 3-up layout is exactly 77", you understand what drove LG to choose that size. It cannot be a coincidence...
Between abandoning 77" in favor of 80" or keeping 77" as is and introducing 85" beyond it, I doubt we see any decisions made before P10 is up and running...
And as I said in my earlier post, the 8-up 65" substrate can fit 3-up all the way to 87"... (more icing on the cake).
I'm fairly sure it doesn't happen in 2017. But it does seem like 2018 could be carnage for the waning hopes of selling $3000+ LCDs. Maybe things move then?
The LCD market had an easy way to differentiate picture quality to justify price gaps that OLED doesn't share. There are so many 'tricks' used to improve LCD, almost all involving incremental cost, that a good, better, best picture quality lineup was justified.
With OLED, raw picture quality is driven by the panel. Premium brands like Panasonic can differentiate with capability such as 3D-LUT and Sony can differentiate with better processing for OTA and cable compressed sources, but the fundamentals of picture-quality are far more 'locked-in' at the panel level than they are in LED/LCD.
So even if there are higher-priced OLED TVs with better CMS, better processing, and better sound (the LG product lineup strategy), the entry-level OLEDs will create much more of a price ceiling than entry-level LED/LCDs ever could.
I'm pretty confident LG's entry-level OLEDs will be available at close to half of introductory MSRP again this November as they were last year, which will mean a 65C7P should be widely available at prices approaching $2000 before the end of the year.
It's really hard to see how that doesn't pull the wool out from under the $3000+ 65" LCD TV market.
70" and above will remain a strong market for LED/LCD at least until 2019 when P10 should be up and running, but 65" TVs costing north of $3000 will probably be a luxury item for the deep-pocketed by next year (meaning volumes will be much lower).
Who knows where Samsung is headed and how long they are going to stay their QLED course. They'll still sell a huge number of 65" LED/LCD TVs this year, just not their flagships costing $3000+ for 65". Whatever 65" model sells for $1500 or less, like the 65KS8000 last year, should enjoy a high volume of sales, but it's hard to see the QLED/LCD 65" Flagships selling at a premium to LG's entry-level 65C7P OLED (just as the 65KS9800 greatly undersold the 65B/C6P last year
Perhaps 2017 amounts to an investment in marketing with hopes of payoff in 2018 with some real technology (QDCF/E-LCD), but that seems technologically optimistic and once P10 starts to ramp, it feels like Samsung's window starts closing...
Sony has never manufactured a flat panel for consumers. It won't be them. But at some point LG will want a licensee more than a lead. Maybe that point is when it's going to get a volume Chinese knock off that it will have to fight in a patent suit anyway?
Yeah, Sony as part of a syndicate, perhaps, but never alone. Sharp would have been the most natural choice for Japan but they are now Chinese-owned.
Panasonic once produced flat panels, but conversion of old plasma lines to WOLED seems like a non-starter.
Japan Display has some manufacturing but it seems to be pretty niche/fringe rather than consumer, and anyway, they already have their own OLED technology.
If there are not any attractive/sensible licensing partners left in Japan, the next obvious choice would probably be Taiwan where perhaps the looming bloodbath gets a big panel supplier like AUO motivated...
It's a near-certainty that someone will eventually license from LG - it just seems unlikely before P10 has successfully come online and another few years of success are under WOLED TV's belt