TCL has developed a sideways rollable OLED TV – watch it in action here

rollable OLED
Could this LG rollable OLED have competition? (Image credit: TechRadar)

TV maker and electronics heavyweight TCL has been developing a number of rollable OLED display designs, and we now have video evidence of the televisions out in the wild.

This year's DTC 2020 conference saw TCL take the stage to show off two prototypes of the technology, with one unfurling vertically (as with the LG rollable OLED) and the other unfurling horizontally. You can check them both out in the video below, courtesy of OLED-info:

The sideways rollable OLED is particularly interesting, given the only commercially available rollable OLED so far – the LG Signature Series OLED TV R – unfurls vertically. It seems, at least, that these flexible display technologies are improving in reliability, and more manufacturers are taking a chance on publicly showing rollable tech.

There's no official naming or release confirmation, and you shouldn't expect to see anything in the near future. LG unveiled its own rollable OLED at the CES expo in early 2019, and it took until late 2020 for it to finally launch – and only in South Korea so far. So if you're after a new OLED TV, it might be best to check our Black Friday TV deals page to see what sets are being discounted, rather than waiting to see when TCL or LG bring this technology elsewhere.

Just how we roll

What's the argument for rollable TVs? OLED panels are far better at being twisted, folded, and bent than LCDs – and their self-emissive pixels mean they can keep a slim form factor (and not need a backlight behind them that would also need to be folded).

There's a big benefit in saving space, with televisions able to hide their displays when not in use – something that so far only projectors have really been able to do.

There could be a bright future for more flexible display technologies, then, though the limited availability and high prices of what we've seen so far show an innovation very much in its youth.

Check out some OLED TV deals below:

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.