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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Ultra-thin TV to hit the market
Sony screen
Sony hopes the screen will re-invigorate its fortunes
An ultra-thin television brighter and crisper than current generation screens will go on sale from Sony in December.

The TV uses organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) to produce the image, resulting in a screen only 3mm thick.

OLED screens are more energy efficient than LCD panels as they do not need a backlight to boost brightness.

But it is difficult and expensive to make large screens using the technology. Sony's first OLED TV costs 850 and has an 11in display.

OLED screens are brighter than LCD panels and also have better contrast ratio - resulting in sharper pictures.

The diodes emit a brilliant white light when attached to an electricity supply and are also being developed for use as replacements to traditional light bulbs.

Colour display

Different organic materials produce different colours and are combined to produce a colour display.

Sony has hailed the new television as a signal of its returning strength as a technology innovator.

"Some people have said attractive products are slow to come at Sony despite its technological strength," said Sony president Ryoji Chubachi at a news conference at its Tokyo headquarters.

Sony executive holds the new screen
I do believe this is a type of technology with very high potential
Katsumi Ihara, Sony

He added: "I want this world's first OLED TV to be the symbol of the revival of Sony's technological prowess.

"I want this to be the flag under which we charge forward to turn the fortunes around."

Other firms are also working on OLED screens - Samsung has shown off a 40-inch TV using the technology - but Sony is the first to market.

"I don't think OLED TVs will replace LCD TVs overnight. But I do believe this is a type of technology with very high potential, something that will come after LCD TVs," said Sony executive deputy president Katsumi Ihara.

The new TV goes on sale in Japan on 1 December. There are no plans for a global launch as yet.

The OLED TV has a lifespan of about 30,000 hours of viewing - half that of Sony's LCD televisions.

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