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Cheaper, bigger OLEDs coming in 2010

After a slow start, OLED, the next major screen technology, is likely to see a boost with a handful of new models expected to trickle into the Australian market next year.

After a slow start, OLED, the next major screen technology, is likely to see a boost with a handful of new models expected to trickle into the Australian market next year.

LG showed off a 15-inch OLED at CES 2009 (Credit: Ty Pendlebury/CNET Australia)

Warren Kim, LG's TV category manager, said it is "highly likely" that Australia will see at least one new OLED screen from the Korean company next year, but added that at the moment there was "no market for it, there's no competition".

However, he was unable to elaborate on which models would be released here, with a 15-inch shown at CES 2009 and a 20-inch heavily rumoured, saying that the company won't be making a decision until the new year.

Earlier this week, a Sony document leaked onto the web outlining that the new KDL-ZX Series OLEDs would be making an appearance in overseas markets.

Japanese manufacturer Sony released the first OLED in the Australian market in May this year, and is still the only manufacturer to make one available.

Jan Ergen, TV product manager at Sony Electronics Australia, said OLED was still a niche item because "high manufacturing costs means it's hard to make OLED a mass-market product". He was unable to commit to whether Sony would release a new model in 2010.

Until OLED can be made cheaply and reliably, LCD is expected to continue selling strongly. The latest technology advancement in LCD televisions is LED-backlighting, and Sony, Samsung and Sharp have released new models onto the market this year. Last week, LG released its SL90 series which features an "edge-lit" LED system which means the TV can be made ultra-thin.

"We're going to call it LED LCD for convenience sake. The LED LCD market has been well accepted by the consumers. As a manufacturer of TVs we are coming out with models with LED technologies. I think LED, though it's still accepted, is still in its growing stage and still needs further education and recognition by consumers," Kim said.