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  (Source: OLED Lab)
The set does not have 4K display technology

A curved TV is not for everyone, but two top South Korean electronics conglomerates are betting some customers will shell out a whole lot of cash for a glorified tech demo of the potential of OLED (organic light emitting diodes).

I. Samsung Strikes Back

You may recall that in OLED's infancy, one key selling point bandied about was the ability to make flexible displays.  But most early OLED panels were rigid traditional form factors -- either acting as device displays or as small television sets.

Both Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) and LG Electronics, Inc. (KSC:066570)  -- the first and second place display sellers worldwide, according to Display Search's March 2013 numbers -- are racing to ramp up production of large OLED TVs and they're offering up early product in a unique curved form factor.

Samsung's unit (the KN55S9C) was late to the game, finally shipping this week.  Customers can order the set from, which is advisable as some resellers are reportedly tacking on thousands to the price.
Samsung curved OLED
Samsung's curved OLED is finally shipping, at a competitive price point.

However, compared to LG's entrant -- which began shipping in limited quantities in May -- the Samsung set is a "bargain".  A 55-inch OLED panel retails for $8,999.99 USD.  By contrast the 55-inch LG set (EA9800) was priced at $14,999.99 USD when it finally hit U.S. retailers such as Best Buy Comp., Inc. (BBYin July, having first shipped in limited quantities in South Korea.

“Better than expected yields" allowed Samsung to undercut LG.  But is there more to the $6,000 USD price disparity?

II. LG Set is Pricier, but Technologically Superior

There is indeed.  The LG set is thinner -- 4.3 mm compared to a "bulky" 12.5 mm for the Samsung set.  It's also lighter.  Samsung's set weighs 32.8 kg (72.3 lb) versus 17.2 kg (37.9 lb) for the LG set.  The LG set's thin and light form factors comes thanks to carbon-fiber body design, but that technology also bumps the unit's price.  

LG's set is thinner, lighter, uses less power, and has less parts.

The disparity doesn't stop there. The LG set also boasts a lower TDP (265 watts vs. 295 watts for the Samsung).  The LG set also is reportedly a much more optimized design [source] with only about a third as many parts, which could spell trouble for Samsung given its past issues with component failures.  About the only win for Samsung is that its display is slightly more sharply curved (4,500R compared to 5,000R). 

However, the Samsung set does boast "SmartTV" technology, including a quad-core ARM processor and eye-aware interaction.

Both OLED panels promise vivid colors and brightness, on top of the unique gimmick of the curved shape.  A major letdown, though, is the lack of 4K display technology in both units -- the latest in high resolution video/content, which roughly quadruples the screen resolution of the 1920x1080 pixel resolution found in the curved units.

U.S. customers are finally getting their first taste of big-screen OLED and curved display technology, which is also expected to hit the smartphone market as early as this holiday season.  The only thing that remains to be seen is whether customers pay substantially (67%) more for the better set (the LG EA9800) or go with the cheaper, but less endowed options (the KN55S9C).

A final note is that the LG unit's prices have trickled down to $13,500 USD in South Korea, and may soon dip to those levels in the U.S. as well.  That's just one more factor to consider if you're contemplating this very pricey purchase.

Source: The Verge

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RE: 4K is stupid in a TV
By haukionkannel on 8/13/2013 3:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
I would not say so... 55" and bigger would be much better with 4K or 8K resolution. It does not actually matter if you see or do not see individual pixels. I don't see individial pixels in normal iPad, but still the retina version seems so much sharper and easier to read the text! I am waiting for these really a lot, but have to wait for cheaper prices...

RE: 4K is stupid in a TV
By Solandri on 8/14/2013 3:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
For anyone who thinks 4k TV will be a significant improvement, here's a quick and what should be an easy question for you:

Of the four major networks - ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC - two broadcast in 720p, two broadcast in 1080i (which any modern TV deinterlaces to 1080p). Off the top of your head (no googling), which ones use which broadcast resolution?

If the pixels on a 1080p screen aren't small enough and 1080p generates a sharper picture than 720p, surely you can tell the difference between a 1920x1080 picture and a 1280x720 picture (44% the pixels) displayed on that screen?

RE: 4K is stupid in a TV
By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2013 6:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
For anyone who thinks 4k TV will be a significant improvement

Uhh it's not a matter of opinion. Of course 4K will offer a significant improvement over 1080P. Especially when it comes to viewing distances and larger screens.

I can't answer your little thought exercise about the networks however, as I don't have HD cable service. Most of the content is upscaled anyway, not true HD source material.

RE: 4K is stupid in a TV
By Paj on 8/16/2013 10:18:14 AM , Rating: 2
For your average home TV it wont make much difference, if any - the eye isnt sensitive enough to resolve that level of detail on anything other than truly gargantuan screens.

Considering the average viewing distance is 9-12 feet, you'd need an 80-90 inch 4K screen before the extra resolution gave any appreciable benefit over a similarly sized 1080 screen.

If you're lucky to have a home cinema or something, then 4K makes sense. On screens smaller than around 60 inches, it's more of a marketing gimmick.

RE: 4K is stupid in a TV
By Moishe on 8/16/2013 1:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
You're right.

I have a HT with 1080p. The screen is 120" and the viewing distance is about 10 feet. I'd notice the difference between 4K and 1080p.

Now, in my living room, I think I have an average setup. 47" 1080p @ 10 feet. It'd be a waste for me in that instance, and I think that 42"-55" @ 10ft is probably the "normal" range for the average consumer household.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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