The two Japanese tech giants are pooling their resources to bring down the price of OLED sets. And considering what we’ve seen of OLED so far, it’s about time. Can OLED finally find a home in our living rooms?
Sony and Panasonic are joining forces to produce OLED TVs. According to a Sony press release, the two will jointly develop “next-generation” OLED technology “by each utilizing their core and printing technologies,” which will help bring down the cost of producing large sets. They’re looking to ramp up to mass production by next year, and will hopefully pass on the savings to us consumers.
If you’re not too familiar with OLED, we can’t blame you; the technology gives far better picture quality than LCD or plasma, with deeper colour saturation and greater contrast ratios. The TVs are slimmer and use less power, too. The only catch? The price.
Sony launched the first OLED set back in 2007. It was 11-inches big and cost £3,500. More recently, LG announced a 55-inch OLED set, which is more like it in terms of size but will set you back £8,000. This in the midst of the worst global recession in recent memory. Not very sensible.
Sony and Panasonic are both struggling at the moment, with Korean rivals LG and Samsung stealing the TV market share. Sony’s TV division lost $2.2bn at the end of last year, with Sony announcing it’ll halve the number of sets it ships from 40m to 20m. So this deal makes a lot of sense.
Of course, there’s also the question of Apple launching its TV at the end of the year, which could well be the kick up the backside rival gogglebox makers need. But hey, as long as prices come down and usability improves, it’s win-win for telly addicts the world over.