We’re not talking here about the PS100,000.00 price tag for the rollable TV.
You can be delighted by the LG SignatureOLEDR and you can be outraged. It’s crucial to not be ambivalent when faced with this OLED TV, which costs just PS100,000. Ambivalence could indicate a lack of imagination.
LG has promised a rollable OLED television for several years and has already demonstrated it many times. The Signature OLED R has not been available in the UK yet, despite a limited sales period in South Korea.
It’s not uncommon for exciting new technology to be expensive when first introduced. The first 55in OLED TV by LG, which was launched in 2012, cost PS10,000. However, it wasn’t as expensive as the Signature R, with all the options and ticks. How can LG justify the cost of this large, desirable, and undeniably portable OLED TV?
It doesn’t. It doesn’t have. The Signature OLEDR is an example of engineering excellence, a declaration of intent, and a harbinger for things to come. Either you can afford it or not. According to unofficial reports, 10 South Korean customers have so far decided that they can afford one.
We’ll discuss the Signature OLEDR as if it were a regular television for a second.
The OLED screen measures 65 inches and supports 4K resolution, Dolby Vision HDR and HLG standards. It also features HR10 Pro which tone-maps each frame of HDR10 content. There are four HDMI inputs, one with eARC support, and four with HDMI 2.1 compatibility. Additionally, there are a few USB sockets and a CI slot. The screen also has three aerial binding posts to connect with the twin TV tuners. Wi-Fi is also available. There is only one digital optical socket for outputs.
The remote handset is made of metal and has a very pleasant design. It features raised buttons, scroll-wheel, and direct access buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Rakuten streaming services. You can also summon Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants.
LG’s webOS smart TV interface is also featured on the Signature OLED R. It’s an excellent feature that makes it all the more appealing. LG isn’t the only one to provide TVs with an intuitive, clear and comprehensive smart television offering. However, webOS continues to be a great and useful example.
So far, so quite-like-a-regular-TV. The LG is a completely different proposition.
The Signature OLEDR is housed in a large (224 x 1592x266mm, 64kg), box-like enclosure with a complete speaker array and Kvadrat Acoustic cloth. The OLED R sits on top a large open stand that is basically a shelf for your cable TV box and next-gen console. The rear of the big box houses all these inputs and outputs as well as a cable to supply mains power. The magic happens when you press and hold the power button, which is also located on the back.
The box contains a 65in OLED display. Pressing ‘power’ will raise it, tantalisingly slowly and with some anticipatory chimes. It is almost comically thin. It is only 3mm thick. The braces on either side holding the various segments of the screen taut add to its depth. However, this OLED TV is what we had been promised since the beginning of this century. The TV screen can be folded up to look like wallpaper.
Although the effect is similar to an unfurling projector screen’s, when you turn the Signature OLEDR on and start watching, your projector comparisons begin to lose a lot of validity. The LG’s images are sharper and more detailed than any other projectors. They also have a brightness that’s unattainable by even the most expensive.
Anybody who has seen the LG 2021 OLED TVs will know what I mean. The black levels are deep and detailed, and the colour palette is vast. Edge definition is strong, and there is a tremendous amount of detail.
Christopher Nolan’s Tenet showcases the Signature OLED R’s capabilities brilliantly. Although Nolan may have strayed too far from the narrative, this movie is still stunning. In LG’s hands, a 4K Bluray disc copy of Tenet is no less cinematic.
Images are richly detailed, intricately nuanced, and utterly stable. Even the most difficult patterns are faithfully described, and even the most challenging motions are embraced with something that is almost fanaticism. The LG excels in every aspect of picture-making. This TV is a worthy rival to the best OLED TVs.
While the best OLED TVs cost only a fraction of Signature OLEDR money, the LG would not have been the first expensive example of a new technology that failed to deliver on its promise. It’s safe for us to say that the Signature OLEDR does not disappoint. It is both elegant and well-made.
It does so at least in terms of picture quality. The sound is quite different. It features six speaker drivers in an 4.2 arrangement and 100 watts of power. The sound it produces is thin, weak and restricted because it is mounted in a cabinet with generous displacement.
It’s all very well to be able to hear Dolby Atmos music, but it doesn’t matter if it’s delivered with as little substance or separation as the LG can manage. Who was going to expect to need a separate sound system for their PS100K TV, and who did?
Although it seems unlikely that Signature OLED R owners will be able to watch much below 4K content, they can rest assured that the LG is an excellent upscaler. BBC iPlayer highlights from Euro 2020 pose a double threat. There is 1080p content which requires scaling and there are the ever-tough demands of televised football. The LG responds to every question with almost casual authority. The upscaled images are extremely detailed and low-noise, and motion rarely gets more challenging than this.
LG has been a generous company to next-gen gamers for years, and the Signature LED R is no exception. Each feature and function of the latest consoles from Sony and Microsoft is covered. The latency of less that 10m/s makes it a significantly responsive TV. You can also take the positives about detail, low-light insight and security of motion tracking as they are (as well the negatives regarding sound).
The LG Signature OLED R is still a TV that costs PS100,000. Is it worth the price? It’s not in terms of performance. It’s impossible.
Jeong Seok Lee is the head of LG’s global Marketing Centre. He says the price takes into account the many hours spent developing the technology and the fact that each TV was assembled by hand. He says that the rollable TV will open up opportunities for further development and wider adoption.
Wider adoption. It would be interesting to see. The OLED R is currently the best OLED TV you can buy. You can still get an OLED TV this small for about 2.5 percent of the price. This TV is currently only available to the extravagantly wealthy and flagrantly ostentatious. LG offers an OLED TV that embodies the idea of “extravagance”.
The LG Signature OLEDR is more of a luxury item for the extremely wealthy than it is for the rest of us.
LG has shown that it can roll up an OLED TV screen without affecting its performance once it is unrolled and in use. It is the first hint that rollable TVs, likely OLED but possible other screen technologies, will be relatively affordable and attainable for most people.
You can now buy the LG Signature OLED R for only PS99,999.