[CES 2012] Sony has shows its Crystal LED display prototype to the world for the first time. The 55-inch display has a native 1080p resolution, but what makes it so extraordinary is that it uses a combined 6 million of tiny individual LED lights. Why 6 million? A 1080p display has about 2M pixels (2,073,600 to be exact), and each pixel is composed of three sub-pixels (Red, Green and Blue). To build this Crystal LED display, Sony had to manufacture, place and wire those 6M LED lights – that in itself is impressive.The advantage of such a technique is extremely high contrast because there is no notion of backlight here. Crystal LED is a self-emitting display technology, so a black pixel won’t be grey because there is light bleeding out from the backlight. The pixels can also be mounted closer to the display glass, which makes the view angle much better. Finally, because the light doesn’t go through color filters, the color reproduction should be much better than what an LCD would provide for example.
Beyond this amazing feat of technology, the real question is: is it better than OLED? It may be in some aspects. For example, OLED displays are notoriously hard to tweak when it comes to color. Even at manufacturing time, every single display needs to be tested and tuned to provide colors similar to similar displays. That said, the idea of having 6M LED lights seems scary from a manufacturing and economical standpoint – that’s why Sony isn’t committed to making this a product yet. However, Sony did have to show some kind of answer to LG and Samsung 55” OLED TVs, and LG has already committed to make this a “product” that buyers can get “in 2012”.