YOU’LL be able to buy an enormous television that can roll up and disappear completely later this year.
LG announced the mind-blowing TV in Las Vegas at the CES 2019 tech show, stunning crowds of tech watchers.
Last year, LG showed off a prototype of a rollable television – but there was significant doubt that anyone would get one in their homes any time soon.
But LG will start selling the 65-inch Signature Series OLED TV R in the second half of 2019, marking an incredible world first.
When the TV is “turned off”, it’s basically a large elongated box that could be mistaken for a TV or coffee table.
When activated however, the TV slowly rolls up out of the base, appearing as if from nowhere.
Once the TV is fully unfurled, the base doubles up as a Dolby Atmos sound system providing hefty audio.
And the TV thin itself is incredibly thin, because all of the important components are buried within the base.
There’s also a special setting that lets you unroll the telly just slightly – rather than all the way up.
This can be used to show weather information, or pretty pictures to liven up your living room.
“Line View allows the LG Signature OLED TV R to be partially unrolled, allowing for management of specific tasks that do not require the full TV screen,” LG explained.
“In Line View, users can choose from features such as Clock, Frame, Mood, Music and Home Dashboard.
“Invoke Clock mode to check the time and weather at a glance or Frame mode to enjoy family photos shared from a smartphone or Mood mode to create a more relaxing atmosphere.”
The panel itself appears to be very high quality, which isn’t a huge surprise: it’s an OLED display, after all.
Traditional LED-backlit LCD screens require a large backlight to illuminate the pixels, generating an image for you to watch.
But OLED screens have pixels that produce their own light, removing the need for a backlight.
This saves energy, making the TV more power efficient. But it also means the TV can display true blacks, because individual pixels can be turned off completely.
OLED televisions are generally considered the gold-standard for TV screens today, in terms of picture quality at least.
But they’re also very expensive to produce, and a flexible rolling OLED panel will be even costlier.
So it’s likely that you’ll pay a significant premium – although there’s no official pricing for this set yet.
We spoke to industry expert Ben Wood late last year, who said it would cost an arm and a leg.
“You can be sure that cutting-edge new technology like this will come with a very hefty price tag when it finally becomes available,” CCS Insight analyst Ben explained.
“You only have to look at Sony’s LSPX-A1 4K $30,000 short-throw project to get an understanding of just how much high-end audio-visual equipment can cost.”
To get a better idea of pricing, we also spoke to tech analyst Dan Ives, of Wedbush Securities.
He called the rollable TV an “innovative technology that will appeal to many consumers” – which would demand a high price.
Dan reckons pricing could be “up to 30% to 40% higher” than a standard 65-inch OLED LG TV.
LG OLED TVs with 65-inch screens typically range between £2,000 to £4,000, currently.
That would put the higher end of a rollable TV price at around £5,600 – hardly a bargain buy, then.
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It’s not just funky television screens we’re expecting in 2019.
LG rival Samsung has already committed to flogging a foldable smartphone, with a screen that can flip down in half.
The idea is that you can own a tablet-sized device that folds down to a smartphone-sized gadget to be more pocket-friendly.
We’re expecting the Samsung foldable smartphone to officially launch in the first half of 2018.
Are you tempted by any of the new gadgets from CES 2019? Let us know in the comments!
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