LG Plans 40" OLED HDTV For 2012: Don't Worry, You Can't Afford It

Oh, the elusive OLED HDTV. OLED displays have been around in some form or another for years now, and they've been in a multitude of gizmos for just about as long. But one device that the OLED has strayed away from is the big-screen HDTV, and the #1 reason is cost. Without question, making a 42" OLED HDTV would cost an incredible amount of money, and most companies are still figuring that the average consumer wouldn't be willing to pay the MSRP should they produce it. And they're probably right. Mitsubishi's beautiful LaserVue HDTV remains a slow seller thanks to its $6,999 sticker price and thick base, even though the image is downright stunning.

LG, however, sees a glimpse of hope in the big-screen OLED market. Reportedly, the company has made public plans to release a 40" OLED HDTV in the year 2012...assuming the world doesn't end before then, of course. The company also showcased a 15" OLED TV that it's hoping to release before the year is out, though its resolution was just 1366x768. That's right around the same kind of set that Sony has had out in its XEL-1, which has also remained a niche item due to its high cost and small size.

The company plans to work its way up by releasing a 20" OLED TV in 2010, a 30" (or slightly larger) set in 2011 and finally a 40" (and larger) OLED panel in 2012. Granted, LG also affirmed that this big-screen OLED would still be mighty expensive, but the first thing that needs to happen before prices are driven down is to have the product on the shelf. Once it's out there, others can jump in and prices can sink. So yeah, it doesn't look like we'll be seeing the LCD overshadowed by OLED in the TV market anytime soon, but then again, 2012 isn't too far away, now is it?