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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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RE: Panel lifetimes?
By BansheeX on 11/2/2007 12:54:52 PM , Rating: 2
Bzzzzzt. Wrong. OLED has CRT-like response times (no ghosting or input lag from overdrive tricks), ink blacks and rich, bright colors since it is self-illuminating. LCDs are backlit which cause bleed, lighting non-uniformity and poor contrast. Even localized dimming with LED backlights is an area effect that can't handle small bright objects like stars without producing a glowing effect around them. Mark my words, if the lifespan issue improves, OLED is dreamlike tech that almost makes you think endgame. What could look better than it?

RE: Panel lifetimes?
By BansheeX on 11/2/2007 12:57:55 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and I forgot to mention that OLED has perfect viewing angles.

RE: Panel lifetimes?
By masher2 on 11/2/2007 1:41:22 PM , Rating: 2
> "What could look better than [OLED]?"

SED. Higher contrast ratio and brightness, and better color uniformity/gamut. While I agree that OLED is certainly head-and-shoulders above LCDs in terms of image quality, I think terms like "end game" are a bit premature.

RE: Panel lifetimes?
By BansheeX on 11/2/2007 2:56:11 PM , Rating: 2
First of all OLED's have million to 1 contrast ratios far exceeding that of any phosphor technology. Secondly, OLED is theoretically less costly to manufacture than SED ever will be. It is far thinner and lighter than SED can theoretically become. OLEDs can be made very large or scaled very small for use in cameras, phones, handhelds, computer monitors, laptop monitors, you name it. OLED is the better tech and SED, if it ever actually made it to market, would be snuffed out very quickly.

RE: Panel lifetimes?
By masher2 on 11/2/2007 3:58:38 PM , Rating: 5
> "First of all OLED's have million to 1 contrast ratios far exceeding that of any phosphor technology"

I don't know where people get this stuff. First of all, the theoretical contrast ratio of any emissive display (be it OLED, phosphor, or whatever) is infinite.

The effective contrast ration is a different story, and depends how you measure. This makes it a numbers game by the manufacturer, who usually just quote an on/off contrast measurement, rather than the more accurate ANSI standard (which takes into account interpixel bleed, substrate scattering and many other factors). Using an on/off measurement, one can easily get a million-to-one ratio from an old 1980s-era CRT tube. Using the ANSI checkerboard, however, you won't get anywhere near that.

In the real world, there are plenty of OLED manufacturers quoting ratios in the range of 1000:1 or even less. Saying "OLED have million to one contrast ratios" displays some fundamental misunderstandings. Sony's supposed advanced in black luminance reduction is letting them quote a million-1 ratio, but thats not inherent to the technology itself. Still, I imagine they're simply quoting an O/O ratio, which itself is a bit misleading.

In the final analysis, actual contrast ratio is limited by screen brightness. And here, SED has the edge.

> "It is far thinner and lighter than SED can theoretically become"

True. So? This is a major factor in only certain markets. I don't dispute that OLED will predominate in laptops and handhelds. But longterm, I believe SED will predominate in the HDTV market segment.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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