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OLED TVs Arriving Within the Next Three Years 145

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the cooler-screens-but-not-shows dept.
Anonymous Howard writes "Toshiba and Matsushita, in a joint venture, are going to be bringing OLED TV panels to market within 3 years! Granted, the size of the panel is only 20.8 inches, but that is a huge step up from the small OLED screens used in cell phones and other portable devices. It will have a resolution of 1,280 by 768 pixels (WXGA) and handles 16.7 million colors. No specifications on contrast, brightness, or refresh rates have been released, but such specs wouldn't necessarily be indicative of OLED displays to be released in three years' time."
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OLED TVs Arriving Within the Next Three Years

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  • They've been saying "Coming soon!" for some time now.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      And with a 720p maximum resolution, it's not going to sell in the HDTV market.
      • by jcrash (516507) * on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @01:38PM (#18691891)
        At 20 inches, it doesn't need to be 1080p. You couldn't tell the difference if it was, so it really doesn't matter.
        • by sarahbau (692647)

          At 20 inches, it doesn't need to be 1080p. You couldn't tell the difference if it was, so it really doesn't matter.
          But at 1280x768, the resolution is too low for it to sell as a desktop monitor. I realize they are different markets, but they do use the same technologies. In response to the great grandparent, I too have been hearing "coming soon" forever. I remember reading about it in Discover Magazine in 1999, promising "roll up" displays within a few years.
        • by Bertie (87778)
          Sure you could. I mean, you can see the difference on a laptop monitor, and they're a lot smaller than that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jonnythan (79727)
        Are you nuts?

        Best Buy sells 720p plasma TVs in 42" and 50" by the truckload. They sell 720p direct-view CRTs and LCDs in all sizes as fast as they can get them.
      • by drsquare (530038)
        Most HD content is 720, and most people can't see the difference with anything higher anyway.
  • Great! OLED has a better color gamut than LCD or plasma
    • by ajs (35943)
      Do you happen to know if these are the hybrid backlit/OLED displays, or are these purely OLED? Originally the promise of OLED was that the fact that the display produced its own light, and did not require a backlight was going to mean substantially higher contrast, lower power consumption and longer life. However, at some point they discovered that it was not currently practical, as OLEDs weren't capable of sufficient luminosity, and thus hybrid displays with backlights took over.

      Has that changed?
      • by ajs (35943) <ajs@noSPam.ajs.com> on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @01:20PM (#18691573) Homepage Journal
        In the article from Toshiba/Matsushita that TFA references [tmdisplay.com], I found the following blurb that answers my question:

        In addition, the OLED panel features an ultra-wide viewing angle, a thinner profile due to the eliminated backlighting system and other peripheral elements, and energy conservation offering eco-friendly advantages.


        Woohoo! I can't wait to buy one (though I'll likely wait for 32+" versions.
        • by Gilmoure (18428)
          I want monitor paint, that I can just splash on the wall and that'll be my monitor. That would be cool.
        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          "Woohoo! I can't wait to buy one (though I'll likely wait for 32+" versions."

          Ever since I got my projector, I'm spoiled. I can't seem to deal with anything less than 85" - 100"+ in picture sized.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        As I understand it, the "hybrids" are LCDs with white LED backlights. There are a (very) few laptops with these already, and Engadget had a story (today?) about Samsung producing some desktop-sizes panels using this technology very soon.

        There have been prototypes of large OLED displays for a long time. There must be some sort of cost or production-related reason why they aren't being commercialised yet. One rumour is that they have a limited life.

        I can't wait. I'm currently using an LCD as a digital pic
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jabuzz (182671)
          The problem with bringing any new display technology to the market is that you have to hit the ground running. Let's say the current production of 20" LCD panels is 10 million a year (which seems reasonable to me and is possibly more). Therefore if you are bringing a 20" OLED to the market you need to be able to make at least 1 million a year. That is a very high entry barrier.

          There are issues with the blue, however these have now been solved with 20,000 hours lifetime (five years at 10 hours a day). Other
    • by lixee (863589)
      I was told by a Professor in my department that OLED's had trouble with the blue colour. Not blue enough according to him.

