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A closer look at MicroLED

Up close with Samsung's The Wall and other MicroLED displays.

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Geoffrey Morrison

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Dale Smith

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1 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

MicroLED can be huge

At CES 2020 here in Las Vegas, Samsung showed off a 292-inch version of its latest MicroLED TV, aptly called The Wall. MicroLED is fundamentally different from current display technologies LCD and OLED, and 2020 might be the year it goes mainstream.

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2 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

Smaller is newer

The bigger news, however, is that Samsung announced it's ready to go into large-scale production on smaller MicroLED TVs, from 75 to 150 inches. Smaller MicroLED TVs are more challenging than big ones, because the LEDs need to fit closer and tighter together while still producing acceptable brightness for a TV.

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3 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

Only 146 inches

Here's the first The Wall, a 146-inch model shown at CES 2018. It's actually on sale now for the commercial market. Pricing depends on how it's installed, but it's safe to say it's very, very expensive.

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4 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

Modular

One benefit of MicroLED is that it's easier to make different screen sizes and aspect ratios than with traditional LCD and OLED technologies. 

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5 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

More modular

Another example of the modular capabilities. 

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6 of 13 Samsung

Sizes and shapes

It'd be possible with MicroLED to have these different shapes and sizes all be high-resolution video displays. 

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7 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

Depth

Current versions are slightly thicker than other display tech, but the trade-off is an almost nonexistent bezel, giving 99% of the TV's facia to the screen itself.

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8 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

Wall-sized The Wall

Although for years you've been able to get a display this size (human for scale) using a projector and screen, none could ever be as bright as MicroLED.

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9 of 13 Sarah Tew/CNET

Modular

One of Samsung's MicroLED modules. Put a bunch together and you've got a TV.

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10 of 13 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

MicroLED close-up

A close-up view of MicroLEDs making an image.

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11 of 13 Juan Garzón/CNET

Microscopes

A comparison of an LED of a conventional TV (left) with a Samsung MicroLED (right).

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12 of 13 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

LED evolution

The evolution of LEDs getting smaller and smaller. The top left is the most recent, and they get larger and older in a clockwise direction. 

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13 of 13 Trendforce

Sizes

An illustration of the size difference between traditional LEDs and MicroLEDs. 

Check out MicroLED is the first new screen tech in a decade. Can it beat OLED? for more about how this technology works.

Originally published last year.

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