Report: LG VIP Event Planned For Rollable OLED TV
Could LG’s rollable 4K OLED TV finally be on the way to market?
An article in Korean technology business web site The Elec, reported last week that LG is planning a VIP event for Oct. 14-19, when it is expected to “launch its OLED rollable TV, the LG Signature OLED R,” which you might remember first made its appearance at CES 2019, winning many best in show honors, including one from this site.
Of course at that time, LG was hoping to bring the unique television technology to market by the end of that year.
It showed the item again at CES 2020, setting the stage for further expectations that the television would make it here imminently.
Since that time, LG has experienced “yield rate issues” further complicated by the impact of COVID-19, which messed up many product roadmaps this year not to mention many much worse hardships that continue to be felt the world over.
However, this event suggests that things might be on track again, at least in LG’s domestic market, for those with lots of cash and we hope, suitable face masks.
The report said the rollable TV is “expected to be priced at around 100 million won,” which in U.S. dollars, as of today, would translate to a mere $86,285.
Prior to the pandemic, The KoreaTimes reported in December that the launch was pushed back into 2020 “given the product is a new type of TV that doesn’t exist in the market” and LG was “thoroughly preparing for the launch of the rollable TV considering market status, price and distribution channels.”
Of course, since then the product doesn’t appear to be quite as unique, as we reported that Sharp, now under control by Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision/Foxconn, has shown a similar prototype model.
The KoreaTimes in December quoted an unnamed LG official as saying: “Since we introduced the Signature OLED TV R at the CES in January [2019}, we have received inquiries from both [business to business] B2B and [business to consumer] B2C segments. For the B2B sector, resorts that operate villas have made inquiries about the TV.”
Despite the anticipated initially high price tag, the report said LG claims to have received “many inquiries from buyers” from both areas of the business.
As originally presented, the LG Rollable OLED R9 was a 65-inch ultra-thin and flexible organic light emitting diode display that rolled down into a floor or table-mounted base box containing the set’s electronics, sound system and motorized screen deployment system.
The ability to roll down the screen when not in use was said to offer “infinite possibilities in designing” the perfect viewing space, including placing the TV screen at the foot of a bed.
The prototype set offered multiple screen viewing position modes, raising the screen to various heights for “Line View”, which allows the LG Signature OLED TV R to be partially unrolled for specific applications that don’t require the full TV screen, like a Clock Mode showing the time and weather, a Frame Mode for still photos and images relayed from a smartphone, Mood mode to create a more relaxing atmosphere including playing music, and a Home Dashboard mode.
At the time, LG had planned to equip the set with its Alpha 9 processor, latest AI technology and interaction and remote operation through a host of voice control systems. We expect that anything coming soon would at least be updated from 2019 with the latest processing systems and software.
The original OLED R display model was outfitted with a built-in 4.2-channel, 100 Watt front-firing Dolby Atmos audio system.
We’ve reach out to executives with LG USA for any information they can provide and will update this story when we hear back.
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By Greg Tarr
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