Price (RRP): $9,999
A curved, glass fronted harbour-side apartment with reach-out-and-touch views of Sydney’s Opera House and Harbour Bridge is a fitting location for a $9,999 TV, the likes of LG’s 65-inch curved 65EC970T, the first to combine UHD resolution with OLED display technology.
Positioned in front of the postcard vista, the curved screen of the UHD OLED panel tessellating with the arced window framing that spectacular and iconic harbour view, LG’s television message is clear: we create beautiful pictures too.
What is OLED?
OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is an amazing technology, characterised by smooth, blur-free video, high contrast levels, wide viewing angles and deep rich blacks.
LG reckons it’s the television display technology of the future and, you know, it deserves to be. It really is that good.
So, how does it work?
An OLED panel comprises pixels made from organic materials (‘organic’ meaning natural or ‘carbon-based’) that emit their own light when electricity is applied. When no electrical signal is received by a pixel, no light is produced.
An LCD TV uses an external light source (an array of LEDs or fluorescent tubes) to transmit light through to pixels on an LCD panel. Whether positioned behind the LCD panel (backlit) or around the perimeter (edge-lit), the light tends to lose a bit of its ‘shine’ (so to speak) on its journey, with compromises to colour accuracy.
Whites can appear creamy, blacks can appear washed out, and detail in dark scenes can be hard to discern.
With OLED, white is produced by light on the pixel itself and black is produced by, well, a complete absence of light on a pixel. Black can be absolute black, white can be absolute white and, because of the extreme contrast, colours can appear sharper and more vivid too.
Without a light source behind the panel, OLED televisions can be also be made extremely thin. LG’s UHD model is a super-skinny 4mm at the edges.
And because OLED technology does not require an always-on backlight to produce an image, OLED TVs also consume less energy than LCD-type displays.
The pixels in OLED and LCD panels have to rapidly change colour – from, say, blue to yellow then black – to represent the changing visuals on the screen. Any lag and the image can appear blurry.
OLED technology allows pixels to respond much faster than the pixels in LCD displays, meaning that fast action sequences can be rendered smooth and blur-free. In fact, LG rates response time for the 65EC970T at 0.2 milliseconds, which is around ten times faster than LG LED LCD televisions.
Four-colour pixel OLED
The downside of OLED is that, like all organic materials, it degrades over time. This can result in colour shift (blue has been problematic for the technology) and, like the very early plasma TVs, diminished brightness over the panel’s operating life.