Sony this month started to offer its Micro LED-based displays to well-funded consumers. Officially branded as Crystal LED direct view display systems (aka CLEDIS), these ultra high-end products were previously only available for commercial installations. Designed to offer superior contrasts, brightness levels, and viewing angles, Sony’s Crystal LED TVs are designed to replace projector-enabled home theaters and will be available in 2K, 4K, 8K, and 16K versions with sizes of up to 790 inches.

Sony’s Crystal LED display systems rely on bezel-less Micro LED modules that are built using 0.003-mm² individually-controlled LEDs. The modules offer up to 1000 nits peak brightness, around 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, up to a 120 Hz refresh rate, as well as nearly 180° viewing angles. According to Sony, such a display can cover 140% of the sRGB color space or around 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.

Since the micro LED modules are rather large – even though they're the fraction of the size of a normal LED, the large number of micro LEDs adds up – the size of a Full-HD Crystal LED display system is around 110 inches in diagonal. Meanwhile the 4K unit doubles that, to 220 inches. Since we are dealing with devices that are designed to replace projection-powered home theaters, such sizes are well justified, but they are naturally too large for an average home.

Sony's Consumer Crystal LED Display Systems
  Full HD 4K 8K 16K
Number of CLED Modules 18 72 288 576
Diagonal 110-inches 220-inches 440-inches 790-inches
Dimensions (W×H) 8 ft × 4 ft
2.43 m × 1.22 m
16 ft × 9 ft
4.87 × 2.74
32 ft × 18 ft
9.75 × 5.48
63 ft × 18 ft
19.2 × 5.48
Approximate Price of CLEDs at $10,000 per unit $180,000 $720,000 $2,880,000 $5,760,000

Sony’s Crystal LED-based display systems for residential installation will be available through a select group of individually trained and certified Sony dealers. The devices will be supported by Sony’s technicians, who will be able to remotely monitor displays after their installations to provide ongoing service.

Sony is not publicly quoting prices for its consumer Crystal LED products, but there are estimates that each module costs around $10,000 per unit. This would mean that a Full-HD version, which consists of 18 modules, costs over $180,000, whereas a 4K system will be priced at over $720,000.

Related Reading:

Sources: Sony, TechHive

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • tuxRoller - Thursday, September 19, 2019 - link

    Assuming that 3μm² is the size of a single color emitter, the emitters are square, and they can be perfectly packed together, the width x height of a 1080 screen would be ~10mm x 5.6mm. That suggests this offer has a packing fraction of ~.00168%.
    So, the size of the leds themselves don't seem to be the reason behind the low ppi.

    Also the color space coverage is disappointing. Something north of 80% rec.2020 coverage would be closer to expectations, IMHO.
  • Santoval - Thursday, September 19, 2019 - link

    "So, the size of the leds themselves don't seem to be the reason behind the low ppi."

    If I understood correctly the 3μm² number refers to the entire microLED, not its three subpixels. Sony in their website are referring to the size of the "chip" while showing a full microLED, making no comment about its three components.

    The very low PPI is because Sony for some inexplicable reason decided to surround each microLED with 99% of black space, apparently "for deeper blacks and to increase contrast ratio". You heard that right, each microLED is inside a comparatively huge square that takes 99% of the space of each module / screen, leaving only 1% for the microLEDs.

    As a result both brightness and resolution were axed by ~99%. Contrast ratio increased from the black end, but it apparently also decreased from the bright end (assuming Sony could retain roughly the same black levels if they raised the brightness). Despite all that Sony reports an outstanding 1000 nits of peak brightness, so these microLEDs must be literally blinding bright!
  • tuxRoller - Friday, September 20, 2019 - link

    I wasn't able to find that info about cledis, so I just assumed the least dense configuration. Since my assumption was wrong, things are worse. Now you get to tack on another order of magnitude, roughly, to that packing fraction.
    The 99% figure I had seen before but wasn't sure what to make of it (cooling I'd imagine, since these should have a real quick rise to fall time thus ∞ contrast => no need for 99%).
    Including the 99% figure and updated pixel size, the packing fraction becomes ~ .017%.
    That's a lot of interstices!
  • eastcoast_pete - Thursday, September 19, 2019 - link

    I'll definitely put a couple of those in my next superyacht. The one I plan to order after I somehow join the 0.001%. Yes, "available to consumers", but not "consumers".
  • chrnochime - Thursday, September 19, 2019 - link

    Consumers as in not commercial use. Nothing wrong with their wording. Just like most people can't afford a cirrus SR22 but that doesn't mean it's not available for them to buy at 600k+...
  • twtech - Thursday, September 19, 2019 - link

    You could buy almost 10 of those planes for the cost of the 16k model.
  • bug77 - Thursday, September 19, 2019 - link

    Aw shoot, I'm fresh out of change...
  • Santoval - Thursday, September 19, 2019 - link

    Insane prices for a very low pixel density. Apparently each microLED in those modules is placed at the center of a black square for deeper blacks and higher contrast ratio. So each module or combination of modules has 99% of black space and 1% of microLEDs. This enhances the contrast ratio (only from its "black side") but it dramatically lowers brightness (by exactly 99%) and pixel density (also by 99%).

    This is the reason they have a mere 1080p resolution at 110 inches despite using microLEDs with such a tiny pixel pitch. Amazingly despite all that black space they still are at 1000 nits peak brightness, so imagine how bright these microLEDs are and how much more bright their modules / screens would be if they removed half of that black space and replaced it with the equivalent number of microLEDs (of the same size).

    I am not sure I understand why Sony chose to do that. They already have mastered microLED tech, making them incredibly tiny, so why not use more of them to increase the brightness and resolution further? Is it a cost / mass manufacturing issue or are they are just unable to reach a high enough contrast ratio if they increase the brightness and resolution by at least ~4 times (a quadruple resolution should be the absolute minimum, so that they provide a resolution of 4K at 110", 8K at 220" etc etc).
  • RBFL - Thursday, September 19, 2019 - link

    To stop sunburn in the audience during a scene like the explosion of the Death Star?
  • Santoval - Thursday, September 19, 2019 - link

    These modules were apparently first used in "commercial" places. That mostly means "outside or bright areas" and you can never have enough brightness outside, because the ambient brightness overwhelms that of the monitor, particularly at high noon on a sunny day. At the brightest places 5,000 nits, even 10,000 nits if possible, would be highly desirable.

    Extrapolating from the brightness per mm^2 of these microLEDs (after removing the black space) it should be possible to reach such levels of brightness. Unless ... the true limiting factor is heat. I noticed that each module has a rather heavy-duty cooling kit on its back : there are two pretty large fans which probably blow hot air away from a large and heavy passive cooler, judging from how thick the back of the module is.

    The black space obviously draws no power so most of that heat comes from the microLEDs (the rest from the electronics that drive them). The microLED density is quite low and yet they appear to dissipate quite a lot of heat. If Sony increased their number by 4 times they would probably require a 3 to 4 times more powerful cooling solution, while the power draw would also rise significantly.

    And that might have been out of the question. Beside the much higher heat dissipation and power draw the module would need to be much thicker and it's already *quite* thick. It appears that the very high luminosity of the microLEDs has high heat and power as a trade-off. Thermodynamics can be a bitch sometimes..

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now