Samsung: Affordable OLED TVs still 4 years away

Samsung 105-inch Curved UHD TV. (Samsung)

Samsung 105-inch Curved UHD TV. (Samsung)


, Last Updated: 12:33 PM ET

Continuing manufacturing problems mean that the TVs are still proving harder to mass produce than originally expected.

Even though this past week's International CES was swamped with televisions, those sporting OLED Ultra HD displays still managed to stand out, so incredibly sharp and clear are the images they're capable of generating.

OLED technology enables every pixel on a display to change colour independently. This means optimum brightness -- whites are really whites but, far more importantly, black is black. This is because unlike cheaper and easier-to-make LCD panels, OLED panels create their own light.

But because they're much more complex to build, manufacturers are having problems mass producing TVs that use the technology. As a result, despite the large selection of OLED TVs on show at this year's event, Samsung claims that the era of affordable OLED TVs is still some time away.

In an interview with USA Today, the executive vice president of the company's Visual Display Business, HS Kim, said it will take another three to four years before the sets reach typical consumer prices. This is much longer than even Samsung had anticipated.

However, he is confident that ultra-high definition will be going mainstream very soon and as this year's CES has shown, LCD televisions that offer the incredible resolution have already dropped below the $1,000 mark. A year ago, the cheapest UHD TV on the market was more than ten times that amount.

As well as the cost of the televisions themselves, until now, consumers have been deterred from early adoption thanks to the fact that there is very little native content available.

However, that too is set to change over the course of this year. Netflix and Amazon are both set to start streaming UHD content via the Internet in 2014 and YouTube also announced a new video codec that will reduce the bandwidth needed for consumers to watch high and ultra-high resolution content online.