Review Price £9,000.00
LG 55in OLED TV preview
We also got a closer look at how the TV will actually work. An incredibly thin and light television - the thinnest and lightest OLED TV this size in the word according to LG - none of its connectors spring out of the panel itself. Instead, the substantial metal base takes on all of these duties. As you can see in this picture, the power and video connectors are found at the rear of the base, ensuring that the panel itself can stay impressively thin.
But that's enough about the practicalities of such a skinny set - you can read our full preview from CES below, complete with how this impressive set performs.
For years now, OLED technology has been hanging around on the periphery of the TV world like some kind of AV Shangri-La. It’s consistently ‘stolen’ any shows it’s appeared at, and has even found its way to market a couple of times (if costing thousands of pounds for sub-15in screen sizes can truly count as ‘coming to market’).
But finally, at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, OLED technology has truly come of age, with not one but two 55in OLED TVs unveiled that are actually both set to go on sale before the end of 2012.
The first of these is LG’s EM960V. And we have to say that it’s a startlingly ‘serious’ bit of kit, looking both better and more complete than we’d expected.
Its design really is pretty extraordinary. We’re used to the idea of OLED TVs being skinny, but the impact of barely 4mm of rear sticking out from the back of the EM6902’s 55in screen has to be seen to be believed. It seems an almost impossible design – and so not surprisingly it generated the most ‘oohs and aahs’ (not to mention crowds) of any product at the entire CES.
The product’s front continues to fire the imagination thanks to a tiny ‘barely there’ bezel and glorious single-layer finish. It also turns out that the EM6902 weighs just 7.5kg – remarkably little for such a huge screen.
The only concern we have about the design is that LG had posted ‘guards’ around the screen to forcefully restrain anyone who dared to get too close to any of the OLED screens, making us wonder how robust the bodywork is.
LG was showing a decent selection of material on its screens to help us evaluate the EM6902’s performance capabilities – and we have to say we were enormously impressed with what we saw.
Particularly stunning was some footage of a night-time cityscape of Vancouver, which did a mesmerizing job of highlighting the screen’s stunning black level response, enormous and natural colour range, and best of all its ability to show dazzlingly pure and bright whites right alongside the inky blacks. It’s no surprise that LG quotes a contrast ratio of 100,000,000:1 for its OLED showstopper.
Once you’ve recovered from this initial quality shock – a shock made all the more impressive when you consider that the OLED TV is competing with the harsh lighting of a show floor environment – you also start to notice all the immense subtleties in the OLED picture. Shadow detail levels are remarkable for a flat TV technology for a start, as is the extent of the screen’s colour gamut and the seemingly effortless sharpness and amount of detail the picture delivers from a normal HD signal.
More good news concerns the way the picture’s contrast and colour hold up from much wider viewing angles than you get with normal non-plasma flat TVs, and some remarkable motion reproduction, which benefits from the fact that the OLED technology delivers a response time more than 1000 times better than you get with normal LCD technology.
There are a couple of concerns with the LG EM6902, though. First, there’s its use of passive 3D technology. For while we have no objections to this in principal, as with other 55in passive 3D screens we did notice horizontal line structure caused by the filter on the screen over small, very bright areas. And 3D pictures don’t look quite as pristine and sharp as they can with a strong active 3D screen.
There was also some crosstalk with 3D content, though our experience with the usually low-crosstalk passive 3D technology suggests that this crosstalk had more to do with the stupidly over-deep 3D content LG was showing than any issues with the TV.
Finally in the negative column, the glossy screen on the front of the TV is rather reflective of light (though of course, this is being reported from the extremely bright environment of a show floor), and we spotted a curious ‘seam’ in the picture about half an inch from the top of each of the OLED screens on show.
It would be ridiculously unfair to dwell on these issues though, especially given the preproduction nature of the screens on show. Overall the performance of LG’s OLED 2012 flagship was so strong that it arguably made the TV the single most exciting AV product from the entire show.The TV will be available to order from July, with units shipping towards the end of the year. For more, check out LG's webpage.