There is absolutely no doubt that when you stand in front of an OLED TV, you’re going to be blow away by the deep blacks and vibrant picture these TV’s offer. It’s certainly one of the most stunning viewing experiences you will ever have, and if you have not seen one in person I highly recommend doing so. With that being said, OLED technology could very well suffer the same fate as Plasma. We all know the war between Plasma and LCD/LED was pretty heated for a while, but even though IMHO Plasma was a better choice with its inky blacks and blazing fast refresh rates, the cons of its technology ultimately did it in.
When it comes to OLED technology smaller applications like tablets and phones things just make sense. I’m sure a good portion of you reading this have seen what an OLED display looks like on any number of Samsung devices currently on the market today. But when we try to apply this same OLED technology in say a 55″ or 65″ television you quickly start to see the problems stack up. For one, it’s extremely difficult to produce OLED panels this size which also lead to the higher price point. Even further, these panels are not as bright as their LED counter parts and the life span of the panel is not as long either.
Unfortunately because of these short comings OLED TV’s could see the same fall from grace and that is all because of a new technology developed by Samsung that is based off of their current Quantum Dot SUHD TV’s. So for those of you who don’t know how Quantum Dot Technology works, they are tiny particles somewhere around 2-10 nanometers in diameter that in conjunction with other materials emit different colors according to their size. The advantage to these quantum dots is that they are able to emit brighter more vibrant colors which also make them extremely suitable for HDR content. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about how Samsung intends to use this QLED branded technology and why it may over take OLED as the new best standard.
As of now LED televisions rely on backlighting to illuminate the panel, while OLED TV’s light each pixel individually. This leads to deeper truer blacks but also lacks the brightness that an LED panel can offer. With Samsung’s new QLED technology, they will swap the photo luminescent Quantum Dots, for dots that are electroluminescent allowing for each pixel to be illuminated individually. Meaning they will maintain the brightness you would find in a LED while also giving you rich deep blacks you expect to find in an OLED TV and eliminating the need for backlighting.
OK so that’s not entirely true at this stage in the game. Admittedly this first batch of QLED TV’s will be somewhat of a hybrid. Of course we didn’t think QLED would be ready for market in 2017 but with some quick thinking on Samsung’s part they were able to reconfigure the backlight so it fires from multiple angles instead of just a single trajectory. This will still allow this crop of QLED’s to be superior to Samsung’s current line of SUHD TV’s and function closer to an OLED TV. Future iterations however should completely eliminate the need for any backlighting truly making them a competitor with any OLED TV on the market
So when can we start to see these new TV’s from Samsung hit the Market? Well it looks like they should start rolling out their Q7, Q8 and Q9 series sometime this year with maybe a spring or fall release. Samsung was short on details in that department as most companies are with an initial announcement of a new product. If you are thinking of purchasing a Samsung TV you might want to hold off for the release of their QLED lineup or even then next generation of “True” QLED’s. If you are looking for an OLED TV, for now it looks like LG and even Sony are happy to pursue that technology. All we can do is wait and see is QLED over takes OLED or maybe they both can live together.