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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 Reclaimer77 on 8/13/2013 8:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know why people make those claims when it's so easy to disprove. The human eye can resolve images that humanity would be hard pressed to duplicate on a TV set with current technology.

Kinda lengthy, but to break it down, the human eye/brain combination can resolve about 570 megapixels. And that's conservative. It wouldn't even break a sweat viewing 4K media.

RE: 4K is stupid in a TV
By retrospooty on 8/13/2013 9:05:04 PM , Rating: 3
Yup, 4k is long overdue if you ask me. We lost 3 years at least while TV makers wasted time fig fig ring out that no one wants 3D. Ugh...

RE: 4K is stupid in a TV
By retrospooty on 8/13/2013 9:06:52 PM , Rating: 2
Figuring... Stupid autocorrect.

RE: 4K is stupid in a TV
By Reclaimer77 on 8/13/2013 9:14:25 PM , Rating: 2
Ugh indeed. Between price-fixing panels to keep the prices high, and this worthless 3D gimmick which kept them even higher, the industry was really set back.

I'm just hoping we even get OLED TV's at the kind of volumes LCD's required to bring the costs down. We might not, and that's the scary thing.

RE: 4K is stupid in a TV
By chuckus on 8/14/2013 1:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
"fig fig ring" - Good band name.

RE: 4K is stupid in a TV
By jRaskell on 8/14/2013 10:17:05 AM , Rating: 2
Kinda lengthy, but to break it down, the human eye/brain combination can resolve about 570 megapixels. And that's conservative. It wouldn't even break a sweat viewing 4K media.

Your inference there is a bit misleading, as that 570mp claim is for the human eye's entire field of view. The article also appears to be oblivious to the fact that the human eye's ability to resolve detail is not consistent throughout it's entire field of view.

That article shows that rod density in the eye drops off significantly past +/- 40ยบ.

That being said, I think the article still strongly supports 4k displays and I personally look forward to upgrading in the next few years when prices come down and available content goes up.

RE: 4K is stupid in a TV
By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2013 12:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
Look I don't know, I don't have an intimate knowledge of the human eye. A lot of this stuff is over my head.

However I can't find any evidence in the OP's claim that the eye cannot distinguish 4k resolutions. Which was my entire point.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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