Sony's Work Continues on OLED HD

April 18, 2007
OLED (organic light emitting diode) is an emerging technology that Sony and other proponents claim will rival HD formats because it doesn't require backlighting. OLED uses a basic substance said to be similar to the material used by fireflies to emit light.

Some of those who have seen it on a very small screen (and a prototype on a somewhat larger monitor) say the video is brighter, with higher contrast levels and better colorization than either plasma or LCD screens.

Sony first ran a demo of an 11-inch OLED screen and a 27-inch prototype at CES2007 in January. Some analysts said the demo captured crowds throughout the show, reportedly prompting Sony CEO Howard Stringer to place OLED research on a faster track toward the marketplace, according to InformationWeek.

Last week, Sony indicated it would first release an 11-inch OLED unit in Japan. If that happens anytime soon, Sony likely would be the first-to-market with OLED products. How popular an 11-inch HD set would be is anyone's guess in a world where consumers are buying increasingly larger screens. However, larger OLED sets (25 inches) may follow the small sets a year or two later. Toshiba and Panasonic are also working on OLED, but do not expect any initial products for two to three years.

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