There are two basic TV technologies on the market today:. LCD-based TVs are much more common and popular because they're less expensive and easier to manufacture. OLED TVs have better picture quality but cost more money. LCD TV-makers use a variety of enhancements to improve image quality, one of which is called .
Samsung has been selling LCD TVs enhanced by quantum dots for the last few years under thebrand, and in CNET's tests they do have improved color compared to other LCD sets. But they still , 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 would create a sort of hybrid TV with, potentially, picture quality better than any current TV.
Samsung recently announced it's 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 electroluminescent, aka "direct view" quantum dots. That technology is still several years away. This is going to be a QD-OLED hybrid.
At the announcement event, 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."
What does this all mean? Samsung hasn't yet replied to our request for additional information, but Nanosys, a company that makes quantum dots, has shared some details on how the technology will likely work.
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.
There are many advantages to this method, in theory. By using only one color or material of OLED, the manufacturing costs go way down since it's easier to build. LG, for instance, uses only two OLED materials, blue and yellow, for every pixel across the entire display. Light-blocking color filters create the green and red. QDs have nearly 100% efficiency, significantly better than filters, so in theory the hybrid TVs will be much brighter. Plus, there's the possibility of even at all brightness levels.
Because each pixel can be shut off, these hybrid TVs will also have the incrediblethat OLED is known for.
Since blue OLED materials still age faster than red and green, having the entire panel one color means the TV ages more evenly with no color shift. Keeping that aging to a minimum, and thereby having a TV that doesn't seem dim after a few years, is one of the key manufacturing issues. This is especially true in thisera of extreme brightness levels.
While this new Samsung plant is focusing on TV-size displays, the technology could work in phone-sized displays as well. Since Samsung doesn't seem to have any issue making excellent small OLEDs, I'd be surprised if it's in any rush to upset that market with something as advanced as this. Also, Samsung's phone-sized OLEDs use red, green and blue OLEDs compared to LG's blue-yellow. Samsung tried to make RGB OLED TVs and just couldn't make them profitable.
Into the future
It's possible, maybe even likely, that LG is working on a similar QD-OLED hybrid. Right now it's not saying (we asked). It is, however, the logical next step for OLED before whatever next generation of TV tech arrives.
And what might that be? Well, the quantum dot folks seem to think electroluminescent quantum dots, or ELQD, would have all the benefits of OLED, all the benefits of QD and none of the issues of LCD or the wear and longevity concerns of OLED. A very promising tech indeed.. These
Then there's the question of what Samsung will call this new QD-OLED technology, since it's already branded its current TVs as "QLED." It's a safe bet it won't be calling them OLED anything, since that's LG's "thing" and Samsung is already trying to use the fear of trash-talk the technology. It's worth noting the Samsung division that sells TVs, Samsung Electronics, is different from Samsung Display, the division that will be making these QD-OLEDs.to
The other new TV tech on the horizon from Samsung and others is. This has many of the same benefits as the QD-OLED hybrid, but doesn't muck around with those pesky organics. That's even farther in the future, however, likely somewhere in time between QD-OLED and direct-view quantum dot displays. Oh, and MicroLEDs use quantum dots too. They're a fascinating technology with uses .