Samsung Outs World’s First Curved OLED TV; LG Hits Back With 55EA9800

Mike Wheatley

South Korean arch-rivals Samsung and LG Electronics made a bold new play this week in their bid to ‘shape’ the future of the TV landscape, unveiling the world’s first curved OLED televisions at CES 2013.

Samsung curved OLED TV
Samsung outs world’s first curved OLED TV

Samsung was first past the post by a matter of hours, revealing its curvy vision of the future at its booth in the Las Vegas Convention Center. From a distance, Samsung’s unnamed prototype didn’t look too different from the array of television sets on show elsewhere at CES, but moving closer the arched nature of the screen became all too apparent.

Unsurprisingly, image quality was as excellent as it’s ever been on an OLED display. Samsung spokesperson Scott Cohen said that the curved screen is designed to offer a more authentic, IMAX-like viewing experience.

Cohen made it clear that the curved OLED TV is for now, just a prototype – as with previous Samsung OLEDs, no price point or release date has been announced, and the company wouldn’t even confirm the size of the screen, although it looked to be about 55 inches by our best estimate.

LG 55EA9800
LG hits back with 55EA9800

Not to be outdone, LG Electronics, who has already got one over Samsung by announcing a release date for its first ‘normal’ OLED television, retaliated just hours later with its own curved OLED offering, going several steps further than its rival by christening its latest concept device with a model number, and divulging some details of about its specs.

The LG 55EA9800 curved OLED TV is built using the company’s proprietary four-colour WRGB technology (red, green, blue and white), something that the Korean manufacturer claims allows the panel to display images of such high quality and vividness that they are “virtually indiscernible from colours found in nature”.

The curved screen features a ‘gentle inward flex’, ensuring that the surface of the screen remains equidistant to the viewer’s eye when facing the screen head on. In addition, the design incorporates a tiny bezel that helps to create a more ‘immersive’ experience, and the set comes with passive Cinema 3D support. LG added that the product will come with an “easy to mount” bracket that leaves less than an inch gap between the TV and the wall, something that allows the OLED television to be displayed as if it were a work of art.

LG didn’t give us any price point nor specific release date (some time before the end of 2013 is the word) for the 55EA9800, but the bet must be on them trying their darndest to beat Samsung to market. LG Electronics is clearly leading the field with OLED TV technology at the moment, a point that CEO Havis Kwon was keen to emphasise in his speech.

“We were the first company to release 55-inch OLED TVs, and the new curved model will only complement our OLED family. Its unique design does much to enhance the aesthetic beauty of OLED and the overall viewing experience,” said Kwon.