Is OLED tech the future of TV? It's looking more and more likely, as now both LG and Samsung have announced 55-inch versions of these slender-screened beauties.
Samsung's own effort has been revealed at the CES trade show in Las Vegas, and is modestly dubbed the Samsung Super OLED TV. Read on for all the specs, and whether we reckon Samsung has managed to trounce LG's recently-unveiled OLED tellybox.
There's no word on pricing or availability yet, but we know the Super OLED TV will be out this year. We'd hazard that it'll be quite pricey, so now might be a good time to start saving.
We've only been given a brief glimpse of the 55-inch Super OLED TV, but even that was enough to demonstrate how thin and understated the design on offer here is. This TV is extremely slim, and has a very narrow bezel, which gives the impression that the image is floating in mid-air.
It's very futuristic, and will doubtless elicit impressed 'oooh' noises from your dinner guests when you usher them into the living room. However, our American cousins have been informed that the actual depth of the Super OLED TV is 0.3 inches, which equates to a little under 8mm -- twice that of LG's telly, which is 4mm thick.
Obviously that's only a few millimetres difference, but if both OLED TVs end up being a similar price, with similar image quality, being fractionally thicker could put Samsung at a disadvantage.
Samsung says the Super OLED TV is produced from a single pane of glass -- we're looking forward to seeing it up close to inspect exactly how well put-together it proves to be.
Super OLED screen
OLED screens are usually seen hanging around in mobile phones, but they allow for slim displays that offer great contrast and wide viewing angles. While Samsung's panel features tiny red, green and blue pixels, LG's OLED telly adds a fourth white pixel. We likely won't know what kind of visible impact that display difference has until we can test these tellies properly under controlled conditions.
The Super OLED TV is 3D-enabled, and like Samsung's other 3D tellies, it will employ active-3D tech. That means the glasses you'll be using are powered, and as such are a lot more expensive to buy. Whether or not you prefer active 3D or its passive alternative (as seen in LG's OLED TV) will come down to personal taste -- we recommend trying them both out in a shop.
The Super OLED TV sports a built-in camera that comes in handy across a range of functions, letting you use your TV without having to pick up the boring old remote.
Face recognition means you can have more than one profile on the TV, while gesture recognition lets you move through menus by waving your arms around. Voice recognition is in place as well thanks to a built-in microphone, which could save you time when it comes to text entry -- saying what you want to search for is quicker than painstakingly entering characters using a remote.
You could also use that camera for video chat, bringing us one step closer to the massive Skype-style TV seen in Back to the Future Part 2.
We're a tad sceptical about how well these features will work -- they're all in place already in Microsoft's Kinect accessory for the Xbox 360, and we've found things like gesture and voice control to be unreliable at times. Still, we'll stay open-minded until the full review.
You also get access to the range of apps available for Samsung Smart TVs. Today we learned that Angry Birds will be heading to the platform, so if you're a fan of the furious feathered ones, you're in luck.
The Samsung Super OLED TV looks like a great bit of kit, and we're excited to see how the OLED display holds up when we give it the full review treatment. Stay tuned.