Is LG’s new $3,500 OLED TV an attention-grab or does it reflect a real trend in pricing? Who cares?
For years video and home theater enthusiasts have been gawking at the few OLED smart TVs that manufacturers wave in front of our faces from time to time. It’s clearly the best display technology currently available, but has also been priced so ridiculously high that few people took it seriously.
Today LG announced that its 55EC9300 55-inch OLED HDTV is going on sale for $3,499. Yes, that’s a big lump of money for a 55-inch 1080p TV, but keep in mind that just last year the company’s first OLED TV listed for $15K. $14,999! And just like last year’s OLED, this model is also curved.
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So what happened? For one thing, LG say’s its WRGB method is more efficient, and therefore more cost effective, than other OLED technologies. Does more efficient production account for the huge price difference? Or is LG simply trying to grab a ton of attention and considers the money that it’s eating is just the cost of getting a new technology off the ground? As I said before, I don’t care, but I hope this trend continues. With plasma technology all but gone from the marketplace, videophiles need something truly spectacular to get excited about.
So, how about a few more details on this TV: First, like most of LG’s new models, the 55EC9300 is a smart TV featuring the company’s webOS interface which makes it easy to slip between broadcast and internet content. Wi-Fi is built in. It comes with LG’s Magic Remote that uses gestures and voice to control the TV.
The design is bezel-free and slims down to 4.5 millimeters at the edges (a bit thicker in the middle). Unlike last year’s OLED TV, this model is easily wall mounted, though it does come with a stand.
The new TV uses LG’s Triple XD video engine. The company calls the contrast “infinite,” which it’s not, of course, but that should at least tell you that the contrast is probably impressive. It also comes with passive 3D glasses.
You can order one now, but Best Buy gets first dibs on the TV on August 24.
By the way, LG’s other OLED HDTV for 2014 (the 55EA8800) costs $10,000 and is flat rather than curved, so go figure that out.
More articles on new TV technology:
Almost Everything You Need to Know About Ultra HD 4K TVs
Understanding OLED TVs
Samsung Big on UHD and Curved TVs
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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.