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Customers Turn Out For 4K OLED TV Launch

Santa Monica, Calif. – LG Electronics and Video & Audio Center officially kicked off the new age of 4K Ultra HD OLED TV technology in grand style, selling 18 $10,000 65-inch models and one $25,000 77-inch model in a matter of hours after the “future of TV” launch event began here Thursday evening.

The Video & Audio Center flagship store celebrated the technology sendoff in L.A. fashion, bringing in local Fox Sports talk radio announcer Vic “The Brick” Jacobs from AM570 KLAC, representatives from the L.A. Clippers cheerleading squad, and former Beverly Hills Mayor Jimmy Delshad to keep spirits high as customers awaited a special drawing for an OLED set giveway, and scooped up door-buster special items, like a $10 LG Blu-ray Disc player.

The first purchaser of the 77-inch 77EG9700 4K UHD OLED model was Michael Farahnik, a local real estate investor, who said he was inspired to purchase the set because “I love eco-friendly items.”

Farahnik said he would gladly await delivery on the 77-inch model, which is expected around Thanksgiving time, LG executives said.

Energy savings was one of the many OLED attributes that were trumpeted by speakers from LG and Video & Audio Center personnel over the course of the evening.

Other interested shoppers in the store could be heard commenting on the overwhelming clarity and contrast performance of the sets on display and the credit-card-thinness of the curved-screen panels.

Joseph Akhtarzad, Video & Audio Center co-owner and president, said he was very bullish on the prospects for OLED TV technology, and would be rolling out units to all four of his L.A. area outlets.

“I believe within two years, OLED will be 20 to 30 percent of the TV business, if manufacturers really step up and embrace the technology,” Akhtarazad told TWICE, adding he’s not sure if competitors like Samsung and Sony will be in a position to offer OLED products at competitive prices within that period of time.

Thomas Lee, LG home entertainment senior VP, said the yield rates for his company’s WRGB OLED technology are continually improving, and helping to solidify LG’s leadership position in the technology.

Lee added that LG Display, which manufacturers the OLED panels, plans to eventually begin selling panels to other set makers.

David VanderWaal, LG marketing head, said he is personally excited to be marketing a technology as unique as OLED TV.

“I think it’s a challenge for us, in an industry that’s full of technology jargon, and consumers that are overwhelmed, to breakthrough and make sure consumers understand the difference between OLED and all of these other technologies that are going to be marketed,” VanderWaal said. “I think the company is looking at this as an opportunity that maybe only comes along once every five to 10 years. We have a first mover advantage, in a technology that’s going to provide the No. 1 key thing in buying televisions – picture quality.”

Tom Campbell, Video & Audio Center board member, technologist and industry pundit, told the more than 400 shoppers who filled the store that “the future of TV is here today. The industry saw this at the Consumer Electronics Show and we saw it at CEDIA, but the public has not seen this yet. And when they do, you are going to hear gasps.”