      Anyway, nothing that can't be solved in three years time.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @01:33PM (#18691799)

        OLED displays degrade very rapidly, from day 1 on... the blue elements have a life-time of about 5000 hours, the red and green about 60000 hours. You can expec to get about 40000 out of a typical display, which of course will look like crap due to loss in color fidelity.

        I've very sceptical of this claim of OLED TVs in 3 years. Remember ? [wikipedia.org]

    • I personally think tat we'll see commercial Laser TV [wikipedia.org] devices before we see OLED in a big way... That has the potential for even a wider gamut. We should know before too long as they keep saying sometime 2007...

      And, with Laser TV you can use it in a front or rear projector.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        And, with Laser TV you can use it in a front or rear projector.

        All current laser TV prototypes have been rear-projection types. They use an array of mirrors so they can hit various parts of the screen without the TV having to be enormously slick.

        OLED is going to give us a fantastic picture without projection. I agree that Laser is the future of front projection. But I think that OLED will kill rear projection more or less entirely.

  • OLED vs SED? Toshiba/Matsushita vs Canon (Canon were working with Toshiba on this but had to buy them out...).

    Me, I'm waiting for whatever comes after... :)

    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      SED is kind of exciting because of the wide viewing angle, but otherwise OLED has to be the winner. Flexibility and lower power consumption do it for me.
      • If they can ever put legal issues behind them, SED should be first to market by maybe a couple of years, at least at larger sizes anyway. In that time the cost of manufacturing SEDs could be greatly reduced and it could take even longer for OLED to gain popularity. However, eventually OLED should win, since it is just better technology, but it will take a good number of years for it to happen.
      • SED is kind of exciting because of the wide viewing angle, but otherwise OLED has to be the winner.

        What indications are there that SED has a better viewing angle than OLED? My understanding was that OLED had about as ideal of a viewing angle as you can get, since the light is coming directly from the surface of the screen... But there may be some factors I'm not aware of. I just figured that SED and OLED would be the same or close to the same for that criterion.

        I did see an OLED prototype screen on

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          What indications are there that SED has a better viewing angle than OLED? My understanding was that OLED had about as ideal of a viewing angle as you can get, since the light is coming directly from the surface of the screen... But there may be some factors I'm not aware of. I just figured that SED and OLED would be the same or close to the same for that criterion.

          Using a phosphor layer means that you automatically get light radiated in all directions from the phosphors. LEDs will tend to be brightest in t

    • by davygrvy (868500)
      Me, I'm waiting for whatever comes after... :) I'm still waiting for room temperature super conductors and when I can use a tangerine as memory storage device before I get my next computer!
  • Is there any good reasons that laptop / desktop computer monitors should stay with LCD rather than move to OLED? OLED sounds equal to or better than LCD in all measures we care about, afaik.
    • Yes. In theory OLEDs should be able to work without a backlight. It's been discovered, however, that in practically, the luminosity just isn't good enough on large displays. So these might have to have a backlight. What that means is no net power savings for laptops, and possibly even higher power consumption. For desktops, where power consumption is somewhat less of a concern, I could see this happening.

      The biggest factor will be cost, though. Initially OLED displays will be higher in cost than LCDs a
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        > In theory OLEDs should be able to work without a backlight. It's been discovered, however, that in practically,
        > the luminosity just isn't good enough on large displays. So these might have to have a backlight.

        An OLED with a backlight? I believe you are mistaken; that doesn't make sense, because OLED is intrisically an emissive rather than transmissivetechnology. Can you cite a reference?

        I think that you are getting confused with smaller LCD displays, like those on phones, cameras and so on, which
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by norminator (784674)

        It's been discovered, however, that in practically, the luminosity just isn't good enough on large displays. So these might have to have a backlight.

