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OLED TVs will still be sold by Sony in America and Europe

Sony is one of the largest electronics makers in the world. The company is big in gaming, TVs, and computers among other categories and is working hard to bring next generation devices to market.

Sony bet big on OLED screens for TVs and was the first to bring an OLED set to market with its 11-inch XEL-1 OLED TV which debuted in late 2007. The XEL-1 was undeniably sexy, but it was small and had a price equating to about $1,744 USD  when it debuted in Japan. Sony announced in November of 2007 that it would be bringing the XEL-1 to America. In early 2008, Sony announced that it was spending $200 billion on OLED manufacturing technology.

Today the OLED screens used in TVs are hard to mass produce and have high defective rates making them expensive to produce. Sony also now has competition in the OLED TV market from rival electronics firms. Sony announced this week that it is pulling the plug on its OLED TV in Japan. Sony cites sluggish demand as the main reason for stopping sales reports Reuters. Sony does plan to continue selling the XEL-1 in America and Europe.

OLED TVs promise significant improvements over LCD sets for users with less power consumption, thinner screens, and better image quality. The problem is that the screens are difficult to make and expensive to produce.

DisplaySearch analyst Hisakazu Torii said, "As flat panel TVs are getting bigger and cheaper, hurdles for OLED models have become higher, at least in the short term."

Sony will continue to sell the XEL-1 in Japan until its current supply runs out. A Sony spokesman said that the company intends to continue to consider new products and applications for OLED screens. Estimates have Sony selling only 2,000 OLED TVs in all of 2009.

The Financial Times reports that the reason Sony is removing the OLED set from the Japanese market is a regulatory change that meant the TV would have to be redesigned and with the low demand it wasn't feasible for Sony.

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RE: this is frustrating
By Spivonious on 2/16/2010 11:12:52 AM , Rating: 5
Plasma is where people should be putting their money. The picture quality still destroys even the top-of-the-line LCDs.

RE: this is frustrating
By tastyratz on 2/16/2010 11:34:25 AM , Rating: 2
Amen to that. I still get more impressed with low end plasma compared to high end lcd. LCD certainly has its markets and applications... but side by side it just still has nothing on plasma.

RE: this is frustrating
By TheDoc9 on 2/16/2010 2:02:10 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree, except I'm reminded of the tinted window effect on my friends plasma. After years of watching standard def material the screen has become noticeable and distractingly dimmer in the center. Widescreen material just looks silly because of it.

RE: this is frustrating
By jimbojimbo on 2/16/2010 4:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
Compared to LED backlit LCD TVs, I'd only consider a plasma if I was interested in warming up my home. Plasmas use a lot more electricity and pump out a lot more heat.

RE: this is frustrating
By sigmatau on 2/16/2010 7:27:44 PM , Rating: 2
What is a lot more? 50 more watts?

RE: this is frustrating
By tastyratz on 2/16/2010 8:44:32 PM , Rating: 3
depends on what you mean by a lot. Plasmas are rated for a lot more energy draw than you actually see. When calibrated PROPER ntsc and you have a full white display (most energy on a plasma) my 42 inch panasonic only draws maybe 130 watts from the wall. The manual says it can take up to 400 watts though. What you actually see is far less... and a comparable LCD might be 2/3rds that so you are talking a difference of mere dollars a year for a significant picture increase.

Given the investment a TV really is plasma is still the best value. The money saved in electricity will almost never be recouped over its usable lifetime for a spendy lcd tv that even comes close to plasma PQ.

RE: this is frustrating
By inperfectdarkness on 2/17/2010 4:29:38 PM , Rating: 2
99% sure your lcd specs are for ccfl lcd's, not led/lcd's. i've never heard of led/lcd's using 2/3rds the energy of plasmas. more like 1/5th or less.

RE: this is frustrating
By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 2/22/2010 1:55:44 AM , Rating: 2
LED is not that much more efficient than CCFL.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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