In LCD and OLED, we have two the basic TV technologies on the market today. Why not take the best qualities of each and create a new groundbreaking hybrid TV? It looks like Samsung has beaten everyone to it.
As the world’s biggest TV seller, Samsung has relied mostly on LCD, not OLED, for its displays. But recent news out of Korea indicates that Samsung has decided to halt the production of traditional LCD displays by the end of the year.
Driven by a supply glut and falling demand, the Korean tech company is now turning its full attention toward its burgeoning portfolio of TVs that utilize quantum dot technology.
The story doesn’t end there, however. Tests after tests have shown that LG’s OLED TVs have better overall image quality, contrast ratios and off-angle viewing than LCD TVs that are enhanced by quantum dots, which are microscopic particles that when hit by light, emit a certain different colored light.
The source of this light is the LED backlight, and that light must pass through more layers, such as the LCD layer, to produce the images on the screen. In improving QLED TVs, Samsung has created a new refined aluminum compound that can make the quantum dots more efficient, and the natural ability to produce more accurate colors. This technology replaces the red, green and blue color filters that many older TVs used.
On the other hand, OLED TVs don’t need a separate backlight, as each pixel you see is a self-contained source of color and light.
So, this begs the question: Is it possible to combine the benefits of quantum dots with OLED’s inimitable picture quality?
Samsung is putting money where its mouth is by investing $11 billion over the next five years on a new factory in Asan, South Chungcheong Province that will focus chiefly on QD-OLED hybrids. The new Gen. 8.5 QD line is scheduled to start production in 2021 and will manufacture at least 30,000 units of QD display panels of 65 inches or larger.
This monumental investment wasn’t lost on South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who aims to keep Korea as one of the world’s top TV and display manufacturers.
“It is important to maintain the top spot of the global display market with game-changing technologies,” Moon said during a ceremony marking an agreement between the panel maker and contractors. “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 Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong concurred with Moon.
“Displays are our ‘dream platform’ that connects us from home to office, and are used at anywhere for industries, education and medicine,” Lee said. “We will invest over 13 trillion won only for next-generation displays and make new jobs for young people despite the difficult economic situation.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV.