LG announced that they will begin taking pre-orders for a curved 55-inch OLED display today, but alas alack… it’s only for the South Korean market at this time (take that, North Korea!) and won’t be available in the U.S. for the foreseeable future. The LG 55EA9800 will set you back about 15 million Korean won, or roughly $13,500 in U.S. legal tender. The display features a very think 4.3mm profile without a bezel, leading into a clear stand that will feature transparent speakers based on a thin-film technology already prevalent in many thin-screen HDTVs. LG was one of the first to offer OLED TVs, and is the first to offer a curved screen (though Samsung says, they’re
next first), something promised by the OLED technology when it was first rolled out in Asia. LG promises that the curved screen approximates the IMAX-type of viewing experience, offering an immersive-quality to home viewing (though, hey– Didn’t 3D-HDTV offer the same potential?). CNET Asia, says that the displays will reduce visual distortion at the edges of the sets, while offering more image detail.
Although OLED and Ultra-HD/4K technologies both promise better resolution than the current 1080p HD sets, the actual hardware have not really taken off yet on U.S. shores, but that hasn’t stopped Japanese and South Korean consumer electronics manufacturers from producing variations on the futuristic displays. With the size limitations of OLED sets (Organic Light Emitting Diode) currently tapping out at the 56″ range (something that sets apart Ultra HD in the quest to embiggen the nation’s TV sets regardless of room size, distance from sofa to set, and other home theater logistical issues), OLED has to get ahead of the technology curve if it is to make an impact in the market place. LG expects to roll the curved OLED sets out to the rest of Asia and Europe later this year.