Ushering in a New, Thinner Generation of TV Displays
Looks like the attention given to 3-D TVs is waning.
According to Macworld last week, “The big TV makers… are noticeably grounded in 2-D here at CES.”
You see, although the idea of an immersive three-dimensional environment in your living room sounds attractive, it’s not exactly easy to pull off. And so far, no one has.
Even Sony’s (NYSE: SNE) latest glasses-free 3-D technology – although impressive – left some viewers wanting more.
Like Gizmodo says, with Sony’s TV, “objects emerge organically from the screen – more convincingly than anything we’ve seen before. [But] as with earlier versions of glasses-free 3-D, the overall effect isn’t quite good enough to be immersive. The TV works best if you look at the screen straight on, and as this straight-on view moves towards 45-degrees, the effect becomes distorted and blurry.”
A New Level of Thin
Like most electronic devices, thin is definitely in for TVs this year. And OLED technology has a lot to do with it.
OLED isn’t new. The technology has already been used on smaller-screen devices like mobile phones.
But the technology attracting TV manufacturers, as well. Because OLEDs don’t require backlighting like LCD displays you see on the market today, which results in a much thinner product.
LG, for instance, has created a 55-inch OLED TV that comes in at an ultra slim 4.8mm, or about the same thickness as three credit cards stacked together.
But slimming down televisions isn’t the only benefit OLEDs offer…
Unmatched Display Quality
Like LG, Samsung showed off a 55-inch OLED TV at CES this year. Coming in at 7.6mm, it’s a bit thicker than LG’s model (but still amazingly thin, considering an iPhone 4 measures 9.3mm).
That’s because Samsung decided to focus on picture quality by changing the way the display emits color.
According to PCWorld, “Unlike standard OLED technology [Samsung’s] Super OLED sets don’t use a color filter… Instead, each OLED pixel unit is comprised of self-emitting RGB sub-pixels laid directly on the display panel, each emitting its own light.”
In other words, each pixel is essentially given its own color filter and light source, which results in better contrast and detail.
According to the company, it eliminates motion blur, too. Which, if you own an LCD TV, you know is a pretty huge deal.
Ready for Consumers Later This Year
Needless to say, both products were certainly showstoppers at CES this year.
LG took home CNET’s Best in Show award. And Samsung won Best of CES Innovations in the video display category and Popular Science’s Best of CES award.
And by the time both TVs hit the market in the second half of the year, my three-year-old Samsung LCD will have officially become prehistoric.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be purchasing an OLED variant anytime soon.
Neither company has released exact prices yet, and LG assured Marketnews that “there is not going to be sticker shock.” But estimates heard around the CES floor suggest that these TVs could reach upwards of $6,000. I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty shocking to me.
Of course, that’s just speculation. But anything near that price range would be hard to swallow for the average consumer.
However, considering OLED actually makes TV displays better, you can bet that the market potential for this technology is going to prove vastly superior to 3-D.