A Major Tech Expo Has Made It Clear That Transparent TVs Are the Future

LG transparent TV

Forget TVs with no cords, in 2024, it’s about transparent TVs. This week at tech event CES 2024, held in Las Vegas, LG unveiled the world’s first OLED TV that’s not only wireless, but also transparent.

Called the Signature OLED T, the futuristic model follows on from the brand’s rollable OLED, wallpaper OLED, and, announced last year, wireless OLED. Tech Radar journalist Matt Bolton who got to demo the product at CES called it “incredibly cool”.

“Like many LG Signature OLED products, it has an odd design,” he wrote. “It’s built into a set of shelves, though LG hasn’t decided quite how much of the shelving will be in the final version, which is an incredibly odd sentence to write.”

LG transparent OLED TV
Image: LG

At CES, Samsung also unveiled a transparent micro OLED display. But, thanks to LG’s Zero Connect Box, LG’s version of the transparent TV has the bonus of also being wireless.

The heart of the OLED T is a 77-inch clear panel, which is where the pixels sit. Underneath it is a box with a powerful downward-firing speaker system and other tech. The TV also comes with an LG Zero Connect box, the same used in the brand’s wireless OLED TV announced last year. The Zero Connect box can sit anywhere in the room and eliminates the need for HDMI or other cables going into the TV, though, a connected power cord is still required.

“As with all transparent OLED TVs, the glass is not quite as truly clear as a pane of glass in a window […] but you absolutely can see straight through it, and LG has cleverly added light strips to the top and bottom of the empty space behind the glass, which means it looks stylised and mutes the effect of the glass being ever so slightly cloudy,” writes Bolton.

LG transparent OLED TV
Image: LG

He goes on to say that when the demo content began to play on the glass, it gave off a 3D-like effect because you saw that the objects displayed were floating. The image wasn’t 3D, he clarified, but there was roughly 15cm of space between the glass and the wall behind it.

“Your brain kind of fills in what you’re seeing on screen might extend into that space,” he writes.

Samsung’s transparent micro OLED TV was also described similarly, with a report Sam Rutherford writing on Engadget, “in person, the effect Samsung’s transparent micro OLED displays have is hard to describe, as content almost looks like a hologram as it floats in mid-air. The demo unit was freestanding and measured only a centimetre thick, which adds even more to the illusion of a floating screen.”

The Signature OLED T comes with a rollable opaque film LG is calling a “contrast screen”, which can provide you with a more traditional OLED TV experience. When the screen is retracted, though, it becomes a fully see-through unit that can display artwork or even become a virtual fish tank, according to What Hifi.

“LG has also included a widget section of the display called the T-Bar, which can provide news, weather and more,” the publication writes.

LG has yet to announce the product’s price or release date, though it did say it hopes to begin shipping it in the second half of 2024. What Hifi reports the TV will also have an option with a wood panel background and floating shelves style media unit. Samsung also hasn’t yet announced the price or launch of its transparent TV.

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