Back in the previous century, it was Japanese technology companies that drove electronics innovation. Now the South Koreans are at it. The Korean electronics brands Samsung and LG are pushing one another towards new frontiers in television. The latest move is expected to be LG’s launch of a "curved" OLED television next month.
OLED, which stands for "organic light-emitting diode", supposedly has advantages over existing LED screens – mainly because it offers the potential for thinner and less-heavy sets.
Both LG and Samsung have launched OLED models and, in January, Samsung unveiled its "curved" OLED prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. However, it is unclear when the set will go on sale to the consumer market.
LG’s model, then, will be the first curved OLED set available in shops, initially to consumers in South Korea. While it’s unlikely to win a large market immediately – the price of the equivalent of £8,700 is a significant barrier – the new set is a likely precursor to the mass-market televisions of the next two decades.
The curves on the 55-inch behemoth are said to improve the viewing experience as they ensure the distance between the viewer’s eyes and all points on the screen are equal. This apparently reduces picture distortion and will enable better-quality 3D viewing.
All of which could bode well for advertisers and broadcasters. The now-standard HD technology led to reports of a 10 per cent increase in advertising engagement, and a similar increase in engagement among users of OLED technology would be a welcome boost.
With Samsung also investing big in OLED technology, the television looks set to remain as the centre of people’s home-entertainment experience.