        As others have already posted, it doesn't make sense to just put a backlight behind an already emissive display. But also, I did see a 15" prototype OLED screen in the Sanyo booth at CES 2003, and even 4 years ago, the screen looked bright, sharp, and was super-thin, with great contrast and color. If a 15" screen was able to look good on a 15" monitor 4 ye

    • by nametaken (610866)
      I've read that OLED displays have a very short life. After a quick check, Wikipedia confirms that it's a longstanding problem with the technology. Here is the relevant section from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oled#Drawbacks [wikipedia.org]:

      "Drawbacks

      The biggest technical problem left to overcome has been the limited lifetime of the organic materials. Particularly, blue OLEDs typically have lifetimes of around 5,000 hours when used for flat panel displays, which is lower than typical lifetimes of LCD or Plasma technology

  • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @01:24PM (#18691639) Journal
    I was hoping for superior LCDs like those used in the OLPC. Jepsen developed an LCD display that, instead of using a crappy high-power fluorescent backlight and filters, uses a bright-white LED and a diffraction grating to deliver a display. This results in a much wider gamut, because of the wider color gamut of the white LED. It also uses 1/7 the power of a normal LCD display, because the light comes from the LED and gets redirected out the proper pixel; the brightness of the LED is adjusted as needed (an LED switches on/off effectively instantly, you can read the network signal on gigabit ethernet by sticking an LED inline). It's also cheap because existing LCD fabrication technology can be easily modified in place to do this (retooling), rather than being completely replaced with OLED fabrication technology.
    • by Threni (635302)
      Is it possible to use LEDs to grow plants. I know there are sites that sell them but I mean do they actually work? Can every non-LED light use be replaced with LEDs?
      • Yes. You can generate any frequency of light with LEDs. The problem is finding the proper doping to generate the frequency you needed; blue LEDs were either non-existent or expensive for a while, and red LEDs seem to be the easiest to make.
  • What matters is it "better" than it's predecessor?

    Everyone has their own idea of what "better" is but for TV screens it's usually some combination of faster, cheaper, more/smaller pixels, bigger color gamut, wider dynamic range, wider viewing angle, etc. etc.

    For a TV salesman, better means high turnover, high margins, and lots of opportunities to sell expensive add-ons. This usually means "good buzz" = better even if it's not technically better, and cheaper is usually = worse /lower margins.
  • I have four TVs. The biggest one, 28", is the one I watch the least. Small TVs are sufficient for watching the news in the kitchen (14") or bathroom (9"). Only movies or prime-time drama really demand something bigger (22"). Don't get me wrong, I get the appeal of big screens. But small screens definitely have a place, too. I really don't need to see the morning news life-sized. But I digress.

    The lower power demands, greater flexibility, and better daylight visibility compared to LCD, raise the possi
    • by Malc (1751)
      You have a TV in your bathroom? Why? Can you not live without it?

      In some countries you can't even get electrical sockets or ordinary switches in the bathroom for safety reasons (normally 240V countries)... I hope you have LCDs and not a high voltage device (part of the electron gun in a CRT) in your wet environment.
      • by hkmarks (1080097)
        I have no idea why I have a TV in the bathroom, but it's there. It just sauntered in one day and made itself at home. I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually part of some nefarious assassination plot. Oh well. If I'm going to die, at least I never miss Regis and Kelly.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        You have a TV in your bathroom? Why? Can you not live without it?

        Christ, I have a TV in my car. I can live without it, but if I find myself sitting around in a parking lot for an hour, I can watch something. (I got DVD too, but I wouldn't buy one of the JVC DVD/MP3 players, they suck ass. They play DVDs okay though.)

        Some of us find ourselves sitting on the toilet for a while on occasion. Personally I read when I'm in there, but I could as easily have put my little 7" LCD TV in there. I might even have don

        • by Malc (1751)

          Some of us find ourselves sitting on the toilet for a while on occasion.


          That sounds like an issue that requires a visit to the doctor. Sitting on the loo for long periods of time (even just minutes) is a short cut to haemorrhoids. Taking reading material in with you has been linked to increased incidence of this... and you're proposing watching TV too? If it's just occasionally (not an unhealthy), why bother with the TV at all?
      • by AJWM (19027)
        I hope you have LCDs and not a high voltage device (part of the electron gun in a CRT) in your wet environment.

