1. Tech

The end of OLED TVs? How Samsung’s QD-OLED hybrid could shake up the market

It’s inevitable that applied sciences are changed by their newer, extra superior successors – and simply as plasma flatscreens have been changed by OLED TVs, so too is OLED liable to being crushed by a brand new panel expertise.

If that sounds unlikely, given the maintain OLED presently has on the premium TV market, it could be too early to say. However Samsung, the world’s largest TV producer, and one which’s been backing its personal LED and QLED options to OLED for a number of years now, is waiting for a hybrid TV expertise fairly clearly aimed toward wiping out the competitors. That expertise is QD-OLED.

Samsung Show CEO Lee Dong-hoon has spoken out on potential plans to deliver QD-OLED to market, telling The Korea Herald that “the company is making good efforts” to to fabricate a commercially accessible mannequin. So whereas it is unlikely we’ll see a QD-OLED mannequin at IFA 2019, it seems prefer it is perhaps on the present ground within the close to future.

When contacted straight, a Samsung spokesperson clarified that it was nonetheless growing its personal QLED and Micro-LED applied sciences, including that it had no agency plans concerning QD-OLED, citing points with present OLED panels that should be addressed:

“Samsung Electronics believes various technology improvements should precede for the existing OLED panel technology to be adopted to TVs, and no decision has been made on whether we will adopt the QD-OLED panels to our TVs.”

However with a brand new manufacturing line being set as much as substitute recently-closed LED crops (through The Elec), it very a lot seems like Samsung is betting massive on the expertise.

Okay, sufficient with the acronyms already

(Picture credit score: Samsung)

What does QD-OLED truly imply, you ask? It may be damaged down into two elements. The primary, “QD”, refers back to the quantum dot filter that Samsung employs in its premium QLED (quantum gentle emitting diode, or quantum LED) televisions. The second, “OLED”, refers back to the natural LED panel used within the premium ranges of most different massive TV manufacturers right this moment, together with Hisense TVs, Sony TVs, Panasonic TVs, and LG TVs.

Fairly than being wholly self-emissive, a QD-OLED panel would use a blue-light OLED panel performing as a backlight, with a quantum dot filter in a position to convert this into pink or inexperienced gentle, for a full coloration show.

OLED TVs have some enormous benefits, together with skinny panels that don’t require a backlight, because the pixels in OLED panels are self-emissive (which means they emit their very own gentle). This makes for unimaginable distinction and brightness management, although could make for an total dimmer output than its LED counterparts.

That’s the place QD-OLED is available in. Fairly than being wholly self-emissive, a QD-OLED panel would use a blue-light OLED panel performing as a backlight, with a quantum dot filter in a position to convert this into pink or inexperienced gentle, for a full coloration show.

This might nonetheless make for the skinny televisions and color-rich shows OLED is thought for, whereas correcting the dim output of OLED panels in comparison with LEDs.

We all know Samsung is engaged on the expertise. We additionally spoke to the Europe Product Growth Director at TCL, Marek Maciejewski, who referred to as QD-OLED a attainable resolution to the present limitations of OLED panels: “We think that for very large screens with very high color saturation and brightness, that inkjet-printed QD-OLED is a solution.”

Maciekewski added that “We see no future in terms of efficiency and brightness” for conventional OLED panels, and was sure that “all major OLED manufacturers are developing this.”

When will QD-OLED hit the market?

(Picture credit score: Samsung)

With Samsung refusing to provide a timeline, or official affirmation of any QD-OLEDs coming to market, it in all probability gained’t be quickly. Manufacturing strains are solely now being arrange, and there’ll possible be an intensive R&D course of as Samsung makes and amends its prototypes.

It’s possible we’ll see a QD-OLED mannequin arrive in a few years’ time, however in all probability not earlier than 2021.

Samsung gained’t throw out its present LED, QLED, or Micro-LED ranges for a single panel expertise, so it’s possible we’ll see a QD-OLED mannequin arrive in a few years’ time, however in all probability not earlier than 2021. 

An official assertion from Samsung on the matter stated that “Samsung Electronics is pioneering the premium TV market through a two-track strategy that involves both QLED and Micro-LED TVs.” Even when QD-OLED could have an element in that technique, the corporate might be investing in numerous applied sciences quite than betting on a single horse.

We count on to see a single mannequin seem within the vary at first, a lot within the vein of Samsung’s flagship 8K mannequin, the Q950 8K QLED, however which will rely upon the value level for the brand new TV.

Can a decreased value level be sufficient to avoid wasting OLED?

(Picture credit score: LG Show)

We reported earlier within the 12 months on the prospect of inkjet-printed OLED panels, which vastly simplify the manufacturing course of and will prepared the ground for considerably cheaper OLED TVs (round 15-25% off present market worth).

Worth is seen as the primary barrier for extra mainstream adoption proper now, adopted shortly by the restricted mannequin sizes presently accessible – although new manufacturing strains are being opened to develop 48-inch fashions alongside 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch ones. As QD-OLED and inkjet strategies develop in tandem, it may very well be we see OLED acquire the benefit it must proceed in its present type – or morph out of necessity into a brand new expertise completely.

We regularly see new TV fashions proven off at occasions just like the upcoming IFA 2019 expo. We count on it will likely be too early to see this expertise on the present ground, and it’ll possible be one other 12 months or two earlier than any QD-OLED fashions are literally in sight. However Samsung seems to have a transparent improvement path forward of it. If which means customers get an improved image over the already high-quality OLEDs in the marketplace, we’ll take into account that to be a very good factor.

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