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Samsung's OLED Rivalling LG+Sony's 4K This Christmas

By Tony Ibrahim | Friday | 28/09/2012

"Samsung is pushing hard to launch OLED this year, before Christmas."

Those are words from Samsung's AV National Sales and Marketing Manager, Brad Wright, who revealed to Smarthouse Samsung will be forgoing a 4K television as they back OLED technology this year.

This marks a schism in the traditionally uniform TV market as Samsung's rivals, LG and Sony, are both advocating 4K technology. Whereas OLED panels produce faster, brighter and better coloured images, 4K's appeal stems from incredible detail and clarity as it condenses four times the resolution of a Full HD TV into a larger screen.

Samsung's OLEDs on display at CES 2012

Both technologies have their advantages and setbacks. OLED televisions are a case of "controlled self-destruction" as each individual pixel burns when a current passes through it. Ensuring these pixels 'burn' just as brightly over the TV's lifespan, coupled with the high number of manufacturing errors, are just two reasons why manufacturers are taking their time.

"We're at the mercy of production capabilities," conceded Wright.

In spite of already designing and producing a concept 70 inch 4K television, Samsung remains adamant OLED is the technology to endorse as there is "really no 4K TV content" available.

People who buy a US$20,000 4K television will end up watching "non-native content [upscaled] to 4K resolution." According to Sony's Business Development Manager, Michael Bromley, there are only seventy-five 4K films available.

"In the future, [4K] will become viable," but until broadcasting and internet infrastructure catches up, Samsung aims to present today's supported content with brighter and quicker OLED TVs.

LG's 4K Television

So far, the company's appreciation for content has seen its current range of televisions prosper. Coinciding with the launch of the company's ES9000—a 75 inch LED television which has "the largest panel [Samsung] has ever launched" in Australia—was a free 3 month subscription to Foxtel's featured app.

Before the Foxtel application was launched, the most used app was YouTube with 100,000 individual users. In its first month alone, Foxtel eclipsed YouTube's usage with 120,000 individuals relying on the service.

"The local content we've been able to deliver has really helped sales."

According to Wright, grand-final hysteria has "people out shopping for bigger screens," with TVs 55 inches and above growing in popularity.

Corresponding to the rise in big screen TVs is the rise in their complementary home theatre systems. Samsung's top of the range offering, the E6750W, incorporates old-fashion vacuum tube technology which is visible to the naked eye. Their rendition of vacuum tubes are hybridised with digital amplifiers for the kind of sound coveted by audio purists—only louder. Wright claims the vacuum-tube approach has resonated with consumers as sales thrive.

"We've had huge success with it globally…especially in Australia."

"When people go into stores and experience [the E6750W] first hand, it lets customers hear the difference in sound.

"It's like picture quality on a TV screen…it has to be experienced."

LG is holding a launch event for its 4K television on the 9th of October, and US reports label the 84 inch 4K leviathan with a $20,000 price tag. Similarly, Sony's 84 inch 4K contender has a whopping $25,000 price. By comparison, OLED technology is expected to cost half of that at an estimated $10,000.

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