Samsung is the market leader in QLED TVs; LG has enjoyed huge success with its OLED panels. Both technologies have their plus points, but Samsung is said to be plotting a hybrid TV technology that could put an end the OLED vs QLED war. Prepare to feast your eyes on... QD-OLED.
A report in The Korea Herald (opens in new tab) claims that Samsung could start manufacturing the next-gen, high-end panels as early as "Q3 2021". If true, QD-OLED TVs could hit the shelves in time for next Christmas.
To add fuel to the fire, market research firm Omdia claims that Samsung's Display division is "already promoting" QD-OLED tech to two of the biggest players in the TV game, Sony and Panasonic (both of whom currently source OLED panels from LG).
In theory, QD-OLED could become the holy grail of high-end TV tech by combining the deep blacks of OLED panels with the outstanding brightness of QLED sets. But how would the mash-up actually work?
If the rumours are true, QD-OLED TVs will use 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. What's not to like about that?
Omnia also predicts that QD-OLEDs will show up in 55in, 65in, 78in and 82in sizes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that would leave a bit of a hole at the smaller end of the market, which is currently filled by the world's first sub-50in OLED, the stunning LG OLED48CX. Samsung is said to be considering 32in QD-OLEDs, but only for use in gaming monitors.
Samsung has remained pretty tight-lipped as to when the first hybrid TVs might drop, but back in 2019 Samsung Display CEO, Lee Dong-hoon, told The Korea Herald that the “the company is making good efforts” to manufacture a commercially viable QD-OLED panel.
However, the same newspaper has also quoted an unnamed – and rather less optimistic – industry source, who said: "If Samsung Electronics decides to adopt QD-OLED panels, it will be able to release QD-OLED TVs in 2022 at the earliest, I think."
Samsung could say more about QD-OLED TV at the IFA 2020 technology expo in Berlin next month. We'll keep our eyes peeled.