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CES 2024: LG’s transparent OLED Signature T up close

We've been waiting for images floating in the air since "Blade Runner" - now they're here. But is a transparent OLED TV brilliant or just a gimmick?

written by / 2024-01-14 - 8:00 am
CES 2024: LG’s transparent OLED Signature T up close

LG surprised many (including us) when they pulled out a wireless and transparent OLED TV during their CES press conference. Wireless and transparent OLED TVs have been shown before, but only separately, not in the same TV!

This time it’s not just a futuristic concept either, but an actual model that LG plans to launch in 2024. That said, TV technology at this level is sure to cost a fortune, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the OLED Signature T 77″ comes with a five-figure price tag.

A closer look at the OLED Signature T

We’d already seen the wireless display on stage, but then LG invited us up to their private suite on the 60th floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. Here we got a closer look at the wireless transparent display. And it was actually quite fascinating to look at.

The technology works by removing the black background layer on the OLED panel, leaving the remaining OLED pixels that render RGB and white sitting on a transparent glass. The black background is replaced by a motorized cloth that can be pulled up or down as needed.

There are no electrical tricks in the panel itself, but rather a physical “blind” of an undisclosed material that blocks light from the back. It’s supposedly capable of blocking both daylight and direct sunlight, but we didn’t have time to check exactly how lightproof it is.

On the connectivity front, OLED T uses the same wireless junction box as OLED M. Of course, the elimination of unnecessary wires is especially welcome on a transparent screen where the wires are easier to see! (Photo: Audun Hage)

The picture quality is not bad at all: the LG OLED T has the same sharpness and color richness that we associate with OLED. Of course, contrast and black level depend on whether the background is on or not. But we probably can’t expect the same brightness and contrast as the brightest OLEDs with MLA panels, for example.

Having a transparent screen is actually quite fun. The parts that would otherwise be dark are transparent, but the colors remain bright and clear. The area that would otherwise be pitch black is now transparent, creating a three-dimensional depth effect where it almost looks like the objects on the screen are floating. The LG screen also has a lamp on the back that illuminates the wall behind it, enhancing this impression.

We think it looks pretty cool. And when we want more contrast, we just raise the black level again – literally – with a touch of the remote control.

OLED displays of the transparent type are probably primarily relevant for professional use, digital signage, advertising, etc. But who knows, maybe it could also be tempting at home? What do you think?

By the way, the OLED T-screen has pretty good built-in sound. There are speakers in the shelf construction that spread the sound down to the floor and beyond. But if you’re going for the wall-mounted version of the TV, it’s probably more obvious to choose a soundbar with wireless audio transmission – for example, an LG with WowCast.

In addition to the OLED Signature T, LG also exhibited the OLED M4 (now also in 65 inches) and the OLED G4, which is said to have greatly improved brightness. Both of the aforementioned models also get LG’s new and super-powerful Alpha 11 video processor, while the popular C-series – OLED C4 – makes do with the simpler Alpha 9 gen. 7.

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