Samsung showed off its first OLED TV this year in January at the Consumer Electrics Show in Las Vegas, much to the delight of OLED fans awaiting a bigger 55 inch OLED TV to be released that would improve upon SONY’s 11 inch model. OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diodes and is the next new technology to rival and improve upon LCD flat-screen televisions. The Samsung model, called the ES9500 OLED TV, claims to have revolutionary picture quality and is to be released in the second half of 2012. This new technology will not come cheap however. The model is to be released first in South Korea where it will be marketed at a Korean price of 10 million won (around $8,760).
Comparing the ES9500 to other models on the market, mainly the LG new OLED TV, will lead to some major differences. The Samsung TV works by using native red, blue and green sub-pixels. These are placed directly on the display for more vivid images. This RGB OLED design is different to the LG model, which uses a white OLED overlaid with green, blue and red filters with a fourth filter free white OLED sub-pixel. Which will produce the better picture quality is as yet unknown, although LG is claiming that their way reduces design costs. The Samsung OLED TV is also more than double the depth of the LG model, at 0.3 inches compared with LG’s 0.157 inches. The TV has still been described as razor thin however, and certainly performs well set against the width of an LCD TV. OLED TVs can generally be thinner, (as little as 4mm) because they require no separate backlights like the LCD.
Samsung has reported a 20% improvement in colour reproduction compared with LED or LCD panels, according to Engadget. Samsung maintains that the TV is ‘a masterpiece of accurate colour reproduction and maximized performance’. The other features of the television are also impressive. Premium television features like Smart Interaction voice, gesture control and Smart Evolution Upgradability will all be included. There is a dual-core processor and Smart Hub Media Integration. An interesting new feature is Smart Dual View Technology, whereby two people can watch two separate programs in 2D on the TV, with the use of 3D glasses which have inbuilt headphones.
Some critics think that Samsung setting a price too high for the model and that they will be priced out of the market. The TV will cost $9000 or about £6000, but the arrival of other OLED TVs from the likes of LG, Panasonic and Sharp should cause an environment of healthy competition that could bring prices down. Samsung does initially expect the OLED TV to be adopted by a niche in the market that want the very latest TV technology and are willing to pay more for it. Currently, an LCD TV will cost up to a half less than the new OLED, at $1000-$3000.The Samsung TV Head, Kim Hyunsuk, has stated ‘it will take two to three more years for OLED TV technology to go mainstream’ according to the Associated Press. The deeper contrasts and finer detail of the new Samsung TV compared with other previous OLED displays may not be enjoyed by everyone yet for the foreseeable future.
More details on the Samsung TV will emerge at the IFA Trade Show in Berlin, which is due to start on August 31st this year. Samsung is looking into how the model will be priced in the UK right now. The pricing is dependent on retailers. Critics’ reviews from the January CES show have already been remarkably promising, however. Pocketlint were reportedly ‘blown away’ by the Super OLED TV and remarked it was ‘the future of television technology’. Apparently, Samsung had been experiencing a problem with blue pixels which was solved close to the date of the show, which lead to a flagship model being produced at 55 inches. The Super OLED TV won, ‘Best of Innovation Award Honouree’ at CES 2012. Critics particularly noted how its fast response times did not lead to blurring even in fast moving scenes.
Samsung’s profit from its TV making unit went up from 8 billion in one year to 530 billion in just the first quarter of the financial year. HIS Inc’s iSuppli has said how Samsung now has the biggest market share in the US for the television market, at 25% of total shipments. iSuppli estimates that the shipment of OLED TVs will increase from 34,000 in 2012 to 2.1 million TV sets in 2015. The future market for the OLED TV is very bright therefore, and offers consumers the chance to get their hands on a new technology while manufacturers exploit their research in the field.
The word is still out on whether consumers will embrace the OLED TV as the next best technology out there for televisions. Samsung’s decision to make a 55 inch OLED TV was a brave one as one this size has never been produced before. Certainly, the TV is an incredibly big screen and is just a single plane of glass. The effect is very impressive. Pricing and availability information is not yet available but Samsung have succeeded in making a big press furore with this new technology, tastefully exhibited. The clean design of the television means that there are few cords needed on the back of the television, so it can be wall mounted or set on a table.