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Sony XEL-1 OLED TV Display  (Source: Engadget)
Fans of the XEL-1 from Sony outside of Japan are virtually guaranteed of not getting a XEL-1 this year

With the holiday shopping season firmly upon us one of the most wanted gifts for Christmas is a HDTV set. While we have many brands and makes to choose from here in America, the only commercially available OLED television is a Japan-only item this year.

Sony first announced its XEL-1 3mm thin waif of an HDTV in October with the caveat that the set would only be available in Japan. With the impact the thin OLED set had on gadget and home theater buffs, the Sony XEL-1 led other HDTV makers to promise OLED sets as well. Toshiba was the first to make the announcement of bringing OLED TVs to market after Sony was Toshiba. Toshiba claims it will have a 30-inch OLED TV on the global market by 2009.

Not to be outdone, Samsung announced its OLED roadmap in late October, stating the company would have OLED HDTVs in large 40-inch and 42-inch screen sizes on the market by 2010. DailyTech reported in early November that Sony Electronics President Stan Glasgow said the XEL-1 could make it to America this year, providing the demand for the XEL-1 in Japan didn’t move all the thin-screened beauties Sony had produced.

Today Engadget reports that there are only a total of 2,000 Sony XEL-1 TVs available in the entire world. That means that the 2000 XEL-1 TVs will be spread across 700 stores in Japan working out to a bit more than two XEL-1 HDTVs per store.

American fans of the XEL-1, your chances of getting a set this year just got much smaller.

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By tallcool1 on 11/21/2007 3:10:50 PM , Rating: 2
I guess kudos goes to Sony for actually getting this new tech finally out the door, albeit in very limited quantities. Hopefully the other manufactures will be right behind them to help push this to mass market, eventually with cheaper and larger displays. I have read about some of the benefits of OLED and it will be interesting to see one in person someday.

By mmntech on 11/21/2007 4:08:21 PM , Rating: 3
Right now, I'm hearing the disadvantages are outweighing the benefits. They supposedly have a very short service life, less than half of LCD and Plasma TVs.

Some MP3 players such as Creative's Zens use OLED displays.

By Alexstarfire on 11/21/2007 5:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
I thought they had the product life stuff worked out. I know that initially they had extremely short lives, like a couple months or something (honestly can't remember anything other than it being very short). I thought that they improved that to several years though and made it comparable to LCDs and such. Either I read that wrong or LCDs have a much longer life than I realize.

By Oregonian2 on 11/21/2007 8:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
Don't know about lcd's but Plasmas are up to about 100K hours or so (and still working, just dimmer). OLEDs had trouble with the blue's. Lifetimes were something like 1K hours or less that I recall. Not sure how much it's been improved.

By defter on 11/22/2007 5:40:15 AM , Rating: 2
Well, now it's limited to an extremely small screen size (for TV) with an extremely low volume. It remains to be seen wherever these problems will be solved in time.

Wake me up when they manage to produce millions of >=40" OLED panels.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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