Mainly thanks to the global recession, most major manufacturers have put OLED TV plans on the back-burner until demand and costs are more attractive. But, LG is bucking the trend by releasing the world's first genuine OLED television in the UK in a mere 3 weeks time. And the company promises that this is only the beginning phase in an expansive roadmap for the technology.
Sony did release its OLED 11-inch display, the XEL-1, just over a year ago, but that didn't come with a tuner (digital or otherwise), so can't hold claim to being an actual TV. LG's screen, however, comes with Freeview built-in, and has an HDMI socket to accept video from an external source. In addition, the panel can play all manner of video file types from a memory stick or hard drive plugged into its USB 2.0 port, including high definition formats such as mkv.
The HD ready (1366 x 768) EL9500 doesn't come cheap, costing £1700 for the 15-inch set, but isn't aimed at the mass market. Instead, the company is targeting early adopters who want to show off to their mates: "It's going to be very expensive, initially - especially for a 15-inch TV - but the benefits that it does provide do warrant that price point", as George Mead, LG's UK marketing manager, exclusively told Pocket-lint. "At the moment, they're really for the early adopters to put into a luxurious lifestyle. The TV is actually water-resistant and vapour-proof as well, so it will deliver a great picture in any environment".
"What we hope to see, though, is LG moving into larger OLED TVs in the near future, and, hopefully, in time, we'll see the price points come down as they reach a wider audience".
LG also plans to become a world leader in OLED before its competitors catch up: "It's not going to stop at 15ins", revealed George. "We will look at how we can develop larger screen sizes. There's nothing confirmed yet, but I think in the near future we will see larger TVs available".
And, considering the amazing picture quality, colours and definition the EL9500 is capable of, we at Pocket-lint cannot wait. The next big thing? You bet.