At CES 2017 LG took the wraps off its new W7 "wallpaper" OLED television screen. This is not just a demo or a concept, but a product that will hit the market later this year. And we think it's destined to become a fixture in conference rooms and corporate lobbies.
The W7 will come in 65-inch and 77-inch models. The 65-inch is 2.57mm or one-tenth of an inch thick. By comparison, that's only a little thicker than your average house key. Still, it's a full 4K HDR TV with no backlight and the latest in high-end picture quality. It can attach directly to a wall using magnetic brackets. No traditional wall mount is needed.
Where the product comes down to earth a bit is with its huge companion sound bar that is attached with a thin-but-wide 82-inch ribbon cable that LG ran inside the wall behind the TV in its demos. The sound bar is meant to sit below the TV and it features Dolby Atmos sound—the popular theater technology used in movies like Star Wars: Rogue One. More importantly, the back of the sound bar is where you'll find all of the HDMI ports and connectivity options for the W7.
We've known for years that OLED TVs would eventually be capable of this kind of ultra-slim form factor and science fiction has been dreaming about it for even longer. But, this is the first major product of its kind that you can actually buy. LG hasn't announced the price of the W7 yet, but you should expect that it will be in the 5 to 10 thousand dollar range. You may remember that that's the price the first flat-screen plasma TVs were 15 years ago, so that price will come down to earth eventually.
Still, despite the sticker shock, I wouldn't be surprised to see some companies start hanging these in their headquarters in the places where they want to impress recruits, partners, and employees. This definitely feels like one of those rare products that gives us a taste of the future. Almost all new TVs will look like this in 10 years.
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Jason Hiner has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.