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Appeared on: Thursday, May 08, 2008
Researcher Gives Sony's XEL-1 TV a Lifetime of Just 17,000 Hours

DisplaySearch's tests on Sony's XEL-1 OLED TV show that the high-end and very promising panel has actually a video lifetime of just 17,000 hour.

OLED displays generally provide vivid colors, ultra high response times but their lifetime is relatively short. But how short?

In "TV Images to Dazzle the Jaded" on May 1, the technology editor of the NY Times described a little experiment:

"At a cooperative Best Buy store, I did a little test. I set the XEL-1 up next to state-of-the-art plasmas and LCD sets?all hooked up to the same video signal for easy comparison?and recorded the reactions of shoppers and employees. Their adjectives for this picture included "astonishing," "astounding," "incredible?" (twice) and "amazing" (five times). They were right. The XEL-1?s picture is so colorful, vibrant, rich, lifelike and high in contrast, you catch your breath. It?s like looking out a window. With the glass missing."

The consumers love the display, but how good is it?

DisplaySearch takes the mystery out of the design and the performance over time. The architecture is described as well as the organic material, including thicknesses. The RGB architecture is very sensitive to the image and has a 5,000 hour lifetime for white and a 17,000 hour lifetime for the typical video image, well below the published specifications of Sony. Moreover the panel suffers from differential aging: After 1,000 hours the blue luminance degraded by 12%, the red by 7% and the green by 8%. The normalized luminance change by color and video mode is shown in the next figure.





The results demonstrate that the Sony display is significantly inferior in many ways to the current AMOLED designs. Consumers who are amazed by their first experience with OLED TVs can only expect significantly improved performance in the future.


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