Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Panasonic and Sony Join Forces for Mass Production of OLED TV Panels

Sony and Panasonic recently announced that they have decided to team up to create mass production technology for super high-resolution TVs based on OLED technology. The companies said that this is also part of a concentrated effort to drive mainstream adoption and revive the companies' struggling television businesses. Panasonic and Sony are aiming to develop an effective way to print large panels that use OLEDs by 2013, according to a statement from the two manufacturers. In addition to that, both companies signed an agreement that includes sharing their technology and jointly researching mass production techniques.

Televisions based on OLED technology are widely considered to be superior to LCD televisions, which are currently the mainstream standard. The only downside is that OLED TVs are much more expensive than LCD TVs. OLED TVs are capable of producing their own light which means they do not require backlighting like LCD TVs. This means that they can display darker blacks and use less power while also providing better contrast and brightness in a much thinner frame.

In theory, OLED TVs can also be manufactured more efficiently than LCDs due to the fact that they can be printed straight onto a base material whereas the liquid crystal of the LCD screen is usually injected into tiny pockets. OLED screens are even widely used in phones and tablets nowadays, though cheap mass production of OLED TVs is still a major hurdle that needs to be overcome.

Sony debuted the world's first OLED TV back in 2007 with an 11" model that was only 3mm thick. The device initially wowed consumers and techies alike, though that enthusiasm was quickly tarnished by the device's $2,000 pricetag. Samsung and LG have both showed off super-thin 55" OLED models this year with Samsung stating that its TV will go on sale during the second half of 2012 in Korea for about $9,000. As a comparison, LCD TVs from Samsung that are the same size cost about one-fifth of that price.

Sony and Panasonic both saw record losses in the last fiscal year as costs increased in their TV businesses, with prices for LCD TVs dropping significantly. However, despite the depressing numbers, both companies have stated that they will not abandon the flagship product, even though efforts to revive sales through features like 3D and networked services have yet to generate any real profits for either company. Sony  stated that it will continue to contribute its knowledge and research into OLEDs, while Panasonic said it currently has production equipment and know-how that should be applicable to large-screen OLED TVs. 

Source: PC World - Sony, Panasonic to Team up to Mass-produce OLED TV Panels
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