back to article Sony goes inorganic for 'eye popping' OLED TV rival

CES 2012 Week Sony is using the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to show off its answer to 55in OLED TVs from LG and Samsung. No, not another OLED, but a "crystal LED" set with a screen based on more traditional, inorganic LED tech. The 55in, 1920 x 1080 telly contains more than six million "ultrafine" LEDs, three each of red …

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Coat

"100 per cent of NTSC colour range..."

That's supposed to be a good thing?

It's not often said to stand for Never Twice the Same Colour for no reason.....

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Boffin

The NTSC standard actually has a very wide colour range that was never possible to achieve with CRT's (I may need correcting but I think that was the case) so being able to achieve 100% of it is a good thing.

The transmitted analogue NTSC signal didn't reliably control the colour so a hue setting was needed on the TV to get it looking right. This in addition to the unachievable specified range are the reasons for the 'Never the same colour twice' mnemonic. PAL got round the hue issue although I can't remember the details of how although Wikipedia probably knows. These days with digital signals it is a complete non issue although whether any of the digital standards actually have a colour range as wide as NTSC I don't recall.

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how is that better

than ordinary, off the shelf, wide gamut LCD monitor?? I see nothing special about resolution nor brightness. Yes indeed wide gamut can make "your eyes pop" but this is not normally considered a good thing, because we are basically talking about extremely bight, unnatural looking colors (e.g. some greens and oranges may look fluorescent).

My impression is that Sony have nothing to beat 55" OLED screen from LG and are just playing old card of "supreme color processing" in Bravia series.

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Anonymous Coward

This is totally different than an LCD. An LCD selectively allows the backlight to come through the screen. This has a number of issues including poor black levels and uneven light levels. By having individual leds for each sub-pixel you should have more even light levels and excellent black levels.

And how is a wide colour gamut ever considered a bad thing? It just means they can display the full range of colours, it doesn't mean anything needs to look flourescent

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LCDs vs LED

LCD are really monochrome.

The colour is dyed stripes, which can fade and far inferior to LED or CRT colour.

The quality and even backlight affects LCD a lot too.

Some OLED use stripe dye filters and phosphors. While better contrast than LCD, the colour of OLED is only a little better. Real LED is a lot better colour. Best CRT is somewhere between OLED and LED in contrast and colour.

LCOS and DLP are also monochrome technologies. The single "chip" projectors use stripe dye filters for LCOS and colour wheel dye filter for DLP. High end projectors can use triple colour LED or Laser light source to avoid colour wheel or stripe filters.

The triple chip projectors can use "dichroic" prism combiner for near perfect colour.

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The difference

OLED is still notoriously expensive. I think OLED is definitely the future but I don't see it being affordable any time soon. It reminds me of the early days of plasma where some sets cost £10,000. Prices will drop eventually but in the meantime it shouldn't mean LCD tech should sit around twiddling its thumbs.

If Sony can stick a light behind every subelement of an LCD its going to yield incredibly vivid pictures with infinite contrast ratios. It should look fantastic and I expect it's cheaper to adapt existing LCD production lines to support the tech than build out new OLED ones.

So both techs have a place I think and will continue to do so until OLED gets cheaper.

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got it, thanks

Quite hard to guess it from the article, though. Yes indeed, assuming they have packed tricolor LED behind each pixel, this is great news and I wish I would be able to see it in my own eyes.

Back to wide gamut - it depends how you drive it. Often image registered in narrower gamut will be stretched to fill all available gamut of output device (so ensuring that few bit is wasted of old HDMI 8bit colour depth) and that makes for some very bright and "nice looking" but unnatural colors. Better setups would instead use 10 bit or larger color depth of HDMI/1.3 but you still need to drive it from something to make good use of this gamut ....

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Nice

OLED are not "real" LEDs and the blue wears badly. Overall OLED are more akin to Electroluminescent and similarly wear out, maybe under 5 or 6 years. Real LED have much better R, G and B, can last 40 years or more (but not White as they are violet/UV with phosphors).

This is good news. A real LED TV. Previously the problem was cost and size. Easy to make 6m screens, hard if not impossible to make 0.6m (60cm, 24") screens.

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Must be embarrasing for Sony

Not being able to keep up with their Korean rivals.

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Gold badge

Sony used to be a little embarrased that they were a bit slow to move from real CRT Trinitron displays to LCDs (because that is what the general market wanted, even though the CRT gave a better picture), but that was a while ago. They have caught up reasonably well with the run-of-the-mill LCD tech.

