back to article Telly vision: future display technologies

Karl Ferdinand Braun could never have imagined how fiercely competitive and technologically advanced the global market for displaying still and moving images on a screen would become during the hundred or so years since he created the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT). But in a world where CRT once reigned supreme, Liquid Crystal Display …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OLED lifetime

    The comment about blue lifetime, while correct for actual coloured OLEDs, is not necessarily relevant. I think you'll find Sony's OLED TV uses a natively white-emitting OLED but puts coloured filters in front of it. This reduces efficiency and changes the production considerations... but does ensure all three colours age at much the same rate.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A variation on the OLED theme, polymer LEDs offer advantages over OLEDs, potentially in the lifetime of the device but also in the processing - ink-jet technology could be used in the same way as SED displays. Other advantages include screen flexibility (a bit pie in the sky, but with the potential to give roll-up displays, and clothing with displays built in).

    And it wouldn't be right not to talk about environmental concerns - LCDs contain toxic metals (including mercury, I'm led to believe) that are difficult to dispose of, especially with the new IEEE regulations that came into force in the EU this summer. And that's half the problem with these new technologies - everyone will want to upgrade, chucking out their perfectly good TVs (in the same way that happens with mobile phones).

  3. Christian Berger

    Laser TVs

    One should not forget the _other_ type of laser TV: The scanning ones.

    German company Schneider Rundfunkwerke presented a prototype of such a device in 1997. Essentially it looked like an oversized video projector with only one lens. The picture however was sharp independently of the distance. You could even display pictures onto irregularily shaped screens.

    Unfortunately that technology didn't seem to go anywhere.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    laser projection

    I saw a fairly impressive laser-based projector at a military show last year. The image quality was fantastic; they were running the thing at something like 6500x5000, but the problem is that any laser reflection generates that funky laser sparkle (the one that's there even if your eyes aren't focused on the surface) and I found it fairly distracting.

    While fine for military / commercial usage where seeing the data is the primary goal, I doubt people would be very comfortable with it for movie/TV watching.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    OLED Life

    How long are OLED lives roughly anyway? Are we talking one year of general home use? Or more like 5? I should imagine most early adopters of a new(ish) tech like OLED would be likely to be replacing their sets well within 5 years anyway - hopefully before the display begins to fade too much.

    Also, how bad does the display get when these panels get old? I have watched some 25+ year old TVs before (CRTs obviously) and while the quality was pretty poor compared a new top of the line display it was still plenty watchable. I would imagine that even OLEDs that are double their "normal" service life are still in use by diehards/cheapskates later in the day.

  6. Paul Kinsler

    there's always this idea...

    a wedge-shaped piece of glass or plastic coupled to a video projector... or don't projector solutions count?

  7. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo


    Great article

  8. E

    Laser TV

    Would the laser be capable of evaporating roommates or guests who insist on watching reality-TV programs or infomercial channels?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The lowest lifetime usually considered as acceptable is around 10,000 hours (that's 10,000 hours of continuous use). So for domestic TV use (say an average of 4 hours a day) that's over 6.5 years (and of course much more for other devices such as digital cameras that are only on for short periods). Ok, so it's not fantastic compared to CRTs, but as one of the other Anonymous Cowards above states, should be enough for a lot of households, particularly those adopting new technology before it's really had a chance to develop commercially.

    Of course, a major use of OLED screens would be to replace advertising hoardings, and 10,000 hours is only a little over a year's use, so there's still a long way to go.

  10. leslie

    typical usage

    4 hrs a day!

    maybe if you work a normal 9-5, butif you are on nights and rest of familyis on days etc......

    Kids get up at 07:30 and TV is on as I would have fell asleep on sofa watching late news, they go to school, I go to bed.

    it stays on while wife does whatever and crap morning TV dribbles out, then its the lunch time news and I would be getting up for breakfast, I watch what I missed the night before as I would be working, so thats upto about 4pm if a few items

    Then kids come home and watch kids tv till about 6pm, I go to work, then its the news, kids/wife watch more tv, then I come home about 2am-4am wife will be asleep on sofa as she always falls aslep waiting for me toget home

    I wake her to go to bed, make a drink, catch up on late news or crap shows as I wont be tired, then I'll fall asleep on sofa, so kids wake me up at 7:30 and the cycle repeats....

    That TV has suffered this for about 7 years until this year, the things glad I lost my job....

    (you watch now I dont have real income it will fail.....)

  11. Diogenies

    Plasma & LCD to be banned in Aust due to power requirements

    I heard on the radio yesterday that in Australia LCD & Plasma will be banned from 2010 because of its power consumption - some sets draw use as much power as a fridge or washing machine (right after we switch off the analogue) anything that reduces this has to be a good thing

  12. Steve


    Hardly typical usage for a tv though is it.

    Just to counter your 24hrs TV mine probably only gets turned on every other day, and then only for a few hours at a time.

    Total weekly time spent on is about 4hrs on average. So between us we come close to the average TV usage.

  13. Hugh_Pym

    IP Rights

    Notice how often IP rights court cases appear in this article. Considerably slowing the introduction of new technologies or stopping development altogether.

