SAN FRANCISCO--Though LG's eye-popping OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display wowed audiences in Berlin last month, it's best not to get too excited. There's not going to be more where that came from, at least for a while.
The industry is still at least three years away from churning out standard-size televisions of 32 inches or larger at something approaching acceptable prices. And though Sony grabbed all the attention in early 2008 with its $2,500 11-inch OLED, it's faded into the background when it comes to nudging the technology forward. Initially promising to follow up with 21-inch and 27-inch models, Sony's deferred those plans while battling bigger problems with its TV business.
With Sony on the sidelines, it seemed like we were witnessing yet another false start for a technology that's been intent on challenging existing TV standards like LCD and plasma for almost half a decade now.
Beset by the standard issues that come with bringing a new technology into the mainstream, like the exorbitantly high cost of development, OLED TVs might be on the verge of shifting out of neutral as new standard bearers for the technology emerge. The ones to watch now are Samsung and LG Electronics, which have each signaled that they're ready to make larger investments in OLED technology for TVs. … Read more