        I've seen a house with a bathroom where the (CRT type) TV was installed behind the mirror, that section of the mirror being partially silvered. Looks just like normal mirror unless the TV is on. Mind, this was a model "display all the builders' goodies" home (that bathroom also had a urinal as well as a commode), I don't know how many setups like that get installed otherwise. Oh yeah, in additi
    • Of course they've solved the longevity issue!

      You buy a new one every five years.

      Problem solved.
  • Contrast is a quality measure for LCD screens. Because of the way LCDs (or DLPs) work, there is always some leakage of light, even when a pixel is completely off. If the amount of light that leaks through is only 1/2000th of what comes through when a pixel is white, that's pretty good.

    For LED technology, sending about "0" current through a led, or to put "0" voltage over it, is fairly easy to achieve electronics-wise. This gives about "0" light(*), meaning a contrast ratio of a million or a billion or bette
  • by sunderland56 (621843) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @01:29PM (#18691741)
    OK, they will start arriving in 3 years, they don't do true HDTV when everyone else is at 1080p, and they're only 20 inch diagonal. Wow, I'm sure the marketplace will just snap them up like hotcakes - especially since they'll start off at an inflated "new technology" price point.


    When you've got a $5000 20" OLED set, and your buddy's got a $3000 50" plasma 1080p set, who's going to win the pissing war, or host the cool SuperBowl party??

    • yeah i fail to see how these OLED tv's are going to compete. they are worse in every way, and will be ridiculously overpriced. what is the point in developing these sets? what are their advantages?
    • Me with my £20 digital projector :-)

      It's ex-lecture hall, and f***ing awesome.
  • I remember hearing somewhere that manufacturers and producers usually announce their release date projections for 3 years. The reasoning behind this, was something about 3 years being "not too long" if it is actually released, but "long enough" that if the release is a failure, in 3 years no one will really remember.

    All hearsay aside, I'm really excited about the future of OLEDs, especially for their contribution to a healthier environment.
  • Blue Is The Colour (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dunx (23729) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @01:33PM (#18691807) Homepage
    Presumably then they have solved the problem of blue OLEDs burning out after a year.
  • they mean Panasonic.

    Useless information, I know :)
    • by Gilmoure (18428)
      Matsushita sounds more American than Panasonic. Same with Datsun.
    • by dreamlax (981973)
      Panasonic is just a name that is put on various products manufactured by Matsushita. Panasonic is not the same as Matsushita; because Matsushita research and develop, as well as manufacture products that are released under other names (such as Technics). It is the mother company of various brands. Most likely, the OLED TV will be branded Panasonic, but it is being developed and manufactured [partly] by Matsushita, not Panasonic. Toshiba on the other hand, is not just the name of the researcher/developer/man
  • It will have a resolution of 1,280 by 768 pixels

    Oh, come on, in three years even the average consumer will have started to pick up on the importance of 1080i if not 1080p. Introducing this technology without at least a choice that includes one of these resolution options will create a perception that it's a second class technology and doom it before it even gets a start.

  • If they're only going to get them to that size then their ideal market could be for laptop screens. The lower power consumption and thinner form factor is perfect for that market. Might as well throw some OLED on the keyboard as well, now that would be a sexy laptop.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've now owned a few OLED based devices and there's one common problem with all of them: Flicker. LED's change intensity by lowering the flicker rate of the bulb itself. One of the biggest things about this OLED based MP3/Video player I have here, while yes, the colour and contrast is beautiful, it also flickers badly. Not in framerate, but actual flicker. Moving the screen makes the flicker much more apparent. I would say it refreshes at around 20Hz.

    If they can figure out how to minimise the flicker on OLE
  • Why don't they tile these smallish panels with surface mounted bezels that flare the image out a little, so the bezel face covers up the frames of the underlying tile? Then they could make high-yield runs of small tiles into any size combinations. With the extra benefit of parallel delivery to the subunits, for faster refresh, async updates (sigma-delta regions), etc.

