LG Display, the manufacturing and R&D arm of LG that supplies LG Electronics and others with OLED panels and other display technology, has some big plans for CES 2020, and they've already announced some exciting new takes on TVs and displays. If you thought you knew what a TV looks like, or where you might find them, get ready to think again.
OLEDs for smaller spaces
One of the biggest announcements from the press release is actually small. The OLED manufacturer has announced a new 48-inch OLED, the smallest we've seen offered for a 4K consumer TV.
While premium OLED TVs have thus far been larger sizes of 55-inches and up, this smaller model opens up the possibility of OLED-quality ultra HD picture in smaller spaces, such as apartments that might be too small to comfortably enjoy a 55- or 65-inch TV.
OLEDs in the air and on the road
LG's new OLED displays are just as likely to show up in your car or on a flight as they are to be hung on your wall at home.
The most mind blowing concept they'll be showing at CES is a series of 55-inch OLED TVs built into the walls of an airplane cabin, letting the cramped confines of an airliner feel a little more open with panoramic views. Because OLED displays can be made flexible, these displays can conform to the curves of the airplane cabin walls.
Airline seatback entertainment systems might be getting a major upgrade, as well, with 13.3-inch Plastic OLED (POLED) tablets for personal viewing. The smaller, cheaper OLED tablets would deliver much better picture quality than the LCD sets used in current in-flight entertainment systems, and the POLED technology offers better resilience and affordability than either LCD or larger glass-based OLED screens.
The other home for smaller POLED displays to show up is in the dashboard of your car. From center consoles to the instrument cluster, LG has aims to be the display maker behind every visual component of the car.
And it's not just the dashboard, as there are also plans for a 12.8-inch rollable OLED display that can unfurl to become the back seat entertainment system, but can also be moved to be used elsewhere in the car.
And while the LG Signature R Rollable OLED is slated to hit the market later this year, LG Display is already working to turn this novel design on its head, with a ceiling mounted version that unrolls downward instead of rising up from a floor-standing base. Currently referred to as a "65-inch UHD Roll-Down OLED display," the announcement explains that it will be "stored in the ceiling" and that the new form factor and mounting options mean it "can be pulled down when desired and rolled up when not in use."
That sounds like a huge benefit for smaller spaces where you may not want a larger 65-inch TV all the time, as well as offering a slick way to keep your TV from disrupting the decor of your home when you aren't using it.
Bigger OLEDs with bigger sound
LG Display is also announcing new sound technologies, including a wafer-thin film-based sound system that brings built-in speakers to the crazy-slim Wallpaper OLED TV.
While details of the new technology aren't being shared yet, an announcement from the company suggests that this will allow the quarter-inch-thick Wallpaper displays to have built-in speakers for sound. LG Display is calling this new tech "Film Cinematic Sound" which suggests it may offer more channels than the basic stereo or 2.1 sound that is commonly built into many TVs. Current models of the Wallpaper TV (such as the LG W9 Series (opens in new tab)) use an included soundbar, while the TV itself has no built-in speakers.
LG's giant 88-inch OLED TVs – like those used on the LG Z9 8K OLED – will also be getting a big step up in the sound department, with LG Display touting a new display with "a magnificent 11.2 channel sound system." Whether this system is based entirely on integrated speakers or leverages a separate soundbar or satellite speakers for more immersive listening, details have not been announced.