The Samsung QLED TV Technology Explained

Samsung revealed their new QLED TVs at Samsung Forum 2017. They also showcased the advantages of the Samsung QLED TV technology. Join us for a quick look at the Samsung QLED TV technology, and find out why Samsung thinks it represents a quantum leap in TV technology.


What Is QLED?

QLED is Samsung’s brand of quantum dot displays. Despite the similarity in name, these are not a newer version of the OLED (organic LED) technology used in some TVs and many smartphones. Rather, quantum dot and QLED displays are “regular” LCD TVs enhanced with quantum dots.

For a quick, consumer-friendly summary of QLED technology, we have Jason Foo, Head of Samsung Malaysia’s AV Business Unit, to thank! 😀


Why Is QLED Better Than OLED?

Quantum dots are microscopic particles that very efficiently converts the light from the LED backlight into very specific colours. This ability to generate purer red and green light using a blue LED backlight allows QLED TVs to deliver a brighter display with a wider colour gamut.

Samsung quotes their new QLED TVs with maximum brightness levels of 1,500 to 2,000 nits, and the ability to reproduce 100% of the DCI-P3 colour space. Compare that to OLED TVs that can only deliver 400-500 nits, and about 70% of the DCI-P3 colour space.

In this video, we will show you the new Samsung QLED TV compared to a competitor’s OLED TV in three aspects – colour gamut, contrast ratio and viewing angle.

The quantum dot technology does not affect the QLED TV’s viewing angle. However, it appears that Samsung made some changes to the subpixel arrangement of the new QLED TVs, so that they have much better viewing angles. That’s why the comparison above shows a superior viewing angle – the traditional advantage of OLED displays.


What’s New About QLED?

You may recall that Samsung had already introduced quantum dot displays in their 2016 SUHD TVs. Their 2017 QLED TVs though, boasts a new “alloy quantum dot technology”.

They basically coated an InP (indium phosphide) core with an inner ZnSe (zinc selenide) shell, followed by a ZnS (zinc sulfide) outer shell, creating an alloyed InP/ZnSeS quantum dot.

The Samsung QLED TV Technology Revealed

These alloy quantum dots are more efficient in converting the light of the backlight unit (BLU) into specific colours required by the display. Because they are zinc-based, they are also far less toxic than cadmium-based quantum dot displays.


HDR Capability

HDR was not mentioned at all in Samsung Forum 2017, but it is an important feature for those intending to invest in a new TV.

3D TV is dead, and the new killer feature is HDR (High Dynamic Range). The industry is fast moving towards HDR displays and content. The term is catchy, readily understood by the masses, and most importantly – can be easily demonstrated to all.

The 2017 Samsung QLED TVs all support HDR, but only in one format – HDR10. Samsung is focusing on HDR10 for 3 reasons :

  • it is an open standard, as opposed to Dolby Vision.
  • it is the basis for the 4K UHD Blu-ray HDR specifications
  • the vast majority of movies today are designed for 1,000 nits displays (that HDR10 supports), instead of 4,000 nits displays (that Dolby Vision supports)

Internet wars aside, the shift to HDR displays and content is just beginning. By the time HDR is ubiquitous many, many years down the road, perhaps we will have the 4,000 nits displays to justify a requirement for Dolby Vision.


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