Rumor: Sony TVs in 2017 will have OLED Displays

OLED, organic light emitting diodes, is an upcoming display technology which first became popular on phone screens. It gives the graphics driver the ability to light up only parts of the screen using a matrix of LEDs. A big advantage of this control is the ability to get true blacks. With light crystal display (LCD) screens, the entire panel is lit. This means darker colors may appear washed out and overly bright. There are other comparisons between the display technologies as well.

OLED may be coming to Android TV by way of Sony, according to a recent rumor from Forbes. Their source is Barry Young, the CEO of the Texas-based OLED Association.

Note: This is a rumor; treat it as such.

Will Sony opt for a shift in their displays? It’s possible they may do it in order to compete with LG, who makes their own OLED TVs. If true, then the company will likely debut it during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next month in order to generate press. Of course, they’ll likely continue to use Android TV as the underlying operating system. Hopefully it will run Android 7.1 Nougat, but it might just run Marshmallow like other Sony TVs.

Schematic of a bilayer OLED: 1. Cathode (−), 2. Emissive Layer, 3. Emission of radiation, 4. Conductive Layer, 5. Anode (+)
Schematic of a bilayer OLED: 1. Cathode (−), 2. Emissive Layer, 3. Emission of radiation, 4. Conductive Layer, 5. Anode (+)

By Rafał Konieczny (own image) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

While it’s also expected to support 4K and HDR content, the bigger question is around the cost. OLED panels have typically been expensive, much more so than its LCD counterparts, making costs hard to justify purchasing. The rumor also suggests a $2000 price for 55-inches and $3000 for 65-inches. This price is hundreds less than LG’s models, and competition could begin driving down the cost for large OLED displays.

We’ll definitely learn more about where the TV industry is moving toward in the coming month, but for now it can only be predicted that more displays will use OLED to take better advantage of the higher contrast in HDR videos.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub (http://github.com/fleker) Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop. Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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