LG Unrolls a TV Screen That Rolls Up

Get ready for TVs with screens you can roll up. On Friday, LG Electronics announced a new kind of OLED TV screen that can be rolled up into a tube. The flexible 18-inch screen features a resolution of 1200 x 810, and can be rolled into a cylinder measuring 3cm across.

Another screen shown by the South Korean company, also an 18-inch OLED panel, is transparent and has less haze than many existing screens. The transparent panel offers a reduced haze with a 30 percent transmittance, compared to the 10 percent transmittance in current transparent LCD panels.

LG said it will be able to manufacture and release a 60-inch, ultra-HD TV that is both rollable and semi-transparent by 2017. Pricing has not yet been provided.

What Uses?

LG claims the video image on its rollable screen is not distorted when it is bent or curled up into a cylinder. The company said the flexibility is due to a "high molecular substance-based polyimide film" that is used instead of plastic as the backplane.

Aside from rolling up your TV like a newspaper to threaten a misbehaving dog, what good is a rolled-up TV screen?

One possibility is that you could carry a very small device, such as mini-tablet, in your pocket -- and then unfold its screen to the size of a full-screen monitor. Other uses being mentioned include curved screens that bend around retail displays or that provide a kind of video overlay for products behind the transparent screen.

Lightweight, rollable displays may also prove to be popular for conventions, where exhibitors either have to haul their own large, heavy display equipment, or pay expensive rental fees to outside providers.

Competition Mounts

LG has already shown a curved 77-inch 4K OLED TV, with a somewhat adjustable curve, but it has not yet announced availability. On a...

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