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Sony rules out OLED this year, accidentally pays plasma a compliment

Despite showing an amazing OLED 3D demo at CES, Sony doesn't think we're any closer to mass-market, large-screen OLEDs appearing in electronics stores

In an interview with Sony Insider, Stan Glasgow, president of Sony USA, revealed the company will not be releasing any new OLED TVs this year. This comes at a time when manufacturers have taken their focus away from new display technologies, and poured cash into 3D. But even Glasgow admits OLED is probably the future of both 2D and 3D displays, saying: "There's a wonderful 3D OLED prototype here at CES; that's the real way to do 3D and TV -- because you've got direct transmission, rather than back lighting and all the other reflective ways of doing it."

That's an interesting thing for a Sony chief to say, because it's a bit like admitting, "If you want to watch 3D at home, LCD isn't as good as plasma." Plasma is, like OLED, a direct display technology. That's largely been borne out by Panasonic, which has the best working 3D system we've seen so far and is probably one of the closest to having a product to launch to the public too. OLED trumps all other systems, however, because its brightness and vivid colour reproduction make it an ideal partner for 3D video.

Sadly, despite rumours in the run-up to CES that Sony would announce another, larger OLED TV this year, the truth is, we're no closer than we were last year. The theoretical OLED TV everyone was expecting would have complemented Sony's tiny, but impressive, 11-inch TV that launched two years ago. But despite the dozens of OLED prototypes on the Samsung, LG and Sony stands, nothing was announced for 2010 at all. There's always the European trade show IFA, which takes place in the summer, but it's very unlikely that such a key product would be launched there, and not at CES.

So, word from Sony is that OLED isn't likely to be available any time soon, and LCD isn't as good as plasma for 3D. Panasonic must be thrilled Sony is doing its PR for them.