Just as we adjust to flat screen TV’s and gadgets the technology world trends are now again attempting another revolution to curved displays.
LG has created a whole new display category with the launch of the world’s first curved OLED (organic Light-Emitting Diode) television in South Africa.
We first got a glimpse of this technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year and since then momentum is growing in introducing curved displays to other tech categories.
But LG’s 55-inch curved OLED TV is quite spectacular.
When you first look at it you think to yourself this looks weird, how on earth are people from different angles going to get a good view of the screen.
At the launch I purposely sat on the side of the auditorium so I had a 30 degree view of the curved screen. I was amazed at how clear it was! It makes perfect sense to curve it because of the immersive experience you get. The picture quality remains impressive from more angles than a conventional flat screen panel. If you’ve been into an IMAX theatre the curvature of the LG screen is very similar.
So how do they do this?
LG are using their WRGB OLED technology which features infinite contrast ratios to give the viewer deeper blacks and brighter whites than a conventional RGB display. The colour accuracy has also been improved, and this is why the quality of the colour remains consistent from most viewing angles, and on changes in the ambient light. You get a very rich visual experience.
The LG 55EA9800 is beautifully designed and comes on a very stylish transparent crystal display. It is also remarkably thin. At 4.3mm, it is thinner than an average human finger and it weighs just 17kg.
The sound quality is not bad either. It has a 4.1 channel, 50W audio system with a forward facing sliding speaker. They have managed to fit this audio technology very cleverly below the panel despite the fact that the TV is so thin. The sound bar has four forward facing speakers and a subwoofer located behind the screen, so you still get a rich sound experience to match the picture quality. This cleverly concealed sound bar can be programmed to remain permanently hidden or permanently extended. Alternatively, it can be set to silently slide out when the TV is turned on, and retract when powered off.
It doesn’t come cheap though. This LG 55 inch curved display will set you back R200 000! The reason for this is that this is a new technology, and the process of making the panels is completely different to existing flat screen manufacturing. Once adoption grows and more factories are built pricing will come down eventually.
Are curved displays a novelty or do they have a place in the complex world of technology? The jury is still out on this one and we will get more clues from the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in the coming months. There certainly are many possible applications for this technology especially when you have challenging angles in rooms.