With 4K and OLED emerging as the trends du jour at CES this year, Sony leaped into the prototype pack earlier this week by demoing its own 4K OLED TV, a 56" stunner that wowed attendees and dropped its share of jaws. 4K OLED sets aren't about to grace the aisles of Best Buy anytime soon, but it's an exciting glimpse into a future full of possibilities.
According to Sony's official press release, it has developed the first 4K (3840 x 2160) OLED (organic light-emitting diode) television. To demonstrate its latest achievement, Sony has brought the 56-inch prototype to the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The world's first and largest* 56-inch OLED TV achieves 4K resolution by using the latest oxide semiconductor TFTs and Sony's own 'Super Top Emission' technologies. (*As the prototype of OLED TV which realized 56 inch large size and 4K resolution, of January 8th, 2013.)
Up until now, in order to force light through the OLED layer, OLED TVs used low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) thin-film transistors (TFTs). However, there were some challenges inherent in the manufacture of large OLED displays.
Using oxide semiconductor TFTs Sony has been able to produce this new larger display. The new OLED component's structure also incorporates Sony's own 'Super Top Emission' technology, which has been successfully incorporated in other products already introduced into the market. This 'Super Top Emission' technology has a high aperture ratio and enables light to be extracted efficiently from the structure's OLED layer. By combining two Sony developed technologies, Sony has been able to overcome some of these challenges.
This prototype delivers all of the features expected from OLED TVs, such as high contrast, brightness, rapid video image response time and rich images produced even at wide viewing angles, all packaged in a large 4K resolution panel.
The OLED panel used in this prototype 4K OLED TV on display at the exhibition was jointly developed with Taiwanese company AU Optronics Corporation (AUO).
Sony has long been actively involved in the product development and mass production of OLED displays. Beginning with the release of the world's first 11-inch OLED television in 2007, Sony went on to release 17" and 25" monitors for professional applications in 2011. On the research and development front, Sony has given presentations on the results of its research in process (manufacturing) technologies for mid and large-sized panels as well as presenting research findings on oxide semiconductor TFTs and flexible organic TFTs. Sony is also actively working on next-generation OLED technologies.
Sony will continue to research OLED technology with the goal of commercializing its new 4K OLED televisions, as well as launch 4K LCD TVs like the BRAVIAs exhibited at CES2013. From filming to editing, content creation, delivery, distribution and display devices, Sony is making its unique new 4K imaging experience available to users in a wide variety of ways.
Technological specifications of the exhibited 4K OLED TV prototype:
Panel Size: 56-inch
Number of Pixels: 3,840 x 2,160
Display Elements: OLED
Drive Circuit: Oxide Semiconductor
TFT Special Structural Characteristics: Super Top Emission
Other Characteristics: Undisclosed
Tekzilla Interview with Sony Product Trainer Daryl Eshun
Blu-ray doesn't, but it can probably be made to support 4K, just like it was for 3D. It's probably somewhat pointless though, as the difference you're seeing on any size flat panel is attributable more to screen resolution than source resolution. No flat panel can even fully resolve 1080p.
We have three Sony's ourselves, but I can't go along with the "You make the best TVs!" statement any more. Sony is often the first to get new technologies to consumer friendly prices; but, as history proves, they do so at the cost of longevity, and what's worse they know it. It's not just that the tech hasn't been fully tested to see how it'll stand up to years of use, they actually bury in fine print or technical jargon that most consumers wouldn't even know how to interpret that certain key elements have a much shorter life expectancy than what they lead the consumer to believe the display will have based on LED's life expectancy, which they so prominently advertise, and their designs don't even provide for replacement of these key parts, so that it's more cost effective to replace the entire display than have it repaired when they fail.
I definitely won't be investing in OLED for it's first few years, maybe more, but not because of prices - higher prices used to be because they're built better early on; I'm not certain that's true anymore. I think these days, it's more because of the risk, in releasing unproven technology. They use consumers like beta-testers, until they have greater confidence in production yields and quality standards.
Gee a set that won't be out in years (if Ever) playing content which is also not coming out anytime soon
since it won't fit on the biggest disc we have now(BR) seems this set is only for people who go to these shows
Blu-ray cannot go any higher than 1080p. There is currently no disc based media format in the works to display UHD 4K or higher. It has been acknowledged by the manufacturers that the only viable solution is to drop disc based formats. All of the native 4K content will be made available in the form of digital downloads that can then be stored on a hard drive. Only two companies are offering 4K media players, RED (the company that makes the professional 4K digital movie cameras) has a box called Redray which is to be released this year, and Sony which is scrambling to put together its own version of the Redray. I guess everyone but RED thought people would be content with upsampling to 4K, and they discovered how dead wrong they were at CES.
Check out the video on red.com/news, to see and hear about Redray.
given that most people are more interested in downloads of doubtfull legality, who is going to be buying these TVs?
I see in the news here in the UK a good few people still claim to have B&W TVs from last millenium even though analogue broadcast is dead and burried
I love Sony TV's too, their XBR's are the cat's meow, but I'm questioning their claim of being the first to demonstrate a 56" 4K OLED tv. Didn't Panny come out with a 56" 4K OLED at CES last tuesday? (Jan 8)
Sony makes the best TVs? That statement could not be more wrong. Years ago I tried buying a couple different Bravias and they were the worst TVs I ever owned, terrible picture, terrible sound, and other things, most Sony products have been garbage for years. I have a Sony Ericsson phone that is just crap, have a few more months on contract then i am back with motorola, I have always bought motorola. I would never touch anything made by Sony ever again.
Streaming is supposedly replacing physical media, meaning all movies and TV in the future will be streamed via the internet. Considering we (the US) lacks the infrastructure to handle this in 1080p how the hell will it handle a format that demands 4 times the bandwidth?
If there is no light source and it's an OLED will that mean that the black will be as good or similar to a plasma screen i.e. Pioneer Kuro. I am still surprised that with all the technology they haven't found a way of duplicating CRT blacks!