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LG Bets Big on Oled Panels, Says Price Will Come Down With Increased Demand

LG Bets Big on Oled Panels, Says Price Will Come Down With Increased Demand
  • LG is betting big on Oled panels for TVs
  • The company says price for Oled panels will come down
  • 32-inch TVs are most popular in India, says LG

While LG's not happy with its performance in the smartphone segment in India, the company claims to be the market leader in segments such as TVs. A big reason behind this, LG says, is that the company puts its products through a whole range of tests specific to India. An example of this is the temperature test, where its TVs are tested inside a room where the temperature varies from 3 to 40 degrees Celsius, which Gadgets 360 got a chance to observe at the company's Ranjangaon plant. While temperatures do rise above that at some place in India, LG executives said room temperature is likely to remain within those limits.

Although 32-inch TVs are the most popular category in India, the technology LG's betting big on - Oled panels - is yet to reach that segment. Amit Dhaka, head of product planning for TVs at LG India, explains: "The biggest advantage of Oled technology is there is no backlight so each pixel has its own light source. Through this we're able to achieve infinite contrast." Excellent viewing angles is another advantage of Oled panels. "Because there is no backlight, picture you can view from any angle it will be the same," he adds. "In LCDs, because of liquid crystals, light reflects. If you watch from the side, picture isn't always clear. Oled has a perfect viewing angle."

Oled TVs from LG are available only in 55- and 65-inch sizes, and the prices are above Rs. 2 lakh for those. That's something very few people can buy, but Dhaka thinks this is just a demand and supply issue, and that there are no technological barriers to the price of Oled panels falling. He says Oled panels are costlier because the technology is new and demand low. As demand rises, Dhaka says, prices will come down.

Currently LG's highest selling TV screen size is 32 inches. LG says this is due to the size being small enough to fit in bedrooms of large homes and large enough for living rooms in small homes. But will we see Oled TVs in this screen size? "Transition is happening from LED to Oled. The demand of Oled TV, globally, is higher across the larger screen size. Because demand is in higher screens, all Oled panel manufacturers are supplying only in higher screens," Dhaka says. "As people start understanding how Oled is superior to LED TVs, and ask for it, panel manufacturers will start making Oled TVs in smaller sizes. It's a question of when, not if."

LG has an exclusive partnership with Dolby for 2016 to bring Dolby Vision HDR TVs India. LG talked up the partnership and the technology, but officials kept mum when asked whether it's working on bringing Dolby Atmos at Home sound technology to its products.

Disclosure: LG India sponsored the correspondent's travel and hotel stay for the visit to LG's manufacturing plant.


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Further reading: LG, Oled, OLED TV, Dolby, Dolby vision
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