LG makes world’s first roll-out OLED TV, With a Catch

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Las Vegas: The world's first rollable OLED TVs from LG Electronics are on display at the tech firm's booth for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 7, 2019. The company touts the product for freeing up space by no longer requiring room to be set aside full time for TVs.(Yonhap/IANS)

LG Electronics (LG) has unveiled the world’s first rollable OLED TV in which the screen retracts into a box when not in use.

Built on a concept unveiled last year, the 65-inch Signature OLED TV R will be available this year for sale, the company announced on Monday at the CES 2019 here.

“A rollable OLED TV is a true game-changer, liberating users from the limitations of the wall and freeing them to curate their own personal space which no longer needs to be reserved full time for TV viewing,” said LG.

LG SIGNATURE OLED TV R can transform itself to offer three different viewing options — Full View, Line View and Zero View — allows customers to use the TV in ways that were impossible before the development of OLED technology.

Full View delivers a large-screen viewing experience revealing the full extent of the contrast, depth and realism.

Users can use their voice to get things done with Amazon Alexa, a new addition to LG’s AI TV lineup in 2019, as is support for Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit.

With Apple HomeKit support, customers will be able to control their LG TV using the Home app or by asking Siri.

Line View allows the TV to be partially unrolled, allowing for management of specific tasks that do not require the full TV screen.

“In Line View, users can choose from features such as Clock, Frame, Mood, Music and Home Dashboard,” said the company.

When in Zero View, all 65 inches of the LG SIGNATURE OLED TV R is hidden from view, tucked away in the base.

“Even in Zero View, users can enjoy music and other audio content which emanate from the 4.2-channel, 100W front-firing Dolby Atmos audio system,” said LG.

The sizable price tag could pose challenges for the early sales of the world’s first rollable television, which dazzled onlookers at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019, the President of LG Electronics Inc. has said.

The South Korean home appliance maker unveiled its 65 inch-rollable OLED TV, which can appear and disappear from a base unit with a click of a remote control, at the CES.

LG said it will release the premium TV in the Korean market in the second half of 2019 and target other markets later, without elaborating on the details of the price and timing, Yonhap news agency reported.

“A rollable TV is basically an OLED TV and it doesn’t add material costs, but changing the operating mechanism could add to the costs,” LG Electronics President Kwon Bong-seok said at a press conference. 

“We will set prices based on how much consumers are willing to pay for the rollable TV, rather than seeking profits,” he added.

Kwon said the rollable TV exhibited at the CES is just a sample of how it can be used in real life, suggesting a broad range of applications.

“Should the TV only stand on the ground? It could be on the ceiling. We can use technology in many ways,” he said. “It is meaningful that we showed how far displays have evolved.”

The company will explore ways to develop various models by making smaller rollable panels.

“We are looking at ways to make panels smaller than 65 inches to see whether they can be used for small gadgets, such as tablets,” Kwon said.

To foster new growth drivers, Kwon said LG has been shifting its focus from LCD to OLED to target the growing premium TV market.

“Despite the stagnant TV market, the OLED TV market is expected to expand to 20 million units over the next three years,” he said. “We will expand the sales ratio of large OLED TVs.”

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