Television display is the next ground for technological innovations. We have LCD, Plasma and LED screens. Soon we will have OLED TVs storming into our living rooms. It’s not only a significant improvisation on the previous version, but it’s all set to transform our television viewing habit as well.
Its most remarkable feature is the multi-view that allows two people to see two programmes on the same television set at the same time. In other words, a couple could be sitting on the couch, the husband watching adventure sports and his wife her favourite quiz programme. Children wouldn’t fight for TV remotes: while one sibling watches a cricket match, the other plays a game.
Samsung recently unveiled a 55-inch 3D high-definition S9C OLED TV which has the advanced feature of multi-view. This feature is enabled by Samsung’s special 3D glasses, which come with personal speakers built in, providing clear stereo sound for the corresponding programme.
The TV provides self-emitting red, green and blue subpixels , eliminating the need for backlighting so that images are produced with absolute blacks and pure whites. This is one of the advantages of the OLED technology. Samsung and LG have been betting on the new technology because of the significant advantages of less power and narrower width of the device.
The technology isn’t very new. Sony in 2007 introduced the first OLED TV, with an 11-inch screen, though at $2,500 it failed to stoke demand. Last year, Sony and Panasonic announced a partnership to develop more OLED sets.
Samsung started investing in facilities for OLEDs, used mostly in its Galaxy smartphones, in 2006. The company has spent 7.9 trillion won in the past two fiscal years developing OLEDs, both for TVs and its mobile devices. LG’s investment in OLED TV panels in 2012 and this year will total 1.1 trillion won.
The Koreans started moving away from LCDs because profits in the segment have been declining since 2004, and they needed a new growth market, according to Chung Won Suk, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities in Seoul.