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CES 2013: Panasonic unveils large screen 4K OLED TV

This morning Panasonic President, Kazuhiro Tsuga, unveiled the company’s first ever 4k2k (3,840 x 2,160) OLED TV. The 56in screen is only 8.9mm thick, making it even thinner than an Apple iPad! Despite the large screen size, the new TV only weighs 12.4kg, so it should be wall mountable no matter what type of home you live in.

The new TV is the largest OLED panel to ever be produced using an RGB all-printing method. This method of manufacture involves printing the OLED materials directly to the substrate. Not only is this printing method simple, it’s also significantly more cost effective and flexible.

Panasonic expects to be able to roll out its OLED printing technique to a variety of screen sizes, which could mean we’ll see a range of OLED options in the near future. Add to that, the simplicity of the production process should also ensure good yield.

Because OLED is an emissive technology like plasma, rather than a transmissive technology like LCD, viewing angles, contrast levels and colour fidelity should be outstanding. So, you’ve essentially got the picture quality performance of plasma, with the lightweight, thin form factor and lower power consumption of LCD.

Panasonic is collaborating with Sony to take this OLED printing technology into mass production. In fact the TFT substrates used in the prototype panel shown today were supplied by Sony as part of this joint endeavour.

There’s no word on when this 56in OLED TV will be available or how much it will cost, but let’s hope that continued research into the RGB printing method will help increase availability and reduce end user costs.

Riyad has been entrenched in technology publishing for more years than he cares to remember, having staffed and edited some of the largest and most successful IT magazines in the UK. In 2003 he joined forces with Hugh Chappell to create They built TR into the UK’s market leading technology publication before selling the title to IPC Media / Time Warner in 2007. As Editorial Director at Net Communities, Riyad will be helping to develop the publishing portfolio, making IT Pro Portal the best publication it can be.