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Samsung release curved OLED TV on home turf

SEOUL, June 27 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest manufacturer of flat TVs, released organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TVs with curved displays Thursday in South Korea, joining the race for the next-generation TV market.

Usually when images are viewed on a flat screen, they are stretched to match the screen size, which can cause distortion because the images do not match up.

However, a curved display helps eliminate such a problem as it is designed to make the images match the size. The curved display also provides a more life-like experience when watching programs, it said.

Consumers can order the 55-inch curved display TV set, which is priced at 15 million won (US$13,000) at retail outlets across the country, the company said.

Samsung Electronics follows its local rival LG Electronics Co., which started receiving orders for the same-size OLED TVs in January for the first time in the world.

Global TV makers have been ramping up efforts to commercialize OLED TVs, which enable slimmer designs and more vivid images compared with liquid crystal displays that require a backlight.

Last year, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics competitively unveiled 55-inch OLED TVs with plans to roll out the product in the same year. Both companies, however, failed to mass produce the OLED TVs due to low production yields.

The global market for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TVs is forecast to grow more than 200 times over the next five years, earlier data showed.

Worldwide shipments of OLED panels are expected to hit 26.96 million units by 2018, increasing more than 200-fold from 130,000 units forecast for this year, according to the data by NPD DisplaySearch.

By amount, OLED panel shipments are projected to reach $10.02 billion by 2018, accounting for 18 percent of the overall market.

The report also showed that OLED TVs are expected to surpass plasma display panel (PDP) TVs in two years.