LG Display unveils 97-inch OLED panel that creates "cinematic" 5.1 sound by vibrating
Will the speaker-free audio live up to LG's claims?By Rob Thubron 8 comments
What just happened? LG Display is known for producing some of the best TV technology on the market. The 97-inch panel it's just shown off at a South Korean exhibition sounds like it'll offer an impressive picture, but it also has a feature that could increase its appeal: the panel vibrates to produce 5.1 sound without the use of a built-in speaker.
LG Display announced the 97-inch OLED.EX panel at K-Display 2022 in Seoul, Korea, earlier today. The company says it offers the realistic colors, fine details, and perfect blacks associated with OLED televisions, alongside the benefits of its EX Technology.
LG Display revealed its next-gen OLED EX tech at the end of last year. It addresses the problem of lower peak brightness levels in OLEDs by converting the hydrogen elements present in organic light-emitting elements into stable deuterium, enhancing their stability and efficiency and allowing them to emit more light. This increases picture brightness by 30% compared to conventional OLEDs. The technology is also said to improve color accuracy through personalized algorithms.
Other than that massive size and picture quality, the panel's highlight feature is its use of Film CSO (Cinematic Sound OLED) technology. It utilizes a thin film exciter on the rear of the panel to vibrate the display, creating audio without requiring built-in or external speakers. LG says a 5.1 channel sound system is embedded in the display, enabling performance that offers a cinematic level of immersion, which is quite a bold claim.
This isn't the first time LG has shown off vibrating audio technology. CSO was present in the 48-inch 4K gaming-focused TV (above) revealed at last year's CES. That model also boasted a "paper-thin screen" that could bend from flat to curved, with a radius of 1,000mm, at the touch of a button. There was also a very early version, called Crystal Sound, present in 2019's LG G8 ThinQ phone.
Similar screen-vibrating audio is found in the Sony Bravia AG9 OLED TV, which has some pretty good reviews—tech YouTuber Linus Sebastian certainly likes it.
Televisions that feature the new vibrating panel aren't going to come cheap. Expect to pay around $25,000 or more, the same predicted price as LG Electronics' upcoming 97-inch non-vibrating TV.