February 19, 2008 by Arlen Schweiger
Fresh off it’s victory in the high-def DVD format war, Sony Corp. has its sights set on the HD displays that we’ll be enjoying all of our Blu-ray goodness. On to the display format war!
Well, OK, so this one seems to be more of a battle that several parties can share in the spoils, as LCD and plasma have coexisted relatively peacefully. In this case, Sony already has a proven winner in its Bravia line of products, but it announced today that it will pump $203.5 million (from Reuters, via Engadget) into making medium-to-large panels incorporating OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology.
Last fall, Sony released its 11-inch OLED XEL-1 set that has a ridiculously thin 3-millimeter depth, ridiculous 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and ridiculous price tag of $2,500. Does that mean people will pay five figures for OLED sets in the 32-to-52-inch range, where LCD and plasma prices are tumbling every day?
Who knows? But as a young TV technology, perhaps seven years from now big-screen OLEDs will become as commonplace as plasmas have grown over the past seven years. And yes, as good as Blu-ray discs look on LCD and plasma, I imagine they can be even more incredible on the razor-sharp OLEDs.
Besides, what does Sony have to lose now? It avenged Betamax, it’s dropped production of rear-projection TV, so why not focus on OLED?
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
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