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SEOUL — LG Electronics Inc. started taking pre-orders Wednesday for the world’s first big TVs that use an advanced display technology promising startlingly clear images on wafer-thin screens.
The South Korean company said the 55-inch TVs, which use a technology called “OLED” and cost $10,335, will be delivered to buyers in South Korea next month. The TVs will be available in North America, Europe, and the rest of Asia before the end of March, LG said in a statement.
While LG becomes the world's first company to bring a big-screen next-generation TV to market, it's far from clear whether the bet will pay off because of the high cost and difficulties of manufacturing, cutthroat competition from rivals, and diminishing returns from incremental increases in image quality.
TVs using OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes, feature images with enhanced clarity, deeper color saturation, and sharper contrast than liquid crystal display TVs.
The advanced, energy-efficient display technology makes it possible to manufacture thinner televisions: LG’s model is just 4 millimeters thick — or less than one-sixth of an inch.
LG's announcement is the culmination of a race by electronics makers to be the first to deliver the next-generation sets that began in 2007 when Sony Corp. showed off the world’s first OLED TV, which had an 11-inch screen.