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LG’s rollable OLED TV is a marvel of technology, but at $100,000 it’s not ready for prime time

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LG OLED R
OLED R has three viewing modes: line view (left), zero view (center) and full view (right)

LG's rollable OLED TV, the Signature OLED R, costs a whopping $100,000 and is now available to order.
OLED R offers the same best-in-class picture as the LG C1 while adding a unique rollable function.
The extravagantly priced TV clearly isn't meant for a mass market, but it's impressive to see in action.

LG's long-anticipated rollable OLED 4K TV is now available for order exclusively on the company's website, launching as the Signature OLED R. The 65-inch rollable display costs a whopping $100,000, and LG says it will take about two months for units to ship once ordered.

Insider first covered LG's rollable OLED TV at CES 2018, where it looked like a glimpse into the future of premium TV design. Three years later, the technology behind the Signature OLED R's rollable glass panel and storage mechanism remain impressive, but the extravagant price will keep it out of reach to all but the most luxurious of buyers.

The rollable OLED TVs are built at LG's Gumi, South Korea, factory and require a delicate process with some tasks completed by hand. Developing a rollable glass OLED panel took three years, and LG spent an additional two years perfecting the mechanism that controls the process.

LG says the Signature OLED R is expected to last for at least 22 years, assuming the viewer is unrolling the TV up to a dozen times every day. However, the $100,000 TV still only comes with a one-year manufacturer's warranty.

LG's rollable OLED TV comes with all the features expected from LG's industry-leading displays

LG makes our top recommended OLED TV and some of the most well-reviewed sets on the market. The Signature OLED R packs all the same excellent features we've come to expect, like HDMI 2.1 ports and support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

The OLED R also features the same a9 Gen 4 processor as LGs latest flagship TVs and uses the same webOS interface for apps and other features. LG's Signature OLED R also uses LG's magic remote with voice control and motion-controlled cursor.

The base that stores the rollable OLED screen holds a 4.2-channel speaker system with 100W output, and all the TV's ports are placed in the rear of the panel. The base of the Signature OLED R can be used for set-top boxes or consoles if need be, though that might add a bit of clutter to its design.

The Signature OLED R design rethinks the role of the traditional TV

LG OLED R
LG's Signature OLED R displaying pictures in line view mode.

I got to see the Signature OLED R in person at LG's New Jersey headquarters, where LG Director of New Products Tim Alessi demonstrated the rollable TV's features. The rolling mechanism takes about 30 seconds to make the screen fully appear or retract.

Signature OLED R has three viewing settings. There's a full view for standard TV viewing; a low-profile line view that can display photos, weather information, and music; and a fully-closed zero view that enables control of the speaker while the screen is hidden.

Having a fully hidden screen challenges the placement of traditional TVs, which can take up full walls or have obstructive mounts and stands. OLED R, on the other hand, can stand in the center of a room as a slick centerpiece and capable smart speaker in zero view mode.

LG's Signature OLED R is impressive, but its picture quality is matched by much cheaper options

LG OLED R

Despite its $100,000 price tag, LG's Signature OLED R doesn't offer better image performance than other LG TVs that cost a fraction of its price (like the $2,100 LG C1). With TV technology constantly improving, the Signature OLED R isn't a future-proof investment either.

What you're paying for here really does come down to the rollable feature, enabling you to impress guests by hiding your TV screen out of sight whenever you'd like. I think most buyers can safely say that such a feature isn't worth the cost of a Porsche, but customers with deep enough pockets may disagree.

Those who do choose to adopt the Signature OLED R can do so knowing that they're getting one of the best TVs on the market and investing in one of the most impressive demonstrations of modern tech design.

The rest of us can simply marvel at the engineering feat of a rollable OLED TV, and wait until the manufacturing process has been simplified enough to enable a reasonable price.

Until the price comes down, the OLED R is just a showcase piece for those who can afford it, but it sure does look pretty in person

LG isn't expecting to produce the OLED R for a mass audience, but there's certainly a small class of customer that won't be intimidated by the cost.

For those people, the Signature OLED R can complete a luxury entertainment system or living space and offer a unique spectacle with its hidden display and line view options, without sacrificing the features of an industry-leading TV.

If you're interested in recommendations for TVs with more attainable price points, be sure to check out our guides for the best 4K TVs, best OLED TVs, and best cheap TVs.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Source: LG’s rollable OLED TV is a marvel of technology, but at $100,000 it’s not ready for prime time

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