What is QD-OLED and how will it change TV?
(Pocket-lint) – There are a huge number of panel technologies available on modern premium TVs such as OLED, QLED, Micro LED and now, to make things even more confusing, we have the advent of QD-OLED TVs.
To muddy the water even further, Samsung often refers to the new panels as ‘QD Display’ but everyone else calls it QD-OLED, so we will too.
This year we have seen some fantastic sets launch from all the major manufacturers but you might be wondering if it’s worth waiting to see what QD-OLED brings to the table.
So with this in mind, we sought to find out what this new technology is all about, and how it compares to its rivals.
What is QD-OLED?
Simply put, QD-OLED takes elements of OLED technology and combines it with Quantum Dot panels in an effort to provide the best of both worlds. The aim is to provide high peak brightness with little to no light bleed, deep blacks and vivid colours.
The tech is developed by Samsung, who has historically been a detractor of OLED technologies in favour of QLED (Quantum Dot) displays. This isn’t too surprising because rival manufacturer, LG, is the sole supplier of large OLED panels to the TV market.
OLED panels produce the deepest blacks possible because the pixels can individually turn off, as opposed to a traditional LCD panel that works by shining a backlight (or lots of backlights) through a layer of pixels on top. The downside is that they can’t achieve the same levels of brightness as other panels and are also somewhat susceptible to image retention or burn-in.
QLED panels excel in colour accuracy and therefore are often cited as the best choice for vibrant HDR content. They can be brighter than OLED panels and don’t suffer the same tendency for burn-in, but they can’t achieve the same deep blacks so overall contrast is reduced.
How does QD-OLED work?
In QD-OLED displays, an OLED panel is essentially used as a backlight and it emits a blue light through red and green quantum dots. The quantum dots divide each OLED pixel into three subpixels – red, green and blue. These can be combined to create pure white light or used in other combinations to achieve millions of colours.
Unlike traditional LCD filtering, almost no light energy is lost when transforming the colour via quantum dots. This means that QD-OLEDs should be able to appear brighter than current OLEDs whilst still retaining the black levels.
Samsung says that its 4K QD-OLED TVs will have about 8.3 million individually controllable light sources, this would enable a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 and in turn, better HDR performance.
Samsung reckons that QD-OLED will offer one of the broadest colour representations of its current top-of-the-line displays. The brand expects a colour volume of above 80 per cent with a brightness range between 0.0005 nits blacks and 1000 nits peak white.
When can I buy a QD-OLED TV?
While we don’t know for certain, the first of Samsung’s QD-OLED displays are expected to be unveiled at CES 2022 in January. Rumours state that the panels should already be in production and that the sets might land with retailers in the first half of 2022.
How much will QD-OLED TVs cost?
Again, no one knows for sure, but given the integration of already expensive OLED technology, we don’t think these will come cheap.
Early whisperings hint that Samsung QD-OLEDs will initially launch in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes, with larger 70-inch models appearing at a later date.
The best guess right now is that the new QD-OLED displays will sit between Samsung’s current QLED offerings and the brand’s bank account destroying MicroLED offerings.
Writing by Luke Baker. Originally published on .