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CES 2012 Coolest Product: Sony Crystal LED Display

Jan 17 2012, 2:41pm CST | by , in News | CES

CES 2012 Coolest Product: Sony Crystal LED Display
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My pick of the best product of the show

Yesterday I ran down some of the coolest gadgets that came out of CES 2012 this year. I decided that I would go back and look at the stuff that debuted at the show and find the single coolest item of the entire show. It can be hard to pick one item as your favorite when so many surface at the show, but this year it was easy for me. Much of the stuff that debuted was boring or nothing new.

Sony on the other hand rolled out a completely new type of TV and the TV has the promise of bringing a new level of image quality to TV watchers everywhere. The new development is called the Crystal LED Display. The prototype screen that Sony was showing off at CES measured 55-inches and uses self-emitting LEDs as the light source. That might sound like normal LED backlit TVs to you, but this is a completely different animal.

Whereas LED backlit displays have light bars, the Crystal LED display uses a single tiny LED for each of the green, red, and blue pixels on the screen. That means for every pixel of the screen there is a corresponding LED and for a 1080p image resolution that adds up to around 6 million LEDs. The LEDs are directly on the front of the display and have dramatically improved light efficiency.

Sony claims that the screen has viewing angles that are much better than a conventional set and the TV still consumes little power. The contrast of the prototype set at CES was about 3.5 times that of a conventional TV in a light environment. The color gamut is 1.4 times wider and it has ten times the video processing speed.

Sony will roll these screens out in all sorts of markets from consumer to professional graphics. I would bet this would be the future of not only computer displays, but home entertainment as well. The prototype is rated for brightness of 400 cd/m2 and has about 180-degree viewing angles. The contrast in dark environments is so good that it can't be measured. That is impressive. I hate screens with poor dark contrast ratios. I bet you have seen TVs with bad dark contrast, this is when the dark areas on a screen are hard to see and blocky looking.

Sony hasn't offered up any indicating of when the tech might come to market. Most importantly, it has also not offered any indication of how much TVs using the tech might cost. If Sony plays its cards right and the tech is affordable it will have a winner. I would pay somewhat of a premium for this tech, but nothing like the massive price of Sony's first OLED set a few years ago.

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