Sony Crystal LED – a rival for OLED TVs?

by , Deputy Computing Editor CES 12/01/2012
Sony Crystal LED

Just when you thought LED was the cutting edge of TV Tech, Sony unveils its new Crystal LED displays. Claiming brighter colours, deeper blacks and smoother motion, these new Crystal LED TVs could be the future.

Every year at CES we get a peek at the TV technology that may not yet be market-ready, but is on the horizon. This year, Sony proudly displayed its Crystal LED prototypes.

So how does Crystal LED differ to conventional LED?

Sony’s Crystal LED TVs won’t be available to buy this year, but Sony was, rather oddly, showing off their superiority to its own conventional LEDs at CES (the same models it’s hoping to sell this very year).

Sony Crystal LED vs conventional LED

Sony compares its Crystal LED (left) to a conventional LED display

Shooting itself in the left foot to show off its right foot? Perhaps, but let’s take a closer look at the technology behind Crystal LED and how this translates to better pictures.

Rather than using a rear-LED lighting or side lighting, as is the case on current LED models, Crystal LED allows each individual LED within the TV to provide its own illumination. Each individual LED also has a red, blue and green output.

Ok, so what? Well Sony insist that this means each LED itself can be independently controlled, “virtually eliminating” issues of ghosting and stutter in fast-moving objects, and also allowing for deeper blacks and brighter colours down to a micro-localised level.

In short, superior detail, better contrast, better motion.

Is Crystal LED the future?

Needless to say, Sony’s Crystal LED wasn’t the only “future of TV” product on display at CES.

Samsung and LG were each showing off their 55-inch OLED displays. These super-slim, ultra-sharp and energy efficient sets were the talk of the town at CES, and these models will be available to buy this year.

Meanwhile, LG, Toshiba and Panasonic were all displaying 4K TV displays, which boast four times the resolution of today’s HD models. This higher resolution technology won’t be available in homes for a couple of years at least.

Clearly there’s plenty of exciting TV tech on the horizon. The question is, should we still spend a small fortune buying one of 2012′s latest models when the round-the-corner tech could render them obsolete?

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