Organic Light Emitting Diode display technology for TVs, long hailed as the successor to thriving LED LCD and almost-dead plasma, was finally introduced to the market in 2013. It's currently available in two curved, first-generation 55-inch models, one each from Samsung and LG, that cost $9,000 and $8,500, respectively.
LG's second generation of OLED is a bit more expansive with multiple sizes and even a flat version, although likely just as expensive -- pricing and availability weren't announced for any of these models.
- 77EC9800: 77-inch, curved, 4K resolution. If this one sounds familiar, that's because it was first introduced in concept form at IFA in September, and shown again at the CEA's Ultra HD conference in November. The third time around LG provides a bit more information, including a model number and the obligatory picture quality enhancement doo-dads like Color Refiner and an HDR (High Dynamic Range) algorithm.
- 55EA8800: 55-inch, flat "Gallery" model, 1080p resolution. Another blast from the recent past, this one was also first shown at IFA, where LG mumbled something about European and even eventual U.S. availability. Its claim to fame, as far as we're concerned, is that it's the only non-curved OLED TV announced so far. LG likes to talk about its Gallery styling, which means a frame that can make the TV look like a painting. If that, or the spectacular picture quality of OLED in a flat form factor, doesn't float your boat, the press release mentions that "Healing & Remembering Mode helps to create a warm and inviting atmosphere through mood-lifting sounds and images."
- 55EB9600: 55-inch, curved, 1080p resolution. The successor to the first-generation 55EA9800, this set is "is made with more recyclable materials and considerably fewer parts than its predecessor" according to LG. That may mean it costs less than $8,500, but we're not getting our hopes up.
- "Various" models at 55 and 65 inches: curved, 4K (and 1080p?) resolution. LG's press release also mentioned smaller sizes of 4K resolution OLED TVs at 55 and 65 inches, neither of which the company has shown before. It also seemed to imply that the TVs should also be available in 1080p resolution. We don't know much more than that, aside from the statement that the 4K TVs are "future-proof, able to decode broadcast signals in both H.264 and HEVC H.265 formats, at 30p or 60p. A convenient built-in decoder makes it possible to display Ultra HD content from external devices connected via the TV's HDMI, USB, or LAN ports."
Beyond announcing these models, LG also specified that it would begin expanding OLED manufacturing outside of Korea.
According to the statement, "The company has already completed the construction of new TV plants in Brazil, Poland, China, and Thailand with an advanced facility in Mexico commencing operation this year producing OLED TVs for the North American market."
We'll have more hands-on impressions and information as soon as possible from CES 2014.