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Eyes on Sony’s CLED (Crystal LED) display technology: Samsung isn’t the only player in the Micro LED game

Eyes on Sony's CLED (Crystal LED) display technology: Samsung isn't the only player in the Micro LED game


TechHive got its first look at Micro LED technology when Samsung demoed their version at CES in January, 2018. Last week, Sony Pictures invited me to attend a screening of Men in Black: International at one of the screening rooms in the Jimmy Stewart Building located on the studio's main lot in Culver City, CA. That was cool enough, but when I learned that the screening would be presented on Sony's CLED (Crystal LED) display in high dynamic range, I got much more excited.Ultra Small Pitch

CLED is Sony's version of a Micro LED display. The basic principle is quite simple: Each pixel is formed by a cluster of three tiny LEDs-red, green, and blue. Thus, Micro LED is an emissive display technology like OLED. But Micro LED can get much brighter than OLED, making it ideal for reproducing HDR images.

In addition to very high brightness, Micro LED can achieve super-deep black levels, because the LEDs can be individually and instantaneously dimmed or turned off as needed. The Sony CLED goes even further, placing the LEDs for each pixel at the center of a black cell. In fact, the three LEDs together measure a mere 0.003 square millimeters in area and occupy only 1 percent of the area of each cell-the other 99 percent is pure black. In addition to producing great blacks, this design minimizes reflections of ambient light and also provides a very wide viewing angle.The end result is a claimed contrast ratio of more than 1,000,000:1, with a peak brightness of 1,000 nits. Even more impressive, the entire screen can emit 1,000 nits, unlike virtually all other types of displays, which reduce the amount of light they emit as more of the screen is asked to produce maximum light output.

Regarding color, the Sony CLED claims to reproduce 140 percent of sRGB, which is roughly 100 percent of DCI/P3. It also supports 10-bit color and frame rates up to 120fps.

One hallmark of Micro LED displays is their tiled construction. A complete screen consists of many tiles or modules linked together, so the final screen can be just about any size. Amazingly, the seams between tiles are completely invisible most of the time. They can be seen-barely-under certain conditions, such as when the display is turned off and bright lights are shining on it, but I've never seen them when watching video content.

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