TRANSPARENT OLED TV SET
TRANSPARENT TV BY PANASONIC
When you first look at the screen, it appears to be a pane of glass in a sliding door. Wave your hand or press a button, though, and you’ll see a TV picture.
The screen is the display for Panasonic’s new OLED TV set. Unveiled on October 4, it is an updated version of the transparent LED TV set the company demonstrated in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Panasonic was unsatisfied with the original LED version, though. The TV picture was compromised by the screen’s transparency, noticeably weaker than the pictures on conventional TV screens, and when the TV signal was off, a tint was visible on the screen.
Since then, Panasonic’s engineers have tweaked the transparent display, and they believe they have eliminated these shortcomings. Matthew Smith of Engadget called the TV picture on the revised version “almost indistinguishable from existing televisions”. The screen appears to be completely transparent when the TV signal is off.
In the original version, an LED backlight enhanced the TV picture. The new version doesn’t need backlighting. The OLED (organic light-emitting diode) pixels are “self-lighting”, needing only an electric current, without an external light source. All of the screen’s components are transparent: an anode, a cathode, and a glass substrate.
For the public demonstration of its improved transparent display, Panasonic embedded the OLED TV screen in the glass door of an entertainment center. The OLED screen is a microscopically fine mesh fixed in resin.
OLED displays require so little electricity, they can be nearly thin enough for complete invisibility.
A Panasonic spokesman said the transparent TV set is a prototype, and a consumer version is unlikely to be available for three years. When it is, we’ll report it here.
(For any TV service, shop with Bundle Deals. Compare all providers and plans. Then order any service with just one phone call.)