OLED TV’s to cost less than LCD in 2016?

Will consumers be purchasing OLED TV’s in 2016 instead of traditional LCD TV’s? That’s what an LG OLED TV roadmap seems to indicate, which was announced at the FPD International 2009 in Japan.

According to Won Kim, LG Display’s OLED sales and marketing Vice President, the current OLED TV road map includes a 15″ model that will be released by the end of 2009, a 20″ model in 2010, 30″ and larger models in 2011 and 40″ and larger models in 2012. And although 40″ and larger OLED TV’s will be available in 2012, Kim also noted that they will still be fairly expensive at that time.

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So how will LG bring down OLED TV costs? Mostly through new manufacturing techniques, new processes and by using new materials. Specifically they’ll be using a low-temperature polycrystal silicon with 6th generation size glass substrate for smaller TV’s and 8th generation size glass substrate for 40″ and larger models. But in order to use the 8th generation substrate, they’ll need to develop equipment that can handle the required temperatures, which are greater than 700°C.

The company also plans to start using phosphorescent materials in 2012, replacing their use of fluorescent materials in OLED TV production. By taking these measures and continuing to improve their manufacturing processes, LG estimates that by 2016, their OLED TV material costs will be 20-30% lower than equivalent LCD TV’s, with an equal yield rate.

As we’ve mentioned previously, OLED TVs are generally lighter and more energy efficient than existing LCD or Plasma televisions, all the while maintaining a superior picture quality. With that in mind, an OLED TV at a lower price than a traditional LCD TV should be a win-win for everyone. But as Engadget points out, LG has been all over the map with their OLED TV release dates, so we’ll have to wait and see if their aggressive timelines actually translate to real-world products.