Transparent OLED TVs could be LG's next big living room push

LG transparent OLED
(Image credit: LG)

LG could launch a transparent OLED TV for the home, bringing the technology to living rooms in 2023.

According to South Korean site The Elec, LG Display is nudging LG Electronics to formally launch a transparent 55-inch OLED TV.

This TV could launch as soon as next year, says the Elec: "If the business unit approves, the development will likely start during the second half of 2022 with a commercial launch in 2023."

LG Display has shown off its much talked about transparent OLED screens at many tech events, including CES 2021. LG is also commercially selling transparent OLED screens, but its transparent OLED TV, unveiled in December 2020, has so far remained as a concept only.

Currently, LG is the only company specializing in transparent OLED displays. LG claims that its OLED technology is superior, with its panels achieving 40% transparency, where as transparent LCD displays can only offer 10%.

Are transparent TVs suitable for the home?

LG transparent OLED

(Image credit: LG)

LG Display developed transparent OLED solutions in a bid to seamlessly bridge the gap between online and physical spaces. LG's transparent OLED boasts a transparency high enough to replace regular glass, as well as the ability to display graphic effects and information in excellent picture quality. 

As the transparent OLED displays flaunt a slim design and light weight, they are mostly utilized for industries such as transportation and construction.

LG Display has also demonstrated the potential business benefits of transparent OLEDs through an array of products including 'Shopping Managing Showcase' and 'Show Window' for shopping malls, as well as 'Smart Window' for offices, 'Transparent OLED; for subway trains, and the 'OLED Shelf' that can transform any home interior into a living space.

Panasonic is already selling commercial units of its transparent OLED TVs. Those displays are aimed at commercial applications, such as retail or shopping centers, and not typically for use in the home.

Mi TV Lux Transparent Edition

Xiaomi was the first company to launch a transparent OLED TV for the home.  (Image credit: Xiaomi)

Whether transparent OLED displays really take off as an alternative to regular TVs remains to be seen. In 2020, Xiaomi launched the world's first transparent OLED TV for home called the Mi Lux. With a 55-inch panel supplied by LG Display, the TV was only launched in China, and has since been discontinued. 

It might be that OLED TVs just aren't suited to being made see-through. After all, making the panel see-through means you're losing one of the biggest benefits of OLED technology: deep blacks. 

In regular OLED TVs, the pixels that don't emit light are black by default. The ability to turn a pixel off entirely is what gives OLED Tvs their infinite contrast and deep, true blacks. In transparent OLED TVs, these pixels are see-through, which means blacks won't be as deep. 

LG is said to be working around this issue by using a dimmer, but we'll need to see it for ourselves before we can say whether OLED TVs can successfully work as transparent screens - and whether these are a good idea in the home anyway.

Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms. 

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