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Friday, January 4, 2013

LG's next generation 55ins TV that's just FOUR MILLIMETRES thick

LG's next generation 55ins TV that's just FOUR MILLIMETRES thick

LG has launched its eagerly awaited 55ins television which, thanks to OLED technology, promise startlingly clear images on screens just 4mm thick.

The set - the first big screen OLED on the market - heralds the arrival of a new technology which is set to take over our living rooms.

The South Korean company said the TVs have a price tag of 11million won (£6,363), and will be delivered to buyers in its home market next month.

They will be available in North America, Europe and the rest of Asia before the end of March.

While LG becomes the world's first company to bring a big-screen next-generation TV to market, it's far from clear whether the bet will pay off.

Manufacturing the sets is difficult and expensive, while incremental increases in image quality offer diminishing returns to consumers and the company is beset by cut-throat competition from rivals.

TVs using OLEDs - organic light-emitting diodes - offer images with enhanced clarity, deeper colour saturation and sharper contrast than standard liquid crystal display TVs.

The advanced, energy-efficient display technology makes it possible to manufacture thinner televisions, with LG's model measuring up at just 4mm thick.

LG's announcement is the culmination of a race by electronics makers to be the first to deliver the next-generation sets.

Sony showed up the world's first 11in OLED TV set in 2007, but the Japanese company failed to follow up with a bigger display.

While OLED panels are more widely used in mobile screens, mass producing large panels is still tough because of technological challenges.

Jang Moon-ik, director of LG's TV business, said in an interview last year that only two companies in the world have a capacity to mass produce large screen OLED TVs: LG and rival South Korean company Samsung Electronics.

Even though LG and Samsung touted OLEDs as the future of television, both failed to deliver them to the market as promised in the fourth quarter of 2012 due to manufacturing challenges.

Samsung declined to comment on the availability of its OLED TVs, saying making perfect products is more important than the launch schedule.

Grabbing the title of the first OLED TV maker is much more symbolic than practical because initial production numbers will likely be small.

Manufacturing big-screen new TVs requires billions in investments to upgrade factories. South Korean TV makers nevertheless hope their cutting-edge display technology can help offset falling prices and make their products stand out from those of their fast-growing Chinese rivals.

Japanese companies, which previously dominated the global TV market, are struggling to come up with their own next-generation TV sets to avoid falling further behind but don't have enough cash to invest in new technology.


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