The world’s first organic light emitting diode (OLED) television, which will be ultra thin and lightweight, will be available to consumers from Sony from 1 December this year.
The XEL-1 television represents a completely new category with display technology founded on electroluminescent organic materials, an area Sony has been researching since 1984.
The main difference between this new screen and current plasma flatscreens on the market is size: plasma screens are generally 6cm thick.
At 3mm thick, the XEL-1 screen will be the thinnest LED available to consumers but will only be available on 11-inch screens with pricing similar to current 50-inch plasma screens on the market.
Apart from the extremely thin screen the benefit of an OLED TV is that no backlighting is required thus requiring less power to operate, as well as rendering the screen easier to view in direct sunlight.
Also, apart from being expensive for its display size, the OLED is also said to have a shorter lifespan than current plasma screens but a highly superior resolution and clarity.
Katsumi Ihara, executive deputy president of Sony, doesn’t think that the OLED will replace the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) overnight but said that the technology has very high potential.
Samsung, who currently lead in LED TV sales worldwide with Sony in tow at No 2, developed a 40-inch OLED TV back in 2005 but have not produced any consumer offerings yet.
By Marie Boran.