A few years ago, a number of major electronics manufacturers put OLED TV panel manufacturing in the too-hard (or not profitable) basket and focused their attentions back on LCD, leaving LG as the last company offering OLED TVs to consumers. But this year a few have returned to the OLED TV fray, including Sony, which was actually the first to release an OLED TV. And with its new line of Bravia OLED TVs unveiled at CES, Sony's doing something new with the panel – it's using it as a speaker.
Since OLED panels don't require any backlighting as is the case with LCD panels, with the new flagship A1E Bravia OLED Series Sony has made the whole screen resonate to produce sound in what the company calls the world-first Acoustic Surface sound system. Aside from making the speakers "invisible," Sony says this approach also lets sound emanate directly from the screen itself, providing sound and image synchronization for the viewer, wherever they're sitting.
Getting the display, which is most likely an LG panel, to act as a speaker has necessitated the mounting of two actuators to the rear of the display, while all inputs have been relegated to a large rear-facing subwoofer that also serves as the TV's stand. The stand can be removed to allow the TV to be mounted on a wall, and Sony says that the vibrations of the screen won't be visible to the eye, even at high volumes.
Aside from the audio innovation, the A1E Series boasts 4K resolution and HDR compatibility with image processing provided by Sony's 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme, which combines with the OLED panel to deliver perfect blacks, infinite contrast ratio, a blur-less image and a wide viewing angle. The panel also features Sony's Triluminos technology that is designed to deliver enhanced color accuracy.
The A1E Bravia OLED Series will come in 55- 65- and 75-in sizes and will be available later this year at prices yet to be announced.