Never mind the sticker shock, there's a TV technology revolution happening that will eventually make its way to your house. OLED, the first totally new direct-view technology to appear in decades, has finally arrived on our shores. With their new 55-inch models, both LG and Samsung promise the best big-screen TV images ever seen — and far and away the most expensive, too. We tested both of them and picked a winner. ¡Viva la revolución!
OLED, which stands for "organic light-emitting diode," has a technological trick that's destined to change TVs forever: Since each pixel illuminates itself, and is totally pitch black when its not active, you have bright images and wide-viewing angles, but with perfect contrast: completely black blacks down to the pixel. This is a capability neither LCD nor plasma has ever been able to deliver, this is why we care about TV sets that cost more than some cars.
The LG 55EA9800 introduced in late July, sells for $15,000. This week, Samsung debuted its KN55S9C, counter punching LG by charging a mere $9,000. (It's probably just a matter of time before LG lowers its hyper-inflated price tag to even things up. Do we hear $8,500?) Bizarre price differentials aside, both companies managed to create sets that deliver a visual pop like never before. After a decade of promises to make every other TV tech obsolete, OLED is finally starting to make good. But which one is, you know, better?