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The XEL-1 OLED TV sports vivid color and contrast.  (Source: Sony Japan)

The XEL-1 OLED TV's razor thin profile.  (Source: Sony Japan)
Sony introduced the world's first OLED TV, which is quite a looker, carries a high price tag, and is only available in Japan

At 3 millimeters thin, Sony’s XEL-1 OLED TV seems to float on the air.  The almost paper-thin display hovers ethereally mounted on a beam, which is juxtaposed onto a thick pedestal base, which sharply contrasts the screens thickness.  The design of the device is very similar to the "Anglepoise" Mac and very modern in design.

The 11-inch XEL-1 brings a lot of innovation to the table at a relatively high price.  The unit, set to go on sale December 1 in Japan only, was unveiled on Sony Japan's website over the weekend. 

The device will cost ¥200,000, or around $1,744 USD -- about twice the price of a 40" LCD TV in Japan.

Overall (base included) the device has measurements of 287×253×140mm and weighs in at 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds).  It sports a 1080p input resolution, though the screen resolution only measures 960 x 540, so it downscales the image to fit the screen.

One of its more impressive features is a sharp
1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and the 45W power consumption.  According to Sony, this represents a 40 percent power reduction over conventional LCD monitors.

Sony touts the device as a display revolution.  They claim that the device has very fast response times -- up to 1,000 times faster than LCD displays -- though no test information was presented to support these claims.

The XEL-1 also boasts superior color and brightness.  The brightness is due to the OLEDs' natural electroluminescence as well as reflected light, which reflects off of "micro-cavities" within the OLED.  The end result, according to Sony, is a much brighter TV without the need for backlights.  The color is also superior and more natural according to Sony.  They explain that with flexible brightness, it is easier to reproduce the full spectrum of colors than in a device which can only be backlit or dark.

In the past, OLED displays have been crippled due to a relatively short lifespan compared to LCDs.  The XEL-1 seems to have this covered, with a declared 30,000 hour lifespan (roughly the equivalent of watching TV eight hours a day for ten years).  An average LCD lifespan is 50,000 hours, so while slightly lower, the XEL-1 isn't that far behind.

The device features some nice extras in terms of ports as well.  It has an integrated digital TV tuner for Japan, USB, LAN interface, one HDMI port, headphones plug and S-Force sound.

Despite its attractive features, Sony plans to limit its initial production to 2,000 units a month.  In contrast, its LCD TV business sells over 10 million TVs a year.

There is no word from Sony, however, on if and when the display will cross the ocean and reach the U.S. Given that Sony is heralding the XEL-1 as the start of a new sector of its TV business, it is safe to say its OLED displays will soon be coming to the U.S.

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LoL 960x540
By Communism on 10/2/2007 12:54:24 PM , Rating: -1
It sports a 1080p input resolution, though the screen only measures 960x540, so it downscales the image to fit the screen.

wow, thats a retarded resolution and also, why do 1080p when it is even less resolution than 720p?

Pure Hype FTW

RE: LoL 960x540
By smitty3268 on 10/2/2007 2:45:22 PM , Rating: 2
Because if you hook up a HD player to it, you want the tv to convert straight from 1080p -> 540p, rather than having the player go from 1080p -> 720p, and then the tv going from 720p -> 540p.

Honestly, for an 11 inch screen 540p isn't too bad although 720p would have been a lot better.

RE: LoL 960x540
By Communism on 10/4/2007 9:41:13 AM , Rating: 2
thing is, why not do 480p (not all that different from 540p)?

the reason they chose 540p is purely to sport that they can do 1080p input.

If this was used on a game console (why not?), it would be much better to have it be 480p/720p instead of requiring 1080p to downscale perfectly

RE: LoL 960x540
By kmmatney on 10/4/2007 1:01:42 PM , Rating: 1
FYI: 11" @ 960 x 540 equates to a 0.253 pixel size, or roughly the same as a 20" widescreen @ 1680 x 1050.

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