Sony to introduce first OLED TV in U.S.

Sony announced the first OLED-based HDTV at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show.

Sony's XEL-1 is the first OLED TV to be available in the U.S. Sony

Although Sony introduced its 11-inch OLED HDTV in Japan already, the company's big splash announcement at the 2008 CES is that the model, dubbed XEL-1, is now available stateside, for the cool price of $2,500. While the relatively tiny, exorbitantly expensive HDTV itself won't attract many buyers, it represents an important milestone by shepherding in the latest flat-panel TV technology, which may eventually replace plasma and traditional LCD.

The XEL-1 measures 3mm thick. Sony
OLED, short for Organic Light Emitting Diode, promises better picture quality, smaller size (the XEL-1 measures just 3mm thick) and more efficient operation. Sony claims a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, indicating deep black levels. Since OLED can turn the light emitted from the diodes on and off quickly, Sony also claims rapid response times for "smooth, natural reproduction of fast-moving content."

The XEL-1 is supposedly 40 percent more efficient than traditional LCD panels in terms of power consumption, and unlike other LCDs, its manufacturing process doesn't require the use of harmful mercury.

About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs and home entertainment gear at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."


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