Samsung OLED TV

No doubt about it, the 55-inch OLED TVs from Samsung (shown here) and LG stole the show for me. (Yes, there were a lot of 4K flat panels as well, but without 4K content, they are not all that important except for passive-glasses 3D.) This is the first new TV technology to become a real commercial product in many years, and it beats LCD and plasma in every way. Both manufacturers claim to have solved OLED's longevity problem, but only time will tell if they actually have.

No pricing was announced—nor was a model number in Samsung's case—but I've heard rumors from $5000 to $10,000. If it's closer to $5000, that will be a home run right out of the gate; if it's more like $10,000, these TVs will be a niche product until the next generation brings the price down.

Colin Robertson's picture

I usually agree with your sentiments Scott, and while it'll do better at $5k than at $10k, $5000 is A LOT of money for a TV. A LOT. If it weren't, then you would still be able to buy a new Kuro.

Also, $5k for 55 inches? Not when 60-70 inch panels are hitting Costco shelves...

Average folks care most about size and price, unfortunately.

Husky86's picture

I don’t consider myself someone who is “cheap” with respect to audiovisual equipment. (I use Thiel speakers and Rotel equipment, for instance.) But I must agree with the prior comment with regard to the new OLED TVs: $5000+ is a lot of money for a 55 inch HDTV, especially when you can get a splendid new 64 inch Samsung plasma Smart TV for just about half that price.

In reading commentary about the new OLED TVs, the industry is saying that by 2015-2016 the prices should be more in line with today's LED and plasma systems. My wife and I will certainly be willing to wait until that time for such prices to normalize… At least to a certain extent.

Scott Wilkinson's picture
I totally agree that $5000 for a 55-inch TV is very high, but this is a new technology's first outing as a large-screen TV, so of course it's going to be expensive. Also, OLED appears to blow plasma and LCD out of the water in terms of picture quality, so costing more makes sense in that regard. Finally, at $5000, it's actually less per diagonal inch than the Sharp Elite 60-incher at $6000 ($91/inch vs. $100/inch). And don't forget Sony's 11-inch OLED a few years ago for $2500, or $227/inch. I remember when plasmas and LCDs were new, and the goal was to get the price down to $100/diagonal inch, and at $5000, OLED would be starting out below that figure, which is remarkable. Yes, even at $5000, most people won't be able to afford these sets, but enough will that next year's models should be less.
Colin Robertson's picture

It'll be up to the videophiles to buy these then. Here's hoping they don't bomb because I'm all for improving picture quality.

Hopefully non-videophiles also see the benefits find a way to justify steep initial prices, but I'm not gonna hold my breath.

On a different note, how does the motion performance compare? I can still see LCD's inferiority in this regard to plasma, and it's a big deal to me.

Husky86's picture

Hi Scott,

Thanks for these follow-up comments.

Just wanted to also quickly say how much I enjoy the website.

Follow-up question regarding OLED (versus plasma): I'm a huge sports fanatic and as such, I've been informed that going with plasma as opposed to LED will be better because plasma displays motion (such as sports) better than LED. (I've read this so many times in different articles… I cannot begin to count the number of times I've come across such statements.)

But what about OLED in this regard…?

Scott Wilkinson's picture
Thanks for the kind words! What you've read about plasma and fast motion is entirely correct; it's much better than LCD in that regard. I don't know yet about the sharpness of motion on OLED; most of the imagery at CES was slow moving. I've heard that OLED is very fast compared with LCD and even plasma, so it should be great for sports, but we won't know for sure until we get one in for review. Stay tuned!
colby waldorf's picture

It would, of course, never do for one of the big two Korean AV brands to be outdone by the other. So it was that despite LG claiming proudly to have the ‘world’s biggest OLED TV’ on its CES stand in the shape of the EM6902, Samsung actually matched its arch-rival inch for inch with its own 55in OLED TV.

stephenix1015's picture

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