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CES: Sony Unveils 1st 4K OLED TV
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (January 8, 2013) -- Sony yesterday unveiled a 56-inch 4K OLED TV, the first of its kind but one unlikely to see a retail shelf anytime soon.

The company, which introduced the set at a press event at the Consumer Electronics Show, called the first combo 4K OLED TV a 'prototype," which is industry jargon for a product that's nowhere close to launch. Still, it was the industry's first exhibit of a 4K OLED set.

The 4K TV purports to offer a resolution four times greater than today's 1080p HDTVs while the OLED TV features ultra-thin panels combined with vibrant colors and vivid picture details. The combination of the two technologies would certain entice video enthusiasts, although the price tag would likely be steep and far less than enticing.

For Sony, OLED could be an idea whose time has come -- again. The CE giant was the first to introduce a retail OLED set, albeit an 11-inch one,
back in 2007. The small-screen TV was a failure at retail and Sony all-but abandoned OLED due to difficulties in mass producing a larger-screen version and other issues. LG and Samsung, which are now investing heavily in OLED technology, reportedly are still having difficulty with mass production of the thin panels.

Last year at CES, Sony featured a number of 4K sets and a new picture technology called
Crystal LED. However, since then, there has been little mention of the Crystal LED from Sony or any other TV manufacturer. In fact, Sony referred to the Crystal LED set last year as a "prototype."

In other Sony news yesterday, the company announced that it would sell remastered 4K Blu-ray discs this summer. This is the first admission that Sony would use Blu-ray discs to store 4K movies, although it has been expected. The company included a 4K player pre-loaded with 4K movies with its first 4K TV. However, if 4K sales rise even slightly, it will probably be more economical to sell 4K Blu-rays than continuing to supply 4K players for free.

If 4K takes off, this could give the Blu-ray disc a longer shelf life than what some analysts have predicted, noting the rise of streaming video.

What do you think? Offer your comments below!

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