Samsung Shows Off Mirror LCDs, Transparent OLEDs At CES

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I’ve been following all the tech writing coming from CES, and from my narrow perspective, LG seems to be getting more attention than Samsung when it comes to displays.

LG has the bendy OLED and the double-sided OLED, and LG has certainly put more of a focus on OLED than its Korean rival in the past year or so.

But Samsung is making announcements at CES – albeit fuzzy announcements – around its shiniest new display panels. The press release I got Wednesday said Samsung has joined other big and small manufacturers with mirror displays and transparent OLED displays. The interesting wrinkle is that they at least appear to have Samsung System on Chip media players embedded in the panel enclosures or stands.

Whether saving a few bucks and minimizing the footprint for what will almost certainly be a $10K plus OLED display makes sense is up for debate, but Samsung seems to be standardizing on panels that are “smart” and size and price maybe don’t matter. Consistency is usually an  attribute welcomed by people who make decisions about what to use and who to work with when it comes to tech suppliers.

Details from Samsung PR:

  • 55-inch ML55E Mirror Display: This display’s reflectance (55 percent), high transmittance (90 percent) and frameless design offer retailers new avenues to immediately refine and deliver content ranging from welcome messaging to special limited-time offers;
  • 55-inch TO55F Transparent OLED: This display allow retailers to deliver demos and real-time promotional content with improved brightness (150nit), transparency (45 percent) and color presentation (Adobe RGB 100 percent).

Note – reflectance has to do with anti-glare and transmittance with the amount of light passing through … beats me if these are good or bad numbers, but we’ll assume good, as Samsung is making note of the measures.

There is also a near-seamless video wall product:

  • UHF-E (Extreme Narrow Bezel) video wall: This video wall combines visual quality with the power of professional-grade digital signage. The UHF-E video wall is Samsung’s slimmest available, featuring a 1.4mm bezel-to-bezel design

For those keeping score, LG announced this week a video wall set-up of four 55-inch LCD screens, with an even tighter 0.9mm bezel. For the metric-impaired, we’re talking minute, like hair thickness.

You can see from the pic above that even these extremely narrow bezels still create an evident seam. I think the super-dooper narrow bezels of the past couple of years – including this – do the job pretty nicely, and really don’t detract from the visual canvas. But even that narrow, they’re not something that can credibly be called seamless.

“Samsung has a legacy of leadership in commercial display technology and we continue to lead the next wave of SMART signage advancement with our new Mirror and Transparent OLED Displays,” says Ron Gazzola, Vice President of Marketing, Visual Display, Samsung Electronics America.

So that suggests the panels are SoC Smart Signage panels, but then there are Smart TVs, and Smart Signage TVs … and it is all very confusing.

These decisions come out of Korea. A Samsung contact on this side of the Pacific checked and said it appears the transparent OLED and mirror units do indeed have built-in players.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes

@sixteennine

Decade-old blog about digital signage and related tech, written by industry consultant and shit-disturber Dave Haynes.
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