Giant rollable TVs on the horizon, says LG

LG flexible screen The flexible screens are high resolution but paper-thin

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LG has announced the release of two new paper-thin TV panels, with one that is so flexible it can be rolled into a 3cm diameter tube.

The company stated it is confident it will produce a 60in (152cm) Ultra HD rollable TV by 2017.

LG unveiled one of its first flexible TVs at CES - a global consumer electronics and technology trade show - earlier this year.

Experts say flexible screens could see TVs used in more creative ways.

Flexible screen The screens are so flexible, they can be rolled into tight cylinders

The new flexible panel has a resolution of 1,200x810, which is left undistorted even after it has been rolled into a 3cm cylinder.

LG says the flexibility was achieved thanks to using a backplane made of "high molecular substance-based polyimide film" instead of plastic.

The second panel is transparent and is said to greatly surpass earlier models, with the company boasting of a significant reduction in hazy images and a 30% increase in transmittance, which is responsible for the screen's transparent effect.

The company has claimed its new screens prove they are on track for much larger, Ultra HD-capable flexible screens in the near future, asserting they are "confident" they can deliver a 60in rollable panel by 2017.

LG transparent display The new transparent display has apparently reduced haze by "adopting the company's transparent pixel design technology".

"Flexible screens are an exciting prospect. First off, they're far more durable than conventional screens, meaning that we can expect to see bigger, better screens in, for example, aeroplanes," said Stephen Graves, online deputy editor at Stuff.tv.

"They also create the potential for some completely new gadget designs. Imagine a 10in (25cm) iPad that you can fold out into a 16in (40cm) screen - effectively doubling up as a small desktop computer or TV monitor."

Jeremy White, product editor of Wired magazine said that these new screens would be ideal for retail or exhibition display.

"Being able to curve screens around complex retail display units or using the transparency to have the screen envelop the product itself on a stand would certainly be eye-catching.

"And of course this is all leading to flexible tablets as well, which will possibly be the most useful application of flexible screens to the average consumer."

Samsung curved TV Curved TVs, such as Samsung's latest 4K curved LED TV, are becoming more common.

Evan Kypreos, editor of TrustedReviews, said that rollable TVs could be produced by 2017 but warned they'd cost far too much for the average consumer.

"If you've got the cash to splash then a rollable TV could create an experience similar to owning a projector, where you can easily hide away the screen when not in use, but without the noise and complexity of an actual projector.

"Instead of 60in-plus TV screens I think the more interesting application of this tech could be in wearables. Curved screen smartwatches with a whole wrist screen are an obvious example."

Earlier this year LG unveiled a 77in flexible 4K OLED TV with a controllable curve, however this is not yet available and it is not known when it is likely to go on sale.

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