Over the past decade, enhancements in broadcasting standards and advances in television technology have ushered in the most significant change to the world of TV’s since the leap forward from black and white. 16:9 rectangular, high definition flat screens have largely replaced the 4:3 square tubes of old in homes across the country, and supplanted them outright in electronics stores. With the change in formats and picture quality came a variety of variety of TV builds; the CRT’s (cathode ray tube) of old gave way to Plasma and LCD (liquid crystal display) sets (as well as various forms of projector screens, though those remain less popular). In the past few years, many LCD TV manufacturers have begun selling units with LED (light emitting diode) backlights, allowing for brighter displays with higher contrast between colors and thinner, lighter, more efficient sets than their fluorescent-based predecessors.
This past Monday two of the largest names in Japanese television manufacturing, Sony and Panasonic, announced a partnership to help each other make the next jump in TV technology. While the companies will remain independent, continuing to manufacture and market their own products, they will be pooling resources to create and launch their first lines of OLED TV’s. These new screens will offer several advantages over current LED’s, including the ability to display deeper, darker black levels which are currently only largely available from Plasma sets. This capacity is derived from the OLED’s use of per-pixel lighting—each individual dot of color is controlled and lit independently, as opposed to the grouping and filtering of a larger spectrum of light and color used by fluorescent LCD and LED-LCD models—which in turn also makes the OLED a more energy efficient TV with a greater viewing angle.
Sony and Panasonic aim to have their assembly lines up and running for the new OLED’s in 2013 which, they hope, will not lag too far behind their Korean competitor’s own OLED screens. Presumably, the launch of the new product line will see a relatively high cost for early adopters, as is often the case for new technologies, but only time will tell just what the price tag will actually be.
Are you excited about the new TV technology on the horizon? Are you not sure what the differences between all these TV’s are? Why not ask your fellow Long Islanders on the Long Island Lounge?