Samsung Shows OLED TVs, 52-Inch Ultra-Thin LCD TV

The company has yet to begin mass production of any of the products.

Antone Gonsalves, Contributor

January 7, 2008

2 Min Read

Samsung on Sunday debuted a 52-inch ultra-slim LCD TV and two smaller sets with an emerging display technology that boasts better picture quality than current LCD and plasma TVs.

The new products, unveiled at a Las Vegas news conference held one day before the official opening of the International Consumer Electronics Show, offered a peek into the direction Samsung is heading in the high-definition TV market. The company has yet to begin mass production of any of the products.

The sets with advanced displays, called organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), weigh about 40% less than LCD TVs of the same size while offering better contrast, color, and brightness, Samsung said. The company is showcasing a 14.1-inch and a 31-inch model at CES, and plans to begin commercial production of mid- to large-sized OLED TVs "around 2010."

Samsung is not the only manufacturer pursuing OLED technology as the next big advancement in TV imagery. Sony is also committed to the technology, and released an 11-inch model called the XEL-1 in Japan in December for about $1,700. Toshiba and Panasonic are working jointly on OLED TVs, but are still in the research and development stage.

OLED screens produce a better image through the use of an organic material that emits light, rather than depending on a backlight like other HDTV technologies. Sets available today, however, are far too small and expensive to compete in the mainstream market, where the most popular TVs are in the 37- to 42-inch range.

OLED-TV shipments worldwide are expected to increase to 1.2 million units in 2012 from 8,000 in 2007, according to industry analysts with iSuppli. The number, however, reflects a very small share of the overall TV market, accounting for less than half of 1% of the 242.7 million TVs expected to ship in 2011.

Samsung's upcoming 52-inch LCD TV is slimmer than any other similar-size model in the market today, according to Samsung. The company is planning mass production of the set beginning next year.

In addition, Samsung debuted a 57-inch LCD monitor that can recognize a person's motions when the person is a short distance away from the display. The monitor uses 3-D motion-sensing technology developed by interactive media company Reactrix Systems. Samsung plans to start selling the monitor this year for commercial advertising applications.

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