Sony will be the first major manufacturer to ship the newest level of high-definition screen technology, OLED TV's (Organic Light Emitting Diode)
For decades we were told about flat TV screens and how they were just around the corner. When they did arrived, the technologies quickly multiplied. First there was Liquid Crystal Display technology (LCD) then there was plasma, then Surface-conduction Electron-emitter (SED). Now these three are about to be joined by a fourth flat screen technology, one that has the potential of being the roll-up, wallpaper screen of fiction. It's called OLED or Organic Light Emitting Diode technology and it promises to revolutionize almost everything that uses displays from cell phones, PDAs and keyboards, to computer monitors and HDTVs.
OLEDs possess several advantages that make them ideal for HDTV. They are brighter than any back-lit passive technology and they react faster to changes in signal than do either plasma or LCD TVs making them much better suited for full-motion video. They also are much lighter in weight, and are more durable. Using a flexible substrate, these devices would be almost impervious to shock or torsional forces. They also enjoy a much greater operating temperature range, making them ideal for hostile environments. No backlight means lower power consumption and one less component to fail or wear out.
It is still unclear when OLED technology will be in mass production and when it will become price competitive with existing technologies. If it can fulfill its promise, a wide variety of applications will benefit.