When it comes to high-end video options for your living room, most folks find themselves deciding between a high-resolution big screen TV — perhaps Samsung’s $15,000 85-inch 8K QLED, or LG’s $29,999 88-inch 8K OLED — or a serious home theater projector, like Sony’s $60,000 4K SXRD that can throw a superbly bright image up to 150 inches in size. But these options now pale in comparison to Sony’s latest announcement that it will start selling its MicroLED-based Crystal LED screens to consumers. Very, very wealthy consumers.
Sony Crystal LED is the technology behind the mind-blowingly big 16K, 17-foot-tall display that Sony showed off earlier this year. That staggering size is achieved through the combination of much smaller MicroLED panels, stacked into virtually any ratio of rectangle you can imagine. Samsung has also created MicroLED displays. The company’s The Wall is an 8K 292-inch MicroLED behemoth that has a similar ability to scaled up and down in size.
The biggest benefit to MicroLED technology — other than its ability to scale to huge sizes — is that it offers the perfect black levels and color performance of OLED screens, with the kind of brightness that bests even the brightest QLED panels. In short, it’s truly commercial-theater-grade display technology, which is why we were left with the impression that Sony had no intention of selling its Crystal LED technology to consumers. In fact, the company said that when the screens would hit the Japanese market later this year, they would be used in commercial applications like a research center for a cosmetics group.
And yet, at this year’s CEDIA expo in Colorado, Sony announced that Crystal LED displays are now available through custom installer channels. In other words, anyone with the means can buy one. What kind of means? A single 360×360-pixel module will cost $10,000 according to TechHive. If that’s true, a configuration capable of displaying a mere Full HD (1080p) image at 120 inches will require 18 modules, putting the price at $180,000. Want a 4K-capable display? You’ll need 16 feet of wall width, for a 220-inch screen that uses 72 modules. Yup, that’s $720,000.
But wait, there’s more. Sony’s technology happily scales all the way up to the same staggering 16K, 790-inch size that we thought would remain the exclusive domain of commercial movie theaters or perhaps industrial settings. At that size, you’ll need 576 modules according to Sony, and enough money to finance the $5,760,000 all of those modules will cost. We’ve reached out to Sony to confirm this pricing and will update this article once we hear back.
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- The Wall, Samsung’s epic microLED display, just got 300 inches bigger