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Surprising Science

OLED TV Has Arrived

LG announced this week that its 55-inch display is now available for sale in South Korea, and will be available in other countries soon.

What’s the Latest Development?

The battle over which South Korean electronics superpower would release an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) big-screen TV first appears to be over: LG announced this week that its 55-inch version can be purchased for a mere 11 million won (about US$10,300). Both LG and its rival Samsung had unveiled displays at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Currently the TV is only available for sale in its home country, but other countries should expect to see it in their stores later this year.

What’s the Big Idea?

OLED is widely considered to be the successor to liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, which is found in many TVs today. Besides offering a vastly improved picture, OLED’s structure allows screens that are thinner than ever before. Smaller OLED screens already exist in Samsung smartphones and other electronics, but until now, making larger versions has been difficult due to issues with reliability and cost. Analysts predict that OLED TVs will stay in the high-end cost range until at least 2015, but research firm Global Search says that sales are expected to grow to 1.7 million worldwide by 2014.

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