There are two basic TV technologies on the market today: OLED TVs have better picture quality but cost more money. LCD TV-makers to improve image quality, one of which is called .. LCD-based TVs are much more common and popular because they’re less expensive and easier to manufacture.
Samsung sells more TVs than any other brand, but they’re all based on LCD, not OLED. In March, however, Samsung Display announced it was ending all LCD production in Korea and its factories in China by the end of 2020. Going forward, the company’s investment will be focused on building more advanced quantum dot displays.
That doesn’t mean we’ll see a Samsung OLED TV this year, but one could be coming soon after, and it could have the best picture yet. Here’s why.
Samsung’s $11 billion bet on quantum dots
Samsung has been selling LCD TVs enhanced by quantum dots for the last few years under itsbrand, and its . In our tests Samsung’s QLED TVs , however, mainly because of . And at the moment only one company makes big-screen OLED display panels: LG.
But what if you could combine the benefits of quantum dots with the contrast ratios of OLED? It would create a sort of hybrid TV with, potentially, picture quality better than any current TV.
Last October Samsung announced it was building a factory to do just that:
Samsung Display will invest 13.1 trillion won by 2025 to build “Q1 Line,” the world’s first QD display mass production line at Asan Campus. The new line is scheduled to start production in 2021 with an initial 30,000 sheets (8.5 generations) and will produce a huge QD display of 65 inches or larger.
That’s an investment of around $11.1 billion. While Samsung calls this “QD display,” it isn’t. That technology is still several years away. This is going to be a QD-OLED hybrid.
At the announcement, South Korean President Moon Jae-in also referenced Samsung’s rival LG in regards to Korea’s place in world TV production: “It is important to maintain the top spot of the global display market with game-changing technologies,” Moon said. “Following LG Display’s 3 trillion-won investment in large OLED panel production in July, Samsung Display’s latest investment plan brightens prospects further.”
Samsung claims it wants to start production in 2021. So how will it work? Samsung hasn’t replied to our request for additional information, but Nanosys, a company that makes quantum dots, has shared some details. Its CEO, Jason Hartlove, is understandably bullish on the technology, which relies on converting light from an OLED panel.
“Quantum Dot Color Conversion is a completely new way of rendering color in displays,” he told CNET. “The result is pure quantum dot color with much higher efficiency as no light is lost in a color filter. We’ve worked closely with a number of development partners on implementations for both LCD and OLED technologies and expect to see the first QDCC product launches over the next 12-18 months.”
How QD-OLED would work
Combining quantum dots and OLED could play to the strengths of both technologies. The idea with any TV is to. LED LCDs with quantum dots, like Samsung’s current QLED TVs, to convert some of that blue into red and green. With the current version of OLED, . In both cases, color filters let pass only what color is needed for that specific subpixel.
The idea with a QD-OLED is to simplify these designs into one, by using OLED to create blue light, and then a quantum dot layer to convert some of the blue into red and green.