OLED TVs are as much a tradition at the annual CES electronics conference as anything else: you see, you drool, you shake your head and remember that OLEDs are still several years away. But CES 2012 seems to have broken the curse: Samsung promised to release their 55-inch OLED "this year," and LG, according to a "respected Korean business daily," will release theirs in May, after a big to-do at the Cannes Film Festival. They've even got a price: 9 million Korean won, about $7,900 USD. That sounds like a ton for a TV, but remember that just a few years ago, an 11-inch OLED TV sold for $2,500--I'm actually impressed by the $7,900 number, if it's true. We'll keep you guys updated if we learn more. [via The Verge]
As the world's largest and most popular TV manufacturer, it's worth paying attention to the direction they take at the high end. This year, that high end is defined by their own 55-inch OLED TV, which it sounds like they intend to actually sell this year.
At the very first press conference of this year's CES, LG started things off by making my (pretty nice!) TV feel like the 32-inch CRT that's in my hotel room. There are precious few details about this guy, including when (or if) it will ever go on sale. But based on my limited time with the screen, crammed in with a hundred other people at the press event, I am very, very impressed.
Making consumer OLED screens hasn't been easy. Sure, pocketable gadgets like the upcoming Zune HD have had them for a couple years now, but so far Sony has been the only company to get a screen on the market with a size in the double digits.
A seven-layer screen—-as thin as a credit card—-will be better-looking and more efficient than LCD and plasma
By Darren Murph
Posted 03.26.2009 at 4:01 pm 15 Comments
Q: What is OLED?
A: OLED, or organic light-emitting diode, is a display technology using man-made, carbon-based molecules that emit light when charged with electricity.
Q: How thick are OLEDs?
A: The latest prototypes are as thin as a credit card (0.3 millimeter), because OLED pixels produce their own light, with nothing behind the screen. LCDs need a fluorescent or LED lamp to illuminate the pixels, and plasmas need compartments of electrically charged gas.
Samsung is Korea's largest single corporation, and they have one of the largest booths here at CES. Aside from a bevy of new TVs and a ton of Wi-Max Asia-only mobile phones, Samsung packed in a few other interesting tidbits. Here are a handful that caught our eye.
By Sean Captain
Posted 01.06.2008 at 3:00 pm 0 Comments
A body-image crisis for televisions
Think a flat-panel LCD or plasma set is slender? Think again. Its time to replace your 4-inch-thick porker with a new model measuring under a deuce.
Following on Hitachi, which introduced 1.5-inch panels in the fall, JVC is introducing its own waifs here at CES. JVC also gets down to 1.5 inches (at its skinniest part, bulging to 2.9 inches in the center). JVC launched two screen sizes: slim 42 and 46 inches (pricing not set).
Triming the sets involved some radical re-working of their innards, as we describe in an article from our upcoming February issue. But now that its been done, expect other companies to follow. (Actually, you can expect another announcement in a few hours.)
By Sean CaptainPosted 10.02.2007 at 4:21 pm0 Comments
Companies compete for the thinnest screens
At the CEATEC show near Tokyo—as at other tech shows lately—flat panel TVs are the stars. And like so many of the Hollywood stars, the sets here are unnervingly skinny.
Several companies are pushing the thinness of their LCD panels. But a few are going to the extreme. LCD giant Sharp was showing off a mysterious prototype—first displayed in August—that measures fifty-two inches diagonally but just 0.79 inches thick. (That’s slimmer than many pocket cameras.) How did Sharp do it? They won’t say. But they do admit the big secret is in the backlight that illuminates the LCD panel from behind.
Hitachi had a similar story. It debuted its own anorexic LCDs – these measuring 32 inches diagonally and a waifish .75 inches thick. Hitachi also declined to name the secret sauce. But unlike Sharp, it did say when the sets will be for sale: 2009 in both Japan and the US.
Despite Sharp’s and Hitachi’s reticence, the technology behind the sets is no mystery, according to analyst Richard Doherty of the Envisioneering Group. He’s pretty sure the sets use ultra-small "nano" or "pico" light-emitting diodes for the backlight. LEDs have appeared in high-end sets from Sony, Samsung, and LG, that aren’t any skinnier than sets with fluorescent backlights. But new LEDs are extremely thin.
Sony, on the other hand, was happy to talk about how its wafer-thin sets work. After a lot of talk and prototype demonstrations, it finally introduced the XEL-1, the world’s first TV using organic light-emitting diodes. Unlike LCDs, OLED TVs don’t need a light behind the panel, because panel itself is made of fluorescent organic materials. That allows OLEDs to far out-do even the skinniest LCDs. Sony’s set measures a hard-to-believe 0.12 inches thick. However, it’s also only 11 inches on the diagonal. One measurement is quite big, though: A price of 200,000 Yen ($1,726) when it goes on sale this December in Japan.—Sean Captain
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.