Report: Panasonic eyes 37-inch OLED TV

Panasonic plans to put TVs featuring 37-inch OLED screens on sale in the next three years, a Japanese newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Panasonic is moving toward commercialization of OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels and plans to put TVs with 37-inch OLED screens on sale in the next three years, according to a Japanese newspaper report.

The panels will be produced on new production lines that will be installed at the factory of IPS Alpha, a display-panel-manufacturing joint venture owned by Panasonic and Hitachi, the Sankei Shimbun reported Tuesday.

Responding to the report, Panasonic said it was working on OLED technology but did not yet have any plans to start production.

OLED is an emerging flat-panel display technology that uses an organic material in the pixels that emits its own light, so a backlight isn't needed. That helps make the displays thinner and much less power-hungry. OLED screens also handle fast-moving images better and offer richer color reproduction than current LCDs (liquid crystal displays) and PDPs (plasma display panels).

Sony launched the OLED TV market late last year when it began selling the 11-inch XEL-1 TV in Japan. The TV has won almost unanimous praise for its picture quality and size -- it's just 3 millimeters thick -- but it is expensive at YEN 200,000 (AUD$1,960). Prices are expected to fall over time as manufacturing lines are improved and volumes increase.

Howard Stringer, chairman and CEO of Sony, recently said his company plans to put a 27-inch OLED TV on sale sometime in the next year. Toshiba has also said it plans to launch a 30-inch-class OLED set but hasn't provided details.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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