I finally got to see LG’s 97-inch OLED TV and it’s mind-blowing

 LG 97G2
LG 97G2

LG made headlines for making the world’s biggest OLED TV, but seeing this 97-inch screen in person is a whole other experience. I had the chance to get up close to the 97-inch LG G2 OLED at an expo hosted by AWE Europe – a trade dealer in bespoke home theater design – earlier this week. The stunning picture quality was bright and clear even during the middle of the day with overhead fluorescent lights.

With a $25,000 / £25,000 / AU$40,000 price tag, a set this size doesn’t come cheap, but it isn’t the priciest big TV that was announced last year. Considering that Samsung’s 98-inch QLED QN100B costs roughly $6,000 more at $40,000, the LG's price looks positively reasonable, right?

Okay, you could spend that money on a nice car – we’ve already gone to the trouble of outlining all the things that you can buy instead of a ridiculously expensive OLED – but if you’re in the market for a gigantic TV and have the space and budget, then it’s one of the best options out of the few that are out there at the time of writing.

GIgantic smart TVs

This TV is big news and it’s not just because of its obvious size – the question is whether it's necessary (after all, how many people are actually likely to buy it)?

Stuart Tickle, managing director of AWE Europe, tells me that he's seen growing demand for big screen smart TVs because the price has become affordable. He recalls when big screens were still niche just a few years ago. “You really had the choice of projection, front projection or one of the biggest TVs and these were 65-inch, 75-inch and 85-inch at the time. But 85 inches was about $50,000.”

It’s no secret that TV technology is always coming down in price, but the upside is that every year you’re getting more for your money when you buy one of the best TVs, which explains why big OLEDs are a new moving target among manufacturers.

LG’s world’s first claim seems to have sparked even more companies to roll out their own gigantic TVs. Last week, Beovision Harmony launched the world’s second 97-inch OLED TV. The model has a “wooden and aluminium” motorized panel speaker that lowers beneath the giant screen when turned on and partly covers the screen when turned off. LG is also planning to introduce a 97-inch version of the wireless M3 TV later this year.

A projector vs a 97-inch OLED TV

I had the opportunity to compare the LG G2 with the Hisense PX1-PRO ultra short throw projector, which was less bright than the OLED TV’s crisp bright picture in the bright room – this is to be expected but still highlighted to me the difference, and the advantage of going for a huge TV over the projector.

So where do I stand on the giant TV vs projector debate? It basically depends on what you’re using it for. The choice comes down to whether you want a cinematic ready setup or one that is adaptable to watching regular TV like the news or sports in the middle of the day?

We previously ran a story about our experience of trading a projector for an OLED TV and decided that we’d go back to the projector because of the unrepeatable movie magic that a large screen brings.

Hisense PX1-PRO Ultra Short Throw Projector at the AWE Europe Expo
Hisense PX1-PRO Ultra Short Throw Projector at the AWE Europe Expo

We all know that there's a lot more that you can get with a price tag of $25,000, it’s hard to deny the rich picture quality that OLED TV technology offers – I've been using the LG G3 OLED TV recently, which has only driven that home to me further.

What I saw was even bolder and richer than the best 4K projectors – it wasn't quite like anything else I've seen at the size, and it's a viewing experience that's stuck with me.