We Just Aren't Ready Yet - Sony Cuts OLED TV Line in Japan
It's not terribly surprising when you're talking about an 11 inch television with a price tag of $2,200. But Sony has found that after slow demand, it's best to cut their first OLED TV, the XEL-1 line from the Japanese market after a two year run. While LG is pushing forward with larger sized televisions, and Sony is keeping their sets in the US and Canadian market, it seems that the technology - which promises higher image quality and lower power consumption than plasma and LCD televisions - just isn't quite ready for mainstream consumers, or their tightly guarded pocketbooks. But beyond a business move for the company, does this move by Sony further slow the possibility for OLED TVs in the near future?Electronista reports, "Sony has been counting on the XEL-1 to help drive down the costs of making OLED TVs through economies of scale. Although it has helped Sony develop larger prototypes, its price has never dropped since release and has left a rapidly widening gap between the price of a regular LCD or plasma TV and the ultra-thin but costly OLED screen. The use of LED backlighting and overall boosts to contrast ratios have also negated some of the XEL-1's advantages in image quality."
As pointed out at CES 2010 by the researchers of Nanosys - who have created technology that vastly improves image quality of LED-backlit LCD TVs while keeping the energy efficiency levels - OLEDs have a long, long way to go before they can possibly catch up with the lower energy consumption of televisions that use LED technology. And while pricey, at least LED-backlit televisions are part of the mainstream marketplace.
Perhaps OLED TVs will be practical - or even the best solution - one day, but Sony's latest move shows that the day is farther off in the future than we might have thought.
More on OLEDs
CES 2010 - PHOLED Technology Can Cut OLED Power Consumption By Factor of Four (Video)
Mitsubishi Makes Tiny OLED Squares That Create Humongous TVs (Video)
OLEDs: Where We'll See Them, and What Will Beat Them