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Sony's Almost-Paper-Thin OLED-TV Coming to U.S.

Sony's Super-Slim OLED TV Coming to U.S. Next YearBack in October, Sony wowed us with delicious pictures of a ridiculously thin television, the XEL-1 OLED TV. Its screen enclosure was just three millimeters (about .1-inches!) thick -- or thin rather. Okay, so it's only 11-inches across, meaning you wouldn't want to make one the focal-piece of your home theater system. But it's hard to resist, given its lithe design. It was supposed to be Japan-only, but now Sony's saying we can have one. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until some undisclosed time next year before the TV gets its U.S. release.

The sets, which dropped in Japan for about $1,700, use a newer type of display called Organic LED, or OLED. The technology isn't altogether dissimilar to that of your typical LCD television, but where an LCD display requires backlights to illuminate the picture from behind, an OLED panel illuminates itself. Without the backlight, the bezel can be made smaller, resulting in the thin set seen here. OLED also can offer brilliant brightness and contrast compared to a traditional LCD, but its biggest problem is degradation. Where an LCD will last you pretty much forever (if you replace the backlights), OLEDs eventually fade and die.

The XEL-1 suffers from this problem, rated to deliver about 30,000 hours worth of viewing before having to be retired. That's less than half your average plasma set, and at the extreme price for the size, the XEL-1 is more a design and technical exercise than anything. We saw it on the show floor at CEATEC a couple of months ago and loved the look of it. We're glad to see Sony will be bringing it to the U.S. ... even if we can't necessarily afford one.

From Engadget

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Tags: Big in Japan, BigInJapan, breaking+news, Future Tech, FutureTech, OLED, Only in Japan, OnlyInJapan, Sony, super-thin tvs, Super-thinTvs, top

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