Television in the Near Future: 2011-2020
Imagine a television that is only .3 millimeters thick, that is the thickness of three pieces of paper stacked on top of each other with ultra-high definition capability (3840-by-2160-pixel resolution). This is the latest prototype displayed by the Sony Corporation. It is not available for sale yet but its previous incarnation, the 3 mm Sony XEL-1 OLED, sells for $2,500. While both models are only 11 inches, they are the first foray into OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). OLED is the tech of the near future and will be the displays used on the next generation of high-end televisions.
OLED televisions are brighter, more efficient, thinner and have refresh rates and contrast than LED and LCD sets that are currently on the market. They take less power to operate than a traditional LED and the form factor could allow them to be flexible and transparent. There are currently two types of OLED under development. The first is a True-OLED that uses three colored sub-pixels (red, green and blue) to create a pixel while the other uses a white OLED covered with a transparent color film.
Several companies (LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba) have shown large OLED TV prototypes at CES there is little chance of seeing anything in the commercial market until mid-2013. LG expects the price of the unit to run about 50 percent higher than a comparable LCD.
While these OLED screens are micro-thin and can be flexible, do not expect to see this part of the technology to be exploited in televisions. It is more likely that this will be used in the tablet computer market sometime between 2020 and 2050.