CES 2018 gave LG the opportunity to demo its 88” OLED display and 65” rollable OLED display alongside its new pOLED displays. What is the significance of these new arrivals and what advantages are they poised to offer? Here are some answers from our perspective.
8K OLED displays in 2018
While the biggest 4K OLED displays available from LG, Sony and Loewe can measure up to 77” (195 cm), LG has just upped the ante by introducing its new 88” (223 cm) display. In addition to gaining an extra 11.8” (30 cm), this display boasts 8K resolution (7680 x 4320 pixels). These are impressive numbers, since 8K resolution is equivalent to nearly 33 million pixels in 16/9 format, compared to 8 million pixels for 4K resolution. Better yet, since each pixel is associated with at least 3 OLEDs (red, green, blue/white), this new 8K OLED display is equipped with approximately 100 million LEDs!
A few questions about 8K video
First of all, how much processing power will be required to display 24 images composed of 33 million pixels per second, or even 60 of these images (close to 2 billion pixels per second)? At the moment, only nVidia’s very high-end GPUs are capable of displaying 8K images.
There’s also the fact that 8K video content is, as of today, totally inexistant. Apart from photography taken with high-end DSLR cameras, not a single movie or TV series has been filmed, screened or broadcast in 8K. And there is a reason for this: no film camera is able to film in this resolution, and post-production material is still being revamped to process 4K content. A bit of patience will be required before 8K content becomes available, especially considering that current consumer Internet services cannot transmit anything above 1080p. As for DTTV, this mode of transmission hasn’t yet updated from 2K to 4K, and HLG HDR content isn’t handled. It is thus likely that the first 8K TVs will be used to display 1080p and 4K content, and perhaps a few matches during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia in 8K (via a fiber optic Internet connection).
Is pOLED the technology of the future?
The other product LG unveiled at CES 2018 was a rollable 65” OLED display. Stored in a case similar to those used for projector screens, this new TV is completely flexible. LG hasn’t yet revealed what type of OLEDs are integrated into this prototype, but it’s very likely that they are pOLEDs (Plastic OLEDs). These LEDs are different from traditional OLEDs in terms of the nature of the transparent substrate which encases them. As their name indicates, pOLEDs use plastic instead of glass. As a result, the pOLEDs are slimmer (about 0,5 mm versus 1 mm for OLEDs) and much more flexible. It is expected that LG will use pOLEDs for its next generation of high-end smartphones, scheduled to hit the market in 2018.
Are rollable pOLED displays destined for success?
It is difficult to predict whether or not rollable screens will be a successful venture. On paper, they could appeal to users not wanting to dedicate wall space to a huge black-framed display. If the product piques consumer interest, bigger displays could be introduced. If LG manages to produce 2-meter-wide rollable pOLED displays, these could equip personal screening rooms. On the other hand, some may wonder how long pOLEDs will stand up to mechanical constraints as the display is rolled and unrolled, even if this process is driven by a motor.This post is also available in: French