We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Sony reveals 17in, 25in professional OLED monitors

25-inch model to go on sale in May, the 17-inch in July

Sony will soon begin selling a professional monitor that contains the largest commercial organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen yet produced.

The monitor, which is aimed at the TV and film production industries, will go on sale on May 1 and has a 25-inch OLED screen. A second model with a 17-inch screen will follow on July 1. 

OLED is a flat-panel screen technology that rivals liquid-crystal display (LCD). OLED screens have pixels that contain an organic material that emits its own light, so screens using the technology can be made thinner than LCDs and are more power efficient. OLED also handles fast-moving images better and colors appear richer on the screens than on LCD, but large-size OLED panels are expensive to produce.

Sony is positioning the monitors for use in editing bays, satellite trucks and broadcasting control rooms. A high-quality picture is required for these so-called "reference monitors" and Sony said the OLED panels produce an image superior to LCD.

See them in action: Video: Sony shows off 17- and 25-inch OLED monitors

During a demonstration at its Tokyo headquarters, Sony played identical video footage on the new 25-inch OLED monitor and an LCD broadcasting monitor placed side-by-side.

The picture from the OLED screen was noticeably better, with richer and deeper colors. When the screen faded to black, the OLED monitor showed nothing but the LCD monitor continued to glow a light shade of grey because of its backlight.

Like a lot of equipment used in the broadcasting industry, the new monitors won't be cheap. The 25-inch model will cost ¥2.4 million (US$28,840) and the 17-inch model will cost ¥1.3 million. But while they appear expensive compared to consumer-grade monitors, the OLED screens cost only about 10 percent more than the LCD monitors they aim to replace.

Sony's launch of commercial 17-inch and 25-inch OLED monitors is a step forward for the display industry, which has made a habit out of promising bigger OLED screens then failing to deliver.

Despite several technical advances, flat-screen makers have had a hard time perfecting OLED production to the stage where it can reliably make large, flawless screens. Smaller size screens around 3-inches have proved no problem and can be found in many cell phones and portable gadgets, but larger screens have remained a hurdle.

The difficulty was most vividly demonstrated in late 2007 when Sony launched the industry's first -- and still the only -- OLED television. The XEL-1 had an 11-inch screen yet cost US$2,500, which was significantly higher than much larger LCD televisions on the market at the time. Monthly production was set at just 2,000 units.

A few months after the XEL-1 launched, Sony CEO Howard Stringer promised a 27-inch model "fairly soon," but it never appeared. Competitors including Samsung and LG Electronics also showed prototypes and also made promises, but they never got an OLED television to market.

On Wednesday, Sony didn't disclose any plans for OLED TVs.

See also:

LCD monitor reviews

Group test: what's the best budget LCD display?

Group test: what's the best LCD display?


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

Hands-on with Sony's latest smartglasses

IDG UK Sites

The 13 most inspirational Tim Cook quotes