Samsung, LG embrace quantum dot technology for TV
When it comes to the new smart TVs Samsung is announcing at CES, Q represents quantum, as in the new type of quantum dots used in the manufacture of its LED-backlit LCD panels. Samsung is branding it QLED and you’ll find it in its new Q7, Q8, and Q9 series of 4K UHD TVs.
Samsung claims 2000 nits peak brightness for its QLED TVs, which translates not only into better contrast, but a wider colour gamut; ie, it can reproduce a broader range of colours. In fact, Samsung claims its new TVs can reproduce 99% of the DCI-P3 color space.
In the insanely labyrinthine world of colour spaces, that’s already saying a lot but going further to claim “all colours at all brightness levels” is an even bolder claim. Considering how spectacular HDR content looks on Samsung’s existing SUHD TVs, these QLED TVs could be stunning.
Other, more mundane improvements include what Samsung calls a ‘no-gap wall mount’ for tight bulkhead fitment. The mounting hardware is inside the TV chassis to shrink the gap between the TV and the wall. QLED TVs will also feature an ‘invisible connection’ cable, more commonly known as a raceway, that hides all the cables connecting the TV to outboard peripherals such as a set-top box and a sound bar.
Finally, there are two new SmartHub TV features: Sports – a customisable mash-up of your favourite teams, and Music, which identifies songs as they’re played on TV.
Sadly, Samsung’s announcement made no mention of support for Dolby Vision, the dynamic HDR standard. On the other hand, the company’s excellent SUHD models might drop in price soon, even if they do only support HDR-10.
LG is also getting in on quantum dots with its SJ9500, SJ8500 and SJ8000 Super UHD TVs.
This is significant in that LG has been at the forefront of OLED development and evangelising. But large-screen OLED production remains problematic, and LED/LCD technology has improved tremendously thanks to quantum dots.
Nothing beats the deep blacks of OLED, but significantly improved nano crystal LED/LCD panels offer far greater brightness, greater detail in dark areas, as well as wide colour gamut and, arguably, more accurate colour. OLED’s relatively short phosphor lifespans are bypassed as well.
It’s never easy interpreting this type of news in terms of market impact. This could be seen as LG backtracking, or it’s simply be hedging its bets. If we’re to believe our tests, however, OLED might soon take a back seat to quantum dots in high-end TVs – at least until OLED production yields increase.
IDG News Service