As we are at the start of a new phase in television technology, with OLED TVs being heralded as the future of home entertainment, the costs for both manufacturer and consumer can be huge. And they could be at the same premium level for a while, although not if US company Kateeza has anything to do with it.
The company has unveiled its YieldJet OLED panel printing system, which is essentially a giant inkjet printer that places OLED pixels on glass or plastic rather than on ink on paper. The principle is similar, but the end result is a machine capable of mass producing OLED displays for smartphones and larger ones for televisions.
Manufacturing OLED panels is currently an expensive process because it requires vacuum evaporation and shadow masking techniques that are both wasteful and inefficient. It takes more time to make a larger OLED screen than any other popular display technology. And the failure rate is higher.
The YieldJet dispenses with this method, opting to print the pixels in a pure nitrogen chamber. Kateeva says this also improves "film coating uniformity".
Because of this technology and taking into account other statistics, the OLED TV market will take off in 2016. Price will certainly play its part.