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Samsung maintains its aversion to OLED TVs, but why?


Last updated: September 1st, 2017 at 11:00 UTC+02:00

Despite being a leader in the AMOLED display market, Samsung has an aversion to OLED displays for TVs. Its mobile devices tout gorgeous AMOLED displays but the company thinks this technology isn’t suited to its TV lineup.

Samsung launched its “QLED” TVs earlier this year. It positioned them against LG’s OLED TVs that are very highly regarded in the market. Technical pros and cons aside, it relied on some marketing trickery as well to push its new QLED series.

The fact remains that OLED or organic light emitting diode displays are fundamentally different from conventional LCD displays.

They are emissive, meaning that the pixels in an OLED panel emit their own light. QLED stands for quantum dot LED according to Samsung, and it’s transmissive in its existing form. It needs an LED backlight since the pixels don’t emit their own light.

The two technologies are fundamentally different. Samsung maintains that QLED offers better performance compared to OLED panels. However, the existing version of its QLED technology is more similar to the conventional LCD display panels than it is to an OLED panel.

Samsung is working on an iteration of its QLED technology which will be emissive like OLED. When that happens, QLED will have the potential to match the contrast ratio and black levels of OLED with better color and power efficiency. However, it’s going to take a couple of years before we see its emissive QLED TVs hit the market.

At its IFA 2017 press conference earlier this week, Samsung announced plans to extend its QLED TV lineup to Europe. It also launched a flat version of its Q8F curved model in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes for customers in Europe. The company now offers its full lineup of 14 QLED TVs in curved and flat models in Europe.

“You may be wondering if Samsung will be re-entering the OLED market anytime soon,” said David Lowes, Chief Marketing Officer for Samsung Electronics Europe at IFA 2017. “We want to reaffirm our commitment to QLED technology,” he added.

“Why? Because QLED is free of burn-in issues and cost-effectively scales for larger screens. We believe that QLED is the TV technology of the future,’ Lowes said.

Samsung isn’t outright denying the possibility of ever making another OLED TV. However, the company has made it abundantly clear that it’s going to maintain its focus on QLED technology.

Its rival LG is churning out exceptional OLED TVs and is making further advancements to its OLED technology.

It begs the question, where will OLED technology be when Samsung finally gets QLED to the level that OLED is at right now? Only time will tell.

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