OLED has been one of those star-crossed TV technologies. Since 2008, the Consumer Electronics Show has seen plenty of OLED demos that wow the attendees. The attributes of OLED look promising in that they deliver top-of-class image quality, without any of the considerable drawbacks of plasma and LCD (including LED LCD) HDTVs. Year-after-year, manufacturers made announcements and rumors spread that OLED TVs were just around the corner, and that breakthroughs have been made that negate OLED's existing issues (i.e., low production yields, short panel lifespans, and color fading). Yet, here we are and thus far, we have not seen any new consumer OLED TVs introduced in the last three years.
OLED "The Holy Grail" Finally Arrives (?)
Now, things might finally be changing. Rumors are buzzing that Samsung and LG are set to introduce 55" OLED TVs at CES next month. The competing manufacturers are apparently pushing to get the sets out in time for the 2012 Olympics.
Analysts project that these sets will initially be priced around $8,000. A lot more expensive than current plasma and LCD TVs, but the market is expected to first go through home installers, whose clientele is less price sensitive than the Walmart/Best Buy crowd. This would give the home installers a high margin product with a clear-cut performance advantage over other TVs sold in big box retail stores. The linked article refers to this as the "holy grail" for home installers, who have seen their product margins squeezed in recent years.
The LG TV is basically a matrix of 6 million white diodes with a three-color filter overlay (similar to how LCD works), while the Samsung will use clusters of three-colored diodes.
Some articles I've seen are connecting the OLED TV rumors with Apple's supposed plans to introduce its own TV in 2012. Would not surprise me if Apple's rumored high end HDTV uses an OLED panel.
4K HDTV Set To Expand in a Big Way
As LG and Samsung prepare to collide with their OLED TV introductions, other manufacturers plan to focus their high end introductions on 4k HDTVs. 4k resolution basically follows the direction that professionals have gone -- in digital cinema, post production, and theatrical presentation.
For consumers, right now 1080p is state of the art. Blu-ray, networked video, and broadcast sources max out at 1080p. For consumers, 4k is basically 3840 x 2160p resolution. As of now, there are no sources available to view at a native 4k resolution. But, there's bound to be a lot of new processing schemes that can tweak with the picture quality and make use of those extra pixels with 1080p sources.
There's no huge push for 4k sources right now, but that's not going to stop manufacturers from marketing the hell out of 4k HDTVs (much the same way that 1080p was heavily marketed before 1080p sources were available).
Wooch's Home Theater 2.0 (Pics)
Panasonic VIERA TH-C50FD18 50" 1080p
Paradigm Reference Studio 40, CC, and 20 v.2
Adire Audio Rava (EQ: Behringer Feedback Destroyer DSP1124)
Dual CS5000 (Ortofon OM30 Super)
Denon DVD-758 (DVD-1940ci)
Sony Playstation 3 (MediaLink OS X Server)
Sony ES SCD-C2000ES
Oppo Digital HM-31
Logitech Harmony 650
For consumers, 4k is basically 3840 x 2160p resolution. As of now, there are no sources available to view at a native 4k resolution. But, there's bound to be a lot of new processing schemes that can tweak with the picture quality and make use of those extra pixels with 1080p sources.
Yes, that is called upscaling
4K TV network broadcasting probably will be out of question in forseeable future due to many limitations. But I'm guessing Bluray can be upgraded to put out 4 k resolution albiet modification in output protocal and capacity.
It will be interesting to see what real (as opposed to claimed) advantages OLEDS confer to TV.
I use a Nikon Monarch rangefinder during the day because of its exceptional range and ability to work thru stands of trees to the target beyond, but as afternoon slides into twilight a Leupold OLED rangefinder can easily pick out what the Monarch misses. This is what you call a visable difference.