Sony targets new Crystal LED display modules at studios and corporates
At CES 2012, Sony unveiled its first Crystal LED display, a 55-inch prototype that looked to offer many of the advantages of OLED, without the downsides. It made the technology available to (extremely well-heeled) consumers in 2019, but due to colossal price tags to go with the colossal screen sizes, commercial applications have remained the main target for the technology. That continues with Sony's release of new Crystal LED models.
Like Samsung's The Wall, Sony's Crystal LED is a modular, microLED display technology, where the pixels used to produce the images are made from arrays of microscopic LEDs. Because each pixel is self-illuminating and can be turned on an off just like OLED, the technology is capable of high contrast, high brightness and wide viewing angles, but unlike OLED it doesn't run the risk of burn in. On the downside, it's much bulkier than the super slim profiles possible with OLED and costs a lot more.
That's why Sony is targeting "corporate lobbies, showrooms, boardrooms, museums, galleries, and other public spaces" for the new C-series model and "sunlit corporate lobbies, virtual sets, and production backdrops" like that used in The Mandalorian for the new B-series model, which was developed with input from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Unlike previous versions, the new models also allow access from the front, making maintenance and installation easier.
The differences between the two models essentially come down to the surface coating and brightness levels, with the C-series featuring a Deep Black Coating and maximum brightness of 800 cd/m2, while the B-series has an Anti-Reflection Coating and ups the maximum brightness to 1,800 cd/m2. Other major specs are the same across the two models, with a contrast ratio of over 1,000,000:1, Sony's Motionflow processing up to 120 fps to reduce motion blur, 22-bit Super Bit Mapping for smooth color gradation, and choice of P1.26mm or P1.58mm pixel pitch sizes.
Both models also come with the new X1 for Crystal LED processor, which essentially combines the picture processing smarts of the X1 Ultimate processor powering Sony's high-end LCD and OLED TVs with the LED control technology of its Crystal LED technology.
Each 1.26-mm-pixel-pitch module has a resolution of 480 x 270, while the 1.58-mm-pixel-pitch modules have a resolution of 384 x 216. Both measure a completely bezel-free 23.94 x 13.46 x 2.99 inches (60.8 x 34.2 x 7.6 cm), which gives a display size of about 27.5 inches diagonally per module.
So, for a 110-inch Full HD display using the 1.26 mm pixel pitch units you'd need a 4x4 grid of 16 modules that would measure 8 x 4.4 ft (2.4 x 1.4 m) in size. If you're after 4K resolution, you'd need 64 modules for a display that would measure 220 inches, or 18.3 ft (5.5 m) diagonally. Still not big enough? How about using 128 units to get a 16K setup measuring 440 inches? But before you get too excited with plans for your home cinema, each module is expected to cost around the US$10,000 mark, so you can see why Sony isn't targeting the average Joe and Jane.
Sony says the new C-series and B-series Crystal LED models should be available in (Northern Hemisphere) summer 2021, and it will launch a video showcasing the displays at CES 2021.