Riding the bleeding edge of technology always comes eye-watering cost, and that goes doubly so for innovative displays. Consider the release in May of LG's 55-inch curved—yes, curved—OLED TV. This soft-edge set will put hard corner haters back the equivalent of a cool $13,500.
LG says the 55EA9800 (as the curved behemoth is formally known) offers an IMAX-like viewing experience, claiming that the curved shape of the screen makes all points "equidistant from the viewer's eyes, eliminating the problem of screen-edge visual distortion and loss of detail." (We didn't realize screen-edge distortion was a problem, much less a problem looking for a solution, but the proof will be in the viewing.)
The curved 55-inch screen uses LG’s proprietary WRGB technology featuring a white sub-pixel, which works in conjunction with the conventional red, blue, green setup to generate a more vivid color output. The television's clear stand also doubles as speakers due to its baked-in transparent film speakers.
If you're looking for a truly IMAX-like experience, promo shots show that you can put up to three screens next to each other—assuming you have more than $40,000 burning a hole in your pocket. If, like the rest of us, you don’t live in a lighthouse to match the rounded shape of the TV, LG also created a wall mount for the 55EA9800, although this means that the curved sides will stick out, despite their very thin profile. (The set is only 0.17 inches thick and weighs around 37 pounds.)
The curved LG TV shares many specs with its flat sibling (model 55EM9700), which is already on sale with a slightly less steep price tag of $10,000.
The LG 55EA9800 55-inch curved OLED TV was unveiled at CES in January. First in line to receive the set is South Korea, where it is priced at KRW 15 million (approximately $13,500) and is due to ship in May. Release dates and pricing for non-Korean markets are coming "in the months ahead," LG said.
Analysts are still unsure whether OLED TVs, including the curved kind, will actually take off with consumers. In fact, the analysts at NPD DisplaySearch estimate that 4K LCD TVs, which sport nearly four times as many pixels as a standard 1080p display, will overtake sales of OLED TVs in the coming years.
Meanwhile, Samsung is still developing the OLED TV that it showed off at CES in January, although the company in currently in a dispute with LG over alleged thefts of technology.