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When it comes to innovation in televisions, the most impressive development has to have been the rollable, 65-inch OLED screen that was launched a couple of years ago by LG at CES. The nifty piece of kit will roll down and pack away into its cabinet once your movie or show is done, putting the screen fully out of sight. When the next episode of your favorite show rolls around again, you just need to hunt down the remote, push a button, and the OLED screen ascends heavenwards, ready to bring untold pleasures once more.

The original shipping date for the TV was set by LG as 2019, but it didn’t quite hit the target, in the US market at least. Despite the missed opportunity, there have been more details released by LG. First off, it’s going to hit your wallet to the tune of $60,000, which is about £45,600 or AU$86,200. This hasn’t been made fully official, but a high-up exec within the company has stated it. 

Whilst at CES 2020, LG representatives were still cagey and said the price still wasn’t set in stone for the US market. They were more forthcoming with shipping, offering a rather fluid timeline of the second or third quarter of this year. 

Competition check

Just in case it wasn’t obvious; this is a heck of a lot of money to pay for a 65-inch screen. For a normal OLED 65-incher, LG charges a couple of thousand dollars, and their top-spec 88-inch 8K OLED sets buyers back $30,000. Even for £60k, it doesn’t get the accolade of the most expensive TV, however. For a 98-inch 8K TV from Sony or Samsung, you’re paying $70,000 and if you’re into blowing crazy amounts on screens, you can get Samsung’s The Wall MicroLED for $400,000 for the 146-inch version. Just in case your private island views weren’t enough…

For rich folk who don’t want to spoil their designer-minimalist look, or obscure their panoramic views, the rolling LG Signature RX offers thoughtful design. Only made in 65-inches, this TV is more of a piece of furniture in itself, looking something like a minimalist, and modern sideboard or credenza. Basically, it’s a low-level TV stand with a streamlined silver box on top. There’s even fabric that conceals the Dolby Atmos speaker set-up and a sliding door that hides the actual screen too.

The rollable screen in “line view.” Sarah Tew/CNET

Roll up, roll up

If the full-screen view of the rolling TV isn’t necessary, there’s also a “line view” option where the screen rolls until about a quarter of the screen is left out. There’s been a special home page designed for this shorter and wider screen size which LG lets display a clock and weather forecast, along with ambient designs or even personal photo collections. When you’ve got music playing through the screen’s Bluetooth connection on your phone, you can have the display disappear from view entirely.

When fully extended in all it’s 65-inch glory, the screen looks solid and stiff, without a sign of flimsiness. The actual OLED screen is fixed on to loads of thin, horizontal bars that give it structure, and it’s lifted and lowered by a set of riser arms hidden at the back. It’s crazy and ingenious stuff. Samples of the screen that have been worked pretty hard to show off to reviewers still don’t show any signs of wear and tear, so far.

The company says they’ve run factory tests of over 50,000 up and down rolls, which equates to seventeen years of eight rolls per day. For added peace of mind for potential buyers, the Signature RX is covered by LG’s standard TV warranty, too. 

Check the drop-down

Impressive as having a TV roll up from the floor is, the next iteration of the rolling TV is already taking shape. LG Display has been demonstrating a new concept piece of tech: a screen that rolls down from the ceiling like a projector screen. Cool as it sounds, there’s nothing being said about when it’ll go on sale, as yet. It’s definitely a cool idea, but it’ll be interesting to see how LG deals with the challenge of most homes having 8-foot ceilings and 65 inches down from that will give some rather uncomfortable viewing angles.

Aside from the really cool gimmick of rolling up, you can be sure you’ll get a fantastic viewing experience, just like any OLED TV. However, you’re not going to get much better screen performance than you’d get from the static $2k cousins from LG. Other inclusions into the rolling TV include an A9 Gen 3 processor, Google Assistant, and far-field voice control of Alexa – all of which come with any 2020 LG TV purchase. What you’re not going to get with the Signature RX is a Next Gen TV (ATSC 3.0) tuner and AMD FreeSync/Nvidia G-Sync compatibility. Seems that even if you have $40k to spend on a TV, you still can’t have it all.  

This story was originally written by David Katzmaier here as part of CES 2020, cnet’s complete coverage of the showroom floor and the hottest new tech gadgets around. 

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