OLED TVs get ever closer to Australian release

Harvey Norman general manager spills ‘November-ish’ time-frame

Samsung's ES9500 OLED TV — "no formalised understanding" yet for an Australian release.
Samsung's ES9500 OLED TV — "no formalised understanding" yet for an Australian release.

We’ve been waiting with bated breath since January to get our hands on a new OLED TV. With vague promises of “by the end of the year” and “before Christmas” — which are pretty much the same thing — we haven’t had a set date to look forward to. But salvation is here, and it comes from an unlikely source.

Trade website Current.com.au had Harvey Norman general manager Ben McIntosh saying “November-ish” is when we should expect to see OLED TVs in stores Australia-wide.

We expect this means the new high-end TVs will be stocked in Harvey Norman stores nationwide, despite their expected five-figure price tags. While they’ll also probably be in plenty of competing stores, we don’t expect prices to fall quickly after release — the technology is new, but it’s here to stay. It’ll eventually replace plasma and LCD panels, once production matures and more companies pick up manufacturing.

As well as opining on LG’s upcoming $10,000 OLED TV, which was shown at IFA 2012, Current got a less forthright response from Samsung, with the company saying there were no formalised plans as yet for an Australian OLED TV release.

And we might see a reprise of the Apple-Samsung legal battle taking place before the TVs are launched locally. CNET tells us that Samsung is suing LG for stealing its proprietary OLED tech, including by coercing key Samsung stuff to defect. Samsung is Korea’s largest chaebol and LG is the second largest — there has to be some tension there.

The message on which TV is best might also get a little confused as we inch closer to 2013. Both Samsung and LG, as well as Sony, are touting imminent 4K, 84-inch ‘ultra high definition’ TVs alongside their 55-inch OLED screens. These will be significantly more expensive than OLED — at least twice the price — but it’ll be a close competition between the two technologies.

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Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

PC World
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