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Samsung QLED/OLED prototype TVs are on the way

Samsung QLED/OLED prototype TVs are on the way
(Image credit: Samsung / Truth Seekers, Amazon Prime)

Samsung's QLED/OLED TV hybrid just got a step closer to becoming real. According to TheElec, Samsung Display is planning on producing prototype TVs using the tech in June, which it will send to partner firms such as Sony, Samsung Electronics (which makes Samsung's TVs) and Chinese TV makers.

It will also make prototype monitors that use QD-OLED (as the tech is more commonly known).

In September, Samsung Display will gauge feedback through a "market response" review. If the feedback is positive, the TVs could go into production as early as the end of this year or start of 2022, as previously reported.

Samsung Display has reportedly already sent QD-OLED screens to Samsung Electronics, but so far only as display panels rather than complete TVs.

A QD-OLED TV could put an end to the QLED vs OLED format war by surpassing both. In theory, it could combine the deep blacks and self-emissive properties of OLED panels with the outstanding brightness of QLED sets. It could do so by using blue OLEDs as a backlight source, with both red and green quantum dots printed over the top of the blue OLED layer. The result would be an ultra-punchy picture, in a super-thin panel, at a cheaper price than an OLED equivalent.

If that sounds like an all-round win, it's worth bearing in mind that the use of OLEDs  means there will be some concern around long-term image degradation and burn-in. It will be fascinating to see how Samsung Electronics (assuming it does launch its own QD-OLED models) handles those concerns in light of its long-running and well-publicised campaign against OLED technology.

Of course, these QD-OLEDs need to be commercially viable before Samsung rolls them out. Samsung Electronics has reportedly told Samsung Display that it must secure much higher yield rates and production capacity for the QD-OLED panels than are currently possible. Apparently, yield rates right now lag way behind those of LG's OLED panels, so Samsung Display is currently focussing on increasing its QD-OLED yield rates.

QLED has been Samsung's focus recently for its high-end TVs, but its most recent range saw it add a new technology to its TV stable: Mini LED backlighting. The resulting 'Neo QLEDs' are able to go brighter and produce greater contrast than previous QLED models.

It's also dipping its toe into MicroLED TVs. Though because of the nascent nature of the tech, these sets tend to be huge and very pricey. QD-OLED could be the breakthrough Samsung needs to finally pull away from OLED for good.

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