Sony giving up on OLED TVs? Panasonic, Samsung push on.

Everyone who's seen Sony's 11-inch XEL-1 TV based on OLED technology has fallen in love with it, but that's apparently not enough for the company to keep working to develop bigger sets. In fact, a Sony spokesman bluntly admitted that "We really made the XEL-1 just to prove that we could make it.

Everyone who's seen Sony's 11-inch XEL-1 TV based on OLED technology has fallen in love with it, but that's apparently not enough for the company to keep working to develop bigger sets. In fact, a Sony spokesman bluntly admitted that "We really made the XEL-1 just to prove that we could make it." Though I checked out a 21-inch OLED at Sony's booth at CES a couple of months ago, it seems Sony is more interested in carrying on with OLEDs for its mobile devices.

Nonetheless, market research firm Display Search predicts that in a few years (2015, to be exact) revenue from OLED TVs will surpass that from OLED mobile devices. That's good news for Samsung and Panasonic, who are continuing to work on OLED sets despite their ridiculously high price points. (Those 11 inches of XEL-1 screen still cost $2,500.) Samsung is working on a 23-inch display that will be available in 2010; no pricing has been announced, but this video clip gives a sneak peek at the set. Meanwhile, Panasonic is apparently working with Toshiba on OLED TVs, and recently disclosed that it expects to release a 37-inch model within the next two years.

With their 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and reduced power consumption, OLED sets appear to be a dream come true for the next generation of HDTVs. The only question is how quickly that dream becomes affordable for the everyman and not just the early adopter.