Last year LG began to blur the lines between TV sets and desktop monitors by venturing in to a smaller TV size range with their very popular CX48 OLED display. This was a 48″ sized TV based on OLED technology to offer a 4K resolution, exceptional blacks, great response times and excellent HDR performance. It even included popular features typically found in the monitor space including NVIDIA G-sync, AMD FreeSync and 120Hz support. LG also included the latest HDMI 2.1 standard for 4K @ 120Hz support from modern graphics cards and games consoles. We reviewed the CX OLED display as a desktop monitor last year.
While 48″ was certainly starting to become a more practical size for desktop monitor usage compared with common 55 – 65″ sized TV’s, it was still too big for many people and impractical as a result. Now LG.Display, the manufacturer of these OLED panels for LG TV’s (and others such as Sony, Philips, Vizio) has announced they will produce a smaller 42″ sized panel during 2021.
“The company is set to strengthen its lineup by producing 83-inch and 42-inch OLED TV displays starting this year, adding to the existing 88-inch, 77-inch, 65-inch, 55-inch, and 48-inch OLED TV displays” they announced.
“It also plans to significantly expand its mid-range TV display lineup down to the 20-30-inch range, enhancing not only TV, but also gaming, mobility, and personal display options,” they went on to say. this seems to relate to LCD panels as opposed to OLED from the way it reads although FlatpanelsHD are reporting that LG.Display have told them that this relates to future smaller sized OLED panels as well which could be very interesting for monitors if they end up in that segment. It’s important to note that no actual monitors have been announced that feature any of these new panels yet, it’s just plans to produce OLED panels in this size range. Timelines for production and whether the panels get adopted by display manufacturers remain to be seen. We would expect early generations to probably be reserved for very high end and expensive pro grade monitors to be honest, before people get too excited about possible new gaming monitors. Remember this is a new segment and pricing for panels will remain high as we discussed in our recent article
A 42″ sized OLED panel for TV’s could be more practical and cheaper though, in line with current CX48 OLED TV options in all likelihood. It could become popular for desktop monitor use as it starts to become a little more practical as a screen size for more people. 40″+ is still very large and many people won’t have the room or want to use something as large up close, but the size is certainly getting more practical and smaller than 48” at least. Further specs are not announced at the moment but we assume this would be a 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution panel.
We also don’t know at the moment which TV manufacturers will adopt this panel, or which of their line-ups it might appear in. Logic would suggest that it might be used in an update to their C range following on from the CX last year (C11 as it will be for 2021). Let’s also hope that when TV’s are announced they also include features from their 2020 range like 120Hz refresh rate, NVIDIA G-sync Compatibility, AMD FreeSync and HDMI 2.1. We would assume they would. There is no word on release date or TV models at the moment.
Next generation OLED
As a side note, and not specific to this new 42″ sized panel LG.Display also announced that it unveiled the next-generation OLED TV display with improved picture quality at CES 2021 to demonstrate the evolution of OLED technology. LG Display’s new 77-inch OLED display shows significant progress in picture quality through newly developed and highly efficient materials as well as the addition of a layer to the display, thereby improving its efficiency by around 20%. Higher efficiency means that the display improves its brightness to realize more vivid images.