OLED is an emerging display technology that uses thin films of organic materials to make efficient, thin and high quality displays. OLED panels can made flexible, rollable and transparent. Korea's LG is at the forefront of OLED development and production - as the world's only OLED TV producer and a leading developer of flexible OLED and OLED lighting panels. LG's subsidiary LG Display is responsible for OLED R&D and panel production, while LG Electronics produces and markets OLED TVs.
LG OLED TVs
LG's 2018 OLED TV lineup include the flagship Wallpaper OLEDW8 (which attaches to the wall using magnets), the OLED-on-glass OLEDE8, the basic OLEDC8 and the entry level OLEDB8. The only TV that is shipping now is the 55" OLEDC8 which is priced at $2,500 (note: this is an affiliated link to Amazon).
As of 2018, the only company that produces produces commercial OLED TV panels is LG Display, and LG Electronics is the leading OLED TV producer - although LGD also supplies OLED panels to other companies including including Panasonic, Sony, Grundig, Philips, Metz, Loewe, Skyworth, Changhong, Haier, Konka and others.
While the basic OLED TV design uses RGB OLED sub-pixels to create each 'pixel' (what is referred to as direct emission OLED, the design used in mobile OLED displays used in Samsung's and Apple's smartphones, for example), LG Display opted for a different OLED TV design. The so-called WRGB (or WOLED-CF) architecture uses four white OLED subpixels with color filters on top (hence W+RBG). The WRGB technology (developed by Kodak and now owned by LG Display) is much easier to produce and scale-up, even though it has some technical disadvantages - and it is the technology that enabled LG to be the first company to actually produce commercial OLED TV panels.
LG Display is developing and producing OLED lighting panels, and the company is one of the leaders in OLED lighting. The company produces several panels, including flexible OLED panels and high efficiency panels. In December 2017 LG started mass production at its new 5-Gen OLED lighting fab in Gumi, Korea.
The 5-Gen line has an initial capacity of 15,000 substrates per month - about 30 times the capacity of LG's previous 2-Gen line that had a monthly capacity of 4,000 substrates. LG hopes that the new line will enable it to produces OLED lighting panels at a much lower cost (initial estimates suggested a 95% cost reduction!) which it hopes will trigger the widespread adoption of OLED lighting globally.
Ireland-based OLED IP company Solas OLED has filed a lawsuit in the US (Texas) against Apple for patent infringements. The lawsuit mentions three patents (USPTO# 6072450, 7446338 and 7573068) that relate to the OLED stack, structure and circuitry (for example one of the patents relates to the formation of a backplane on a polyimide substrate).
Apple is of course not the producer of the OLED displays - but Solas says that Apple is accused of "making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing products that infringe the claims" of its patents. Apple's OLED suppliers are Samsung (for the iPhone and MacBook Pro Touch bar devices) and LG Display (for the Apple Watch display).
LG announced that it is starting to ship its 88" 8K flagship OLED Z9 TV in the US, with a price of $29,999. The OLED88Z9 is based on LG's 2nd-gen Alpha 9 intelligent processor the enables LG's ThinQ AI to offer new display algorithms and Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant.
The Signature OLED Z9 features HDMI 2.1 which enables high frame rate (HFR) support, enhanced audio return channel (eARC), variable refresh rate (VRR) and automatic low latency mode (ALLM). LG's flagship OLED also feature Dolby Atmos for immersive entertainment.
According to a new report in Korea, as the OLED industry does not require an extremely high purity hydrogen fluoride and LG has been able to quickly find a source for this gas in Korea. It already started to use the Korean material in production - and aims to source 100% of its hydrogen fluoride from Korean vendors.
In early 2019 LG Electronics announced the world's first rollable OLED TV, the 65" Signature OLED TV R. The company later announced that it will ship the TV in the second half of 2019, but now LG is delaying the launch of its signature rollable OLED TV.
LG says that the OLED TV R will ship in Korea in "2019 or 2020", but that consumers elsewhere will have to wait longer - which probably means it does not have any plans to release it before 2021. According to TechRadar, the main reason is that LG is highly expensive and LG fears that it will be difficult to find a market outside of Korea for such a premium TV.
In January 2019 during CES Skyworth demonstrated a 88" 8K (7680x4320) OLED TV prototype, in addition to other OLED technologies. We have posted a photo of the Skyworth 88" OLED, but today this nice video from our friend Charbax was published that shows Skyoworth's CES booth, starting with the 88" OLED:
Philips announced its 2019/2020 TV range, with three OLED TVs at the top of its line. All of Philips' new OLED TVs support Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and all feature its Ambilight surround LED Lighting feature. All the TVs use LGD's WRGB OLED TV panels, of course.
LG Display announced today that it started producing OLED TV panels at its 8.5-Gen OLED fab in Guangzhou, China. LG's new fab will have a monthly capacity of 60,000 substrates, which will be expanded to 90,000 by 2021.
LG says that by 2022, it will enable LGD to produce over 10 million OLED TV panels per year by 2022 - in its 8.5-gen fabs in Guangzhou and Paju, Korea (70,000 substrates per months) and its 10.5-Gen fab that it is now building in Paju. IHS expects LG to ship 5.5 million OLED TVs in 2020, 7.1 million in 2021 and over 10 million in 2022. In 2019 LG expects to ship 3.8 million units.
DSCC updated its display equipment spending forecast, and the company now expects LCD spending to stop completely in 2023 - as all new production lines from 2023 forward will be producing OLED displays (DSCC does not include other display technologies in this report, such as QDEL, e-paper and Micro-LEDs).
2019 will see 26% decrease in spending from 2018, with OLED spending down 64%. DSCC sees a rebound in 2020, where OLED spending will jump 132% due to new mobile flexible OLED lines in China.
HDTVTest says that they displayed varying content for 20 hours a day for more than 6 months (a total of over 3,700 hours). They also suggest to put the TV in standby mode rather than complete power-off so that the compensation cycles can run.