LG Finally Starts Selling The World’s First Rollable OLED TV
Roll up! Roll up! Read all about it! Just as it was starting to look as if it was never going to happen, LG has finally got around to launching its long (long) awaited ‘Rollable TV’. And when we say launching, we really do mean actually putting it on sale, rather than just rolling it out (pun intended) at another consumer electronics trade show.
Also known considerably more prosaically as the LG Signature OLED R (model RX), the Rollable TV has been a staple of every big consumer electronics showcase since it wowed the world on its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas way back in January 2019.
Fortunately for LG, given how long it’s taken the brand to bring the RX set to market, its unique talent of being a 65-inch OLED TV that can roll into a compact, furniture-like box when you’re not watching it never gets old.
If anything the Signature RX seemed to receive even more consumer and media attention when it rolled up (pun again intended) for a second bow at CES 2020 than it did on its debut a year earlier.
The experience of seeing such a large TV spool gracefully up and out of such a small piece of furniture, with no squealing motors and no need for any manual assistance at all, genuinely feels like a vision of the future. Especially when up-close scrutiny of the screen once its emergence is complete uncovers no sign of visible seams or wearing/chafing. It’s a technical marvel that seems to belong more to the Jetsons than Earth circa 2020.
In fact, from the various demonstrations I’ve had of the RX over the past couple of years, it’s not just the lack of any visible reminder of its rollability (not sure this is actually a word, but you know what I mean) in the unfurled screen that impresses. The picture quality also appears to be every bit as outstanding as that of LG’s regular, non-rollable OLED TVs.
The set uses the same generation of LG’s Alpha 9 processing that the brand’s regular 2020 OLEDs use; black levels still look as incredible as those of regular OLEDs; colours still look as rich and consistent, and sharpness and detail seem blissfully unaffected. In other words, LG doesn’t seem to have had to compromise performance at all to achieve its rollable dream.
The RX model’s ‘home’ looks and feels uncompromising, too. The main enclosure is made of brushed aluminium, and sports a stylish Kvadrat cover over the speakers mounted into its front edge. LG has even managed to introduce a little bespoke touch to the design by giving buyers the option of choosing Signature Black, Moon Gray, Topaz Blue or Toffee Brown colours (none of your basic black, grey, blue or brown nonsense here, folks) for the Kvadrat cover.
At this point, there’s probably not a single person reading this who hasn’t already enthusiastically added an LG Signature RX TV to their Christmas gift wish lists. Before you share that list with your family and friends, though, there is one last little (actually, not so little) thing you need to be aware of: the RX’s price. For it’s making its debut at seven premium consumer electronics stores in South Korea for a cool 100 million Korean Won, which works out at a touch under AUD $125,000 via a simple currency conversion.
Having asked LG whether its Rollable TV masterpiece will likely be going on sale outside South Korea, the answer I received was that it depends on both the demand at that price in South Korea, and the ability of the production line at LG’s Gumi plant (where the sets are practically hand built) to meet that demand.
While there’s never been any doubt that the RX TV would be expensive when (or, as has seemed for a while, if) it finally went on sale, I have to say that the final price is more than double my own guess when an LG representative asked me at CES 2020 how much I thought the RX might cost.
But hey - I guess if you have the sort of ultra-glamorous home - or yacht? - most likely to benefit from a TV that rolls into a piece of aluminium furniture when you turn it off, then maybe the sort of cash you need to buy an RX isn’t as ‘out there’ as it is to the rest of us!
I’ve spent the past 25 years writing about the world of home entertainment technology. In that time I’m fairly confident that I’ve reviewed more TVs and projectors than any other individual on the planet, as well as experiencing first-hand the rise and fall of all manner of great and not so great home entertainment technologies.