LG Gives A Signature Send-Off To Its Futuristic 4K Rollable OLED R
LG Electronics USA used the occasion of the formal in-person preview of its $100,000 futuristic rollable 4K OLED R TV Thursday to tie in the company’s over-arching Signature Series marketing campaign that also includes an extensive line of high-end custom appliances.
The venue for the media was what could be called LG Electronics’ new “Signature Series” U.S. headquarters building in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. The sprawling corporate offices feature high-end modern aesthetics and, due to Covid-19, high-tech safety measures.
The invited press got their first tour of the headquarters since quietly opening its doors in March 2020. Ironically, the cavernous ultra-modern structure sitting just beyond the Palisades on the banks of the Hudson River, opened just as the company’s workers were transitioned to working from home offices to weather the viral storm.
Despite the setbacks of the pandemic, the company has succeeded in growing its operating profit significantly in the time of the crisis as Americans turned their attention to nesting at home by purchasing bigger and better televisions, as never before, with LG’s OLED TVs among the market’s top winners.
When originally planned the rollable OLED showcase event was intended to mark a return to normal for the company’s robust consumer electronics and home appliances businesses. We’ll have to see how close that return actually becomes.
The expansive new headquarters features multiple showrooms for the company’s latest technologies. This predominately included LG’s flexible large-screen OLED technology, which the company demonstrated as a virtual aquarium made of a tubular arch of linked flexible OLED panels presenting a massive seemingly singular screen that wraps around spectators from overhead to resemble an immersive transparent glass aquarium tunnel like the famous real one at the Paradise Island Bahamas casino hotel.
LG provided a long-awaited in-person unveiling of the world’s first market-ready rollable TV that first had been demonstrated at CES 2019 as the industry’s breakthrough consumer display achievement at that time. The company had given similar presentations in other markets where the hand-built displays from the company’s Gumi, South Korea display factory were made available earlier.
LGE U.S.. head of home entertainment marketing Tim Alessi told HD Guru that the reason the LG 4K Rollable OLED R TV was slow in arriving here was the determination of LG’s engineers to produce a product that would be a reliable performer capable of enduring literally 100,000 screen deployments, and would present most of the same excellent high-contrast HDR picture performance customers enjoy from the company’s latest rigid-screen OLED TVs.
LG presented a video of some of the engineers who developed the Rollable OLED R detailing the pains the company took to develop an effective motorized screen raising and retracting experience. They said the display’s motor system took three years to perfect, assuring effective operation even in a wide range of temperature conditions and humidity. Each hand-built unit takes up to two months to produce.
The rollable nature of the OLED R screen enabled LG to develop additional features for the set when not in use for traditional video viewing. The screen can be partially elevated into what the company calls “Line View” and other modes requiring full or partial screen deployments to present a digital clock, or present access to personal photos, works of art, control a digital music library and other functions.
As the event took place, LG announced that it believes it’s OLED TVs are some of the best mediums for presenting contemporary fine art and high fashion via the premium design aesthetics that go into its product planning. “To prove this, LG Electronics recently collaborated with talented artists from all around the world. In Greece, LG worked with the country’s most gifted fashion designers, Vassilis Zoulias and Stelios Koudounaris, who have deemed highly of LG’s self-lit OLED technology to feature exquisite detail of high fashion and have LG OLED G1 TVs proudly displayed in their ateliers to bring inspirations to their artwork.”
Alessi pointed out that the delivered version of the OLED R television is HDMI 2.1 compatible on all four inputs, offering advanced Game Mode features including ultra-low lag times, Variable Refresh Rate, G-Sync and FreeSync compatibility, Auto Low Latency Mode (HLG) and 4K/120Hz high frame rates.
For over-the-air broadcast TV enthusiasts, the Rollable TV includes a new NextGenTV (ATSC 3.0) tuner, and for cinema enthusiasts television supports a range of high dynamic range (HDR) profiles including HDR10, Dolby Vision IQ and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG).
Extensive smart control applications are driven by the latest version of LG’s webOS 6.0, offering AI voice control options including Google Assistant, Alexa and Apple AirPlay 2 compatibility, some of which operate the television’s functions including LG’s own ThinQ AI smart home device control.
The webOS 6.0 interface supports a wide range of the streaming services, including virtually all of the most popular ones, including the HBO Max app which was just added to the package.
For sound, the 65-inch television’s base container houses a front-firing 150-watt speaker system with Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound to expand the sound stage from the TV’s speakers or to deliver a more immersive Atmos surround sound experience when the television is connected to an external surround sound speaker system, including WiSA-connected wireless speakers available from such WiSA-supporting speaker/audio specialist companies as Bang & Olufsen.
Furthermore, support for external speakers could be relevant for those well-heeled customers anxious to use the retractable screen TV at the foot of a bed, where the internal front-firing speakers might be blocked. Still, LG includes in the set its AI Sound Pro technology that auto-adjusts sound output from the internal speakers for the best listening experience based on the conditions, objects and surfaces in the room.
Alessi said that due to the price, and hand-built made-to-order nature of the LG Rollable OLED R, LG has chosen to sell these models directly through the company’s web site. LG will support delivery and set-up through its own door-to-door white glove service.
The central Alpha 9 Gen 4 processor similarly drives AI sound and (AI Picture Pro) picture processing performance to auto deliver the best brightness and HDR performance tailored to the ambient room lighting conditions.
To operate all of the on-screen user interface elements, the LG Rollable OLED R features a “Signature” Magic Remote with NFC capability.
The LG Rollable OLED R’s dimensions with stand measure 62.7 x 50.2 (in rolled up position) x 10.5 inches or 62.7 x 17.7 (rolled down) x 10.5 inches.
We asked Alessi if LG had received many orders for the $100,000 television since news of its imminent arrival was first announced, but the indications are there wasn’t exactly a stampede to place orders. At these prices it was never expected to be a volume seller, and it’s unlikely prices will ever come down far enough to appeal to mainstream audiences. But the technology succeeds at underscoring how quickly this self-emissive display technology is advancing both in form and function.
Just like all of LG’s OLEDs, this model presents ultra-wide viewing angles with deep, rich color performance, high resolution and lifelike contrast that has made big-screen OLED TVs a popular aspirational purchase among millions.
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By Greg Tarr
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