The struggling TV manufacturers will still sell their own sets. But the collaboration could result in a manufacturing process that would make the super thin and vivid but pricey organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays more affordable. Until this year, OLED was only available in the U.S. on screens smaller than 20 inches. But Samsung and LG plan to bring the technology — which doesn’t require a back light — to large sets. Apple’s also widely believed to be eyeing OLED displays for its TV set. The consumer electronics industry is eager for OLED to catch on: Worldwide TV shipments declined 8% in Q1 vs the same period last year, with LCD displays down for the first time ever, research firm NPD DisplaySearch reported last week. This is the first time that Sony and Panasonic have collaborated on TV set development. Here’s their release:
We’ll see whether the entertainment industry can gin up some big news at this week’s 2012 International CES for its UltraViolet streaming initiative — such as an alliance with a major retailer. But for now, this is what we’ve got: Panasonic will load its Viera Connect TV sets and Blu-ray players with connections to Warner Bros’ Flixster. The entertainment company wants its Web destination to become the chief gateway for consumers to stream movies after they buy discs that include UltraViolet access rights. Warner says that there’ve been 50M downloads of the Flixster app for Android, Blackberry and iPad devices.