CES: LG Unwraps "Rollable" OLED TV

LG OLED TV R-Publicity-H 2019.
Courtesy of LG

LG Electronics dazzled at CES with the unveiling of a "rollable" OLED TV, which can rise to offer a 65-inch 4K display or retract to hid the screen completely from view in the base.

It could also be left partly unrolled, where features such as a clock, music and home dashboard can be used (when hidden from view, certain features including music with Dolby Atomos sound can still be accessed). The LG Signature OLED TV R model is planned for a 2019 release, though exactly when and at what price point wasn't revealed.

LG also extended its television offing by previewing an 8K OLED TV — 8K delivers four times the resolution of 4K — that is also expected to begin shipping this year, though specifics and pricing weren't disclosed.

Most anything will look better on these ultra-high-quality displays, but if you want to watch true 8K pictures on an 8K TV, it’s not happening anytime soon in the U.S. (and most of the world). 

Up to this point, the main driver for 8K has been Japan public broadcaster NHK, which recently launched an 8K channel and plans to use the format for coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The U.S. is rolling out a “next gen” broadcast system known as ATSC 3.0, which is designed to bring together internet and live over-the-air signals with options including mobility for delivering video-on-demand content, 4K resolution and high dynamic range. But the new U.S. broadcasting system wasn’t designed to (and can’t) send a native 8K signal to your TV.

Meanwhile, Netflix is currently focused on offering 4K and high dynamic range, not 8K.

Even if the infrastructure did support 8K, the other issue is the content. 8K postproduction — moving four times more data than 4K — is going to be slower and more expensive. Without an 8K business model and infrastructure, 8K just isn’t a priority for content creators. At least not this year.

In recent years, LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony and Sharp were among the consumer electronics makers showing prototype 8K displays, and CES attendees can expect to see various 8K displays this week. The CES exhibition opens on Tuesday and the show runs through Thursday.

During its press conference on Monday, LG's announcements also included Apple Airplay support on its 2019 smart TVs.