Every year at CES, TV makers try to outdo each other by cramming even more pixels into TVs that are just a little bigger and thinner than in years past.
That’s true of this year’s TV lineup too but LG’s latest OLED TV has something entirely different going for it: it’s completely flexible, and can roll away into its base when not in use.
LG showed off a prototype of the concept at last year’s CES, but the finished product, officially called the LG Signature OLED TV R, is even more impressive: It’s a 65-inch 4K OLED TV, with HDR and the same smart TV capabilities as LG’s other sets. It’s thin, but doesn’t look particularly bendy at first glance. Hit a button on the remote and the whole thing easily slides back into its base, which has a 100-watt Dolby Atmos sound bar built in.
Inside the base, the OLED display is rolling up around a central spindle, much the way you’d roll up a projector screen.
“It uses a flexible substrate rather than a rigid piece of glass that the OLED material is deposited on,” explains LG’s director of product marketing, Tim Alessi. He says the TV is rated to last at least 50,000 cycles of being rolled up and then out again, so prospective buyers shouldn’t have to worry too much about the display degrading over time.
The rollable design enables a few other tricks as well. If you’re listening to music, for example, you can retract the TV completely to take full advantage of its attached sound bar. LG is also introducing something it’s calling “line view,” which keeps all but the top quarter of the TV rolled up.
While in line view you can use the display as a clock or digital picture frame, or listen to music. There’s also a “mood” setting, with a handful of visualizations, like falling snowflakes or a crackling fireplace.
LG hasn’t revealed an exact price or release date for its rollable set just yet, but the TV is expected to go on sale in the second half of this year.