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Sony reveals Drive: first OLED TV to ship in December

updated 08:35 am EDT, Mon October 1, 2007

Sony XEL-1 OLED TV

Sony on Monday revealed the true nature of its Drive teaser image. Now known as the XEL-1, the device is the finished version of the company's OLED TV prototype and will represent the first OLED TV to be released to stores. The finished version is less bulky than the original and weighs just two kilograms, but maintains the exceptional quality of the display: although just 3mm thick, the OLED panel lets it shut off pixels entirely to produce true blacks. Its contrast ratio is an unprecedented 1,000,000:1, Sony says.

The only significant step down for the finished version is said to be resolution. Where the original prototype maintained a 1024x600 ratio, the final version peaks at 960x540. This is significantly lower than HD but is also closer to a traditional 16:9 ratio and is conveniently one quarter the size of a 1080p display that could be produced in the future, according to Sony. In spite of the newness of the technology, the screen is also expected to last as long as most any TV set: at ten hours of use each day, the XEL-1 is estimated to last about ten years before a replacement.

The compete version of the TV ships with a single HDMI input but also Ethernet and USB to let it grab media from DLNA-supporting devices. Audio is supplied by a 2W stereo speaker system with an analog/digital TV tuner for picking up broadcasts. Shipments are slated to begin on December 1st in Japan, where the XEL-1 should cost about $1,744. A US release is possible but was not discussed during the announcement, and will likely follow later. [via Impress]








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