What is OLED TV?
Remember the days when plasma TVs and LCD TVs were the new kids on the block? The time may be coming for plasma and LCD to move aside to make room for OLED TVs. OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode. OLED works using a combination of semiconductor technology and electrophosphorescence, the organic process that fireflies use to emit light.
What's the Big Deal?
OLED TV is superior to plasma and LCD TV in three ways: it's incredibly thin, ranging from three to nine millimeters; it uses significantly less power than plasma or LCD TVs; and it has amazing contrast ratio and color clarity, along the magnitude of 1,000,000:1, as opposed to 3,000:1 that the best of current technology can boast. It produces darker blacks, brighter and more vivid colors, and isn't hampered by the backlighting issues that plague other television technologies. OLED TV is also much more responsive than other television technologies, eliminating ghosting and fast-moving artifacts.
Not Ready for Prime Time
While Sony is leading the way as the early adapter of OLED TV technology, there are still a few bugs to work out to bring OLED TV to its full potential. The biggest problem is screen life limitations. Much like aspects of early plasma television technology, OLED TV's blue element has a life expectancy of approximately 5,000 hours; significantly lower than LCD TVs and plasma televisions currently on the market. The red and green components have longer lifetimes, but still fall below the current life expectancy of plasma and LCD TVs.
OLED TVs are still cost prohibitive. Again, much like plasma and LCD TV technology, as OLED TVs become more mainstream and the technology evolves, the manufacturing process is going to catch up and OLED TV prices are going to fall. Sony industry professionals predict that OLED TVs will reach LCD TV distribution levels by 2012.
While OLED TVs have the capacity for becoming the largest television screens yet, technology and manufacturing isn't yet to the point where OLED TVs can compete with plasma or LCD TVs screen sizes; let alone pass them. As with production, Sony industry professionals predict that size is going to catch up to LCD and plasma televisions by 2012.
The Technology of the Future
With the potential contrast ratio, screen sizes, reduced power consumption, improved color and thinness of the televisions, it seems clear that OLED TVs are the technology of the future. The only question is going to be whether Sony's lead into the OLED TV market makes them industry captains, or whether other manufacturers learn from Sony's process and introduce bigger, better OLED TVs.
LCD vs plasma: which is better? Each of these displays has distinct advantages, but you should consider your entertainment needs first before buying one of these monster screens.
How does LCD TV work? A light shines through glass plates holding liquid crystals, which respond to electricity and either block or let light through.