Best of Show CES 2012 winner: Thin really is inWe talk to LG's Tim Alessi, director of new product development, about how he crammed all those OLEDs into the 55-inch TV that won our hearts, and took home the Best of CES grand prize.
Speaker 1: Hi. I'm 'm Ty Pendlebury from CNET.com and I'm joined by Tim Alessi, the Director of New Product Development for LG. Congratulations Tim on the award for the EM9600. How do you feel? Speaker 2: Thank you, Ty. It's awesome to be recognized for an achievement in a... in a show as large as this. To be able to be named best... not only best TV, but best product in show, is really an outstanding accomplishment. Speaker 1: So what has brought us here? How long has this TV been in development? Speaker 2: Well, LED has been around for awhile, but the real breakthrough this year is to be able to get it to this 55-inch size. Make it relevant for the home theater crowd, not just kind of niche product. So that's... that's why we're really you know showcasing it this week. Speaker 1: So what's magical about the 55 inches? A lot of 55-inch TV has been shown this year. Why that size in particular? Speaker 2: Well, it was just a good place to start. I mean we can certainly go higher in screen sizes, but you know as it' first entry into the market with OLED, we thought 55 was... was a pretty good start. Speaker 1: Okay. And what's special about this technology in particular? Speaker 2: Well, I mean as you know, it's... it's a totally new display technology which emits its own light, so that means it can have that pure, perfect, black level. It's very energy efficient. The color gamut is wider than the standard display, so you're gonna get natural colors and the technique that we used with the 4th white pixel really adds to the brightness without distorting any of the colors, so it's just kind of the perfect package for everything. Speaker 1: And we're going to see this in the third quarter, is that right? Speaker 2: Yes. The target ship date is sometime during the second half. I think probably around third quarter, but we wanna get it out as quickly as possible based on the response here. Speaker 1: And this is gonna be more targeted at a enthusiast crowd? Would that be right? As the first of it's kind? Speaker 2: Yeah. I think that... that's where the main appeal would be. I mean it's certainly... pricing hasn't been set yet, but it will certainly carry a premium over existing technology. But even price aside, I think the performance is really what that real hardcore home theater enthusiast is looking for. Speaker 1: And when are we going to see OLED become the mainstream technology? Speaker 2: Well, it's... it's tough to say when it will become mainstream. Obviously, this is the first big screen, so we'll see how the market accepts it and how economy's upscale work as far as getting the pricing right, but you know it will be... it will be a few years before it really gets into the mainstream. Speaker 1: Okay. And I presume you'd seen the Samsung OLED at their stand. So how do you think it compares against yours? Speaker 2: Well, you know OLED just as a technology is and away better than anything else out there. So it looks good, but we think we have an advantage. Number one, it seems like we have a little more finish product. The design is more finalized and you know, it actually has a model number. So you know I think we're a little bit closer to launch and that 4th... that quad pixel technology with the white, I think really is gonna give us a little bit of picture quality edge as well. Speaker 1: Great. Okay. Thanks, Tim for your time and congratulations again. Speaker 2: My pleasure. Thank you. Speaker 1: Okay.