Samsung and LG’s OLED TV revolution delayed until 2013

There will be no OLED television sets in 2012, according to a recent report. Manufacturing issues are hampering both Samsung and LG’s efforts to get the next generation display technology into its sets.

While 3D and more recently 4K (or Ultra HD) technologies have been pointing people to a supposed next generation standard for television sets, most discerning users have been holding out for OLED.

Rather than a gimmicky visual trick or a simple increase in resolution, OLED represents a step forward in core screen technology. It’s the next step on from LCD.

OLED produces deeper blacks and richer colours than LCD technology, which makes it perfect for TV – and particularly movie watching. It can lead to extremely thin panels too, with the initial TV units from LG and Samsung set to be just 4mm thick.


OLED technology has been available in certain mobile phones for years now. The likes of the Samsung Galaxy S range and many of Nokia’s phones (including the Nokia N8 and Nokia Lumia 800) use the technology.

However, it has proved difficult – not to mention costly – to upscale OLED technology for television sets. According to Korea Times (via FlatpanelsHD), both LG and Samsung will fail to get their first OLED TV sets on to shelves this year, as planned. This despite the fact that both companies had working OLED sets on display at the CES show way back in January.

The publication cites market research company DisplaySearch as stating, “Samsung and LG recently scrapped their plans to mass-produce 55-inch OLED televisions this year as the companies are having serious difficulties in improving manufacturing yield.’’

This means that the companies are struggling with the hit rate of usable panels in the production process – there are too many duds rolling off the production line. Apparently if one of the Korean giants decides to get in first this year (which LG in particular seems keen to do), it will only be with a tiny initial run of some 500 sample units.

Apparently the companies had intended to have OLED TV sets on shelves in time for the London Olympics.

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