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Today’s Show:

Crystal LED HDTV Technology

It was pretty clear that the OLED TVs demonstrated by LG and Samsung stole the show at the last Consumer Electronics Show we went to. We were really impressed by the color, contrast and sharpness of the picture. Check out this video we shot in the Samsung booth (Samsung Super OLED HDTV). However, there are some issues that need to be resolved before we see mainstream OLED HDTVs in sizes that we would want in our living rooms.

Rather than go with an OLED TV, Sony displayed a technology called Crystal LED. Crystal LED takes six million tiny LEDs to create a picture that they hope will rival OLED technology. A 1080P TV has nearly 2 million pixels on screen. Crystal LEDs TVs take three LEDs, one for red, green, and blue, and combine them for each pixel. Each pixel is mounted directly in front of the display. This is not an LED based LCD but an actual LED TV.

On paper this technology has a ton of potential. For instance, like plasma, each individual pixel can be controlled. This should provided blacks that can rival plasma and OLED. Another benefit for the technology is that a Crystal LED will use far less energy, 70 watts for a 55 inch screen. Crystal LED TVs produces a picture with viewing angles of 180 degrees, high contrast ratios, and better color than current plasma and LCD HDTVs.

The version that we saw in Las Vegas looked quite impressive. One of the things that stuck us was that there was minimal reflection. That is another drawback of plasmas. We left the Sony booth thinking we could have our cake and eat it too!.

The concept isn’t new. Those really large screens that you see at stadiums use this type of technology to do the same thing. Its much easier to do this on a large screen when you are sitting tens or hundreds of meters away. The key for Sony is that they are shrinking the size of the LEDs down dramatically so that they can fit six million of them into a screen that would fit in your family room. That process is complex and costly. Sony wants to get this right. With six million LEDs there will be a higher chance of having a dead pixel.

Cost and Availability

So when can I have one and how much will it cost? Sony isn’t answering any of these questions. Our hunch is that it will cost about what an OLED TV will cost. And if Sony wants this technology to have a chance it needs to come out at about the same time as OLED. We know that Samsung will be releasing their OLEDs in the second half of the year. Our prediction is that you will be able to by a Crystal LED TV from Sony by the summer of 2013 and it will run about $6,000.

Download Episode #522


Posted by The HT Guys, March 15, 2012 10:24 PM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.