Monaco-This week, LG unveiled the production version of its revolutionary 55-Inch OLED to the HD Guru, European dealers and journalists against the backdrop of the final preparations for the weekend’s Grand Prix race. The prototype was first seen at the 2012 January Consumer Electronics Show

The 55EM9600’s screen is just 4 mm thick, and uses white organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) to produce a very bright, highly saturated image. LG developed its “Color Refiner” filter technology (using four color sub-pixels -Red, Green, Blue and White) to enhance image contrast and color.

LG is targeting the first shipments this July to the US, Korea and select European countries at a price of $10,000.

Taking a cue from Formula 1 race cars, the 9600 uses carbon fiber to strengthen and lighten the TV’s plastic exterior.  The 9600 weighs in at just 22 pounds, a record low for a 55-Inch display (about 29 lbs less than LG’s 55-Inch LM8600  LED LCD).

Stanley Cho head of LG’s Europe Operations said “With OLED TV leading our premium product line-up in Europe, we have a very strong case to become the number one TV brand in this region. Until that day we will continue to develop the products that have made us the most innovative home entertainment company in the industry.”

LCD and LED LCDs rely on light bulbs (whether fluorescent or a few dozen white LED lamps) to illuminate the image. The light from these lamps or bulbs must pass through the LCD panel before reaching the surface of the TV, causing most of the light to be beamed toward viewers sitting closest to the center of the screen. As one moves off-center the LCD image dims, contrast decreases and colors tend to shift and desaturate.

OLEDs emits light directly from the surface, like over 8 million tiny lamps, extending the viewing angle to 180 degrees providing superb, highly saturated colors without the dimming, color shift or loss of contrast seen on LCDs and LED LCDs.

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OLED can also shut off completely down to a single picture element (pixel), while an adjacent pixel can be fully lit. Because of this ability the 55EM9600 is the first HDTV to have a contrast ratio specification of “infinite”.  LCDs can’t do this. Some of the light always leaks through the LCD panel, reducing contrast.

The 55EM9600 is a full featured HDTV incorporating LG’s passive Cinema 3D technology as well as Smart TV Internet connectivity and its own browser for streaming movies and web browsing.

As we predicted in January, the 55EM9600 will be available in three mounting versions: table top, wall mount and pole mount. Each configuration incorporates the same OLED panel but a uses a different case. The inputs and drive electronics are located within the stand on the table top model (see photo) and features a transparent arm between the base and panel. The wall mount version and pole mount models will have a separate box that houses the electronics.

Shortly we will publish Part II. It includes specifications and other photos of this amazing large-screen HDTV technology you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Disclosure: LG provided travel expenses for this press event.


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