LG Launches 77-inch Transparent OLED For Consumer Market, Prompting The Reasonable Question: “Why?”

January 8, 2024 by Dave Haynes

LG has been trying for many years to find a commercial demand for its transparent OLED displays, and not seeing much take-up – something that likely owes to the serious price premium and that annoying “Why?” question.

Now the Korean tech giant has launched a version for the consumer market, which will inevitably prompt a new and louder round of that Why question.

At CES this week, LG has launched what it calls the world’s first wireless transparent OLED TV:

The LG SIGNATURE OLED T is a true technological marvel, combining a transparent 4K OLED screen and LG’s wireless video and audio transmission technology to transform the screen experience in ways that have never been possible before. The OLED T unlocks a world of near-limitless potential, giving users the unprecedented freedom to meticulously curate their living spaces. This is complemented by the class-leading picture quality and performance of LG OLED, powered by the new α (Alpha) 11 AI processor. A genuine game changer, LG’s transparent OLED is the winner of five CES 2024 Innovation Awards, including a Best of Innovation honor.

LG SIGNATURE OLED T liberates users from a dominant black screen that competes with the décor in their home. Maintaining its 77-inch screen size, OLED T and its innovative transparent display seamlessly harmonizes with its environment. Practically invisible when turned off, it blends into the environment and frees users from the long-standing problem of what to do with the ‘big black screen.’ The TV’s beautiful see-through screen also helps to make one’s space feel larger, providing a sense of openness.

LG already had 77-inch OLEDs on the market, but this one is transparent.

One of the selling points is that  this unit uses LG’s “wireless transmission technology” to send a 4K video and audio signal to the display from a Zero Connect box.

Its transparent OLED screen removes the usual constraints that come with conventional TVs. No longer does the TV have to be placed against the wall. Instead, users can place the OLED T in the middle of the room to become a divider or prop it against the window without blocking the view outside. The included Zero Connect Box, which leverages LG’s cutting-edge wireless transmission technology to send 4K images and sound to the OLED T, also enables users to place their TV anywhere, regardless of where the electrical outlets are located in the room. With no cables between the Zero Connect Box and the OLED T, users can enjoy a clean, cable-free viewing environment.

Me: What about the power cord???

An interesting wrinkle of this thing is how it has a contrast screen that rolls up behind the transparent layer like a roller blind.

LG’s transparent OLED lets owners discover new forms of entertainment and use via its dual viewing experiences: transparent and opaque. The OLED T becomes a transparent digital canvas for showcasing artwork, videos or photos with the Always-On-Display (AOD) feature. Content displayed on the transparent screen appears to float in air, yet simultaneously fuses with the surrounding space to create a compelling and atmospheric visual effect. Another option is the T-Bar feature that offers a helpful info-ticker running along the lower part of the screen. The T-Bar displays news alerts, weather updates or the title of songs being played while the rest of the screen presents a clear, unobstructed view of the space behind it.

For viewing in picture perfect OLED, simply click a button to raise the contrast screen. In this way, users can instantly switch to take full advantage of LG OLED’s enhanced picture quality through the new α (Alpha) 11 AI processor with 4-times greater AI performance. This provides a 70 percent improvement in graphic performance and a 30 percent faster processing speed compared to its predecessor. OLED T offers the best of both transparent and vibrant-color screen experiences with just a click of a button.

Trying to understand what gets consumers to whip out payment cards and buy this premium stuff is not my strong point, but this doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that will catch on in a meaningful way. Transparent OLEDs – like all well-made OLEDs – look beautiful, but are they more beautiful when they’re transparent and consumers can see what’s behind them?

I think some of what’s being done here is more applicable to the pro AV market, but even then,  the projects may well be deployed at onesie-twosie rates, and not the mass rollouts the big guys like LG want and need to see.

No pricing provided, but $$,$$$.

  1. James Henry says:

    It probably looks great, and I agree it is probably more in the budget of corporate AV. If they can get public awareness, it says good things about LG’s capabilities. TVs are past the “good enough” stage, so it is getting increasingly hard to present any compelling sales offering, that leaves brand development.

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