What LG’s New OLED TV is Missing

January 2, 2012

LG announced it will be showing off its new 55″ OLED TV at next week’s 2012 CES. Based on the press release, the HDTV has the potential to exceed the picture quality of plasmas and LED TVs currently on the market. Potential is key word here as I haven’t seen the new set in person yet. Also, we don’t know what premium performance will cost us or when it’s shipping.

As for the particulars, using self-lit organic pixels, this set is supposed to offer almost infinite contrast ratio as well as an almost instantaneous pixel response time of 0.1 microsecond. The set will only be 4 mm thick and only weigh 16 pounds. Pretty amazing for a TV with a 55-inch screen!

Much of the coverage of the LG OLED TV has focused on it’s “superior color reproduction”. According to LG’s blog, the set uses four colors instead of the standard three, similar to what Sharp did with its Quattron technology in its Aquos TVs. The difference being that LG is using white instead of yellow as the fourth color (in addition to red, green and blue).

There’s the rub. With the exception of certain AVCHD camcorders and the Playstation3, there are almost no content sources available today to take advantage of the range of colors this OLED set can reproduce (or most other HDTVs for that matter). The consumer electronics industry has been advertising TVs and Blu-ray players with “Deep Color” or x.v.Color for years now. However, the standards for Blu-ray discs and HDTV broadcasts don’t support it and are limited to smaller range of colors (Blu-ray did expand the color gamut used by DVDs). So, while LG (and others) may tout technologies that can simulate what a deep red should look like in the dress pictured below, it’s still an algorithm’s best guess (like simulated surround sound). Like the Quattron, the color reproduction would not be accurate because of the limitations of the source material. The Blu-ray standard would need to be revised to support the wider color gamut. Hollywood would also then have to re-author Blu-rays to take advantage of the expanded color gamut available from the original films. The other area where HDTV displays are under utilized is frame rate. Most movies are filmed at 24 fps well below what an HDTV can handle. Hollywood has only just started to film movies at higher frame rates but at least there’s progress in this area.

In closing, LG’s OLED TV has the potential to become the gold standard of HDTVs. However, what will really be impressive is if LG also announces the availability of movies and other content that takes advantage of OLED’s true potential at their CES press conference.

LG’s new 55-inch OLED HDTV

Tags: HDTV, LG, OLED, Playstation3, Sony

4 Responses to What LG’s New OLED TV is Missing

  1. Mauller on January 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Just a heads up on you mentioning about quatron and how it interprets colours, its not about interpreting colours, the yellow subpixel is their because of a flaw in LCD technology which limits reprofuction of colours in the yellow spectrum, this is why they added a yellow subpixel to help with reproducing vivid and rich yellows.

  2. Zoska on January 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Nothing is missing. Additional color is compensating other colors. If it is white, it just boosts white color keeping RGB LEDs from overloading. It is old technology… It is the same thing as to state that there is no photos to print on CMYK colors as all new digital cameras are only RGB. Or event that CMY image will get worse if printed in CMYK.

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