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Samsung OLED TVs, built with LG panels, look ready to join QD-OLEDs next year

Samsung QD-OLED
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung seems decided that next year's premium TV line-up will consist of Mini LED, QD-OLED and OLED TVs, according to an industry source, with the company ready to place an OLED order with rival LG.

The Samsung OLED TV rumours, which first surfaced back in April, are looking even more solid now with a report from The Elec, as spotted byHDTVtests, that Samsung has "tentatively" made up its mind to buy 2 million LG-made OLED panels. The suggested intention is for the release of 1.5 million Samsung OLED TVs to the market in 2022, alongside 500,000 QD-OLED TVs and its QNED range.

That's something of a double defeat for Samsung. Not only will it be putting money into LG's pockets but it's also an admission that OLED TVs might be the best way forward, at least for now.

Samsung's display divisions will continue to work on MicroLED, which the company clearly sees as the real future of TV tech, but there appears to be some doubt internally over the quality of current QD-OLED prototypes. Samsung Electronics apparently has more confidence in what it can do with LG Display's OLEDs for the time being.

Samsung has always been vocal in its criticism of OLED TVs, highlighting their potential for burn-in and the fact they're not as bright as LCDs. However, there's been a tipping of the scales of late. Many of this year's LG OLED TVs were comparatively cheaper at launch than previous generations, suggesting that their manufacture has become more economical. There have also been small improvements in peak brightness.

At the same time, it's reached a crunch point for Samsung what with its display divisions no longer producing LCDs of their own for its QLED sets. Samsung has faced a rising cost on that front too and, according to the report, will be looking to LG once more, as well as Sharp and others, for LCD panels.

Until now, Samsung has sourced the displays for its cheaper TVs from Chinese companies, such as TCL, but the feeling is that LG's are of better quality.

It's tempting to look at this as a capitulation for Samsung but the reality seems that it's more of a transitional phase while QD-OLED gets off the ground. Even if that particular Samsung TV tech never quite makes it, affordable MicroLED TVs can't be more than a few years away.

MORE:

Here are the best OLED TVs to buy at the moment

MicroLED: everything you need to know

QD-OLED TV: everything you need to know about the game-changing new TV tech

Dan is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and his job is with product reviews as well as news, feature and advice articles too. He works across both the hi-fi and AV parts of the site and magazine and has a particular interest in home cinema. Dan joined What Hi-Fi? in 2019 and has worked in tech journalism for over a decade, writing for Tech Digest, Pocket-lint, MSN Tech and Wareable as well as freelancing for T3, Metro and the Independent. Dan has a keen interest in playing and watching football. He has also written about it for the Observer and FourFourTwo and ghost authored John Toshack's autobiography, Toshack's Way.