Today, LG announced that it is accepting pre-orders for the first curved OLED TVs ever to ship. The LG 55EA9800 is a 55-inch organic-light-emitting-diode TV with a concave curve, not convex like the old tube TVs. In other words, it curves gently towards you, not away from you.
The result, LG says, is spectacular.
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“The entire screen surface is equidistant from the viewer’s eyes, eliminating the problem of screen-edge visual distortion and loss of detail,” LG said in a press release.
The curved screen, which is only .17 inches thick and weighs just 37 pounds, took five years of research and development to create, LG says. And the technology gives it a leg up on competitors, according to LG CEO Havis Kwon, who said the curvy television is “proof of LG’s unmatched leadership” and an example of the “most exciting TV technology available today.”
Kwon’s comments are apparently a challenge to Samsung, which also announced a curved OLED TV in January.
In addition to LG’s WRGB technology for delivering color with a white “sub-pixel” in addition to the typical red, blue, and green pixels in standard TVs, the other gloat-worthy feature of the 55EA9800 is the invisible speakers.
The TV’s audio output is in its transparent stand, where LG uses transparent thin-film speakers to deliver what it calls “high-quality” sound. That helped it win a design competition earlier this year, although I’m doubtful it will make for the best sound available.
The new curved TV might make for a great personal TV-viewing experience, but it looks like LG is also building in technology to let users daisy-chain them together for a larger, even more immersive experience, which would be useful for large public places and venues.
One caveat on the curves: I wonder how well they will work for a large viewing audience, like a Super Bowl party. My assumption would be that the curve would negatively impact some of the viewers’ experience, particularly those at the edges of the room.
Pricing has not been released, but some sources have placed it at $13,500.