We were able to get a short hands-on session with LG's OLED TV at a convention in Monaco. Here are our early impressions.
A unique feature of OLED panels is their extended viewing angles. There was negligible color shift when viewing a scene directly in front of the panel compared with viewing it from the sides. Unfortunately, we weren't able to test motion reproduction, though this model has a high 120Hz refresh rate that should minimize judder.
With self-illuminating pixels, the 55EM9600 outputs some of the deepest blacks we've seen among flat-screen TVs. Here, the TV displays a high-contrast scene without compromising the shadow detail around the church and bright lights.
This LG also boasts a 120 percent NTSC color gamut. What it means is the 55EM9600 can faithfully reproduce all the hues of broadcasts and movies, just as the director intended. Videophiles can also tap on the extensive color settings and get support for Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) professional calibration.
The LG OLED TV features a minimalistic design with a brushed-metal frame and illuminated LG logo. A thick translucent chunk of plastic sandwiched between the panel and tabletop stand creates a unique floating effect, too.
The 55EM9600 is, possibly, the thinnest 55-inch TV in the world. It features a new Paper Slim design that combines an attractive 4mm-thin chassis with a 1mm-wide bezel. Just how thin is this panel? Here's a quick comparison with a pen.
Notice the carbon fiber texture? According to LG, this is the first time carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) have been used for a TV. This is a material that is more commonly used in the aircraft- and car-manufacturing industries. CFPR not only strengthens the panel, but also reduces its weight to just 10kg, or half the weight of an LED TV of the same size.
The TV tuners, AV inputs, and other auxiliary electronics have been offloaded to an external media hub housed in the base of the tabletop and floor stands. A compact set-top box equivalent is also available to cater for wall-mounted sets. The hub also doubles as a media player and digital video recorder.
Four HDMI inputs, three USB ports, an Ethernet jack, and onboard Wi-Fi are available on the panel. Also included is Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi) for users to wirelessly stream AV signals from selected Intel laptops to the panel. Note that the layout of these sockets hasn't been finalized, and the commercial unit may differ from the above photo.
The media hub is connected to the panel by a new slim and transparent optical cable. The wire transmits both audio and video signals and is quite inconspicuous from afar. Note that only one cable will be required when the 55EM9600 hits the market.
LG will be bundling its premium 3D glasses with the 55EM9600, though the company has not decided on how many pairs it will be including for each package. The swanky eyewear could easily pass for a pair of expensive sunglasses with its stylish design and soft nose pads.