LG's 55-inch OLED TV packed with 3D bells, smart TV whistles

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Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury

Television manufacturer LG says that by 2016, its organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, televisions will cost the same as an LCD television.

This year, the company is working towards reaching that goal, with the release of the 55-inch 55EM9600.

(Credit: LG)

LG announced the TV in the week before the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012, but it's not the only 55-inch OLED at the show — Samsung also has a 55-inch model. While the public may remember Sony's XEL-1 from a couple of years ago, and be familiar with the AMOLED screens of various Samsung phones, LG's EM9600 features a unique spin on the technology. While other OLEDs feature RGB (red, green and blue) pixels, the LG adds a fourth: the white pixel, in a move that LG says cuts costs and produces a brighter picture.

The TV will feature all of LG's current bells and whistles, including smart TV with streaming and social media, the new Magic Motion remote with "four modes", including a built-in mic and passive 3D. The last feature is a surprise, as OLED is arguably more akin to plasma than LCD — it doesn't require a backlight — and LG's 2012 plasmas feature active 3D technology.

As the EM9600 is LG's flagship TV for 2012, design is obviously paramount, and, at only 4mm thick, the "virtually bezel-less" TV appears to deliver. A company representative we spoke with couldn't confirm bezel width by press time, but other reports cause us to suspect a bezel width of just 1mm. As for depth, the TV is so shallow that it includes a separate control box to house connectivity and other necessaries, connected to the panel by a proprietary cable. The EM9600 takes the "all-screen" aesthetic to a new level.

But it's not just about looking good; a TV has to perform, as well. LG says that the TV uses a proprietary algorithm designed to improve and refine hues and tones when viewed from a wide angle. According to LG, other OLED TVs "exhibit drastic changes in hues from different viewing angles and abnormal colour gamut."

The 55-inch LG EM9600 OLED is due to be released in the second half of 2012, with September in the US as the likely launch month. Look forward to more details and pricing then.


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