Sony and Panasonic step up OLED TV efforts

Posted by Mark Raby

After Samsung unveiled its new OLED TV, Sony and Panasonic are apparently stepping up their respective games.

Sources cited by Reuters claims that both Sony and Panasonic are actively working with manufacturing and distribution partners to create OLED TV sets that can appeal to the mass market.

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology allows for a display to provide crisper pictures, it uses less power, and it is incredibly thin. Picture the slimmed HDTV you've seen at Best Buy and imagine a TV that's even thinner than that.

Of course, the problem right now is that OLED technology is incredibly expensive. Samsung recently unveiled a new 55-inch TV, which it plans to begin selling in Korea later this year, and it will retail for 10 million won. That's more than $9,000.

So it isn't exactly mainstream at this point, but the mere fact that a company will actually be putting a 55-inch OLED TV in stores says a lot for how far the technology has advanced - and for how much Samsung loves being on the bleeding edge.

Samsung was also the first manufacturer to sell 3D TVs in the US, launching multiple models before any other competitor was able to enter the market. However, the issue with being the guinea pig is that if the market doesn't take off, you'll be the one who suffers the most.

If you already associate "OLED TV" with Sony, you have a good memory of the past. That company actually launched an OLED TV in the US more than four years ago. But to some people, it wasn't really a TV. It only had an 11-inch screen size, it was priced at $2500, and there was never a larger model even though Sony said it was working on one.

Now, it looks like Sony wants to go back to the drawing board and create something that can appeal to the masses. The OLED TV race is officially underway.