Richfield, Minnesota- After over a year-and-a-half since it was first displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show, today LG has begun selling the first 55-inch OLED HDTV in the US. The roll-out ties in with Best Buy as its exclusive initial dealer.
The Magnolia within the Richfield Best Buy store now has the LG 55EA9800 OLED on display, and it’s being sold for $14,999.
More details after the break.
The acronym OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode (Organic for containing carbon molecules). This technology promises an infinite contrast ratio, besting any other display technology with completely black blacks. In addition, OLED TVs have better energy efficiency than LED LCDs and a wide viewing angle only equaled by plasma HDTVs. The 55EA9800 weights just 38 lbs. While the panel itself is only 0.17 inches thick, LG has decided to curve the screen, increasing the overall depth.
LG’s first 55-inch OLED uses LG’s proprietary WRGB technology with a white/clear sub-pixel working in conjunction with the red, green and blue sub-pixels.
The 55EA9800 offers THX certification, joining a handful of HDTV displays capable of meeting that company’s strict test procedures and standards for high image quality.
The LG OLED is a full featured television with 3D, Internet streaming Smart features, and employs LG’s Magic Remote control with speech recognition and gesture control.
Best Buy will continue to roll out LG’s OLED HDTV over the next few weeks, targeting the Magnolias within their Best Buys in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and San Antonio. It will follow up with a national roll out to all of its Magnolia/Best Buys by end of this summer.
We are in Richfield today, drilling LG executives for more details and specifications and will follow up soon with a hands-on report.
The LG press release is below.
LG BEGINS SELLING FIRST OLED TV IN THE U.S.
New Benchmark in Home Entertainment Technology, Super-Thin Curved Screen
Available Exclusively Through Magnolia Stores Inside Best Buy
MINNEAPOLIS, July 22, 2013 – LG Electronics today announced the first U.S. availability of the revolutionary new OLED TV, combining the pinnacles of picture quality and design to deliver the ultimate in display technology for home entertainment.
At a VIP launch event today at Best Buy’s flagship Magnolia Design Center store in Richfield, Minn., senior executives from LG Electronics USA and Best Buy officially introduced the new LG CURVED OLED TV for the U.S. market, allowing American consumers to enjoy the unparalleled visual experience in person.
As LG’s exclusive OLED TV launch partner, Best Buy today began selling the 55-inch class (54.6-inch diagonal) LG CURVED OLED TV (Model 55EA9800) at the Richfield store. In the coming weeks, Magnolia stores inside Best Buy in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and San Antonio will display and begin selling the thin new premium TV at a suggested price of $14,999. Over the summer, the new TV is expected to roll out to select Magnolia inside Best Buy locations nationwide.
The U.S. launch solidifies LG’s early lead in the OLED TV race. Global demand for OLED TV is expected to grow to more than 7 million units by 2016, according to DisplaySearch. LG is the first company to commercialize both the flat screen OLED TV, which has been sold to consumers in Korea since February, and the innovative new CURVED OLED TV, available in Korea since April.
“The OLED TV experience is one that must absolutely be seen to be believed,” said Jay Vandenbree, senior vice president, LG Electronics USA, and head of LG’s U.S. home entertainment business. “The next-generation display technology and the ground-breaking ultra-thin curved design in the LG CURVED OLED TV results in an experience that is destined to be the benchmark for home viewing and TV design going forward. There’s no better evidence that with LG, it’s all possible.”
For Best Buy, being first to launch OLED TV in the United States supports the retail giant’s leadership strategy focused on offering the latest and greatest technology products.
“Best Buy’s promise to consumers is to be the one place where they will find the latest in home entertainment technology, and with today’s launch of the LG CURVED OLED TV, we are continuing that tradition,” said Mike Mohan, President, Home of Best Buy. “As the exclusive launch partner for the new TV, we are giving consumers first access to this OLED technology.”
Exceptional Picture Quality and Design
At only 0.17 inches (4.3 millimeters) thin at the edge of the screen and weighing less than 38 pounds (17.2 kilograms), the new OLED TV produces astoundingly vivid and realistic images thanks to LG’s proprietary WRGB technology. The unique WRGB four-color pixel system features a white sub-pixel that works in conjunction with conventional red, green and blue pixels to create the perfect color output. LG’s exclusive Color Refiner delivers even greater tonal enhancement, resulting in images that are more vibrant and natural than anything seen before.
The LG CURVED OLED TV is the world’s first OLED TV to achieve THX® Display Certification, signifying that it passed more than 600 THX laboratory tests to ensure it delivers the picture quality of a professional post production display.
OLED TV technology from LG Electronics delivers an infinite contrast ratio for optimal contrast levels regardless of ambient brightness or viewing angle. In addition to THX, three international testing and certification bodies, TÜV Rheinland, Intertek and VDE, have recognized the LG CURVED OLED TV for its superb picture quality.
With its gently curved screen, the new LG CURVED OLED TV represents a unique design statement for discerning high-end consumers. This represents the first major design change in the industry since the widespread introduction of flat-panel TVs to the consumer marketplace more than a decade ago. With more than five years of research behind developing the optimal curvature, the LG CURVED OLED TV delivers an IMAX-like viewing experience in the home.
Complementing its unique screen design, the LG CURVED OLED TV features thin transparent film speakers in a handsome crystal clear stand, providing high-quality audio performance. The LG CURVED OLED TV took the top Red Dot “Best of the Best” honor at the prestigious 2013 red dot international design competition.
The LG CURVED OLED TV also benefits from the innovative features consumers have come to expect from LG: Smart TV capabilities with Magic Remote and Voice Recognition features to enable gesture and voice controls, and LG CINEMA 3D capabilities to enable a more immersive 3D viewing experience.
For more information on the LG CURVED OLED TV, visit LG’s webpage.
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