Best Buy asserts innovation with OLED TV

A new era in television technology emerged at Best Buy this weekend which takes screen thickness,  picture quality and price points to unprecedented levels.

Best Buy’s high end Magnolia shop in located inside its Richfield, Minn., store became the first U.S. retailer to sell LG Electronic’s OLED HDTV. The 55 inch OLED (organic light emitting diode) television features a super thin curved screen that is less than a quarter of an inch thick and retails for $14,999.

At that price, the television clearly appeals to the most affluent of early adopters and soon will be available at Best Buy’s Magnolia stores in Los Angles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and San Antonio.

"The OLED TV experience is one that must absolutely be seen to be believed," said Jay Vandenbree, SVP of LG Electronics USA, and head of LG's U.S. home entertainment business. "The next-generation display technology and the ground-breaking ultra-thin curved design in the LG CURVED OLED TV results in an experience that is destined to be the benchmark for home viewing and TV design going forward. There's no better evidence that with LG, it's all possible."

According to Mike Mohan, Best Buy’s president of home, offering such a product fulfills the retailer’s promise to customer to be the one place with the latest in home entertainment technology.

"As the exclusive launch partner for the new TV, we are giving consumers first access to this OLED technology."

The arrival of OLED television has been eagerly anticipated for years by retailers who have watched as the conventional LCD and Plasma television models experience considerable price deflation. OLED televisions are likely to be highly coveted by early adopters who tend to be less price sensitive when it comes to new technology. According to LG, global demand for OLED TV is forecast to grow to more than seven million units by 2016 based on estimates by DisplaySearch.

OLED TV brings a “Wow” factor back to a category where shoppers have grown accustomed to large, thin screens and clarity levels that already make celebrities and sports officials cringe. OLED TV takes things to a new level, certainly in terms of thinness at 0.17 inches, but the screen is said to produce astoundingly vivid images thanks to a proprietary four-color pixel technology known as WRGB. A white sub-pixel that works in conjunction with conventional red, green and blue pixels creates the perfect color output and then LG's exclusive Color Refiner delivers even greater tonal enhancement, resulting in images that are more vibrant and natural than anything seen before, according to the company.

Top that off with a gently curving screen, and the result is an in-home viewing experience that shoppers are likely to crave for years to come, making retailers happy and theater operators nervous.