Back at January’s Consumer Electronics Show, LG Electronics unveiled a television that pulled off two big tech tricks in one. First, it was a 55-inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TV, which is a display technology that video enthusiasts have waited years to get their hands on. The second trick was that the TV was curved.
Today, LG held a press event at Best Buy’s flagship store in Minneapolis to unveil the final production models of the 55EA9800, the curved OLED TV. Now, it’s officially on its way to Best Buy Magnolia stores in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and San Antonio. The TV will sell with an MSRP of $14,999.
LG’s James Fishler said additional dealers would be announced in a couple of months.
OLED TVs have the potential for exceptional contrast with vibrant colors. LG says the TV’s unique WRGB four-color pixel system features a white sub-pixel that works in conjunction with conventional red, green and blue pixels. The end result boasts the perfect color output. OLED TVs can also be extremely thin and light. This 55-inch model is only 4.3 millimeters thick at the edges (about the thickness of three credit cards) and weighs 38 pounds. LG says the curved screen provides an “IMAX-like experience.”
LG refers to the contrast ratio as “infinite.” Indeed, the picture on the demonstration TV was fantastic, with blacks as deep as any plasma I’ve seen.
The TV includes a built-in 40-watt sound system with two ceramic pizo electric drivers that are actually built into the clear acrylic base. That same base is actually built into the TV and cannot be removed, which also means that this TV can’t be hung on a wall. LG said it was specifically designed for tabletop use.
The 55EA9800 has a resolution of 1080p, with 3D features. It includes LG’s Magic Remote, which provides voice and gesture control over operation and the smart TV features. RS-232 is also included for control systems.
Also worth noting is that the 55EA9800 is the first OLED TV to receive THX certification. It has also been recognized by European quality testing organizations TÜV Rheinland, Intertek and VDE.
For a closer peek at the 55EA9800, check out the images in our slideshow.
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.