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Sony XEL-1 OLED HDTV  (Source: Sony)
Sony says OLED HDTVs could see America stores this year depending on Japanese demand

Many home theater enthusiasts have high hopes for OLED technology -- hopes that not only will OLED HDTV sets require less power but that they also will be significantly thinner and provide better color reproduction and image quality.

Engadget is reporting that Sony Electronics President Stan Glasgow revealed in talks this morning with journalists at the Sony Club in New York that, “OLED could come (to the U.S.) before the end of the year." The catch is that OLED HDTVs coming to America is dependent on the demand in Japan and panel supply. In other words if Sony’s OLED XEL-1 is a big hit in Japan, we won’t be seeing them this year in America.

Sony announced its 3mm thick XEL-1 OLED HDTV almost exactly one month ago to lustful stares from home theater fans around the world. The screen size was small at 11-inches and the price was high at about $1744 USD. The Sony XEL-1 OLED TV left many outside Japan reaching for their wallets only to be told the TV wasn’t available outside Japan.

There have been several other announcements in the OLED arena recently with Toshiba announcing that it would have 30-inch OLED HDTVs on the market by 2009. Toshiba, however, stated that the problem with OLED technology was that the method for producing the OLED panels was immature accounting for the increased cost and longer lead times before panels were available.

Just last week Samsung’s Executive Vice President and CTO, Ho Kyoon Chung, unveiled its roadmap for OLED products. Samsung expects to have 40 to 42-inch OLED panels on the market by 2010.

While Toshiba and Samsung make promises to get OLED HDTVs into the hands of consumers, Sony is actually doing it.




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