Sony has given up on consumer OLED HDTV production, leaving it to the LGs and Samsungs of the world, but that doesn't mean it has lost sight of it as a potentially disruptive display technology. So in response, the electronics giant has unveiled at CES a competing concept that it's calling Crystal LED Display.
Instead of using them as a backlighting source, Sony's new technology mounts red, green, and blue LEDs (6 million in all) on the front of the TV. Sony claims that the shift results in "strikingly higher contrast (in both light and dark environments), wider color gamut, superb video image response time, and wider viewing angles when compared to existing LCD and plasma displays, with low power consumption." That "superb" response time is reportedly 10 times faster than the rates for any other Sony TV.
Sony execs told the Wall Street Journal that the Crystal LED Display technology is more stable than OLED, so there should be fewer manufacturing errors, which presumably could lower the price for the sets. While there's no public timeline for when commercial sets using the new technology would be available, a Sony exec told the Journal that units will be available later this year.
Reports from the show floor came away impressed, if not awed. Engadget said the sample set on view failed to show off the speedy refresh rates, and our sister site CNET found that OLED TVs provided a bit more "wow." CNET also posted a short video examining Sony's Crystal LED Display in more detail that you can watch here.