With the HD war heating up, the battle between LCD and Plasma is reaching fever pitch. Just like HD DVD and Blu-ray, each camp has its avid supporters who extol the virtues of each technology. But Sony is about to stir things up with the announcement that it will finally release the first OLED TV this December.
OLED is widely seen as the best among the three technologies because it is more energy efficient and it allows for the production of extremely thin and ultralight displays. It is also a great technology for showing very vivid pictures that can render fast moving images — this makes it perfect for action movies or sports. Of course, the downside is that OLED is said to have a shorter lifespan.
Sony is banking on OLED technology to really push it in the new millennium. The company wants to use OLED as its rallying point to signal the revival of its leading position in technological innovations.
The first OLED TV will only measure a paltry 11 inches because one of its limitations is that present technologies are not capable of producing larger panels. The OLED TV will measure just 3 mm in thickness though, and will sell for $1,740m, which is a high as the price of current 40-inch plasma models.
We’ll see if OLED will really signal Sony’s resurgence or if this will go the way of other “pioneering” Sony technologies like the DAT, Minidisc, Atrac format and the Memory Stick.
[tags]Sony, OLED, Plasma, LCD[/tags]
NO OVERNIGHT SUCCESS
It is technologically difficult at the moment to make larger panels, limiting the appeal of the otherwise promising next-generation television.
Panasonic maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd is offering 103-inch plasma TVs, while the main battle ground for LCD TV makers are moving up to the 40-inch class market from the 30-inch class category.
An 11-inch panel is smaller than regular copier paper used in office.
“I don’t think OLED TVs will replace LCD TVs overnight. But I do believe this is a type of technology with very high potential, something that will come after LCD TVs,” Sony Executive Deputy President Katsumi Ihara told reporters.
Ihara said he set the 200,000 yen price tag without paying much attention to profitability, suggesting Sony will make a loss for each set it sells at least in the initial stage.
The new TV is set to go on sale in Japan on Dec. 1, while overseas launches have yet to be decided.
It has a life span of about 30,000 hours of viewing, which is about half of Sony’s LCD TVs, but long enough to allow eight hours of daily use for 10 years.
Monthly production will come to just 2,000 units. In comparison, Sony plans to sell 10 million units of LCD TVs in the year to next March.