CES for modern journalists feels like a formality rather than an assignment slog. In fact, many of us are already acquainted with the products a few days ahead of time with fluffy press releases, so it’s more about personal impressions. Because companies are adamant about instilling a sense of wonder and wide-eyed praises with the biggest attractions — of course, large displays are the epitome of such associations with CES.
Things seemed so quaint back when 40-inch TVs were considered enormous, and things only got bigger from there. Nowadays, black rectangular slabs have gradually become eyesores as people add more decorative flair to their living rooms, it is also no coincidence as tastes in décor and hosting dinner guests conflicts with a casual “just friends” evening of Netflix and chill.
Samsung is the dominant TV maker in the world by volume and they didn’t disappoint this year’s CES with The Wall concept — a 146-inch (10 feet and 6 feet tall) television that happens to be modular. Yes, this is a TV that can be situated for integration for any living space, thanks to use of MicroLED technology that combines both advantages of existing LED brightness and OLED pixel clarity into something the size of 1/10th width of human hair made of GaN (Gallium Nitride). Active sections of the screen are handled like a Jumbotron and sizes can be changed to accommodate different wall areas, the size alone captivated showgoers but nothing else was divulged by Samsung.
But few other TVs can compare to LG’s 65-inch rollable OLED TV that does indeed fulfill the dream of being a large screen with the convenience of being able to roll up like a poster and placed almost anywhere. The proof-of-concept has a long white base that looks similar to a premium soundbar that hides the screen neatly inside when not in use, and like a portable projector can be easily transported when not in use. The picture quality is excellent like all of LG’s current OLED TVs but the point on-site representatives were quick to point out is that this type of display is meant to be décor-friendly, and engineers being serious to bring this innovation to consumers with a few years.
Consumers are expecting huge, yet less conspicuous displays from manufacturers, so what better way to have them disappear into the surroundings. It seemed like a dream right out of the Jetsons but it’s looking like modular TVs could be right around the corner in a couple years, and much sooner than we think.