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Best OLED TVs CES 2013

by Jack Burden and Robert Wiley

OLED TV is finally here in 2013 and there is going to be lots to choose from. As the premier picture technology display, OLED's are going to get plenty of attention from reviewers like Robert Wiley and me. The blacks levels are just pure inky and the colors have hues I've never seen in my 12 years of reviewing flat screen TVs. Here's a rundown on new models for 2013 and 2014. Organic Light Emitting Diode technology advances the best plasma tv technology ahead. That's what it's most similar to.

Sony 4K UHD TV

The color and clarity are simply amazing on this 4K OLED TV from Sony. Blacks are deep and color reproduction is very realistic.

This TV won our Best TV of CES 2013. We used to think of 4K UHD and OLED TVs as mutually exclusive and even wrote a comparison at 4K vs. OLED TV, but all that changed at CES 2013 when several manufacturers proudly displayed 4K OLED TVs. Sony seems more ready to ship OLED than any manufacturer except LG. However, whether they will be able to ship the 4K OLED is another matter. Regardless, this TV displays the best of OLED and the best of 4K TV technologies. You get the rich inky black levels and beautiful colors of OLED and the super high resolution of 4K UHD. It's really no contest at this point. This 4K OLED technology is so incredible that I would rather have a 55 inch version of this, than a 70 inch 4K LED TV. It's that much better.

LG 55EM9600 (55EM9700) OLED TV 55 inch

LG's OLED is an amazing TV. Movement is extremely fluid. Notice the bright colors, inky blacks, detailed brights, and smooth edges.

LG is ready to ship this model and it's already out in other countries. The 3D on this TV is passive rather than active, but it looks fantastic with or without 3D content. It will also enjoy that cool new Magic Remote with a very advanced voice-interaction feature. The screen frame is so thin it's barely there! LG displayed it in a slightly inverted curved version as well, but my guess that model will not ship soon.

Samsung 55 Inch OLED TV

This dynamic image from one of Samsung's OLED TVs provides amazing depth, black levels, peak whites, and detail all at the same time

Though Samsung kept promising a ship date of late 2012 on their 55 inch OLED TV, that never happened. They hope to have this model out in middle 2013. It's certainly impressive looking, with beautiful rich pitch blacks, and colors that pop off the screen. It's almost bezel-less as well. Samsung showed it at the CES show with the multi-view 3D function whereby two people can view different 3D content on the same screen at the same time. When I tested the quality, it worked without a flaw. How does the audio work with that feature? Great question. Speakers on the active 3D glasses handles is the answer.

Sony 55 Inch OLED TV

Sony's 55 inch OLED shows off the picture depth OLEDs are capable of. Bright whites and deep blacks are seen on the petal and in the background on this image.

Though Sony seemed to focus more of their attention on the release of their W900A 4K UHD TV, they also had a stunning OLED TV, not just of the 4K variety. They are the only manufacturer that has actually shipped and sold their OLED TV (a 24” model) in 2009 and 2010. I think they are ready to try it again. Blacks and colors are awesome.

Panasonic 4K OLED TV

The Panasonic 4K OLED TV presents excellent black levels in conjunction with brilliant color. This is the reason for OLED TVs.

Not to be outdone by Sony, Panasonic also had a prototype 4K OLED TV that looked about as good. But there was only one prototype, while Sony had theirs displayed in many places with lots of diagrams about the way it worked.

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