Techon reported last week about a technology demonstration by Mitsubishi Electric. At the annual CEATEC show in Japan, the company showed an OLED display that was 155″ diagonal: nearly 13 feet diagonal. That’s one big screen!
Actually, it was really 720 little screens. Each tile was about 5″ diagonal, with 16 by 16 pixel resolution. The result was a high resolution 720p display that was very bright, but this is not intended for home use. These OLED tiles were made using a passive backplane, which is much lower cost than the active matrix used by LCDs and most high resolution OLED displays. The passive backplane makes this display less expensive to manufacturer, according to Mitsubishi, than a traditional LED large display, such as those used for billboards and stadium displays.
It’s possible that this technology will find its way down to smaller screens suitable for home televisions, but there was no mention of any such plans at this time. So for now, I’ll stick to my prediction that it will be 2013 at the earliest before you’ll be able to buy an OLED HDTV at anything approaching a competitive price.