At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show just 12 months ago both Samsung and LG announced “World’s First” Curved screen OLED TVs and the battle of the tag line continues this year in Las Vegas with both trying to outshine each other with remarkably similar offerings in the Curved Screen OLED space.
LG has huge billboards touting “World’s first 77 inch 4K Curved OLED TV” while just across the road the words “World’s First Curved UHD TV” dominate the Samsung billboard.
LG actually wins the truth in marketing battle on this one because they are so specific about the “OLED” and the size, while Samsung might be pushing things with the omission of the TV technology (LED).
So, what is on offer. Samsung will have 55 and 65 inch Curved Ultra-High definition TV’s as well as the huge – and frankly stunning 105inch TV which offers a screen wider than the normal 16:9 opting for a more cinema-like 21:9 aspect.
Samsung will also get some cracking publicity out of its “Bendable TV” which is a flat-screen that with the press of a button curves in on the viewer – note, this is listed as a “concept” so let’s not expect to see this one at Harvey Norman any time soon.
LG have a similar range, topping out at the 105inch with a 21:9 aspect, as well as a range of Curved screens below that now featuring UHD resolution as well as their OLED technology.
The addition of UHD to the Curved OLED display puts LG right at the top of the pile in terms of desire because of the stunning colours and thin design of their curved screens.
Bottom line as it is almost every year these two companies are going head to head with a very similar product range and their marketing teams will work hard to bamboozle us all with the catch phrases and marketing lines.
For my mind it feels a lot like Samsung is playing catch-up in the curved space while LG is bringing features to its sets which make them more appealing than just a few months ago.
But, as far as consumers go, 4K or Ultra High Definition is a problem still. All the major hardware brands are playing catch-up on content. LG had the CEO of Netflix on stage talking up their partnership to deliver 4K movies into the new “webOS” enabled LG TV’s, while Samsung also had a range of content partners logos including Netflix on show when discussing the need for more 4K content.
Let’s put some perspective on this. 40 million TVs are sold in the USA every year. In 2013 the year of the 4K – just 60,000 were sold. In 2014 forecasts are for sales of around 500,000 UHD/4K TVs. This just puts the hype around this in some context. Yep, it’s possible. Yep, it’s here, but nope – it’s a long long time before we see a large-scale adoption of both the curve and the 4K/UHD content.