2011 wasn’t a good year for Sony.
The company’s fiscal numbers were worrying, and there were problems on a number of fronts – hackers, lacklustre sales of the Xperia Play and PlayStation Vita in Japan, not to mention its core TV business struggling.
However, Sony certainly has plans to spark TV sales, and back in November the firm announced it was developing a “different” kind of television, although it refused to reveal exactly what made it different.
That’s because the revelation was due for CES, and Sony’s new set has indeed been shown off to the press.
It’s what Sony is calling a “crystal LED” set and a prototype 55 inch model was unveiled at the show.
The technology is essentially an alternative to the more expensive OLED displays, the like of which LG has on show at CES. And it’s a full LED solution as opposed to LED backlit as current TVs are.
Sony says that the 55 inch set uses six million LEDs to produce a full High Definition picture.
Naturally, it’s a much brighter and more vibrant picture than standard LCD or plasma, and similar to OLED in quality – although without as much oomph on the contrast front. Wide viewing angles are also promised.
However, the important bit is that the tech isn’t as exorbitantly expensive as an OLED TV, which are currently hugely pricey for a smaller model, let alone a large screen 55 incher.
Having said that, LG is claiming it’s bringing the asking price of its new 55 inch OLED set down considerably, so we shall have to see where Sony’s crystal LED pricing stands in relation to that.
If it’s markedly cheaper, Sony could have a route back into dominating the higher end of the TV market.
Although exactly when the crystal LED TV will be available isn’t yet clear, save for the fact that it won’t be any time soon, unfortunately. And indeed this is still a concept being explored, meaning it won’t necessarily get off the ground.
We’ll keep you posted when we hear more, but whispers are that we’ll probably be waiting a couple of years before these are rolling off the production lines. If indeed the sets ever come to fruition.