As Sony teams up with Panasonic, the company is about to turn the TV and game industry upside down with 4k HDTV’s, OLED TV’s and passive 3D
Sony has what seems to be an eventful year planned in 2013. Coming up for the company are large cutbacks, a surprising partnership, some eye-popping new technology, and a re-evaluation of their old standards.
Sony and Panasonic Team Up
In June of 2012, Sony and Panasonic announced a plan to pool their resources, in pursuit of a low cost, easy to mass produce OLED technology. In the partnership, Sony is contributing the thin film transistors it has been developing. Panasonic is tossing in its OLED screen printing abilities. With this combination of cutting edge ideas, the pair hopes to make a new HD experience, higher in quality than anything that has been seen before. OLED is a fascinating new technology with many applications, but Sony and Panasonic are currently concentrating on thinner, lighter HDTVs.
What is OLED?
Above: LG OLED TV; Below: Sony OLED TV
OLED stands for organic light emitting diode. The main working parts of the OLED consist of super-thin layers of organic (carbon containing) compounds, which have a small electrical charge running through them. The charge causes the organic compounds to emit light. OLED screens are super-thin, some are only 0.3 mm wide, which makes them flexible, and very light. But despite their small size, they have great resolution, with some models boasting four times the resolution of 1080p sets.
The XBR Line: Prices Dropping in 2013
November 2012: An XBR TV could still cost as much as $7,000USD, some models are available for $4999 and prices will drop in 2013 eventually
64.5″ (diag) XBR HX929 Internet TV
Example Features: Full HD 1080p in 2D and 3D, full-array local dimming LED, X-Reality PRO Engine, Internet TV for streaming entertainment, OptiContrast Panel, Motionflow XR 960 – Source: Sony
The XBR line was introduced at Santa Monica’s Video & Audio Center, in October of 2012, and the audience was awed at what the company had planned for 2013. With 4K resolution and the ability to “scale up” content from any source, the upcoming XBR line looks like the solution to Sony’s flagging television sales. The 55-inch is planned to cost $3,499 and the 65-inch has a price tag of $5,499. Despite being a part of Sony’s 2013 line, these sets may hit the stores as early as November.
Up until now, Sony has been very loyal to the active 3D concept, citing its better clarity, reduction of crosstalk and artifacts as the reason to put all of its eggs in this particular basket. However, with consumer demand for passive 3D increasing, Sony is reconsidering its position. With passive 3D’s cheaper price tag, the fact that it requires no batteries for the glasses, and the ability to use one set of glasses for any passive 3D system, it’s likely that Sony will see an increase in its 3D sales.
Over the course of early 2013, Sony is reducing its workforce by about 2,000 workers. Last year, the company reported its greatest financial loss in sixty years, and has had to tighten its belt. Additionally, one of its factories in Japan is slated for closure. Representatives have expressed regret, but are fairly confident that this will make the company leaner and meaner in 2013, and hope to see greater financial gains. Since a large part of the cuts were in support functions and small electronics parts manufacturing, this may leave more resources for better HD projects in the company’s future.
Sony seems poised for an interesting year, with quite a few new precedents driving the company’s strategy. Expect interesting things from the company in 2013, along with some amazing new HDTV technology.