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LG Display shows off the 8K, rollable, transparent TV future

In a private booth at CES in Las Vegas, one of the most innovative display manufacturers in the world provides a glimpse at your next screen.

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David_Katzmaier.jpg

David Katzmaier

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LG Display shows off the future of TV at CES 2018
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So why is this the future of TV? Let me explain.

Hey guys, I'm David Katzmaier and I review TVs for CNET. 

I'm inside the CES booth of LG Display, a company that manufactures TV and other screens for a bunch of other companies -- including LG Electronics, the Korean giant's consumer-facing division. Many of the LGD screens you're about to see are concepts, not yet real products. But a lot of them are still really cool.

Here's one of the coolest. In fact, it could be one of the most important innovations in TV since, I don't know, the remote control. It's the world's first TV that can roll up and disappear when not in use. Allow me to demonstrate.

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I just pressed the button

...and the TV has started to roll up. The screen is slowly descending into the white box below. No, I can't believe it either.

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No tricks (I think)

As the TV goes down I wonder whether there's some trick, like it's actually going back into the wall or something without rolling up.

But even though LGD didn't show me the rolled-up section itself -- I never got a look inside the white box for example, I think it's totally legit. First off, that's really a shelf, and I don't see how the TV could disappear without rolling up. Second, LGD has demonstrated rollable TV before, and I've even got to feel how paper thin it is.

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Almost there...

As the TV rolls up it gets smaller but can still display images, either moving or, in this case, still apps. Here's a weather report. 

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Just a sliver

At the end of its roll-up journey, just the very top of that row of apps peeks up.

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Gone!

The end of the roll-up. The whole thing took about 20 seconds to go from a full-sized 65-inch TV to this, a box about the size of a sound bar.

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Yes Virginia, there's a rolled-up TV in there

Of course this is just a mockup, and a relatively ugly one at that. The version that goes on sale will likely be a lot sleeker-looking, probably with built-in speakers and connections and everything else that makes a TV a TV.

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A peek from the side

Here's that app row again, peeking up.

LGD let me control the roll-up myself, and it worked fine. 

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Ultra-widescreen mode

Another setting that makes use of the TV's not-quite-fully unfurled screen is ultra-widescreen, or 21:9 mode. The idea is to provide enough screen to show ultra-wide movies without the black letterbox bars above and below. Pretty cool.

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The power to roll

Buttons on the LGD's clicker control how much to unroll the TV.

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How to make the black rectangle disappear

As you can see, the rollable OLED is like no other TV. Its ability to hide away when not in use could spell the end of those big, black rectangles that hang around when you're not watching them, spoiling your lovely decor.

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Not available yet, and no price

As with most of the products in this slideshow, the rollable OLED TV isn't on sale today. When I asked LGD reps when that might happen they wouldn't speculate, nor would they name a price. But I wouldn't be surprised to see it on sale in a year or two. It's just that cool and practical.

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The biggest, highest-resolution OLED

LG's OLED displays deliver the best image quality we've ever tested, but their ultra-thin design also helps them stand out.

The largest OLED I've seen yet is this 88-inch model, which has 8K resolution. It's truly massive.

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Wanna guess the price?

Currently the largest OLED TV for sale is 77 inches and starts at $10,000. There's no telling when this will go on sale, or for how much.

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'Wallpaper' FTW

LG's most expensive currently available OLED TVs take the form of "wallpaper" -- so thin they barely stick out from the wall.

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Super duper thin

Here's the TV from an extreme angle. Yep, no sticky-outy at all.

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Tiny in comparison

Speaking of that 77-inch OLED, here it is, complete with a frame and still art that makes it look like a painting.

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Red blossoms

When the TV is the painting, the image can change to suit your mood and taste.

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Museum row

You can picture the day when all canvasses will be OLED TVs. 

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Edge-on

And yes, even the framed TVs are extra thin when seen from the side.

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Video wall

Rather than a single 88- or 77-inch OLED display, this one is four 55-inchers stuck together, wall-style. 

The main CES booth of LG Electronics used concave and convex screens arranged together for its spectacular Canyon of OLED.

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Time for retail

LGD also makes "digital signage" used in advertisements as well as stores and other retail locations. Here's a novel arrangement that pairs a video wall with sections of the 88-inch screen.

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Transparently slick

See-through OLED makes an even greater impact at retail, allowing a display to overlay real objects with graphics.

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That's one big touchscreen

These big-screen phones are getting out of hand.

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Match it up

CNET's Brian Tong demonstrates: just select the color you want...

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Compare colors

...fill it in...

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Click here to buy

...and once you have the combination you want, you're ready to buy.

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Not just cool visuals

First demonstrated at CES 2017, LGD's Crystal Sound technology actually made it into Sony TVs.

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The screen is the speaker

The screen itself provides sound, eliminating the need to have separate speakers.

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Crystal sound actuators

Little actuators behind the screen actually cause it to vibrate, moving air to create sound.

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More directional

LGD says one advantage of Crystal Sound is that the effects can emanate from the on-screen objects themselves, for more realism. In our tests with the Sony, however, it didn't make much difference.

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Screen sound you can feel

Since the screen makes the music it actually vibrates, and you can feel it.

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All the screen sound feels

CNET's Mariana Marcaletti touches the sound.

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The same great picture

You may be wondering whether the vibration of the screen affects image quality. As far as we could tell in our Sony review, it didn't.

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Crystal sound from the side

Since it's OLED, that crystal sound TV retains its sliver-thin profile on the top. The actuators are housed in the thicker part below.

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Head of the glass

LGD's tour guide described this one as a design differentiator: a TV with a lot of glass on its back.

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Art stand too

A nice-looking antidote to the separate-legs stands seen on so many other TVs today.

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Going glass

Here's a close-up of the glass-mounted LCD panel.

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Art glass is still pretty thin

Not quite as thin as an OLED TV, but impressively sliver-like from edge-on.

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A true centerpiece

Here's a look at that glass backside, which would allow the TV to stand alone in the center of a room, if that's what you want.

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Against the wall

The glass allows bolder patterns on the back of the TV.

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Corner office in glass

The top and sides are edged in, you guessed it, glass. 

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IPS

LGD also makes LCD-based TVs, and is one of the world's largest suppliers of IPS (in-plane switching) panels, popular for their improved viewing angles.

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Nano Color

First introduced last year, LGD's Nano Color tech is found on higher-end LCDs by LG Electronics. It further boosts viewing angles and can achieve wider color gamuts than conventional LCD, albeit not as wide as quantum dots.

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A bit thicker

The IPS Nano Color displays at LCD's booth stuck out a bit more from the wall than usual, but were still pretty thin. In 2018 LG will sell one with a full-array local dimming backlight, which can increase thickness (and image quality).

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Yep, LGD has 8K too

TV makers have been showing off concept displays with 8K resolution -- four times that of standard 4K TVs -- for awhile now, and LGD is no exception. This is another one that probably won't come out this year. 

Samsung's 85-inch 8K TV, meanwhile, is slated to debut this year.

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See ya for the future next year

That's it from the LG Display booth here at CES 2018. See ya next year!

For more from the world of TVs at CES, check out my wrap-up article, The TVs of tomorrow will turn invisible

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