CES 2011: Now THAT’S an LED TV!

CORRECTION: My thanks for friend and colleague Peter Putman for pointing out my error. Please see below.

Wandering around the LVCC Central Hall, I rounded a corner and saw this at the Mitsubishi pavillion:

The image of this 155-inch LED TV is actually made by individual LEDs.

That screen is 155″ diagonal. Yes, that’s equivalent to more than nine 50″ panels. It’s big. (Look at the person standing beside the lower left corner to get a sense of the scale.)

There are two interesting things about this display. First, it’s a true LED TV. Unlike “LED TVs” that some manufacturers advertise, the image here is actually created by millions of individual LEDs. (The other “LED TVs” are simply LCD TVs that have LEDs as a backlight instead of the usual fluorescent tubes. They’re still LCD TVs.)

The other interesting detail is that in spite of its enormous size, it’s not even high definition. This panel has 1152 by 640 pixels, which is essentially a Wide VGA resolution. Fortunately, the design is modular (intended for large signage displays) so you can add enough modules to get up to the desired resolution. Now all you need is a wall big enough for it. Anybody got a stadium in their backyard?

Folks, I got it wrong. This Mitsubishi video wall is not an LED dislpay, it’s an OLED display. (Yes, I could try to argue that OLEDs are just a type of LED, but I’d still be wrong. “LED” implies the inorganic little points of light that are used everywhere, and OLEDs are planar devices with totally different materials.)

In some ways, this makes the story even cooler, even if Mitsubishi did first show this display in 2009 though I believe that this is the first time it has been shown in this country. I should have realized that something was different about it because the image was so much dimmer than the LED billboards we see by the road or in sports stadiums. But apparently this is now a commercial product, which is interesting. It would appear that OLED is going to make its inroads at the very large and very small displays.