  14. Claus P. Nielsen

    Burn-in is the major OLED lifetime problem

    No matter what OLED technology is being used, the pixels that are on most of the time will get degraded faster than others, so the "Cartoon network" logo will get burned into the corner of the screen over time.

    How fast this happens is the question.

    Screen-savers are comming back!

  15. shane fitzgerald

    Harry potter eat your heart out

    > Other advantages include screen flexibility (a bit pie in the sky, but with the potential to give roll-up displays, and clothing with displays built in).

    Cool. Is this not the basis of the invisibilty cloaks mentioned some time ago? (Where they display on the outside what is behind them whilst me, the perv, sits on the inside watching women remove various items of clothing)? I can't wait.

  16. Campbell


    I think it's pretty incredible that companies bicker to such an extent that is damages technological development and by extension, income/revenue.

    Reminds me of parasites that kill their host.

  17. Alan Jenney

    LASER projection sparkle

    A lot of sparkle is due to de-focussing of the beam in order to prevent eye damage. Very few commercial LASERs do without this.

    Many people experience red LASERs used for presentation pointers, etc. and see a fair amount of sparkle around the illuminated spot. It can appear to be floating in the space between the LASER and the surface.

    Green and blue LASERs have a great deal more sparkle and also the human eye can "see the beam" more intensely in these colours - these are the ones that tend to be used for "spectacular" displays and astronomical pointers as it's the beam, not the illuminated spot, that is important.

    A LASER TV projector undoubtedly uses scanning beams instead of the back-lit grating that other technologies employ. The narrow scanning beam will pick out airborne particles between the apparatus and the projection surface. For a large system, the amount of twinkling could be horrendous.

    I'm not surprised that the mentioned military system was difficult to watch!

  18. Alan Jenney

    How thin does "thin" need to be?

    Obviously there are other advantages to OLED over LCD, but the media focus seems to have been on how thin these units are.

    Currently, the OLED sets that have been demonstrated are no chunkier than the largest LCD laptop screens or even some LCD computer monitors.

    The physical packaging of Laptop screens rarely exceed 0.5", desktop monitors 2" and the biggest LCD TV I have seen (50") wasn't exactly "deep" at less than 6". Internal to each of these, the LCD panel itself is a few millimetres "thick". Exactly how thin does "thin" need to be?

    The depth from front-to-back of an LCD case tends to be because of the bulky connectors, control boards and any wall-mounting hardware. The demonstrated OLED panels had all the guts in a separate box. Surely that's more of a packaging issue than an advantage of OLED?

    I mean, if you made an LCD TV with just the frame to keep it stiff and some cooling in the flat part and put the gubbins in the stand - wouldn't it be similarly thin?

  19. Parax

    Laser Projectors

    Well when you want a projection device built into your mobi, I think laser is the only option, and to be fair a bit of sparkle can be tolerated in this usage, highly mobile/demonstartion only type package, I can see LCoS & laser being a perfect in chip package.

  20. Noah Monsey


    Why should anyone care about the lifetime of OLED displays.

    If the displays can be manufactured using roll-to-roll technology,

    the displays should be much cheaper. The displays should

    be replaced every few years.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    right so none of this is any good compared to a CRT I can watch beautiful full screen video and my dad who has a flat screen LCD gets fuzz both PC monitors one cost a lot more than the other (the LCD is more) and still does I will hoard CRT's I am not young and so I will have the best viewing technology around until I die Plasma screens at one point were supposed to last about three years which is ridiculous for how much they still cost you know none of these new screen techs are worth a shit and yet I still see mindless eager rubes drooling over them.

  22. h g glover


    The mindless techno freeks are the ones

    feeding fires of big industry, shure tech advances

    are to be because life goes on.

    but the life times of the new video displays really

    suck. i do not personally plan to replace my C R T'S

    just because they are not the latest & greatest thing

    to go and >>SPEND MONEY ON<< as that is what big

    industry wants .

    has anyone ever taken into account that the new tech



    GREED. they dont care about the consumer but they do

    care about there bottom line & there proffitt's from the junk

    they continue to get the masses hooked on with some fancy


    an OLED display is a wonderfull thing for BLOW & THROW junk

    some where it must have printed on it MADE BY KLEENEX as

    that is the original HI TECH BLOW & THROW necessity.

    if you keep several C R T monitors remember to power them on

    for several minutes each week to keep the capacitors & CRT tube

    its self from going soft.

    i to have several C R T type monitor spares and will continue

    to keep them as long as i can BECAUSE IT CAN BE >FIXED<

    when they break UN LIKE THE NEW BLOW & THROW >JUNK<!!

  23. David Paul Morgan
    Thumb Up

    Tomorrows World Russian demo

    Anyone remember the LASER TV demonstrated on TW many years ago?

    It consisted of a disc of lasing crystals the were energised by a CRT scan from the back. The picture was always 'in focus' but the demo was only in sepia - diffferent colour lasing was not demonstrated. Or did I dream the whole thing.I think it was shortly after the Soviet Union collapsed.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Samsung prototype

    Samsung brought out a handsome-looking prototype 40-inch OLED TV a couple of years ago. Has anyone heard anything about progress from Samsung on this?

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