With LCD offering higher resolutions and coming up quickly to bridge the quality gap between itself and Plasma, it seems as though the tides are changing for high definition. However, there are new players emerging and they are looking very promising.
First is “Laser” TV. Yes it’s hard to say without air quotes. Novalux Inc. is one of the pioneers of this technology. They claim that laser televisions will offer many benefits over Plasma LCD and CRT televisions, including half the productions cost, double the color range, and three quarters less power consumption. WOW. Sign me up, not only does it have these benefits, but it uses a laser. Is there anything that uses a laser that’s not cool? Although they have not formally announced a product Sony said this of the product they showed at this years CES:
At CES we had a laser TV beside a plasma TV, an LCD TV and a traditional UHP lamp TV,” said Niven, speaking about Novalux’s showroom in at this year’s CES. “So that’s four TVs lined up running our own produced high definition content, and I mean, it was a no brainer. The laser TV had a way, way better picture than any of the other conventional technologies.The downside to laser technology is that it requires (for now) a deeper cabinet. Not as deep as standard rear projection televisions, it’s 8-10 inch profile is able to be hung on a wall, but not nearly as sexy as the current 3-6 inch flat panels. Which brings me to the next contender.
OLED televisions seem to be around the corner as well. The new OLED TV’s announced by Sony and Samsung are super thin. They also boast of richer colors, wider viewing angle and lower power requirements. The OLED televisions are plagued by short lifespans however. The technology has matured quite a bit since the cell phones and car audio displays of 2002, but will still undergo some growing pains to reach the home theater.
Both of these technologies are slated to be available in 2008. Visually everyone seems to agree that Laser and OLED televisions are superior to the current offerings, and Plasma and LCD have almost hit their peak of evolution. It will be interesting to see how the market is influence by these new televisions. But I’ll sit on my Plasma savings for another year.