Philips is working on Micro LED TVs but you won’t be able to buy one for “three or four years at least”

The Philips OLED959 TV photographed against a white wall. On the screen is a view of a city.
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

In September last year, Philips’ senior director of product strategy and planning, Danny Tack, told What Hi-Fi? that Micro LED belonged more in the lab than in the home, but a fresh conversation with him this week suggested that he very much considers it to be the flagship TV tech of the future.

I started by asking him whether he thought Mini LED has much of a future when OLED TVs can now hit 3000 nits of brightness, as is the case with his brand’s new OLED+909 and OLED+959 models. He pointed out that while some brands might be taking essentially a dual-flagship TV approach, with a Mini LED model on one side and an OLED on the other, Philips has a clear hierarchy, with OLED at the top, Mini LED in the middle, and standard LCD/LED below. But he then went on to talk about the next step in TV tech:

“[In the future] we might talk about a mix between them, Mini LED and OLED. I think the next-generation displays – not next year, but three or four years from now – will be Micro LEDs, which will be a combination of the two strengths”, he told me.

Tack wouldn’t go into detail on Philips’ Micro LED project, but he did say that “it is something that in Taipei we are heavily experimenting with. We have prototypes of that there”.

For those not already in the know, Micro LED is a next-generation TV panel technology that essentially combines the pixel-level contrast control of OLED with (at least) the brightness of Mini LED. Think of an OLED TV, in which every pixel is self-emissive, but replace the organic LEDs with standard (but tiny) LEDs that can go brighter and have no risk of burn-in or degradation over time.

Micro LED is something of a dream TV technology, but it’s no fantasy – Samsung already produces and sells Micro LED TVs, but only at huge sizes and astronomical prices. It seems that Philips is targeting its Micro LED models for a time when they might be more commercially viable, though I imagine they will still be very expensive at first.


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Tom Parsons

Tom Parsons has been writing about TV, AV and hi-fi products (not to mention plenty of other 'gadgets' and even cars) for over 15 years. He began his career as What Hi-Fi?'s Staff Writer and is now the TV and AV Editor. In between, he worked as Reviews Editor and then Deputy Editor at Stuff, and over the years has had his work featured in publications such as T3, The Telegraph and Louder. He's also appeared on BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and Sky Swipe. In his spare time Tom is a runner and gamer.