Is Sony rising from the ashes? The manufacturer passably missed the LCD turning point, because of a risky and early bet on OLED technology. It seems that they have now succeeded and that we will finally see these so much awaited monitors! There will however be another additional step before its release.
This summer, Sony will launch a new product range including LED backlight instead of the usual CCFL tubes. This replacement brings three advantages:
- lower power consumption
- wider gamut
- better light homogeneity (see the article on Nec's monitor).
The LED life is equivalent to current CCFL tubes. The counterpart on NEC's 21" monitor, which is already available, is a very much higher price: 5000 .
Good news, Sony's CCFL and LED monitors will have the same price! The manufacturer announced the released of 17, 19 and 20" monitors around July.
Second step: the released of a 24" OLED monitor in October. This time, the price will be sensibly higher than LED LCDs. It is a little too early to talk about the characteristics. Sony just said that the response time would be reasonable, between 12 and 16 ms according to their current forecasts.
Even if these announcements are great , it is best to remain calm because we usually see delays for new technologies, overestimated characteristics and under evaluated prices. OLED monitors are awaited for a little more than 5 years. One little drawback, for now the only "big" (15 inches) monitor that we have tested had strong afterglow effects. Also, the price will probably be very high, even prohibitive for most of the users. Sony is only targetting clients that are very enthusiasts about this technology and this product.
LED backlight monitors were also expected in 2005 for Samsung amongst others. They too will be late. In consequence, it is best to have in mind July as a release date but not stick to it. Let's hope that they will show up in 2006. That would already be a good thing.