LG grows OLED at CES

The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show is enormous. The exhibition space covers more than one million square metres (equivalent to 35 football fields), and more than 165,000 people will see around 20,000 new products released over the duration of the four day event. The future of every aspect of our home technology environment will be clearly mapped out, and we may even glimpse the beginnings of the Next Big Thing.

Or not.

Walking around the show floor it appears that, aside from the 15,000 new iPhone accessories and the 4,990 GoPro knock-offs, there is little in the way of trend or product that could be considered as revolutionary.

In the 18 years I have been attending CES, many game changing technologies have been introduced, including Laserdisc, Digital Audio Tape (DAT), CD, DVD, HD-DVD, Blu-ray, Plasma, LCD, LED LCD, OLED, 3D TV, Second Life virtual reality, the connected home and – let’s not forget – the “paperless office”. This year is not one of those years. Instead, CES 2015 could be characterised as “an incremental year”; “evolutionary” rather than “revolutionary”.

This is a probably a good thing, as manufacturers concentrate on refining existing technologies to deliver the best experience for the consumer.

This approach is evident at the vast LG Booth, which is dominated by banks of luminous OLED televisions. In the last 12 months, the company has refined this promising display technology to a five-strong range that includes UHD and Full HD models at 77-, 65- and 55-inches, with both curved, flat and flexible panel options.

Flexible? Yes, in addition to the conventional flat screen and the curved design the company introduced in 2014, LG now offers an OLED panel that can be flat or curved, as the fancy takes you – though this model is unlikely to make it to Australia.

The 77 inch Ultra HD Curved OLED (77EC9800) provides better upscaling of SD, HD and Full HD video than previous LG models with Ultra HD Engine Pro.

Standing before these latest OLED TVs it is clear this deserves to be the future of television. The blacks are deep and rich, contrast is superb and colour is brilliant. LG’s OLED models utilise proprietary WRGB technology, which adds a white sub-pixel to the pixel array to help produce an expanded palette of on-screen colour, and extend operating life.

The company claims its WRGB approach also makes panels easier to produce, and announced that it would be upgrading its manufacturing facilities to increase the number of OLED panels produced and expand screen sizes even more in the near future.

In more good news for the future of OLED, LG says that manufacturing improvements have led to panel yield rates increasing dramatically. Translated, this should lead to price drops on OLED TVs over 2015.

Peter Blasina travelled to CES 2015 as a guest of LG Australia