Widgets Magazine

Of TVs and OLEDs

samsung-oledThis week we have a couple of significant display stories that are worth a closer look. First there is news that Samsung has purchased a 3% stake in Sharp. That deal makes Samsung the biggest single investor that is not a bank or financial institution of some sort. Moreover, it is a cultural departure for a Japanese firm (Sharp) to get into a deal with a South Korean company (Samsung). We’ll talk about the technology reasons in a bit. However, the cultural shift, I think, is more significant. It is another step into the globalized economy of our world. When two companies from different and divergent cultures can see past their differences and join forces, of a sort, is a good thing.
Granted, they had incentive. If Samsung had not made the investment it is a good chance that Sharp’s days were numbered. They still may be. That leads to the other side of this story; the technology. Up til this point the largest Samsung display was a 75″ LED. In a time when Sharp is cranking out 90″ and marketing them like the lot of the were 50″ a few years ago, the investment was a good way for Samsung to shore up a supply line for a possible larger display for themselves. Is bigger better? Not necessarily. In a world of 720p, not really. When we are starting to get into the realm of 4k (and even 8k) yes, bigger would be better. If display manufacturers don’t find a way to consistently manufacture these larger screens they run the risk of projectors taking their lunch.
Unless they figure out OLED. Which leads to the other significant story of the week. LG has invested an additional $650 million into a new OLED line. This from the company who swore at CES 2012 they would have a display by Christmas 2012. Still waiting. For those of us in the camp that has never quite gotten use to the transmissive technology of LCD, and love our old CRTs, which is why we prefer Plasma, OLED is the next quality step. That is not to say there are not fine LCD displays out there. They are very nice. I just don’t personally care for them over a Plasma. The colors are never quite right, never as deep, and never as vibrant. Give me an Plasma over LCD any day of the week. Give me an OLED over any of them, and I’ll put them in wherever I can. The fact that LG has laid down over a half billion dollars means they are serious about this technology and that makes us in the OLED camp quite happy. Give them time and the convention floor demos you have seen in the past will show up at Best Buy and Amazon soon enough.

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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