AS VEGAS--Today LG announced it would make the first 55-inch OLED TV available to the public in the Unites States this March for a cost of around $12,000.
The announcement follows one made January 2, when the company said the TV would hit South Korea first in February. I expect LG too announce additional markets for the futuristic TV, such as Europe, soon.
The television, model 55EM9700, is the successor to the 55EM9600 that won CNET's highest honor at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2012 but never actually shipped.
The two TVs are similar in every important way. An LG spokesman today told CNET that the company is still not certain which version it will ship to the US, but that it will likely have a separate external media box and a very similar industrial design to the EM9600. That's different from the all-in-one design with the red-tinted stand.
Promising revolutionary picture quality in an incredibly slim design, LG's 55-inch OLED TV might be worth the wait. At only 0.16 inch thick, it's the thinnest TV we've ever heard of, and about half as thick as the OLED Samsung announced last year. LG integrates carbon fiber-reinforced plastics into the rear of the television, which provides reinforcement and keeps the weight down to a feathery 22 pounds.
Beyond its striking thinness, OLED has the potential to outperform any current flat-panel display technology. CNET Asia's Philip Wong got a hands-on look at the EM9600 and said it had the "deepest blacks we've seen among flat-screen TVs."