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Sony Unveils 'Green' OLED Reference Monitor at Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat

The BVM-E series gadget will be available in the spring, bringing new competition to the CRT monitor-replacement market that Dolby also has been pursuing.

Sony has unveiled an environmentally friendly organic light emitting diode (OLED) reference monitor, bringing new competition to the CRT monitor-replacement market that Dolby also has been actively pursuing.

A reference monitor is an important piece of postproduction equipment that is relied upon to check color accuracy during the grading and mastering process. Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors have long been the standard for accuracy, but they contain large amounts of toxic elements such as lead. Manufacturing of such monitors ended, although no new standard emerged, and so the scarcity of remaining CRT monitors has created a problem in postproduction.

During the Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat this week in Palm Springs, Sony introduced its BVM-E series reference monitors that offer full HD resolution using OLED technology, meaning less power consumption and no environmental pollutants produced.

Two sizes have been launched: A 17-inch monitor for $17,000 and a 25-inch that goes for $26,000 -- making them less than half the price of Dolby's current monitor option (though, of course, technology execs will carefully evaluate all aspects of the technologies, including accuracy, when making purchasing decisions).

In late 2010, Dolby entered the CRT replacement market with the introduction of a 42-inch professional reference monitor, which lists for $54,950. Dolby's environmentally friendly PRM-4200 monitor -- now shipping -- uses a combination LCD screen and LED backlight.

The Sony monitors will be available for purchase in the spring.