Sony's Crystal LED - or microLED - technology is now available on the consumer market. Well, sort of. The company's 8K and 16K displays will cost millions of dollars.
Sony microLED displays
Companies and industry observers see a bright future for microLED technology. And it has to start somewhere, we guess. Not to be outdone by Samsung, Sony is launching its first microLED displays on the consumer market.
Like Samsung's version, Sony's 'Crystal LED' is a modular screen that can be configured to almost any specification - for the cinema or living room. At CEDIA 2019, Sony gave a few examples such as a 110-inch 1080p display, a 220-inch 4K display, a 440-inch 8K display, and a 790-inch 16K display. The 4K version will cost almost $900,000 including installation, according to What Hi-Fi. The 8K and 16K version will cost millions of dollars.
You may be wondering why the 110-inch version is limited to 1080p resolution? The big challenge with microLED, small light emitting diodes put together to create a self-emitting display, is actually not to create a gigantic screen but rather to shrink the pixel modules enough to enable smaller, high-resolution displays that are suitable for living spaces.
Sony explains that its microLED technology can deliver a contrast ratio of over 1,000,000:1 - like OLED. The displays can also hit 1000 nits brightness for HDR. In addition, Sony highlighted high frame rate support, wide viewing angles, and "low heat".
- "The cutting-edge display, which is available to the residential market now, shows the finest image details and most accurate light levels with low heat. Boasting HDR, high frame rate and a nearly 180-degree viewing angle," the company said.
Photo: FlatpanelsHD - Sony Crystal LED at CES 2017
You may recall that Sony exhibited a 55-inch Crystal LED TV back in 2012. It never made it past the prototype stage. The company has also been demonstrating its technology at technology shows in recent years.
Also read: An introduction to MicroLED; a new self-emitting display technology
Who is this for? Sony sees it as an "ideal choice" for consumers looking to replace their projector. Yeah well, us mere mortals will have to wait. IHS Markit expects microLED to reach the mass market by 2026.
- "Crystal LED display system is an ideal choice for residential consumers looking to transition from home projection systems and large-screen TVs," Sony said.
- Source: Sony, What Hi-Fi