The move from projection and CRT TVs to LCD and plasma TVs saved home theater lovers lots of space in their homes and the thinner sets looked much more attractive as well. The next big change in HDTV sets will come in the form of OLED TVs.
Sony announced yesterday that it would sell the world’s first OLED TV in Japan with a screen size of 11-inches and a price tag of about $1,744 USD. Following Sony’s announcement, Toshiba President and CEO Atsutoshi Nishida announced today that Toshiba was going to have its own 30-inch OLED TV on the market by 2009.
Nishida is quoted by TechOn as saying Toshiba previously projected its OLED TVs to reach the market in “2015 to 2016.” Toshiba is also reportedly getting both high-end and commodity OLED TVs ready for consumers.
Part of the problem that makes OLED technology currently expensive and the lead-time for larger OLED TV screen sizes longer is the immaturity of the method for producing OLED panels. Current OLED panels are difficult to manufacture and degrade over time with a lifespan of only 30,000 hours according to PC World. The average LCD TV has a lifespan of around 50,000 hours.
The benefits of OLED technology in TVs are thinner screens and higher contrast ratios along with faster response times. OLED technology requires no backlighting, which allows for the much thinner cabinet sizes.
Toshiba was strongly backing SED TVs in 2006 with units promised within a year from CES 2006. A few months after CES 2006 was over, Toshiba and Canon pushed SED TVs back to 2007. By CES 2007 SED TVs were all but dead due in part to a lawsuit between Canon and Nano-Proprietary, which forced Toshiba to pull out of the SED development with Canon.
Hopefully, Toshiba will be able to deliver on its promises this time with OLED TVs that actually make it to market.