    This has been a strategy that could have saved $billions in lost yields and years for other large displays like LCD. Why isn't it the industry
  • OK. But, I'd really like to see SED technology hit the shelves. Seemed like quite a bit of news last quarter of 2006. But, since then, still nothing solid.

    Here's an older overview of that technology,
    http://www.engadgethd.com/2005/08/16/sed-technolog y-explained/ [engadgethd.com]
    • Weird. Same concept, but I'd always heard it abbreviated as FED - Field Emission Displays. Samsung and a few competitors had a bunch of stuff in the works, or at least, they did. Everything seems to have gone silent on that front.
  • by Falkkin (97268) on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @02:21PM (#18692621) Homepage
    "We have no details, but if we did, they'd be wrong anyway!"
  • Its interesting to note that Matsushita and Toshiba compete in many areas (eg: BluRay vs HD-DVD), but can still collaborate on some other products...
  • You know, that technology [wikipedia.org] that was supposed to revolutionize the display and TV industry.

    I'm still waiting!

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 11, 2007 @02:38PM (#18692843) Homepage Journal
      The only advantages of SED over OLED are sideways viewing angle (OLED is better than LCD, but it still mostly wants to project light in one direction) and lifetime. OLED is superior in every other way; contrast ratio, black level, power consumption, weight, flexibility (of which SED has none), cost of production once the processes are ironed out, and probably the amount of energy consumed and pollution produced in making the things.
      • by NeMon'ess (160583) *
        And the fact that SED might actually be available in 60" panels this Winter. I'll take either technology most gleefully.
      • by SeaFox (739806)
        Considering SEDs are closer to CRTs in terms of technology, I would expect them to be far superior in terms of usable life. The rest of you can keep up with the Joneses and by a new plasma every few years when the old one fades. I'd like my TV's usable life to be measured in decades, not years.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)
          The manufacturing cost of the display element in an OLED is theoretically going to end up practically free. I've never kept a television for decades; I upgrade. (I've only been alive for three decades, and I've owned probably two dozen televisions of various descriptions so far, including two tube-type front projection systems, and two LCD projectors.) Replacing the display element which is a thin piece of plastic is not an unreasonable burden, assuming that the prices on the screen elements do indeed come
  • It's not a monitor, it's a TV, presumably HD, so why not do actual 720p (1280 x 720) or 1080p (1920 x 1080)?

    Why do HDTV display manufacturers do this?! My Panny Plasma has no PC input, but is XGA (1024 x 768), though it's advertised as "native" 720p. *sigh*

    My folks Sony LCD is WXGA too, but no PC port. Also advertised as native 720p...

    Can anyone explain why they stick with monitor resolution standards instead of doing actual TV resolutions? Please educate me.
  • Why does this matter? Sony already has a 27" 1080p OLED prototype [engadget.com]...

    Yeah, yeah... "OMFGBBQ ITS SONY THEY WILL INSTALL ROOTKITS ON IT!!1 IT WILL TELL SONY WHEN YOU WATCH PORN!!11"

  • I was under the impression larger, more expensive OLEDs were not yet viable due to the plastic not being impermeable enough against moisture. It causes the dots(particularly the blue ones)to 'rot' and gives the display a very short lifespan compared to CRT and even LCD(which has a comparatively short lifespan as is) technologies.

    Did they get the watertightness down proper? Also, the worse with this is you probably wouldn't notice the flaw with the panel until sufficient moisture has permeated the seal So
  • http://www.engadgethd.com/2007/01/08/sonys-1-000- 0 00-1-contrast-ratio-27-inch-oled-hdtv/ [engadgethd.com]

    I think samsung even showed a 40" model previously.

    If they want to start small how about 24" 1920x1200 computer monitor. I can't stand the viewing angle problems with LCD and I would pay more for OLED monitor in a heartbeat.

    Stop talking and deliver.
  • I wonder what would be nominal price of oled monitors, it seems that the circuitry is quite a bit simpler for them.

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