This transparent display, currently showing fish, can transform into a 77-inch TV.

Tara Brown/CNET

A TV you can see through isn’t the most practical of innovations, but there’s no denying its cool factor. Transparent OLED screen technology has been around for years in commercial applications, but for the first time in 2024, LG is selling it to consumers for use in the home. The company’s 77-inch transparent TV is called the OLED T, and I saw it for the first time at CES 2024.

When I walked into LG’s private demo suite at the Mandalay Bay hotel I saw what looked like a chic stand and shelf surrounding what looked like a big window. I could see right through it to the wall beyond. Images moved across the surface of the “glass,” including a school of fish, a field of stars, animated figures and other images. Then the LG rep pressed a button on a remote control and a sheet of black film rose slowly from below, obscuring the wall and turning the window into a TV screen, which could show sports or a movie.

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The transparency isn’t as perfect as glass, but I could clearly discern the wall and even a little bud vase through the screen. When the mechanized film unrolled up behind the screen the image quality wasn’t quite as vibrant as some of the other OLED TVs LG had on display in its suite, but I won’t fuss about those details. A TV that can effectively disappear and transform into furniture, art or a fish tank, the OLED TV succeeds brilliantly.

To add to the cool factor, the OLED T uses the company’s wireless transmission technology, similar to the company’s M4 series. The only cord running to the television is power. Devices that use HDMI wires (like game consoles) and other connections plug into a separate box that can be placed up to 30 feet away from the TV.

In addition to the fish tank, LG built a host of screensavers, clocks and widgets that can show up on the TV and grouped them under the Always On section of the menu; the idea being that they’ll persist after you turn the TV “Off.” The company designed a simpler version of its smart TV system as well to work better with the see-through screen.

Representatives told me the shelves around the TV itself are optional, and could be slightly different or offer more options by the time the TV hits the market in mid-2024. it’s only available in one size (77 inches), but LG said future versions could go bigger or smaller depending on customer feedback. Pricing has not been set, but I expect it to be extremely expensive.

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