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With its new QD-OLED TV, Samsung may soon overtake LG for best picture quality

At CES 2022, Samsung revealed its QD-OLED TVs with quantum dots.

Samsung QLED TVs like the one pictured here perform well, but Samsung's upcoming OLED models should be even better.
Samsung

This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.

Get ready for a new OLED TV player. Samsung is the top-selling TV brand worldwide, but its QLED televisions have never performed as well as OLED TVs made by rivals like LG. At CES 2022, Samsung tackled those rivals head on with its new QD Display, a new kind of big screen that relies on OLED technology.

The TV wasn't announced in an official press release like Samsung's other 2022 models. Instead, it appeared as a 2022 Best of Innovation award winner at CES.

"Samsung's 65-inch QD-Display TV is the world's first true RGB self-emitting Quantum Dot OLED display ... combining the contrast levels of RGB OLED with the color and brightness of quantum dots," the award's text reads. Other features mentioned include four HDMI 2.1 inputs, a 144Hz refresh rate, a "Neo Quantum Processor" and immersive sound. 

Other details about the TV, including pricing, availability, images or screen sizes beyond 65 inches, are currently unclear. CNET reached out to Samsung for additional details and a representative replied, "All I can say at this time is that we'll have more to share about the 2022 TV lineup in the next several weeks." They added that the TV's name has yet to be determined.

A new kind of OLED TVs could have big implications for the high-end TV market. A company called LG Display currently manufactures all the OLED TVs available today, and supplies them not only to LG Electronics but also to Sony, Vizio, Philips, Panasonic and others worldwide. 

QD-Display panels, first announced in 2019, are manufactured by Samsung Display and could be sold to not only Samsung but other brands, too. In fact Sony will sell its own QD-OLED TV later in 2022, and other brands could follow. More manufacturers of OLED TVs could mean increased competition and lower prices overall.

Now playing: Watch this: Samsung QD Display combines OLED and quantum dots
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OLED is the gold standard among high-end TVs with perfect black levels, no stray illumination and excellent off-angle viewing. QD-OLED combines organic light-emitting diodes and quantum dots. With the current version of OLED, yellow and blue OLED materials create "white" light and filters mix in other colors. QD-OLED uses blue OLEDs to create light and quantum dots to convert some of the blue into red and green.

The benefits, according to Samsung Display, include better color overall, improved viewing angles and the same perfect black levels that conventional OLED is known for. 

Red and green quantum dots

Two bottles of quantum dots in a liquid solution emit red and green light when illuminated with blue light. The technology powers Samsung's QD OLED TVs.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Current OLED TV panels manufactured by LG Display come in a variety of sizes and sale prices on OLED TVs have fallen below $1,000 for the smallest, least-expensive examples. I don't expect Samsung's QD-OLED TVs to offer as much variety or get as affordable, especially in their first year, and I'd be surprised if the picture quality improvement, if any, blows me away. There's also the question of how the next technology will hold up over time or handle potential burn-in

That said, the mere presence of another kind of OLED TV -- and the competition it brings -- is good news for people who care about picture quality.

Samsung made numerous other TV announcements in advance of CES 2022, including its latest Neo QLED, MicroLED and The Frame models, a gaming hub with access to cloud services and a remote that harvests RF waves to recharge.