Sony Bravia OLED A1E Acoustic Surface television. (Bloomberg/Patrick T. Fallon)
It's been a while since a new TV raised any eyebrows, but Sony Corp. has just unveiled a new product that's creating a bit of buzz at the annual CES industry gathering in Las Vegas.
Sony's XBR-A1E Bravia 4K is the electronics maker's first commercial foray into the niche market for televisions that use OLED, or organic light-emitting diode, technology. While the vivid, power-sipping screens have found their way onto smartphones, the cost of making them has so far limited their appeal for TVs. Only LG Electronics Inc. has made a serious effort to sell OLED TVs. Panasonic Corp. also unveiled an OLED TV at this year's CES.
What's different about Sony's new A1E TV, however, is that the screen doubles as a speaker. By vibrating the display itself, Sony said it will be able to offer the "perfect unification of picture and sound unattainable by conventional TVs." This is possible because OLED screens don't require a backlight, according to the Tokyo-based company.
While Sony didn't announce pricing or a sale date for its new flagship TV, it's a rare glimmer of innovation for a company that once embodied cutting-edge audio-visual design and technology. The new OLED could help the company get some of that shine back.