December 22, 2013
LG To Unveil 105-Inch Curved TV At CES
The Christmas trees could still be up in some homes, Christmas lights might still be up and many people might not even have gotten the credit card bill that includes purchases for the holidays – but come January 7, this year’s hot items will be old news. Very old news indeed.
See, just after New Years, a big event occurs in Las Vegas. It is CES – formerly the Consumer Electronics Show – where all of this year’s stuff is pretty much eclipsed by what will come next year. What makes it worse is that it used to be that we’d at least have to wait to arrive in Las Vegas to see why everything we just bought is obsolete.
Now the companies try to jump the gun, almost to the point that it could convince consumers to wait!
Case in point, LG Electronics (LG) announced that it would debut the world’s first 21:9 aspect ratio Curved Ultra HD TV, making this the largest curved TV ever made. The set boasts 11 million pixels, and has resolution of 5120×2160. The 104UB9 isn’t exactly meant for TV – as most HDTV broadcasts would feature black bars on the side. Imagine watching an old re-run of a show that was produced for standard definition and presented in 4:3 aspect ratio, because this set could basically put two such images side-by-side.
No, this set is truly for the film buff who wants the picture to fill the screen, so in other words a limited customer, but then again this set is notable in that it is an Ultra HD – also known as 4K – set and it is OLED. Most experts don’t really believe these technologies would be viable together for a few more years.
Ultra HD offers four times (or more in this case) the resolution of today’s HDTVs, and in some cases at four times or more the cost. The sets are already falling in price. The other technology to watch is OLED, which has the promise to be ultra thin and light while also delivering rich black levels and vibrant colors. To date the technologies haven’t really converged, but apparently LG is looking to speed up that convergence.
“We’re proud to reveal our 105-inch CURVED ULTRA HD TV at the world’s largest technology event,” said In-kyu Lee, Vice President and head of the Home Entertainment Company’s TV division at LG Electronics, in a statement. “Claiming the world’s first and the world’s largest titles, LG’s 105UB9 employs cutting-edge technology to provide a truly unique viewing experience. We will continue to drive the next generation TV market and demonstrate that with LG, it’s all possible.”
Now the bad news, followed by more bad news. This set probably won’t be released to retail next year. Every year at CES there are sets that are showpieces designed to allow the company to reveal what is possible. That’s the bad news. The other part of the bad news is that if this set does make it to retail, it likely would be out of the realm of most buyers.
Panasonic did actually release a 103-inch plasma display, followed by a 150-inch plasma display in 2006 and 2008 respectively. Both sets were close to $100,000. So very few are ever going to be in the market for such a TV – especially when there is no shortage of options for projectors.
And here is the part TV makers don’t like to admit, once you get this large a project is probably the way to go. In this case the aspect ratio matters a whole lot less and 110-inches is no problem at all. But meanwhile, LG and others will continue to fill the halls at CES with head turning TVs.