From the ARchives… Sony unveils its 11-inch OLED TV and Warner Bros. defects to Blu-ray

From the pages of Appliance Retailer…

Monday 7 January 2008

Sony took centre stage at the CES in Las Vegas to reveal its first OLED panel, an 11-inch model called the XEL-1, would be sold in the US for $2,500:

“This really reinforces our ability to lead the industry…we are the only company already selling this technology,” said then Sony CEO Howard Stringer.

Our reporter on the ground that year caught up with Michael Troetti, president of Sharp USA, one of Sony’s big rivals, who was on the front foot in criticising OLED:

“The current lifespan of OLED is three to four years and we believe that it has to be around 10 years to be used as a television. Also, it is still difficult to manufacture in large screens sizes,” he said.

Back in Australia, Sony was celebrating a win of sorts, with leading film distributor Warner Bros. abandoning HD DVD in favour of Blu-ray Disc technologoy. The format war was winding down by this stage but that didn’t stop Toshiba from lamenting this defection:

“Toshiba is quite surprised by Warner Bros.’ decision to abandon HD DVD in favor of Blu-ray,” said a spokesperson. “We were particularly disappointed that this decision was made in spite of the significant momentum HD DVD has gained in the US market as well as other regions in 2007.”

Australia’s #1 single that day was Apologize by Timbaland & OneRepublic.

Flash Forward:

Sony’s XEL-1 was eventually released in Australia in April 2009 for RRP $6,999. It was withdrawn from sale in Japan in February 2010.

Blu-ray Disc comprehensively won the HD optical disc format war, with Toshiba conceding defeat 43 days after Warner Bros.’s defection, 19 February 2008.

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