However I don't understand what you are saying here. They are showing a product that should be better on all counts than the competition (lower power, better contrast/viewing angle, better colours, longer life, etc.) and are saying that they will release it as soon as possible. I saw their 10" LED TV a while ago and it was unbelievable, and don't doubt that they will have this out eventually.

I don't see anything for them to be embarrased about here.

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Anonymous Coward

>"three each of red, green and blue"

Think you mean one each there, for three LEDs per pixel times 2m pixels = 6m LEDs. Either that or the total # of LEDs should be 18m, not 6m, if there really are nine per pixel.

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J P
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Was I the only person to read the headline and boggle at the thought of a six metre wide LED..?

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crystal LED

Because they already used the name LED TV in a lie to fool suckers into thinking it was some all new tech.

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Yes, and in the past someone was slapped on the wrist for saying LED TV because it had LEDs in it! Although everyone seems to get away with it now.

I'm surprised none of them tried to claim that their LCD TVs were plasma because the CCFL backlight generates the light using a plasma!

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Go

..."Crystal" has that new-agey feel to it too, which is why they didn't call it 'crystaline LED' which would be actually correct.

On the up-side, this tech is likely good enough to make me break my never-buy-Sony policy when it becomes available at post-entry prices (it will be a good couple of years yet beform my current CFL-LCD warrants replacing anyway).

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Go

@LaeMing

May I suggest, if you're going to boycott a company, to do it properly. Like you, I also have a never-buy-Sony policy. But mine isn't subject to compromise - I don't care if Sony invent an immortality machine or start giving away free Ferraris with every purchase - I will not buy their products, period.

I believe Sony (like Apple, but that's a discussion for another time) to be an unconscionable company whose greed, lust for control, and unethical behaviour has set a number of dangerous precedents against basic civil liberties and human rights, and I feel that strongly enough to uphold my personal boycott against them, no matter how "good" their products might be, now or in the future.

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Happy

Mainly my never-buy-Sony policy is based on the fact that everything they have produced since the end of the 80s was either no better than cheaper alternatives or complete rubbish. So iff they suddenly produce something worth my money, patronising them again works for me from that regard. From the moral sandpoint: Their media branch I find pretty reprehensible, but I don't know enough about how their CE arm operates to call that one. I probably should!

Of course my equipment upgrade cycle is so slow that there will likely be alternate sources of equal quality available without the branding-levy by the time I get to it anyway.

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Meh
Competition is sure to produce comparable screens; in fact I would not expect Sony to price their kit in "worth considering" category before they do. More general, Sony's behaviour towards customers is just an extreme example of "maximizing shareholder value". More on it here http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/11/28/maximizing-shareholder-value-the-dumbest-idea-in-the-world/
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Actually, Sony amongst others do not use the word LED TV in their current TV lineup, they use the term LCD with LED back lit... it's only ignorant fools like Tom 35 who shorten it to LED TV and think they've been conned,,

Sony had a joint venture with Samsung for their TV LCD panels, even though they shared the same panels, they used their own electronics to control the panels.. Sony was losing money on their TV operations, partly due to a very stromg Yen, and partly to do with aggressive near cost selling price of Korean makers like LG/Samsung. Sony are free to buy from various suppliers for current Generation LCD panels for TVs now, whilst on the otherhand still investing R&D in their own next Gen panels...

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FAIL

LED TV

@ Michael 43.

Nope, you are full of crap. Just checked Sony.com and don't see "LCD with LED back lit" anywhere. I see stuff like "54.6" (diag) LED NX720 Internet TV". You don't see LCD at all until you get to the cheap sets and then you get "54.6" (diag) LCD BX520 Series TV "

Go to LG.com and they have LED TV on the navigation menu of the site. The LG TV Box have BIG LED with red, green, and blue letters all over the box but you have to look at the small print to find LCD.

Go to Samsug.com and the TVs are divided into LED, LCD, Plasma on the site navigation. Go to ...

http://www.samsung.com/ca/consumer/tv-video/tv/led/index.idx?pagetype=subtype_p2

And see "Samsung LED TV Series" Page title is LED - TV | SAMSUNG.

So yes it's all my fault :p

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Anonymous Coward

Anyone have any of..

the gory details about the panel makeup?

I would expect that it is not just 750K SMD RGB's glued to a substrate, more than likely the individual 1.5" wafers have monolithic LEDs on the surface with the panels having serial drive and a silicon backplane, assembled into a flat sheet on something like a large metal core PCB.

Another possibility is that the light is emitted from the back of each wafer and emerges from a tiny hole over each pixel to seamlessly merge the light from the three separate emitters.

Alternative *3, the actual panel is an optical fibre array leading to the heavily cooled LED panel..

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