Samsung introduced a new type of TV technology at the recent CES 2017 that could prove to be a major leap forward in television picture quality.
It’s called QLED, and you’re thinking that it is incredibly similar to OLED, you may be partly right, and there’s a good reason for it, because the two TV technologies share many similar qualities.
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What is QLED?
Samsung has called its new TV’s QLED because they use what are called Quantum Dot LEDs. They’re similar to OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) and have many similar properties, but they are definitely far superior. For now, it seems Samsung is the only TV manufacturer using the new technology, with LG and Panasonic sticking to OLED and possibly even Sony. But Panasonic, Sony, and other TV or computer manufacturers buys LG’s OLED technology and then sells it under their own brand name. This is because the branch of LG manufacturing OLED is not in direct competition with its mother company.
How does QLED work?
QLED screens take a Quantum Dot layer and wrap it in a new metal alloy to make colors more accurate. It improves viewing angles and allows the screens to go even brighter. Quantum Dot TV technology works by placing a layer, or film, of Quantum Dots in front of a regular LCD backlight panel. The layer is made up of nano crystals, each emitting its own individual color depending on its size (anywhere between 2 and 10 nanometers).
Because each nano crystal can emit its own light, colors can be reproduced more accurately. It’s a similar system to OLED screens; each OLED produces its own individual light. It also means QLED screens can close the gap between LCD and OLED screens when it comes to producing the deepest blacks.
But the lighting is actually what also sets the two technologies apart. Quantum Dot TV’s rely on an LCD backlight, while OLEDs each produce their own light. QLED screens use new a backlighting system, which produces light from all directions, as opposed to pixels in regular LCD panel TV’s being lit from one direction. This new way of lighting a picture not only improves color and contrast, but viewing angles as well.
While it may mean OLED screens can effectively produce better blacks, Quantum Dot TV’s can go brighter, and with viewing, brightness is always the key. The other main difference between the two is price. OLED screens are still considered to be expensive compared to their LCD counterparts. It’s because OLED screens are still relatively difficult to produce, although yield rates are much better than they were when the technology first came out. Samsung has not yet released pricing details of its new QLED sets just yet, but they’re likely to be much, much cheaper than their OLED counterparts because they are much more cost-effective to produce.