The rate at which consumer grade electronics technology is evolving is truly staggering. It seems that electronics companies are rolling out new products daily and some of it would be unthinkable even ten years ago. Many of the technological developments of the electronics industry will inevitably have some repercussions in the home theater market.
One such example of a possible “game-changing” technology was unveiled recently by the Korean electronics company, LG. They have produced a prototype for an OLED television that is less than a millimeter thick and can be mounted almost anywhere using magnets. Last year, LG produced a prototype for a 22” OLED TV that could be rolled. The new ultra-thin design unveiled this year is 55”. This type of technology, should it be adopted by the home theater industry, could change the market forever.
What Is OLED?
OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. OLEDs offer superior quality compared to LED or plasma TVs. OLEDs eliminate the need for a backlight to brighten the picture. Each OLED can be powered individually to create the perfect picture and reduce strain on the eyes. By eliminating the parts needed for a backlight, OLEDs allowed engineers at LG to create the incredibly thin prototype TV. The commercial implications of this type of technology for the home theater market could be huge.
Mounting with Magnets
Perhaps the most impressive part of this new OLED prototype from LG is the installation process. Its light weight allows it to be mounted to the wall utilizing only magnets. Suddenly, mounting and installing a TV looks more like a teenager hanging a poster on their wall. It is unclear how large this technology can be scaled so the home theater applications remain to be seen. However, if the screens can be scaled largely enough, the ease with which the screens install could save thousands of dollars on installation and construction costs.
The Future of TV?
While LG has recently seen success with their OLED prototype, many other electronics companies have all but given up on OLED screens. LG may have changed the nature of the game if their product becomes commercially successful.
For now, the prototype remains a prototype and no consumer grade orders have been placed. However, LG is pushing the boundaries with its TV technology, currently releasing its new line of 4k TVs as well as convex TVs. Time will tell if their new OLED technology will make its way into home theaters.