The display industry is getting very close to that moment when flat panels are so skinny and light they can be hung on walls like artwork.
Consider this: LG Display will be showing off a new line of TVs – called the Art Slim series – at CES next week in Las Vegas, with the big pitch being how these panels are as slim as smart phones.
The 55-inch and 65-inch Art Slim TVs have thicknesses of 7.5mm and 8.2mm, respectively. LG says the average thickness of a 55-inch LCD TV is around 30mm, meaning these Art Slims are 75% thinner.
To put this in better context, the new iPhone 6 is 6.9 mm thick, so these LG TVs are not a whole bunch thicker.
For those baffled by metric, 7.5 mm is just a bit more than a 1/4 inch.
The 55-inch and 65-inch models weigh 10.4kg and 16.2kg respectively, which is roughly 25% lighter that conventional products, but not so light you are going to string these up with piano wire and a couple of screws and drywall anchors.
LG says it has reduced the form factor through “innovations in the mechanical structure that involve converting the back cover of the LCD module into the rear cover of the complete TV set, as well as a new method in attaching the rear cover to the panel based on conventional narrow bezel technology by minimizing the bezel width. LG Display has adopted the use of aluminum composite materials for the back cover of the LCD module that helps increases its rigidity while offering customized designs by employing various colors and patterns in the cover. The company is able to further customize the design by using different composite materials for the back cover according to the customer’s product line-up. “
These units will ship first into the Chinese market in 2015. Who knows if they will reach these shores, though super-skinny is a good tale to spin in western markets. It’s also important to note these are TVs, NOT commercial panels, so there are connectors and things like networking left out (probably).
But, what starts in TVs, like LED backlighting and embedded CPUs, tends to find its way into commercial products.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.