The world’s first OLED television, Sony’s XEL-1, was a low-resolution model with an 11-inch screen that cost $2,500 when it arrived several years ago.
At that size and price, it didn’t make the wish list of many Black Friday shoppers that year. Yet the OLED set’s extreme thinness (3 millimeters) and uncanny picture quality — even at less-than-HD resolution on a tiny screen — were quickly pronounced the future of television technology.
If only the developers could adapt it to America’s big-screen tastes. Finally, they have. LG and Samsung each recently released 55-inch models with stunning picture quality, otherworldly design and eye-popping (make that in 3-D) prices: LG’s 55EM9800 at $14,999 and Samsung’s KN55S9C at $8,999.99.