LG Sees Bright Future for OLED

By Tom Allen
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FlatpanelsHD visited LG in Korea and received some updates on the company’s OLED plans. The company considers the technology as the next step in consumer electronics.

LG says that it is raising yields and lowering production costs faster than was the case for LCD 10 years ago. It is thought that OLED TVs will become ‘much’ cheaper in the coming years – but TV isn’t the only thing that the company is working on.

The wallpaper OLED that was shown off in May, at IFA and at Technology Exposed was on show (LG Display Gives Impressive Keynote); this TV is 1mm thick and so light (2kg) that it can be stuck to the wall with magnets. The prototype has an external box holding all of the connections and cables – LG told FlatpanelsHD that this design could be used in future OLED sets, to keep them thin.

LG has been very cagey about this thin TV before, but has now said that a Q4’16 launch is being targeted.

Another very thin product on show was the so-called ‘Edge Slice’ display. Again, the electronics are external to the display: this time held in the circular stand, along with the speakers. The screen itself is less than 3mm deep.

It is easier to make a transparent OLED that looks good than an LCD display, as OLED units do not require a backlight. LG showed a concept where a display film had been applied to glass as a ‘virtual curtain’; pressing a button would block sunlight. The ‘display’ also had a HUD-like element, showing information about the weather forecast and temperature.

LG has very ambitious plans for OLED. The company intends to eventually make 8k TV sets and, after that, to create a full ‘wallpaper’ display, without bezels, which could fill a room’s wall.

The company’s double-sided and ‘wave’ (concave and convex) OLED displays, for digital signage, were also on show.

LG will show off its 2016 OLED TVs at CES next year, and told FlatpanelsHD that it will focus on UltraHD; HDR; and a wider colour space. Brightness is OLED’s weakness, compared to LCD, and in an interview LG’s Haenjoon Kang said that brightness will be increased “nearly two times” in next year’s sets (estimated to be between 600 cd/m² and 700 cd/m²).

Speaking about colour space, this year’s OLED sets from LG covered about 90% of DCI-P3 – and next year the company believes that it will hit 99%.