Home / Opinions / TV Technology 2009: Part Two / You Can't Be Too Thin

You Can't Be Too Thin

We've already had thin TVs, of course; Hitachi's Ultra-Thin models, and JVC's 42DS9, for instance. But the level of thinness on offer is going to become much more extreme, kicking off with Sony's 40ZX1 - a 40in TV that's just 9.9mm thick. This TV is actually likely to hold onto the big-screen slimness record for quite a while, but Samsung's edge-lit LED TVs shouldn't be too far behind. Hitachi's Ultra-Thin LCDs are set to get even thinner too, and the JVC 42WX70 should come in at just 43mm deep.

No discussion of slimness within the TV world would be complete, of course, without mentioning OLED. The first screen to use this new technology, Sony's XEL-1, is just 3mm - yes, 3mm - thick, and we've seen a 28in prototype working perfectly well with only the same sort of depth to its rear. Sony's booth at the CEATEC show was even showing a functioning OLED screen just 0.3mm thick. Bonkers.

Sony's XEL-1 OLED TV is certainly thin, but at 11in it's usefulness is questionable

Producing outstanding image quality, too, you might think OLED's future is secure on the back of such jaw-dropping specs. But I have to say I'm not so sure. For while we'll hopefully see more OLED products come to market by the end of this year, if the £3,489 (for an 11in screen!!) XEL-1 is anything to go by, they'll all be horribly expensive. And even more alarmingly for the technology, Samsung was already showing at CES functioning concept LED LCD TVs only marginally deeper than OLED models. In fact, Samsung spokespeople were quite open about the brand's belief that the world doesn't really need OLED once you realise what the much cheaper LED technology can do. Though obviously the LED-supporting Samsung would clearly like nothing more than to steal Sony's OLED thunder as early and as often as possible…

Sony has shown off several larger format OLED screens, but there's no word on launch or pricing

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