The production of larger, cheaper OLED TVs just hit a major setback

lg oled ex 97 inch tv at sid
(Image credit: LG)

If you’re hoping to buy a 120-inch version of the LG C3 OLED or one of its siblings sometime in the next few years, we’ve got some bad news: LG Display has said that it’s delaying plans to build its new large-scale OLED fabrication plant.

According to a statement from the display manufacturing company, issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic created economic instability and “an environment in which it is difficult to carry out planned investments on schedule”. 

Those investments included a 10.5th generation OLED facility that, according to Flatpanels HD, would be focused on producing cheaper large-sized OLED panels, some of which would be even larger than the 97-inch LG G2 OLED that we saw last year.

Without larger panels from LG Display, TV makers like LG Electronics and Sony won’t have the resources to create the larger TVs until sometime in the future. Some Korean news outlets are saying that it will be 2028 at the earliest, though LG Display has yet to confirm that date.

Analysis: Expect high prices to be an issue with oversized OLED TVs 

So how does LG Display’s factory problem affect you? Well, with production output cut, producing panels becomes more expensive. That raises the price that gets handed down to you as a customer, and it’s the reason that prices scale exponentially rather than linearly. 

Here’s an example of this: The 55-inch LG C3 OLED has an MSRP of $1,899 at Best Buy, while the 65-inch version of the same TV can be had for $2,599. It’s an extra 10 inches of screen real estate for around $700. However, the 77-inch TV is $3,599 while the 83-inch version is $5,299 — that’s $1,700 for just six more inches of screen. 

Need another, even more egregious example? 

The LG G2 OLED from 2022 sells for $4,799 for an 83-inch model at Best Buy, but it’s $24,999 for the 97-inch model. As you can see, the lower production of larger panels exponentially increases the cost of the TVs they go into.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
TV nameScreen sizePrice
LG C3 OLED55 inches$1,899
LG C3 OLED65 inches$2,599
LG C3 OLED77 inches$3,599
LG C3 OLED83 inches$5,299
LG G2 OLED83 inches$4,799
LG G2 OLED97 inches$24,999

Because LG Display can’t invest in a large-scale production factory for these screen sizes, expect pricing discrepancies like these to continue for another few years. 

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Nick Pino
Managing Editor, TV and AV

Nick Pino heads up the TV and AV verticals at Tom's Guide and covers everything from OLED TVs to the latest wireless headphones. He was formerly the Senior Editor, TV and AV at TechRadar (Tom's Guide's sister site) and has previously written for GamesRadar, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade. Not sure which TV you should buy? Drop him an email or tweet him on Twitter and he can help you out.